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Poll

Do you use plane plotter?

I bought plane plotter
37 (48.1%)
I tried plane plotter
17 (22.1%)
I havent used it
23 (29.9%)

Total Members Voted: 68

Author Topic: PlanePlotter  (Read 66433 times)

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tarbat

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #30 on: January 20, 2010, 10:46:35 PM »

Yes you do.  To get MLAT to work, you have to tick the "SBS1 Raw Data" box in IO Settings, even if you don't have an SBS-1 to provide raw data!!

Right Tarbat, read this very carefully. I DO NOT have "SBS1 Raw Data" box in IO Settings checked and I have been a Master User since before it was generally available and mlat some ten to twenty US mil aircraft most days.

You're quoting a post from yesterday.  Since then I've been told to tick the "UDP/IP data from net" box, even though the help says that option is only to be use "from a remote PC running PlanePlotter"  Nothing to do with MLAT, but evidently this box must be ticked to get MLAT working.  Before I was told to do that, the only way I could get MLAT working was to tick "SBS1 Raw Data", which also made MLAT work.  What the difference is between the two boxes, I have no idea!!

Regarding remote mlat, it's quite simple. You can use mlat without a virtual radar, so when you make an mlat request it is sent across the network. If you are a Master User the option "Allow Remote Mlat" is in the Options..I/O settings dialog in the Input section. If this option is checked, then the server will invite PlanePlotter to perform an Mlat on a target that is "Mlattable" but not currently being "Mlatted".

So why was I told, on the PP forum, that I shouldn't tick that box unless I'm a Ground Station?  I'm happy to contribute to MLAT calculations, but was told not to :(

Finally, I have never found either John Locker or Bev to be biased towards helping only Ground Stations.

It's more to do with the documentation.  Try HELP - CONTENTS - TUTORIALS - Multilateration with SBS-1.   Firstly, why only help about using MLAT with SBS-1?  Where's the tutorial for setting up MLAT with Radarbox, or without a VR at all?

Secondly, there's sections 1, 2, 3,  and 4 all about Ground Stations.  And just section 5 for Master Users, and that section doesn't even explain which IO options to select to get MLAT working.  What's the point of a tutorial that doesn't say what IO options are needed?

When I've asked these questions on the PP forum, I get conflicting advise.  Tick this box, don't tick that box.  I was even told that I can find the location of Ground Stations using the OSM button in Planeplotter!!!!

All I'm looking for is a definitive guide to setting up Planeplotter for MLAT as a Master User using Radarbox.

viking9

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #31 on: January 20, 2010, 10:51:17 PM »
Just thought you chaps would like to see my PP screen - filtered by US Mil flagged ac only. As you can see there are two aircraft showing positions, the top one has been mlatted by user dW. The second was remote mlatted by my PP (user kx - the first character is replaced by an '*' in my PP) whilst I was busy firing off messages to this and another forum. The third has not been mlatted.

Tom
Tom
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk UK
15 miles SE of EGUN
32 miles SE of MAM > DIKAS track
http://www.viking9.co.uk

viking9

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #32 on: January 20, 2010, 11:20:51 PM »
To Tarbat and all who are experiencing problems;

First let me say that Bev, the brains behind PP and Mlat has been in Australia for a while now. He is a bit of a one -man band and I think he has done a tremendous job in getting PP and mlat to where it is now in just a few short months - the ONLY system available on the amateur market that allows non-positional Mode-S equipped aircraft to be tracked. And at a modest cost. (Imaginge what you would pay for it if some commercial organisation had thought of it first?).

Admittedly, sometimes the documentation falls behind the application features, but there are a number of sources of information to be found on the web. Here's a place to start:

http://www.mantma.co.uk/pp_faq1.html#latest%20Peter%20Leadbeater

Some problems just cannot be sorted, such as the inability to make early Vodafone mobile broadband dongles work with mlat, yet the '3' dongle works straight out of the box without requiring any ports to be opened. 

If you really want to track Mode-S equipped aircraft I urge you to persevere. It is well worth the hair pulling. I look forward to getting up every morning and seeing all those lovely mil aircraft tracking across the screen.

Tom

 
Tom
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk UK
15 miles SE of EGUN
32 miles SE of MAM > DIKAS track
http://www.viking9.co.uk

tarbat

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #33 on: January 20, 2010, 11:45:24 PM »
Tom, you're obviously a PP expert.  Can you answer the question I keep asking but never get an answer.  What boxes in IO Settings should I tick when using MLAT with Radarbox, and why?  (ie. what function is enabled/disabled by each tick box).

For example, the tutorial on ManTMA says "Remote Mlat - This is an entirely new feature whereby users who are GS+MU can perform continuous automatic Mlat requests when their machine is not otherwise occupied".  Now, I'm not a GS+MU user, I'm just a Master User.  So I guess I shouldn't tick that box, but then others say I should to allow my PC and PP to perform MLATs.  Please explain.
« Last Edit: January 20, 2010, 11:51:39 PM by tarbat »

viking9

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #34 on: January 21, 2010, 08:09:01 AM »
Tarbat,

I don't think I'm an expert but I am an experienced user. Though I have not specifically asked the question, from what John Locker has told me and from my own experience the GS+MU bit is wrong. For a start you just have to be a Master User to initiate Mlat requests, so why would you need to be a Ground Station for your PP to initiate a Remote Mlat which is just an Mlat request performed by the software?

I have the Remote Mlat box ticked and, as you saw from my screenshot last night,  my PP appears to be doing remote mlats. I assume it is my machine because I am showing as the main user.

I have attached a screenshot of my i/o settings.

One thing I should mention is the OSM map. This can not be seen in the trial version of PP as the required area of interest is downloaded from the network each time you click on the OSM icon. When you have paid the PP subscription the map is available, but be aware that each map segment downloaded is stored in the PlanePlotter/Chart Files folder. These .jpg files build up so you might want to delete them from time to time.

Tom

Tom
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk UK
15 miles SE of EGUN
32 miles SE of MAM > DIKAS track
http://www.viking9.co.uk

tarbat

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #35 on: January 21, 2010, 08:41:43 AM »
Though I have not specifically asked the question, from what John Locker has told me and from my own experience the GS+MU bit is wrong.

It was John Locker that told me NOT to tick the "Allow remote Mlat" box in the first place!!  See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/planeplotter/message/30503

To quote:
"As a download only Master User [ I know you share by radar box but thats a different issue ] you dont need to tick either "SBS1 raw data" or "Allow remote Mlat""

Can you understand my confusion?  Where are the definitive instructions on what IO settings are needed for MLAT MU?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 08:48:55 AM by tarbat »

viking9

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #36 on: January 21, 2010, 09:05:58 AM »
Tarbat,

Sorry for the delay in replying. At this time of the morning I'm working harder than the average ATC bod, tracking RCH ac and reporting them to Reach Hunters.

Having read that thread I see that you said "Question. To see any aircraft where continuous MLAT is available, do I tick the "Allow Remote Mlat" option or not." So you were asking about straightforward mlatting and I assume that's what John was answering, so his  answer to that was that you did not need to tick that box, which is true.

I have looked at the documentation which is downloaded with the latest version of PP and I must admit it leaves one none the wiser regarding remote mlatting but I do think my interpretation is correct.

If you use my settings are you able to mlat aircraft?

Tom


Tom
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk UK
15 miles SE of EGUN
32 miles SE of MAM > DIKAS track
http://www.viking9.co.uk

tarbat

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #37 on: January 21, 2010, 09:12:09 AM »
Tom, I'm just trying to increase the possibilities of me seeing an aircraft MLAT'ed by someone else, without having to MLAT it myself.  I called that "continuous MLAT", maybe that's the wrong terminology.

My guess now is that the "Allow Remote Mlat" has nothing to do with increasing my chances of seeing an aircraft MLAT'ed by someone else, without having to MLAT it myself.  Surely Remote Mlat will only work if I can provide raw data?

I just wish we didn't have to "guess" about how to configure PP for MLAT.

bratters

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #38 on: January 21, 2010, 09:37:16 AM »
Am I being particularly naive but have we not reached the stage with PP where it should be possible to download and pay for a complete working program?

Data share tickbox, 7day free trial, annual subscriptions, whatever you like but surely in 2010 our software expectations now exceed this type of DIY geek-only application  - especially bearing in mind the example of the (relatively) simple Radarbox?

One highly frustrated Bratters.

viking9

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #39 on: January 21, 2010, 09:42:49 AM »
Tarbat,

This is my understanding of the current situation.

With the latest version of PP the server will feed info on non-positional aircraft which have been mlatted by other MUs to your PC. I'm not absolutely sure whether you have to be an MU for the server to do this or whether all users get it.

You are right about "Remote Mlat" having nothing to do with that. As I said previously, you do not have to provide raw data in order to make an mlat request. You are simply asking the servers to provide the timing information from those Ground Stations that are 'seeing' that aircraft, do the sums and send the info to your PC.

So, it would follow that exactly the same procedure takes place with your PC when PP is left running unattended except it's the software that picks a likely aircraft and sends the mlat request without human intervention. You don't need to send raw data in the first instance so why would you need to send it in the second?

I agree that the documentation could be more comprehensive but I guess that's the price we have to pay for a very low budget, high tech piece of software which is the product of one very clever man who has another business to run.

Have you tried selecting 'View/Aircraft without positions"? If I do that now I'm see twelve aircraft showing info, which means they are all ones mlatted by others.

Tom
Tom
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk UK
15 miles SE of EGUN
32 miles SE of MAM > DIKAS track
http://www.viking9.co.uk

tarbat

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #40 on: January 21, 2010, 09:52:06 AM »
So, it would follow that exactly the same procedure takes place with your PC when PP is left running unattended except it's the software that picks a likely aircraft and sends the mlat request without human intervention.

I thought it was the PP server that decides which aircraft to auto-MLAT.  If I'm not a GS, will the PP server even ask my PP to auto-mlat a particular aircraft?  My understanding was that it's only Ground Stations that will receive a request from the PP server to auto-Mlat.

The release notes say this about remote Mlat - "the choice of target and selection of users is done centrally".  Question - will the PP server ever ask my non-GS PP to auto-Mlat?
« Last Edit: January 21, 2010, 09:55:55 AM by tarbat »

viking9

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #41 on: January 21, 2010, 10:04:54 AM »
Am I being particularly naive but have we not reached the stage with PP where it should be possible to download and pay for a complete working program?

Data share tickbox, 7day free trial, annual subscriptions, whatever you like but surely in 2010 our software expectations now exceed this type of DIY geek-only application  - especially bearing in mind the example of the (relatively) simple Radarbox?

One highly frustrated Bratters.

Bratters,

In a nutshell - yes, you are being very naive. As I said previously, this is mainly a one man operation. He writes the software himself, provides a network which allows you to see aircraft outside of your area, one which is expanding rapidly and has a fraction of the downtime of a similar large corporate run one. It is also MUCH cheaper to subscribe to and doesn't even need any hardware.

Bev Ewen-Smith has single-handedly brought to the enthusiast (or at least anyone with the interest and enthusiasm to persevere) a system which allows him or her to track previously untrackable aircraft. The fact that he has another job - he owns and runs an astronomical observatory and produces lots of other applications too - probably limits the time he can spend on this application.

When you consider that AirNav, despite its resources, has not been able to fix its superb ANRB software so you can see all of the items on a 1024 x 760 laptop screen (the goddam industry standard) you may appreciate the problems Bev has in developing the application so that anyone can just turn it on and do everything they want with no effort at all.

I for one am very happy to exert a little sweat rather than pay oodles of cash to some multinational conglomorate for the same privilege.

Tom
Tom
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk UK
15 miles SE of EGUN
32 miles SE of MAM > DIKAS track
http://www.viking9.co.uk

viking9

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #42 on: January 21, 2010, 10:18:01 AM »

I thought it was the PP server that decides which aircraft to auto-MLAT.  If I'm not a GS, will the PP server even ask my PP to auto-mlat a particular aircraft?  My understanding was that it's only Ground Stations that will receive a request from the PP server to auto-Mlat.

The release notes say this about remote Mlat - "the choice of target and selection of users is done centrally".  Question - will the PP server ever ask my non-GS PP to auto-Mlat?

Tarbat,

The simple answer is that I'm not sure what the sequence is. I have definitely seen in some reference to Remote Mlat..."if you are a Master User the Remote Mlat box will appear in the i/o window" or words to that effect. Sure, the server must know that your copy of PP is active and that you have not made a request for n second/mins. Quite whether PP sends a message or the server interrogates it and then decides to mlat one of the aircraft I don't know. But then it does not matter, does it. The important thing is that it works.

Have you actually tried looking at your non-positional ac view to see if there are any aircraft with positions shown on it?

I'm quite busy now tracking a KC-135 from EGUN which is on its way to refuel some A-10s and a Herc.

Tom
Tom
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk UK
15 miles SE of EGUN
32 miles SE of MAM > DIKAS track
http://www.viking9.co.uk

viking9

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #43 on: January 21, 2010, 10:23:38 AM »
Actually that should have been an RC-135W, not a Herc.

Tom
Tom
Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk UK
15 miles SE of EGUN
32 miles SE of MAM > DIKAS track
http://www.viking9.co.uk

tarbat

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Re: PlanePlotter
« Reply #44 on: January 21, 2010, 10:25:02 AM »
Have you actually tried looking at your non-positional ac view to see if there are any aircraft with positions shown on it?

I regularly check that view, and no, I don't see any at the moment.  I have seen a couple earlier, with lat/long showing and Rep = 9, but when I click on them the map pans to an area of the map with no aircraft in it :(