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Listen to Plane ACARS messages

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There are a lot of people here are in aviation given the talk about ADS-B. In addition to tracking them you can also see some of the messages going back and forward between the planes over ACARS (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_Communications_Addressing_and_Reporting_System). The tool I am using is acarsdec (http://sourceforge.net/projects/acarsdec/) and running it on pi (http://www.satsignal.eu/raspberry-pi/acars-decoder.html) so can just leave it logging. acarsdec can decode four frequencies at the same time so can keep an eye quite a lot of planes at the same time.

In NZ the frequencies to listen to are 131.45MHz and 131.55MHz

In US I think the frequencies are:

129.125  130.025  130.450  131.125  131.550  136.575  136.650 136.750 136.800  136.850
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The readme on the last link you provide actually claims up to 6 simultaneous channels.

Here's an image showing the output you can expect to receive using this:


What it all means.... Well I guess people in the know know.

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Ok six simultaneous now, there was a new version today. Have upgraded but haven't read the release notes for it.

I'm slowly figuring out how to read them. Most of those look like performance data and maintenance updates.

Though that last one looks like it might be a flight plan. As a list of waypoints. Look at http://skyvector.com/ which is waypoint map

Prior to take off often see a message that outlines how many people on board, weights etc

Then there are the human messages that can be funny. Though I haven't come across any interesting free text messages yet.

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