LHRSIMON
Topic Author
Posts: 1314
Joined: Sat Apr 27, 2002 5:59 am

Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Thu Mar 10, 2005 9:59 pm

I had the below in the photographers forum but was told it may be a good idea to post it here..... So if anyone can give any info that would be great.

Post was as follows.....

I have started to really get into contrail photo's.... I just love the way you can take a picture of this little dot in the sky and then work at it on PS and see what aircraft/airline it is....

One thing i was thinking about was getting one of these ACARS scanners. I have been told they pick up the reg of overflying aircraft... Is that true. And how much does this bit of kit cost....

Would sure make life easier if correct..
Canon 1D Mk III,Canon 20D+17-40 L f4.0,70-200 L IS USM f2.8,400 L USM f5.6,135 mm L f2.0, 50 mm f1.8,1.4 x II extender
 
Daren3006
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 4:26 pm

RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:11 am

The problem I would see with that is.....which transmission belongs to the aircraft you see in the sky. With aircraft traveling at 30,000+ ft. you will be receiving ACARS from hundreds of miles away. Similar to listening to "center" frequencies. When I listen to center frq's on my scanner it almost never shuts up. But, going out and looking at the sky you may only see one or two aircraft.

Just my thoughts....
Daren
 
Daren3006
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 4:26 pm

RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:17 am

One more thing....

You may have better luck using tracking software such as AirNav Live. The downside to AirNav and similar software is that there is at least a 10 minute delay from real world position to your computer screen. I find that it's pretty difficult to match a blip with an actual aircraft but it can be done.

Daren
 
Newark777
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Fri Mar 11, 2005 5:36 am



Quoting LHRSIMON (Thread starter):
One thing i was thinking about was getting one of these ACARS scanners. I have been told they pick up the reg of overflying aircraft... Is that true. And how much does this bit of kit cost....

Could someone explain this, though? I have not been looking at ACARS equipment, not for contrails, but for general use, but know very little about it. If anyone who can shed some light on ACARS, using it, and equipment used, it would be much appreciated.

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
LHRSIMON
Topic Author
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RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:42 am

Seeing as i was hoping to use it from my garden which is 5 miles from LHR i think after reading the replies its going to be a problem. Seeing as there will be at any one time at least 10-20 aircraft in the air at any one time. I gather it will be pretty impossible to work out what is what.

I did think about the Air Nav system but it has three big problems. (1) I would have to keep running between my PC and the garden. (2) the 10 min delay would be a problem in such busy skies. And (3) it flippin expensive !!!!

Anyone got any other ways of finding out whats that dot in the sky ???

Simon C
Canon 1D Mk III,Canon 20D+17-40 L f4.0,70-200 L IS USM f2.8,400 L USM f5.6,135 mm L f2.0, 50 mm f1.8,1.4 x II extender
 
Daren3006
Posts: 42
Joined: Fri Dec 12, 2003 4:26 pm

RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Fri Mar 11, 2005 2:16 pm

Harry,

I am by no means an authority on ACARS but from what I understand it is basically a data transmission between aircraft and their home base or company. It stands for Aircraft Communications And Reporting System. Not exactly sure if it's used for flight ops but is more of an administrative type thing.

To monitor ACARS you need a scanner capable of receiving the frequencies and then need to feed the audio into a computer running software able to decode it. The software can be downloaded from many places. Most is for a fee. Just do a Google search for ACARS and it will give you quite a bit of info.

I know this info is sketchy but I actually haven't monitored ACARS before. I've just read about it on the net.

Daren
P.S. Check this site for more info: http://www.javaradio.com/servlet/IBM...age=67&parent_id=36&iw_language=en
 
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nighthawk
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RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Sat Mar 12, 2005 1:13 am

Any standard aviation scanner should do fine for acars, although the better the scanners mayprovide better results. As far as software goes, there are too main choices, AirNav ACARS decoder, and ACRSD (Free). Take your pick.

ACARS will come up with many hits, but if you can identify the airline through your photo you should be able to tie up the registration, although being in london you can forget about tying up BA regs. Anything that is fairly rare should be easily identifyable, eg if you photograph an aircraft and it turns out to be Swissair, there will probably be only one swissair aircraft in the area at that time so you should find its reg easily through acars...
 
Newark777
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Joined: Thu Dec 02, 2004 6:23 am

RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Sat Mar 12, 2005 8:49 am

Thanks you guys for all the info! I have used ACARS websites in the past, where they post current ACARS data, but I have noticed it tends to be spotty, so I have been thinking of investing in my own equipment. Since I am an aircraft photographer and spotter, I sometimes miss the reg# of aircraft. If I was able to record the info, and then match the time the plane took off or landed with a flight number, I would be able to find the reg. That is my purpose for getting it. Thanks again everyone!

AirNav ACARS decoder, and ACRSD (Free)

Do you have a site for the ACRSD software you are talking about? I can't find it on google.

Harry

[Edited 2005-03-12 00:51:17]
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
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nighthawk
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RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Sun Mar 13, 2005 1:56 am

Sorry that was a typo, it should have been ACARSD:

http://www.acarsd.org/
 
Newark777
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RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Mon Mar 14, 2005 3:54 am

Thanks a bunch!  Smile

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?
 
Lurch
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RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Mon Mar 14, 2005 5:57 am

1st you will need a good quality airband scanner second a PC for home use and maybe wacars go on google for this its free software!

If you are very lucky and can find one maybe you can buy an ARD-2 ACARS Decoder box that does not need a PC just a scanner plugged in to it WACARS has a moving map Display which is in real time SO you can track each individual flight.

It also has maps for many different parts of the world.

Try the Acarslinken page which has masses of ACARS links maps and software on it!
 
Newark777
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RE: Acars Scanners For Contrails.

Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:09 am

Well, I just ran to Radio Shack to get a cord to connect my scanner with PC, I installed the ARARSD software, and I'm currently decoding flights! I'm so happy, thanks everyone for your help!  hyper 

Harry
Why grab a Heine when you can grab a Busch?

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