We have been interested in building a one stop shop website for all things aircraft tracking and decoding for some time.
To this end we have put up a satellite dish to get Inmarsat messages, 136mHz antennas for ACARS and VDL data and for HF we have been running an Alinco receiver.
Everything has been working great, but I have always struggled with a really high HF noise (static) floor. It massively impacts my ability to pickup and thus decode the weak signals coming from the aircraft all around the world (the radio at this frequency – 6mHz – can hear aircraft from pretty much around the globe). I have been tinkering with the antenna and noise suppressors and all sorts of things, but it has always not been great.
The last straw was when this guy commented about my HF reception;
(At the very bottom of that thread/comment.)
1% of the traffic. Ouch.
But he was right, I had a feeling I was not doing great. Getting around 70 messages a day from aircraft.
I honestly suspect any one or all of the 90 or so computer devices that are running 24×7 at the house.
Anyway, buddies to the rescue.
I have been chatting with two guys from Phoenix a fair bit and one of them is big into both aircraft and HF and he also noticed that he was getting more traffic than I was, but he lacked the computer skills and gear to decode them.
So yeah, we made a deal. If he picked up the signals, I would decode them.
Thus he has dedicated one of his radios to aircraft and I wrote some code to transfer the raw data from his place to mine where I do further decoding and display it on my website.
BOOM! I cant believe it but we went from 70 a day to 3000+ a day.
We are now almost drowning in lovely lovely aircraft data from around the world.
Both he and I are thrilled.
You can see the data here; http:/
Its been running great for the week or so and neither of us see why that won’t be the case for a good while longer.