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Common error messages

Page history last edited by David-Taylor 3 years, 10 months ago Saved with comment

  1. Error message after 6.3.1 update
  2. I can't upgrade - "An error occurred while trying to replace the existing file"
  3. I'm no longer seeing shared aircraft
  4. Is the server down?
  5. I received an automated email telling me that I had changed my settings
  6. I seem to lose all my settings after using the A B C D buttons
  7. Clock is incorrect warning
  8. I'm not uploading - why is accurate time still required?  Note from John Locker.
  9. The I/O setting button is greyed out.
  10. The Share button is greyed out
  12. "On opening the ACARS wave device...device ID out of range" when pressing the green start button
  13. No flight route database Check log file directory is writeable
  14. I can't get the Open Street Maps to work
  15. Every time I start PP it tells me it cannot find a .clb file
  16. Error code 183
  17. Sharing 1 clash
  18. Error setting COM state
  19. Why do I get double plots of some aircraft?
  20. Why do some of my aircraft flash from one colour to another?
  21. Why do local aircraft move but not shared ones?
  22. Error messages with numbers around 10000
    1. 10053 message
    2. 10054 message
    3. 10061 message
  23. Error messages when closing Plane Plotter after configuring Mlat
  24. Failure after a long period of inactivity
  25. Aircraft Lookup not working
    1. Is the site: airframes.org  blocked by your Web browser?
  26. QNH doesn't work but normal sharing does
  27. Scripts don't work
  28. Why do I get double coast outlines?
  29. How do I change the alert sound?
  30. BaseStation and SBS not working with recent versions of Plane Plotter
  31. Warning: socket_recvfrom()
  32. Plane Plotter MFC application has encountered a problem and needs to close
  33. Where do I find ppregfix?
  34. The display flickers in Map View or Aircraft List mode
  35. Why are some hex codes in lower case?
  36. Why do I get unexpected messages?
  37. Why are there sometimes false plots?
  38. Message Rate scale too small, or size too small
  39. How do I stop gliders displaying?
  40. NGDC Warning
  41. Sharing download failed ....
  42. Dump1090 error message: cb transfer status: 4, cancelling
  43. Failed to create empty document

Error message after 6.3.1 update


Q: I've updated to 6.3.1. Problem is when I press F10 I get an error message that tells me: "To see Mlat-possible aircraft you must be registered, sharing up and down", but I meet all the requirements?
A: Try cycling through the up down arrows a couple of times leaving them in the sharing state


I can't upgrade - "An error occurred while trying to replace the existing file"


Q: I get an error message such as: "An error occurred while trying to replace the existing file: DeleteFile failed; code 5. Access is denied"

A: Be sure to close down all instances of Plane Plotter before you try and install a new version.  Check with Task Manager for PlanePlotter.exe if no instances of the program are obvious.  Use Task Manager to kill and PlanePlotter.exe processes.


I'm no longer seeing shared aircraft


Ensure that the sharing button on the toolbar shows:

     either two arrows with no red line , one downwards arrow

     but not one upwards arrow , and not two arrows with a red line  !


Is the server down?


Q: I can't connect to the shared server, I don't see shared aircraft or I get "Server is down" messages.
A: If you can't reach the main COAA Web site or there are "Server down" messages in the Groups.io group, please wait patiently until service is restored.  Please do not post "me too" messages.  There is a separate check here, but be aware that even if the server is up, there may be a gap in the network path between you and the server outside COAA's control.


If the problem persists, try entering the following command at a command prompt:


  tracert  www.coaa.co.uk


and determine at which hop connection is lost.  If requested, post this information to the group or send it to Bev.  You can use the mouse right-click, Mark to select a starting point for copying text, and sweep to select the text, finally pressing Enter to copy the text from the command-prompt window to the clipboard for pasting into your message.


I received an automated email telling me that I had changed my settings


Each day administration received dozens of email alerts telling us that ground stations have changed settings.  Each one has to be checked to ensure that raw data is still valid.  A few relate to the fact that a GS has changed the input type or receiver setting, however the majority refer to location changes.  A high percentage of these alerts relating to location indicate a small, but significant change (in relation to Mlat).  Unless you are intentionally moving location, it is important that your location remains fixed and accurate.  Note that you need prior approval to go mobile.

This indicates that some users are still using the restore points ABCD to change their map style or coverage maps and have differing location data in each restore point.  The quick charts are the recommended way to change maps , not the restore points.  Restore points contain crucial information about a set up and if changed or used incorrectly can result in not just a location change, but also loss of data.

Please only use restore points if you know exactly what you are doing and you are certain that each point contains the exact location of your antenna.

I seem to lose all my settings after using the A B C D buttons


From Yahoo group postings by Bev:




The ABCD buttons, and the menu options File => Save/Load Restore point, are very powerful but are frequently misunderstood and misused.  They are like Windows Restore points.  They say "Take all my settings back to the way they were when the corresponding settings were saved."   They allow you to make completely different configurations available at the click of a button (e.g. acting as the source in a peer-to-peer pair or acting as the destination in such a pair).  Somewhere in the history of PP, someone thought they were good for selecting alternative charts and this misapprehension has lingered over the years.


If you want one click access to a lot of different charts, use the Quick Chart buttons ((re)defined with one click on the toolbar and retrieved with one click on the toolbar and they remember your zoom and drag offsets too).  Avoid the ABCD buttons and the File => Save/Load Restore points menu  unless you really need two or more radically different configurations of the whole PP activity and if you are sure that you know what you are doing.


But I want to use four different charts - I want to use the A B C D buttons!


Your comment amply illustrates the reason why most users are advised never to use the Restore points.  The Restore points are much more powerful than you think.  Your comment indicates that you regard the Restore points as a handy way of saving a chart display.  Not so.  If you want to save a chart or outline display for retrieval with a single click, use the Quick Chart feature.  There are ten Quick Chart buttons on the toolbar and you can define each one to be a different chart or outline, or even ten different zooms/drags of the same chart.  Open the chart that you want to recall later with a single click; select Options..Chart..Quick..Define.. and choose the button number that you want to associate with that chart display.  That button then becomes ´alive´ and you can return to that view any time by clicking on the associated Quick Chart button on the toolbar.


If you use the ABC button, you are changing every single parameter in the whole of the PP setup, potentially changing your registration number, your share code, your home location, your receiver setup, your graphical output, your I/O settings, your download selections and every other thing in PP.  Almost all questions of the form "Why did my xxxxx setting suddenly change when I didn't do anything?" are answered with "You asked it to change when you pressed A,B,C or D".


Using the ABCD buttons simply to return to a particular chart display is like exploding a ton of TNT in the basement to open the bathroom window.  Yes, it works ....... but there is a better way of doing it.  Advanced users, who understand what is going on, and who want to switch between completely different setups for PP, will find the power of the ABCD buttons invaluable.  For 99% of users, the sign "Danger - Keep Away" is required.


David Taylor suggests that you remove the A B C D buttons unless you are completely sure what they do, and sure that you really need them:  The Plane Help says:  You can delete some of the toolbar buttons by clicking on them, while holding down the SHIFT button.  Some important buttons cannot be deleted by this method.  You can restore all buttons to the toolbar by clicking on the '>' symbol at the rightmost extremity of the toolbar.


Clock is incorrect warning


"I keep getting an annoying warning that my PC clock is wrong each time I open Plane Plotter, but there is nothing wrong with my PC clock settings."  Your clock is not close enough to correct time, please see this page.


I'm not uploading - why is accurate time still required?  Note from John Locker.


Q: What difference does having or not having accurate time make if I'm not sharing data?

A: As an authorised Mlat user, it means that your machine might be used by the network to create fixes, and those fixes will be corrupted by your bad clock, possibly spoiling viewing for others.   It is essential "all " users have a correct PC clock.  The requirement is for +/- 2 seconds.  NTP is easily downloaded and installed, runs without attention, and of course, it's free.  Of course, if you can upload, so much the better.

The I/O setting button is greyed out.


Stop Plane Plotter processing with the square, black Stop toolbar button.


The Share button is greyed out


You need to follow the registration procedure to "un-grey" the share button and then you will need to authenticate the installation to gain access to the sharing server.  For information about authentication, please see: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/planeplotter/message/56305




When I start PP on my desktop, I get an alert box with the message: GS OFF BAD CURVES


The alert message is placed there (manually) to draw your attention to the fact that your Ground Station status has been suspended because you are producing bad hyperbolic curves when your raw data is used in multilateration.  The cause could be that your receiver clock is out of specification or it could be because your home location is not precise enough.  It would be good if you could find out what is wrong so that you can return to contributing raw data for everyone's benefit.


"On opening the ACARS wave device...device ID out of range" when pressing the green start button


You have set the program to look for ACARS audio input from a VHF radio receiver.  Stop processing (menu Process, Stop or the toolbar button) and check the I/O settings (menu Options, I/O settings, or press the I/O spanner toolbar button).  If you are not using ACARS from a local receiver, uncheck the box "ACARS reception from audio input".  If you are just going to use basic Shared Data uncheck ALL the boxes in the Input Data section.



No flight route database Check log file directory is writeable


  1. Make sure that Options, Directories, PP Log files points to a real place that Plane Plotter can write to.  If you use Windows Vista or Windows-7, you need to choose a path which is outside of the C:\Program Files\ tree because Windows stops you writing there for security reasons.
  2. If there is a file in there called "flightroute.sqb" in there, with zero length, close and exit PP and then delete it.  (Do not delete it if it is more than zero length.)  Plane Plotter will automatically create a new one with the proper formatting next time it starts.  There is nothing you need to enable for that to happen.

Reference: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/planeplotter/message/8698



I can't get the Open Street Maps to work


Unless your firewall is preventing Plane Plotter from accessing the Internet at all, the most likely reason is that you have told PP to use a directory for charts to which it cannot write.  Check what have you defined under Options, Directories, PP Chart files and Options, Directories, PP Log files.  There are some suggestions about locating directories here.



Every time I start PP it tells me it cannot find a .clb file


By way of an experiment, I tried to import a chart into PP the other day.  I didn't intend to keep it (it was the CAA 1:500,000 - not successful), I just wanted to understand the process.  I didn't fully calibrate it and ultimately deleted the bitmap I created.  Now every time I start PP it tells me it cannot find the .clb file.  Well, it wouldn't, I never created one.  How can I tell PP to forget about this chart?


Just use the File | Open chart menu (or toolbar button) and select a chart which you know has a calibration file.



Error code 183


  1. Please check your Options..I/O settings dialogue.
  2. Have you enabled the UDP/IP output - most probably with an IP address and/or port that did not exist or was not open.
  3. Disable (uncheck) UDP/IP output unless you know what it is for, and are actually using it.


Reference: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/planeplotter/message/7388


Note that with the advent of hypersharing and local auto mlats, you should expect 183 messages to become more common as you will be firing off UDP packets all over the place including to some remote GS destinations offered in good faith but not actually set up correctly.  If the messages are persistent, then by all means check your I/O settings for anything silly, but otherwise just put it down to being part of the milieu.


Reference: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/planeplotter/message/46476



Sharing 1 clash


The message simply means that you have started a new share cycle when the old one was still in progress.  It can happen if you force a manual update too quickly, if the server is being very slow indeed, or if your setup is not allowing PlanePlotter.exe to access the Internet.


Error setting COM state


That means that Plane Plotter is unable to initialise the serial port (likely over USB) which it would like to use to talk to your receiver.  This could happen if you are trying to run more than one instance of Plane Plotter - perhaps the previous shut-down of Plane Plotter wasn't correct, and the old instance hasn't released the port?  Check with the Task Manger.  Perhaps you have another program trying to access that port - admittedly unlikely.  Or possibly the port settings have changed because you have plugged the receiver into a different USB port, and the COM port number is no longer correct?  You may be able to clear the problem by:

  • logging out of Windows and back in, rather than a full reboot.
  • unplugging the USB receiver, rebooting, and connecting it back in.
  • setting the USB device so that it does not attempt to shut-down and save power.



Why do I get double plots of some aircraft?


Q: I have just been following and it had a second aircraft following alongside it matching it speed and height wise. I know this would not normally happen in real life, so what is the usual cause of this?


A: Plane Plotter displays and shares messages from a variety of different digital air-ground links.  The most numerous are Mode-S/ADS-B reports (yellow, turning orange after 4 minutes).  Less frequent are Mlat position estimates (white), ACARS position reports (red, blue or green - see Help file for details) and HFDL reports (cyan - which you described as light blue).  Continental are prolific users of HFDL so if a PP user is monitoring the right frequency, you will see cyan plots over a very wide area.  Here is the fun part:

  • Mode-S gives the ICAO hex code, no rego, and a version of the flight number.
  • ACARS gives the rego, no hex code, and a different version of the flight number.
  • HFDL may not give either the hex code or the rego but does give another form of the flight number.

Plane Plotter could, in principle, display symbols for each of these for the same aircraft and, under sufficiently perverse circumstances, they might have no overlapping identifiers so it may not be possible for PP to identify them as the same aircraft.  When that happens, you will see multiple symbols.  Because the rate of position reports is much faster with Mode-S than the other modes, the predicted positions will certainly diverge leading up to the time when your Omit after time makes them vanish.  It is not a bug, nor a miscode, nor anything mysterious.  It is just how it works.


(From Bev's message on the Plane Plotter Yahoo group).



Why do some of my aircraft flash from one colour to another?


Q: I run an SBS-1, RadarBox or equivalent, and since I upgraded to version 5.5 or later I notice that some aircraft flicker between my local colour and my shared colour.  Why is this, and is there anything I can do about it?


A: The two colours are provided to tell you whether a particular aircraft in Plane Plotter was last received by you or by someone else.  In the traditional sharing system, every 60 seconds you would download other users' data and aircraft that were most recently received by another user, would change to the shared colour and those that were most recently received by your own receiver, would display in your colour.  This has not changed with Hypersharing except that the updates may now come every second, rather than once per minute.  In that case, you should expect that other users will often have picked up a recent message that your receiver did not.  Most production receivers only deliver a small percentage of the messages that are flying around.

If you dislike being informed as to whether you or someone else has contributed the most recent report, then make the two colours the same or turn off Hypersharing so that the refresh only occurs once per minute.


(From Bev's message on the Plane Plotter Yahoo group).



Why do local aircraft move but not shared ones?


You may have accidentally pressed F9 which toggles prediction, or you may have not checked the Predict positions over check-box in the chart setup dialogue which is invoked from the spanner toolbar button .  Local aircraft will be updated as often as once a second, but shared aircraft only once a minute.  Press F9 until an "F9" appears in the status bar at the bottom of the display.  If you enable Hypersharing in the Options, Sharing, Setup dialogue, remote aircraft may be updated more frequently, so it's worth checking that box.



Error messages with numbers around 10000


Error messages with numbers such as 10048 are Winsock error messages.  Winsock is a piece of software in Windows which allows the use of a "sockets" interface to access network functions, in a similar way to the "sockets" interface in other programming languages, making it easier to port software to Windows.  There is information on that particular error here, although it's a general description:

  http://www.pc-library.com/errors/error-code/10048-0x2740/  which tells you that 10048 means that a port is already in use, so you should only try to run one program at a time accessing a particular port.  With Windows Task Manager, see whether you have a partially started Plane Plotter, and kill it if so.  Logging out and back in may also be required so release the port for use.

For a full list of Winsock error codes - numbers in the 10000 range, see one of the following, whichever you find most understandable:





10053 message


John Locker notes: "It only appears if you stop Plane Plotter prior to BaseStation, or if BaseStation stops unexpectedly.  If you are stopping Plane Plotter first , then that's the reason, but if it is appearing without you doing anything then it means that BaseStation is falling over for some reason.  Check any add ons - GAS AD etc. - to see whether they are causing SBS BaseStation to stop."


Andy Chetwin had this error and an ESocketError.  This can sometimes happen if you upgrade to Plane Plotter 6.2.8 (and you should always keep your Plane Plotter current), but haven't updated your SBS BaseStation software, FTDI drivers, or firmware to match.  He writes: "Well I’ve upgraded the SBS-1 software to version 168 via http://www.kinetic.co.uk/newsite/basestationdownloads1.php and downloaded the latest DLL (2.08.24) from http://www.ftdichip.com/Drivers/D2XX.htm and all is cool again !"

10054 message


10054 means that an outgoing TCP connection failed.  The message is for information only and is not in any sense a show-stopper.  It could be caused by incompetent settings at the sending end but it is more likely to be caused by network problems.  If the messages are persistent, then by all means check your I/O settings for anything silly, but otherwise just put it down to being part of the milieu.


Reference: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/planeplotter/message/46476


10061 message


Connection refused.  No connection could be made because the target computer actively refused it. This usually results from trying to connect to a service that is inactive on the foreign host—that is, one with no server application running.  (From Microsoft - MSDN)



Error messages when closing Plane Plotter after configuring Mlat


Q: Whenever I close Plane Plotter I get the error 'Exception ESocketError in module ftd2xx.dll at 0005153B' and then separately from BaseStation 'Asynchronous socket error 10053' and BaseStation stops.


A: After installing the Mlat software, you need to close BaseStation before closing Plane Plotter.



Failure after a long period of inactivity


Q: I haven't used my secondary PC for many months, and now it behaves as if it is not registered.  What's happening?


A: If you have not accessed the sharing server for a very long time, your sharing access will have been deleted on the assumption that the installation was replaced.  Follow the steps outlined in this Plane Plotter Yahoo group message.




Aircraft Lookup not working


Thanks for Jim Wakefield who has submitted this suggestion for failures of the aircraft lookup.  However, Bev comments that this is not a complete solution, and may not work in all circumstances (such as when tight security settings in Windows Vista or Windows-7 are the root cause of the problem).  If it works for you, that's great.


  1. When a NO REG aircraft plot appears on a Plane Plotter chart or map, Left Click on the black Aircraft List icon at the top left of the screen (Fifth icon from the left)
  2. Right Click anywhere on the row containing the NO REG aircraft. A dialogue box will appear for Aircraft Registration Database Lookup
  3. Left Click on the square maximise icon at the top right of the box to maximise it and see the registration of the aircraft lower down in the box.
  4. Left Click on X at the top right of the dialogue box to close it. The required registration should now be seen on the appropriate row in the Aircraft List
  5. Left Click on the appropriate Quick Chart icon at the top of the screen to return to your original chart or map
  6. The aircraft plot which was showing NO REG should now have its registration displayed.


Is the site: airframes.org  blocked by your Web browser?


One user with a problem getting no registration lookups found a solution - he writes:  In Internet Explorer, Tools, Privacy.  the Web site airframes.org was listed as Always Block.  I'm not sure how it changed!  I changed it back to Always Allow, and now lookup is fully functional again.


QNH doesn't work but normal sharing does


Please note that QNH uses FTP to retrieve the data, rather than HTTP which is used for normal sharing.  So if sharing works, and QNH does not, check the Plane Plotter program and your PC is allowed to do FTP transfers by your firewall software.  You may get an "Error 3" message.  When Plane Plotter downloads the data, it needs somewhere to store it, and I understand it uses the Log Files directory, so that directory must be writeable.  Check with the Options, Directories, PP Log files menu that you have pointed Plane Plotter to a directory where you have permissions to write (i.e. one outside the C:\Program Files\ tree).  If you have a non-writeable PP Log file directory, you may also get the error message: "No flight route database. Check log file directory is writeable".


Scripts don't work


When I click on a script file - one named <something>.VBS - it doesn't run.  Curt Deegan wrote this helpful note about setting the right file association so that scripts work:


Having had to explain this several times helping people to get scripts I've written running, let me offer this step-by-step approach.  To make the necessary association, follow these steps:


  • Right-click on any file with a .vbs extension in Windows Explorer, it doesn't matter which file
  • In the drop-down list, choose "Open With"
  • A window will open listing programs, scroll down until you find "Microsoft (R) Windows Based Script Host".  (With Win7 and possibly Vista you may need to click "Other Programs" to see a longer list of choices.)
  • Click on that to select it
  • Or, if you don't find that listed, click "Browse" and do this:
    • Navigate to your "Windows" folder, then to the "System32" folder
    • Scroll until you find "wscript.exe" and click on it
    • Click on OK
  • Check the box next to "Always use the selected program..."
  • Click OK


You will now have established an association between .VBS files and the MS Windows Based Script Host which executes these scripts.  You will only ever have to do this once.   From now on, when you click to run a file with a .VBS extension, it will be executed rather than opened in your browser or Notepad editor.


Why do I get double coast outlines?


Double coast outlines may happen because you have both the general.out file (supplied with Plane Plotter) and your own coastal outlines such as COAST_HR_Ireland.out in the charts directory.  For each new release, Plane Plotter will try and create a general.out file, but you don't need it, so these steps will stop Plane Plotter install from creating a new file, and make sure that the existing file will not double-plot on your display.


  1. In your Charts directory, delete the general.out file
  2. Right-click in the directory, New, Text Document.
  3. Name the document  "general.out"
  4. Accept the warning about changing the file type
  5. Right-click the new general.out, Properties, check the "Read-only" box in Attributes.


Now when Plane Plotter install tries to overwrite that file, it can't because it's read-only.  Because it has zero size, it doesn't plot anything, leaving the other .OUT files you have as the only ones plotted. By the way, if you don't already have the display of file extensions enabled in Windows Explorer, I strongly urge you to have them shown - see:



How do I change the alert sound?


In XP, Control Panel, Sounds, Sounds, scroll down the Program Events to find Plane Plotter.  In Windows-7, Control Panel, Hardware and Sound, Sound, Change system sounds.   You should see three sounds: Alert, MLat fail, and MLat OK.  Select the sound you wish to change, and point it to the .WAV file of your choice, or (none).  Alternatively, there is a silent Alert.wav file in the Plane Plotter group Files area, and you could substitute that file in the Plane Plotter home directory.  Make the file read-only, so a new install won't overwrite it!


BaseStation and SBS not working with recent versions of Plane Plotter


Richard (Rusty Twig) notes:


Make sure you have latest upgrades:


  • Plane Plotter 6.2.8 (at the time of writing - the current version is here)
  • BaseStation software
  • SBS firmware 306 (for SBS-1 hardware, not other models).
  • FTD driver FTD2XX.DLL (version 2.08.24)

Make sure you have correct settings in PlanePlotter:


  • Options > I/O settings - SBS 1/3 direct TCP
  • Options > Mode S receiver > Kinetic SBS family > SBS3 direct IP address =

That will ensure you don't get the error message and also get the benefit of all new features available.


Steve Tickle commented: FTD2XX.DLL is only required if you're connecting via USB.  I think/hope I'm right in saying that as I connect via Ethernet and certainly haven't updated that file.


Jordan Hayes replied: Well, it's a little trickier than that.  Even if you connect via Ethernet, BaseStation still tries to load the DLL.  If you have the wrong one (say you used to run the Vodka patch, or even just have an older version), it won't make a difference: it doesn't actually use it.  But if you don't have one at all then BaseStation won't start.  And of course: the suggestion to run firmware v306 is only valid for SBS-1 hardware, not the SBS-1e, SBS-1er, or SBS-3 models.


Warning: socket_recvfrom()


I am getting an error message like this when I try the Help, Test Networking functions:


Warning: socket_recvfrom() [function.socket-recvfrom]: unable to recvfrom [11]: Resource temporarily unavailable in /home/coaa/public_html/udpme-b.php on line 75


This is could be a temporary issue at the COAA shared Web server - if so try again in an hour's time.  If the error persists, ask in the Yahoo group (and I will put Bev's response here - better informed than mine!).


Plane Plotter MFC application has encountered a problem and needs to close


Try running ppregfix, as mentioned below.


Where do I find ppregfix?


In the directory where Plane Plotter is installed, i.e. the directory with the file:  PlanePlotter.exe,  you will find a file named:  ppregfix.reg.  It may be called just ppregfix if you have file name extensions hidden.  Close Plane Plotter if it's running, and double click on the ppregfix.reg file to restore some defaults.  Be sure that Plane Plotter is closed at the time.  You may get a warning about registry settings - allow the update.

By the way: if you don't have file name extensions showing in Explorer, set it so that you do!  See:



The display flickers in Map View or Aircraft List mode


(From Bev's post) That kind of symptom, as well as generally sluggish operation, is often caused by a corrupt, misplaced or non-existent Basestation.sqb file.  Suggestion: find a small Basestation.sqb file that is guaranteed to be good, put it somewhere on your disk and tell PlanePlotter where it is using Options..Directories..SQB database.  If that fixes the problem, then either the previous database did not exist (PP pointing to the wrong place), was corrupt in some way (eg. by trying to open it in Notepad), was not a database file, or was impossibly large.


Why are some hex codes in lower case?


They may be TIS-B codes, used in the USA.  The document here states on page 6:

  "TIS-B: This system is a new traffic broadcast information service on 1090MHz (and UAT) in USA. It is not used in Australia. The ATC radar collects information and transmits it to ADS-B IN equipped aircraft that are in close proximity."


Bev notes: TIS-B messages that are tagged as reporting non-ICAO hex codes, are displayed by Plane Plotter in lower case precisely so that they are not confused with real ICAO hex codes.  They are generally used for non-Mode-S flights that are converted into pseudo-Mode-S flights by ground equipment.


Why do I get unexpected messages?


I sometimes get messages popping up which I do not expect, and did not request, such as:


The following UDP message have being received from the sharing server[]
L HDL 574 / 0
Your router setting appear to be good for Multilateration


Simple explanation, it may result from running remote ACARS software on a Raspberry Pi or Linux computer, and not using the latest version. 

Bev writes in this message: Plane Plotter can accept UDP packets for all sorts of purposes including data from a remote receiver, ACARS data from another installation, raw data for Mlats, alerts from the server, etc.  Each of these is prefixed by the sender with a two character prefix (e.g. AC for an ACARS message) that tells Plane Plotter what to do with the frame.  If there is no prefix or if it is not recognised, then Plane Plotter assumes that it is a test message from the server and opens a dialog box with the message header that you saw.  I do not recognise the message that is quoted but wherever it comes from, it must have been sent from some other application on the same machine (it shows IP to port 9742, which is the port that Plane Plotter monitors.


Why are there sometimes false plots?


To keep Mode-S messages as short as possible, every bit has to count. Some messages carry the ICAO hex code of the aircraft in the body of the message where the bits are protected by the CRC check, other messages save bits by XORing the hex code onto the CRC check.  What this means is that after performing the CRC check, the CRC parameter should compute to zero leaving the content of the CRC field to show the aircraft hex code. The bad news is that a bit error in the message can leave a stray bit in the CRC parameter, which when XORed with the aircraft hex code, creates a different hex code.  It gets worse.  Some message types have their CRC XORed with the IID of the interrogating radar site.  That too maps the apparent hex code onto something else.  Of course, the interrogating radar knows if it attached an IID and can correct for that on reception but as we are only hearing the air-to-ground message, we do not know it is happening.

PlanePlotter handles this problem by only creating a new entry on the basis of a Mode-S message in which the hex code is unambiguous.  That almost always protects us against these vagaries but, if there is already a validated hex code in PlanePlotter, and then a message comes in (which might be the one identifying the flight number) with, apparently a matching hex code, then obviously that will be attached to the pre-existing entry.  The problem arises if a hex code that only differs by one bit, arrives in a message where the IID has changed the apparent hex code from the real one, to the one already in PlanePlotter, then naturally the contents of the message, which might be the call-sign, will be attached to the wrong aircraft.

This is observed as false plots

The ambiguity does not affect the interrogating radar site but it is impossible for PlanePlotter to be completely certain that some message types are really for the aircraft they appear to be.

Those of us who live in places where there are not so many aircraft in range at the same time, will very seldom have two live aircraft whose hex codes differ by a single bit so the problem never arises.  If on the other hand you are in a busy place, and particularly if you set a very long delete time, that substantially increases the odds of this potential ambiguity causing crossed wires.

All you can do is to reduce the delete time to the minimum acceptable and then understand that it will happen and that it is not a bug in PlanePlotter, it is a consequence of being a passive listener to one side of what is really a bidirectional communication.

From: Bev, COAA, 2018-Aug-17


Message Rate scale too small, or size too small


If the scale on the message rate window ("m" to display or hide) is too small - you are continually running off the end of the scale - simply right-click on the window to change to the next scale up.  The scale will cycle with each click, and you can choose the most appropriate maximum value.  Right-click for a greater limit, left-click to reduce the limit.
If the size of the window is too large or too little, holding down Ctrl while clicking will change the size.  Ctrl-left-click and ctrl-right-click reduce or enlarge the window size.


How do I stop gliders displaying?


Go to: Options, Sharing, Setup and uncheck "Enable FLARM targets"


NGDC Warning


Some users are getting a pop-up message when starting Plane Plotter about some magnetic data being out of date.  If you are getting the message, how can you fix this?


This message arises as the geomagnetic field data used by Plane Plotter (and Ship Plotter) is considered valid only for five years from the date of issue.  In practice, the errors arising from use of stale data would be minimal in our context, but nevertheless Plane Plotter will warn you about this, and here are the steps you can take to resolve the issue.  The next release of Plane Plotter will include the new data.


  • Right-click on this link:  http://www.coaa.co.uk/WMM.COF  and select Save link as (or whatever your browser uses).
  • Right click the file you have saved, and select Properties.  If there is an Unblock button present, click it.
  • Locate your Plane Plotter directory (where PlanePlotter.exe lives) and copy the file you have downloaded to that directory.  You should be replacing a file dated 2009 with one dated 2015.
  • Close and restart Plane Plotter.
  • The warning message should no longer appear.


If this does not cure the problem, perhaps you copied the file to the wrong directory?  Check whether you have multiple installations of Plane Plotter on your PC using the Windows search function to find files named PlanePlotter.exe.  If you have installed Plane Plotter into a directory where normal users don't have write access (e.g. C:\Program Files\ on Vista or later) you may need to do the copy running as Administrator, or wait for the next release.  Check the properties of your desktop icon for Plane Plotter and see where it points to.


For more information, please see: http://www.ngdc.noaa.gov/geomag/WMM/soft.shtml


Sharing download failed ....


I am getting frequent messages in the bottom left bar stating: "Sharing download failed.."  

Is it anything to be concerned about?


Bev explained: "As long as you are seeing shared data, there is no need to worry.  The message can appear when multilateration processes are in progress and the exchange of raw data may eclipse the routine downloads."


Dump1090 error message: cb transfer status: 4, cancelling


Andy reported:

I've been running dump1090 for months and months with no problems at all but recently it's started crashing with the following error message. 

cb transfer status: 4, cancelling .... 

Any ideas ? 


The solution was to disable USB power saving in Windows.  Alternatively, if that doesn't fix it, try restarting dump1090 whenever that error occurs (thanks, Chris).



Failed to create empty document


Please see:  https://groups.io/g/planeplotter/message/111000

It may be your "TMP" or "TEMP" environment variable becoming corrupt.



Earlier note:

Message 78947 Failed to create empty document error FIXED!!!


Hello all,

Burning my neurons looking for a solution to FAILED TO CREATE EMPTY DOCUMENT, I decided to do a simple thing but had not yet tried.

Even the best registry cleaners sometimes not clean all traces, so I decided to take further action.

I reinstalled the PP and did a search in the windows registry looking for any registry keys that contained data regarding the COAA / PlanePlotter.

When I´ve found the keys, I´ve CLEANED ALL of the entries related with PP.

After this, I ran PPReg file that is located in the installation folder of PP.


When starting the PP again I got the message that needed to input my registration number and this really caught my attention, wow something different here!!!

I inserted my key, the program ran normally and asked me to enter with my other data like the first time (location and other settings).

Now my PP works without any problems again.

Many thanks and a hug to all friends who somehow tried to help me in solving this problem especially Nic, Jason, David, Ian, Chas and also to Mr Bev from COAA (here are the tips Mr. Bev to help someone in the future).

A big hug to Guto too that tried to help me with this issue and have helped me with my doubts about PP with lots of patience.


Great captures to everyone.


Paul T Castro - PU2RDX

City Bauru / SP - GG57lq




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