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Author Topic: How-to Install AcarsDeco2 on Pi2 or Pi3 already running dump1090  (Read 2813 times)

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Offline abcd567

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How-to Install AcarsDeco2 on Pi2 or Pi3 already 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

Click Here (or scrolldown to Reply #2) to see sergsero's post giving 3 important points missed in this How-to.

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):

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

Code: [Select]
cd ~/
sudo mkdir acars
sudo mv acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz  acars/ 


1.2.1  - In RPi, create a folder acars to hold AcarsDeco2 files

Code: [Select]
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

Code: [Select]
sudo wget -O  acars/acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz  "https://www.dropbox.com/s/q5tjkkrodsyert7/acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz?dl=1"     
2.1 - Move into folder acars

Code: [Select]
cd acars

2.2 - Extract downloaded .tgz file

Code: [Select]
sudo tar xzvf acarsdeco2_rpi2-3_deb9_20180603.tgz

The above command will give following output
Code: [Select]


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

Code: [Select]
sudo reboot
Check what AcarsDeco2 has detected as DVB-T / Prostick dongles available and their serial numbers

Code: [Select]
cd acars
./acarsdeco2 --device-list

The above command will give following output
Code: [Select]
AcarSDeco2 v.20180603
Available Devices:
 0 mnf: Realtek prod: RTL2832U serial: 00000000
 1 mnf: Realtek prod: RTL2832UFA serial: 00000001

STEP-5; Run AcarsDeco2 Manually

Code: [Select]
cd acars
./acarsdeco2 --device-index 1 --gain 49.6 --freq 131550000 131725000 --http-port 8686 &

The above command will give following output
Code: [Select]
[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

Code: [Select]
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

Code: [Select]
/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

Code: [Select]
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)

Code: [Select]
/home/pi/acars/ad2.sh &

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

6.7 - Reboot Pi for automated start of AcarsDeco2

Code: [Select]
sudo reboot






« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 05:36:38 PM by abcd567 »

Offline acarslogger

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Re: How-to Install AcarsDeco2 on Pi2 or Pi3 already running dump1090
« Reply #1 on: July 25, 2018, 11:36:20 AM »
Hi all.

I would suggest that in steps 1.1.3 and 1.2.1, the directory should be named acarsdeco2.
There are other acars decoding software available for a Raspberry Pi. Having a dedicated directory for acarsdeco2 may avoid confusion if users want to install additional acars software.


Offline sergsero

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Re: How-to Install AcarsDeco2 on Pi2 or Pi3 already running dump1090
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2018, 05:14:30 AM »

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,
« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 01:52:26 PM by sergsero »

Offline abcd567

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Re: How-to Install AcarsDeco2 on Pi2 or Pi3 already running dump1090
« Reply #3 on: July 26, 2018, 05:20:54 PM »
Hi sergsero

Thank you very much for your valuable advise about three overlooked points in my post.

I have now updated my How-to post (first post of this thread), and added a note about missing points, and added a link to your post

I have installed AcarsSdeco2 on RPi for the first time few days before creating this "How-to" thread. Before this install, I have never installed or used AcarsDeco2 (or any other Acars Decoder) either on RPi, Windows, or Mac.  As a result I missed the very important points you have now wisely brought to attention.

The reason I used maximum gain (--gain 49.6) is that I used the stock mag-mount whip antenna which came with the generic DVB-T. This whip is too short to be optimal for acars signal on VHF. Also, this whip was located indoors near a window.

« Last Edit: July 26, 2018, 05:40:20 PM by abcd567 »

Offline glenn68

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Re: How-to Install AcarsDeco2 on Pi2 or Pi3 already running dump1090
« Reply #4 on: July 26, 2018, 10:48:38 PM »
I am still experiencing problems with feeding data to planeplotter when using the script file but if I open a console and type in my arguments all works good. I wonder why the script file will not allow the --outConnectUdp pp: to work unless it is built into acarsdeco2 that a console has to operating to provide output.
Glenn Blum
Central Texas, USA