Update: New and improved airplane stuff

keenerd keenerd at gmail.com
Mon Dec 10 22:41:41 UTC 2012

A few new features have been pushed in the last two days.

Most significant is rtl_adsb, a fast and simple ADS-B decoder.  It is
not the most sensitive decoder (Prog's and rtl-1090 pick up a few more
planes) but it works fairly well.  Of course it lacks the interactive
maps of other software, however the output can be piped into fancier
programs or across the network with netcat.  To use it, just run
"rtl_adsb".  It does not need any options and can pick up plenty of
signals with only the stock antenna.

Here is a snippet if you plan to use rtl_adsb over the network:

while true; do rtl_adsb -R | nc -lp 8080; done

Where -R enables raw mode, 8080 is the port of choice, and the while
loop restarts netcat after network disconnections.

Rtl_fm also got a few tweaks to make it work better with AM voice
airband.  Rtl_fm could always do scanning but it needed every
frequency listed out explicitly. Kind of awkward with hundreds of
airband channels. So now you can use ranges:

rtl_fm -M -f 118M:137M:25k -s 12k -l 280 | ....

That will scan every voice channel.  Adjust squelch level for local conditions.

Also of note are two little convenience features in rtl_fm.  If the
output filename is omitted, stdout is assumed.  And the use of k/M/G
in addition to e3/e6/e9.


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