How-to Install AcarsDeco2 on Pi2 or Pi3 already running Raspbian Stretch and dump1090

How-to Install AcarsDeco2 on Pi2 or Pi3 running Raspbian Stretch and dump1090 (mutability or fa)

NOTE: You will need TWO DVB-T Dongles, one for dump1090 and other for AcarsDeco2

Configuration A – 1 Pi + 2 dongles
One Pi running both dump1090 AND acars – needs two dongles, dongle #1 for dump1090, dongle #2 for acars.

Configuration B – 2 Pi + 2 Dongles
Pi #1 + Dongle #1- running acars ONLY.
Pi #2 + Dongle #2 – running dump1090 ONLY.

In this configuration, no need to serialize (step-3).
Also in steps 5 and 6.2, omit –device index 1

IMPORTANT NOTE:
sergsero’s post giving 3 important points missed in this How-to.

Hi,

abcd567, thank you very much for the detailed instructions.

I would just like to add a few point.

  • Commonly used RTL-SDR dongles do not have the Temperature Compensated Crystal Oscillators (TCXO) so in settings you need to specify a value frequency correction (frequency offset in PPM) which is unique to each dongle. The program has the special option: –freq-correction <value>, for example, –freq-correction 62.
    Oscillators and other frequency control devices specify their frequency variation in units of parts per million (PPM). For example, 62 PPM of 131.725 MHz represents a variation in frequency of 8166.95 kHz.
    Use general software like SDR# and tune to a known signal like ACARS, ATIS or a trunking channel that you know the frequency of. Then adjust the PPM offset in SDR# so that your signal lines up with the known frequency. Record this PPM value and use it in acarsdeco2. Before operating make sure you let the dongle warm up for a ~ twenty-thirty minutes so the PPM stabilizes.
  • When using an high performance antenna, setting maximum gain (49.6) may be excessive. As a result, there is existing a risk of overloading the RF amplifier’s stage with a strong signal.
    I am suggesting that it would be better to determine the optimal value of required gain in the specific conditions. Typically, this value is in the range 25.4 – 38.6 (for dongle with Rafael Micro R820T/T2 tuner). The program has the special option: –gain <value>, for example, –gain 38.6.
  • If you enable using an additional data from external files (basestation.sqb, flightroute.sqb and the like) the question marks in the table will be replaced by the corresponding data about the aircraft.

Best regards,
sergsero

STEP-1, ALTERNATIVE-1
1.1.1 – Download on Desktop/Laptop, the  AcarsDeco2 file from http://xdeco.org/?page_id=30

Raspberry Pi 2/3 (Broadcom SoC BCM2836/37 ARMv7 Quad Core) Raspbian GNU/Linux 9.0 (Stretch):
acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz

1.1.2 – Copy the downloaded file acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz to RPi’s folder /home/pi using WinSCP or FileZilla

1.1.3  – In RPi, create a folder acars to hold AcarsDeco2 files, and move the file acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz into it

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cd ~/
sudo mkdir acars
sudo mv acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz  acars/ 

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STEP-1, ALTERNATIVE-2
1.2.1  – In RPi, create a folder acars to hold AcarsDeco2 files

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cd ~/
sudo mkdir  acars 
1.2.2 - I have uploaded acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz to my DropBox account. Using wget command , you can directly download it from my Drop-Box to RPi and save it in newly created folder acars
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sudo wget -O  acars/acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz  "https://www.dropbox.com/s/q5tjkkrodsyert7/acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz?dl=1"     

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STEP-2
2.1 – Move into folder acars

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cd acars

2.2 – Extract downloaded .tgz file

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sudo tar xzvf acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz

The above command will give following output

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acarsdeco2
acarsdeco2.readme
acars_signals_sdrsharp_ppm_error_corr_1.jpg
LICENSE.MIT
datasets/
datasets/aircrafts_p.txt
datasets/acars_mls.txt
datasets/aircrafts_s.txt
datasets/airlines.txt
STEP-3

3.1 – Serialize two DVB-T / Prostick dongles
Dongle 1 (for dump1090-mutability): Serial # 00000000
Dongle 2 (for AcarsDeco2): Serial # 00000001

Instruction to serialize are here:
How to Change Serial Number of Dongle

3.2 – After Serialization is done, plug Both Dongles in Pi

3.3 – Reboot Pi

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sudo reboot
STEP-4 Check what AcarsDeco2 has detected as DVB-T / Prostick dongles available and their serial numbers
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cd acars
./acarsdeco2 --device-list

The above command will give following output

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AcarSDeco2 v.20180603
Available Devices:
 0 mnf: Realtek prod: RTL2832U serial: 00000000
 1 mnf: Realtek prod: RTL2832UFA serial: 00000001

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STEP-5; Run AcarsDeco2 Manually

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cd acars
./acarsdeco2 --device-index 1 --gain 49.6 --freq 131550000 131725000 --http-port 8686 &amp;

The above command will give following output

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[1] 981
AcarSDeco2 v.20180603
Using device:  1 mnf: Realtek prod: RTL2832UFA serial: 00000001
Sampling rate: 1400000.018544 sps
Supported Gains (dB):  0.0 0.9 1.4 2.7 3.7 7.7 8.7 12.5 14.4 15.7 16.6 19.7 20.7 22.9 25.4 28.0 29.7 32.8 33.8 36.4 37.2 38.6 40.2 42.1 43.4 43.9 44.5 48.0 49.6
Freq: 131.637 MHz
Freq Correction: 0 ppm
Gain: 49.6 dB
Trying to use 16 buffers in memory explicitly allocated to support zero-copy

STEP-6 : Automated start at boot / reboot
6.1 – Create a blank file ad2.sh, make it executable, and open it for editing

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cd acars
sudo touch ad2.sh
sudo chmod +x  ad2.sh
sudo nano ad2.sh

6.2 – Copy-paste following code in new blank file ad2.sh

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/home/pi/acars/./acarsdeco2
 --device-index 1
 --gain 49.6
 --freq 131550000 131725000
 --http-port 8686

6.3 – Save (Ctrl+o) and Close (Ctrl+x)

6.4 – Open file rc.local for editing

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sudo nano /etc/rc.local

6.5 – Copy-paste following line in file rc.local just above last line (i.e. just above exit 0)

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/home/pi/acars/ad2.sh &amp;

6.6 – Save (Ctrl+o) and Close (Ctrl+x)

6.7 – Reboot Pi for automated start of AcarsDeco2

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sudo reboot

STEP-7
IP-OF-PI:8686

LOG

FLIGHTS

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