Using Plane Plotter with the SBS-1 and BaseStation software



FAQs

 

 

Receiver feature comparison table

 

(Under construction, please advise of any errors to be corrected or features which need to be added).

 

 

Mlat

capable

Beamfinder

capable

Beamfinder

Plus
capable

Beamfinder
Plus S
capable

Mode

A/C

Signal
Strength
capable

Soldering

required

Online Help
microADSB Yes Yes No Yes  No   No

Yahoo group

PlaneGadget Radar
(no longer produced)
Yes Yes No Yes  No   No  
RadarBox 2007 No No No No  No   No  
RadarBox 2009 No No No No  No   No  
R820T/RTL2832U dongle
with ADSB# software
Yes
?
?
?
?
  No Yahoo group
R820T/RTL2832U dongle
with dump1090 software
TBA ? ? ? ? ? No Yahoo group
R820T/RTL2832U dongle
with RTL1090 software
Yes
In progress
  *
Yes *
Yes
No Yahoo group
SBS-1
Yes
No
No
Yes  No No No
Forum
SBS-1e Yes Firmware
upgrade
No Yes  No No No Forum
SBS-3 Yes Yes Yes Yes  Yes No No Forum
The Mode-S Beast
Yes
Yes
Yes
Yes  Yes Yes A little
Yahoo group

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

* = mode-S and mode-A/C cannot be run at the same time on RTL dongles, as they don't support the dual sampling rates required.

 

Mode-S receiver access options

 

Bev has kindly prepared the table below which shows the requirements of the different linking schemes and the data type and timeliness obtainable.  

 

Receiver Kinetic SBS BaseStation Kinetic SBS-3 microADSB Mode-S Beast AirNav RadarBox 2009 RTL2832U
dongles
Access method
(port)
TCP
(c)
 
 
 
Direct Direct Direct  
TCP TCP
30003
TCP
31001
Recording Off  
 
 
       
Off Off  
Real time Yes (a)  
 
 
Yes Yes Yes  
Yes (a) Yes Yes
Position-less data Yes  
 
 
Yes Yes Yes  
No No Yes
CPU load Low  
 
 
Low Low Low  
Low Low ?
Simple to install Yes  
 


? Yes Yes  
Yes Yes Yes
Mlat Ground Station Yes  
 
 
Yes Yes Yes  
No No Yes

 

(a) Please note that with the earlier versions of the SBS1 BaseStation software (versions before 1.2.3.145) and of the RadarBox software (version before 3.13) the data will be subject to a 5 minutes delay.

(b) Needed patch prior to BaseStation software V1.2.3.159.

Mlat access as a Master User is possible with either box, or even with none, but you will need an SBS-1 with TCP access to act as a Ground Station which provides Mlat data to others and therefore enjoys free Master User status.

(c) Ian Hind notes: another variation with the SBS-1e is to select in Options/Mode S receiver/Kinetic SBS family/SBS3 direct IP address, and then for the TCP/IP address add port 30006, eg 192.168.0.114:30006.  In I/O for Mode-S/ADS-B select "SBS-1/3 direct TCP".  Advantage is extra data is provided, usefully the assigned altitude as well as the current altitude.  The default access port for SBS-1 is 30003 (same as RadarBox) but that is a simple basic connection - the lowest common denominator.  Port 30006 access for Plane Plotter was introduced around the time of the SBS-3 - it is the direct binary output of the SBS-3.  Then it was published that the SBS-1e/SBS-1er could also provide extra data for Plane Plotter.  It doesn't affect MLAT ability, just increases Plane Plotter functionality, so it's really an improved TCP connection method.

 

Basic setup - how to link the two programs

 

This information is extracted from the Help, Tutorial, Using Plane Plotter with the SBS-1 - please read that tutorial for more information. Plane Plotter can access the data in BaseStation in several different ways. If you are interested in positionless data you must use the TCP port method. As many will be interested in your positionless data (please set Plane Plotter to upload this even if you don't use it yourself), please use the TCP port method if at all possible.

 

Accessing SBS1 data via the BaseStation software TCP port - the simplest way!

 

This is the simplest way to access the data from the BaseStation software.  It works with the recent versions of the BaseStation software and places no special requirements on the way BaseStation is set up.  This does not require the Ethernet hardware port. There are, however, disadvantages with this simple approach (see below).

 

To use this method, in Plane Plotter select Options..I/O settings, check the Mode-S/ADS-B option and in the Mode-S selection box at upper right, choose SBS1 TCP.  Start BaseStation running and then start Plane Plotter processing.  The aircraft will start to appear on the Plane Plotter chart.  Please be sure to use BaseStation V1.2.3.159 or later.

 

Why is setting the Home Location important with the BaseStation software?

 

Certainly with SBS, the Home Location coordinates aren't normally used in position decoding for aircraft other than those on the ground.  I believe it's the same for RadarBox, but I can't be sure.

 

The position coordinates returned from aircraft on the ground have 4x the precision of airborne coordinates.  Both types of report locate the aircraft relative to a cell in a repeating grid of either 90nm or 360nm respectively, but the encoding/decoding algorithm for each has two flavours - odd and even - and if at least one report of each flavour is received within a short space of time, it's possible to combine them and get what's referred to as a "globally unambiguous" position fix and opposed to a "locally unambiguous" one.  The other way to fix a position globally with just a single report is to relate it to a known reference position (i.e. the Home Location in the case of SBS).

 

For some reason, Kinetic took the decision not to do global decoding on ground position reports, even when both odd and even reports have been received, but always to use the Home Location reference point (see Page 36 of the BaseStation Manual).  That's why it's important to set the Home Location as close as possible to the aircraft's position if your setup is capable of picking up aircraft on the ground, so that there isn't a cell boundary between you and the airport.

 

Information kindly supplied by: Dave Reid, Reading, Berkshire.

 

Switch settings for The Beast or Transponder Mouse

 

Recommended switch settings for The Beast as supplied by John Locker and updated by Bev's post.

 

Switch number 1
2
3
4
5
6
7 8
9 0
Recommended setting (firmware 1.21)
Off
Off
Off
Off
On
Off
Off On
On On
Recommended setting (firmware 1.31, 1.32, 1.40 & 1.41) Off Off On Off On Off Off On On On

 

Please note that Open is sometimes used instead of Off.  The switch itself is marked with the direction for the "On" setting.  "Open" or "Off" is the opposite.

 

There has been one unconfirmed report that software switching only works if the Switch 3 (or C as it is sometimes referred to) is physically set to ON position.  This requires opening the Transponder Mouse and setting the DIP switch manually.  You may need to be sure this switch is set so that you can provide data for Mlats.  The maker of the box doubts this is required, though.

 

G√ľnter, the developer of The Beast, notes:

 

 

The switch settings are detailed here: http://www.modesbeast.com/dip-switches.html

and the LEDs here: http://www.modesbeast.com/led-indicators.html

 

Switch settings for the microADSB

 

If your microADSB does not work directly with Plane Plotter, it's worth checking it with the supplied ADSBscope software.  In particular, check that the voltage threshold is set to 100mV (or whatever value works best for your system).  This setting is accessed through the adsbPIC, Uref-offset menu.

 

Here are the switch settings.  The information given in some earlier documents is incorrect, and there is no need to toggle switch 4 to start the device working with the current version of Plane Plotter.

 

Switch number
1
2
3
4
Recommended setting
Off
Off
Off
On

 

Once you have your microADSB set up for Mlat, please let Bev know so that he can calibrate it for you.

 

Hints for the GNS5890

 

Set the receiver type to "Mode-S/ADS-B", sub-type "AVR receiver".  If you get no response, be sure to check that the baud rate for the port in the Device Manager is set to 115,200, data 8 bit, parity none, stop 1, flow control none.  See message 375 in the self-help microADSB Yahoo group.

 

TV dongles and the RTL090 software

 

There is a page of information here, including a pointer to Nic Storey's video about using a USB stick TV receiver as a low-cost front-end for Plane Plotter.  Open the Wiki RTL1090 page.