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Dump1090 for Linux Mint 17.1 and Siduction 2014.1

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Article Index --- click here to unfold ---
Newest Pages NEW: Trumpists Kicking the Hornets Nest
NEW: Introduction to Catbird Linux
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NEW: i3wm: Using i3-ipc to Float Windows
How to Record from WebSDR and OpenWebRX Sites
Programmatic RTL-SDR Frequency Claibration
Public KiwiSDR Lists
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: Simply Mass Murder
The Anonymous Cathay Pacific Employee Letter to Hong Kong
For For Cathay Crews Crossing Borders With Electronics
Photo Gallery 9: The New Life Movement in China, 1944
E Pluribus Unum: From Many, One, Dammit
HFGCS Quick Tune SDR List
The Robert Mueller Iron Triangle Speech
A Rant About One Party Rule
Best OpenWebRX and WebSDR Servers
SDR School via YouTube
ADALM-PlutoSDR on Linux Systems
MOFO Linux: Defeating State Censorship and Surveillance
Linux: Distros, Code, and Nifty Software NEW: Introduction to Catbird Linux
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Skywave Linux: HPSDR, WebSDR, and RTL-SDR ready to run.
Siduction Linux with the Cinnamon Desktop
Siduction Linux with the LXQT Desktop
Andy's Ham Radio Linux 15 and QtRadio
Booting Multiple Linux Disc Images with Grub2
Porteus Linux Hard Drive Installation
UPDATED: MOFO Linux - For Unrestricted Internet
Aptosid with LXDE
Asus EeePC 1215N with Linux
Autostart Tweaks for KDE3 and KDE4
Broadband Speed Tweaks For Linux
Fixing the Firefox 3 Rendering Bug
Linux on Solid State Drives
Linux Wireless Interface Driver Updates
Setting Polkit to Automount USB Devices
Sidux with LXDE
Fixing Skype Inverted Video
SLAX Remix - kernel upgrades
Flash Drive Linux - Introduction
Flash Drive Knoppix 5.3 - Part 1
Flash Drive Knoppix 5.3 - Part 2
Flash Drive Knoppix 6.0 - Part 1
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Flash Drive SLAX - Part 1
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Flash Drive Linux - Basic Customization
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Long Range Wi-Fi Basics of Long Range Wireless Networking
Linear Focus Parabolic Wi Fi Antenna
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High Power Wireless Adapters
Wi Fi Extender Antenna for Routers
Belkin F5D7050 External Wi Fi Antenna
Linksys WUSB54GC External Antenna Mod
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Radio: Amateur Radio, Aero Radio, Shortwave, etc NEW: Programmatic RTL-SDR Frequency Claibration
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CubicSDR on Debian, Ubuntu, and Linux Mint
Dump1090 for Linux Mint 17.1 and Siduction 2014.1
Software Defined Radio - An Introduction
QS1R Direct Sampling SDR
Chaining SDR Audio Interfaces
FLEX-6000 Direct Sampling SDR
UPDATED: RTL2832 Software Defined Radio
WebSDR Digimode Reception
Enabling FLASH in Jack Audio
Realtime Software Audio Processing
Liberation Technology MOFO Linux - For Unrestricted Internet
Veracrypt Encryption for Linux
Veracrypt Encryption for Windows
Using Google Within China
Popcorn Time and Flixtor for Uncensored Streaming Media
DNS Encryption using DNSCrypt
Galaxy Nexus Privacy and Robustness Enhancements
Galaxy SIII Privacy and Robustness Enhancements
Flash Drive Encryption for Linux
Flash Drive Encryption for Windows
Multihop VPN Connections for Strong Internet Privacy
Open and Free DNS Server List
OpenVPN Cloaking against Deep Packet Inspection The Serval Mesh Phone Project
Skype's Robust Security
Man in the Middle Wireless Security Risks
Wireless Security and Surveillance
Digital Audio Adjusting Audio Dynamics in VLC
Backing Track Prep Guide
Ipod Music Processing Guide
How To Record Record Live Music Performances
Realtime Software Audio Processing
Chaining SDR Audio Interfaces
Aerospace Radio, Aviation, Pontification, and Opinion NEW: Trumpists Kicking the Hornets Nest
NEW: The Anonymous Cathay Pacific Employee Letter to Hong Kong
NEW: For For Cathay Crews Crossing Borders With Electronics
NEW: E Pluribus Unum: From Many, One, Dammit
NEW: HFGCS Quick Tune SDR List
NEW: The Robert Mueller Iron Triangle Speech
NEW: A Rant About One Party Rule
Captains Authority Versus Autocratic Airline Management
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH17: Simply Mass Murder
Malaysia Airlines Flight MH370 - A Media Circus
High Gain Air Band Antennas
Apollo Unified S Band Communications
Chinese Anti-Stealth VHF Radar
Oceanic Communications - Procedures, Equipment, Voice and HFDL
Boeing 737NG Radio Equipment
Boeing 767 Radio Equipment
NAOC-TACAMO Monitoring
My Flight on 9/11
Joshua Chamberlain's Leadership Tips
Special Operations Forces Truths
TWA 800: Just Give Me Some Truth
Photo Gallery Aviation Photo Gallery 1: Snapshots From My Journeys
Aviation Photo Gallery 2: On the Road With ATA Airlines
Aviation Photo Gallery 3: More ATA Airlines
Aviation Photo Gallery 4: Southwest Airlines is the Borg Empire
Aviation Photo Gallery 5: Starting Over, Moving On...
Aviation Photo Gallery 6: More Viva Macau
Aviation Photo Gallery 7: Mainland China Airline Flying
Aviation Photo Gallery 8: Chinese Smog and Fog
NEW: Photo Gallery 9: The New Life Movement in China, 1944
Broadcasting BBC Radio Blooper - Adolf Merckle
TV DXing the World Trade Center
New York TV after 9/11
Live Music Recording Adjusting Audio Dynamics in VLC
Backing Track Prep Guide
Ipod Music Processing Guide
How To Record Record Live Music Performances
Radio Poetry and Arts In Distress, by David Wagoner
Just A Radio Operator, by Robert A. Wallace
Radio Circuit Modifications ATS-909 Modifications
ATS-909 Manuals
ATS-909 Alignment Procedure
ATS-909 Alignment Spectrograms
Very Low Frequency (VLF) Radio Internet Based VLF Radio Listening
Windows Tips Windows Performance Enhancement Tips
A Faster Windows 7
Windows 7 SSD Setup

This tutorial will guide you through the steps to set up dump1090 on a linux desktop / laptop system. It has been tested on systems running Linux Mint 17.1 through 17.3 and Siduction 2014.1 (both based on Debian Linux) We are going to do a lot of work using the command line and needing root priveleges. Let us make it easy by going into superuser mode at the start and not repetitively using "sudo". Be careful! As a superuser you can damage your system by executing the wrong command or by making mistakes in your typing of commands. As professional carpenters say: check twice, cut once.

ADS-B is an acronym for Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast, and refers to the system for monitoring aircraft and providing air traffic control. It differs from conventional secondary radar in that it is the aircraft navigation system which provides the geographic position, altitude, groundspeed, and other data. Secondary radar, on the other hand, relies on an interrogation signal from ground-based air traffic control radar to trigger a transmission from the aircraft, whic also gives a unique identifying code plus altitude data. The mode S transponders providing ADS-B signals are integrated into the flight management system and can provide other details about the aircraft state, including selected heading, selected altitude, and numerous other parameters.

Softrock SDR Radio
The Dump1090 interactive screen.
Softrock SDR Radio
Dump1090 showing traffic around the airport.

It is notable that recent aircraft accidents, such as Asiana 214 and Germanwings 9525 transmitted ADS-B data which was captured by radio networks run by citizens and made available on the internet well before government investigators disclosed their findings. Anyone who wanted to know could access the flight path data for those aircraft and compare it to others that were in a normal situation. Not to say untrained observers could determine probable causes of these accidents, but the ADS-B network provided "transparency" and ensured a higher level of government honesty. There are other crashes where governments ignored investigators and blatantly lied about the causes (Silkair 185 and EgyptAir 990) for political reasons.

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Aside from such serious reasons for tracking flights via ADS-B, it can simply be exciting, informative, and fun. It is also inexpensive and technically advanced to use the new RTL-SDR receivers and software like dump1090 for flight tracking.

First Step: Update Your System

Prior to installing dump1090 in Linux Mint 17.1 or Siduction 14.1, it is smart to do a system update and make sure it is not running on outdated packages. Here is where we will begin operating in superuser mode instead of using the sudo command over and over. To enter superuser mode, open a terminal, enter the su command:

~$ su

To indicate that you are now operating with superuser privileges, command prompt should change from a tilde and dollar sign (~$) to the pound sign (#) after the proper root password is entered. Start the process of downloading and installing software by going to the root user's home directory and updating in apt:

# cd ~
# apt-get update

Wait for the repositories to be checked, then upgrade:

# apt-get upgrade

Next, the following steps will create directories and make executable files. If you get lost or interrupted, it is easy to go back to the home diretory with "cd ~" and repeat the steps.

Blacklist the dvb kernel driver which interferes with operating RTL-SDR dongles with dum1090 and other specialist software:

# echo "blacklist dvb_usb_rtl28xxu" >> /etc/modprobe.d/rtl-sdr-blacklist.conf

Install Prerequisite Packages

To get the latest release of dump1090 from the git repositories and install it, c few tools and dependencies must be downloaded:

# cd ~
# apt-get install git cmake libusb-1.0-0.dev build-essential

Install RTL-SDR from Osmocom

Osmocom's RTL-SDR software enables DVB-T USB dongles containing the Realtek RTL2832U chipset to operate as a tunable quadrature sampling detector. A broadband stream of I/Q data, representing a broad chunk of radio spectrum, is sent to the host computer via USB. The Osmocom RTL-SDR package enables specific configuration of the ADC sample rate, oscillator frequency correction, amplifier gain, and other paramaters used by the dump1090 software. Install from Osmocom's git repository:

# cd ~
# git clone git://git.osmocom.org/rtl-sdr.git
# cd rtl-sdr
# mkdir build
# cd build
# cmake ../ -DINSTALL_UDEV_RULES=ON
# make
# make install
# ldconfig

NOTE: It is not absolutely necessary to use the driver provided by Osmocom. There are others, with useful enhancements, which can be substituted. For example you could use the Mutability fork and enjoy better tuning and filtering. Substitute this git command to download the source code:

# git clone git://github.com/mutability/rtl-sdr.git

Download Dump1090

Dump1090 is being actively developed by multiple coders. Mutability and MalcomRobb are two dump1090 forks are doing a particularly good job at implementing useful features and enhancing dump1090's ability to detect aircraft transponder signals. The signals often are weak and subject to interference, resulting in corrupted data. It is possible, using digital signal processing, to recover data bursts which would be lost to lesser quality software. The example here uses Malcom Robb's version. For the Mutability version, which is optimized for Rasberry Pi devices, substitute this url: git://github.com/mutability/dump1090.git. To download, use:

# cd ~
# git clone git://github.com/MalcolmRobb/dump1090.git
# cd dump1090
# make

A Start-Up Script for Dump1090

The make process creates a startup script for dump1090, named dump1090.sh. It is more suitable for running a dump1090 server instance. I chose to rewrite the script to suit my preferences as a desktop user who simply wants to run it and observe air traffic on a map in my web browser. In a text editor, open dump1090.sh and replace the original code with this shorter code:

#!/bin/bash
cd /opt/dump1090/
./dump1090 --net --interactive --aggressive --modeac

After editing,set the script's permissions to executable with the following command:

# chmod +x dump1090.sh

Next, set your geographic coordinates (degrees, decimal format) for display when using the dump1090 interactive map. Open the file dump1090/public_html/config.js. Her is an example using gedit, but you could use kwrite, medit, vim, or another text editor.

# gedit ~/dump1090/public_html/config.js

Find the section for map settings. Enter the proper latitude and longitude and save the file:

Dump1090 Map Settings
Dump 1090 Map Settings

Copy the whole dump1090 folder to the /opt directory, where it may contain the executable and other files and is less likely be accidentally deleted or modified. You actually must make a deliberate effort to go in there and mangle the files.

# cp -r dump1090 /opt/dump1090/

Create a Dump1090 Menu Entry

Why bother with the command line when it is not always necessary? To enjoy point-and-click convenience with dump1090, create a file called dump1090.desktop. Paste in the following code, and place it in the folder /usr/share/applications:

[Desktop Entry]
Name=Dump1090
GenericName=dump1090
Comment=Mode S SDR
Exec=gnome-terminal -e 'sh /opt/dump1090/dump1090.sh'
Icon=terminal
Terminal=false
Type=Application
Categories=Network;HamRadio;

Note: You can substitute xterm or lxterm for gnome-terminal if you prefer. Also, you can substitute another icon if you would rather have another symbol for dump1090.

A simple way to do it is start the editor and specify the filename, then paste the above code. Save the file to finish creating the start menu entry. In this example, we're still a superuser and use gedit:

# gedit ~/usr/share/applications/dump1090.desktop

Installation and setup is complete! You can now go into your main menu, find the icon for dump1090, and click on it to start the program. A window should open and begin displaying transponder data received by your RTL-SDR dongle. The internal webserver should be running and ready to display data over a map downloaded from Google or Openstreetmap.

Feeding Dump1090 Data to FlightRadar24 and Flightaware

A laptop or microcomputer may be used to run dump1090 and send data to a remote user via wi fi or ethernet using rtl_tcp, which is part of the Osmocom RTL-SDR package. It works for listening in any mode, including ADS-B.

Dump 1090 can be configured to serve data to remote users across the network. Flightradar24.com, Flightaware.com, and a few other websites accept data from independently run ADS-B servers. Some provide downloadable packages for the Rasberry Pi, BeagleBone, and legacy PC hardware running Windows.

One notable networking method with dump1090 is using it to feed FlightAware and FlightRadar24 simultaneously on a Rasberry Pi. These ADS-B sharing sites have numerous users operating their antenna mast-mounted receivers as dual feeds. Note that the method can be adapted to laptops, BeagleBones, and other devices. Here is a way to do it, according to Reddit user thebaldgeek:

First, download and install Flightaware's PiAware and get it properly running. Connect to the machine running PiAware (via SSH or Putty) and download FlightRadar24's package called fr24feed. The ~$ means work as a normal user:

~$ wget http://feed.flightradar24.com/raspberry-pi/fr24feed_1.0.10-3_armhf.deb
~$ sudo dpkg -i fr24feed_1.0.11-3_armhf.deb    
~$ sudo fr24feed --signup

Use the current version of fr24feed - 1.0.11-3 is simply the current version as this page is being written. Follow all of the prompts, but do not start the feed.

Next, change certain settings by editing the ini file:

~$ sudo nano /etc/fr24feed.ini

These are the settings to edit. Make sure to use your own password:

receiver="avr-tcp"
fr24key="pasteyourkeyhere"
host="localhost:30002"
bs="no"
raw="no"
logmode="1"

Enter a ctrl+o then ctrl+x to save the file and exit Nano. Then start fr24feed and check its status:

~$ sudo service fr24feed start   
~$ service fr24feed status

The status response should look something like this:

[ ok ] FR24 Feeder/Decoder Process: running.
[ ok ] FR24 Stats Timestamp: 2015-04-07 01:11:20.
[ ok ] FR24 Link: connected [UDP].
[ ok ] FR24 Radar: T-KCOE1
[ ok ] FR24 Tracked AC: 6.
[ ok ] Receiver: connected (99664 MSGS/0 SYNC).

FlightRadar24 and Flightaware websites should both show accumulating data statistics and display aircraft picked up by your ADS-B receiver stataion. With feeds up, you will enjoy premium member benefits as well! It is entirely possible to feed more services from an instance of dump1090. It's a matter of getting the data written to a readable file format (such as json or xml) or into tcp data packets, then directing the feeds to read the data.



Tags: RTL2832 Software Defined Radio, Linux Mint 17.1, Linux Mint 17.3, Siduction 2014.1, ADS-B, Dump1090

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