Planefinder is a real time aircraft location visualisation and mapping platform that accepts data feeds from ADS-B or MLAT capable receiving devices. This guide shows you how to setup the PlaneFinder ADS-B feed client.
In order to setup the PlaneFinder feed client you will need:
- A PC running Windows 7 or later
- To procure the necessary minimal hardware (eg. SDR dongle and antenna) and software (e.g. Jetvision RTL1090) to capture and decode ADS-B
- To contact PinkFroot and obtain PlaneFinder feed login credentials
- The PlaneFinder ADS-B feed client
Install the PlaneFinder ADS-B Feed Client
Step 1: Download and Install NodeJSDownload and install NodeJS Stable Windows Installer into the directory of your choice (eg. C:\Program Files\nodejs)
Step 2: Install the PlaneFinder ClientAt a command prompt type:
npm install -g http://clientfiles.planefinder.net/pfclient-latest.tgzThe PlaneFinder client and a variety of dependencies will be installed into C:\Users\<YourLogin>\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules\pfclient.
Step 3: Configure the PlaneFinder ClientAt the same command prompt type:
pfclient --configYou will be asked a series of questions as follows (for detailed configuration instructions please contact pinkfroot.com):
- Receiver Type: this should be one of puck, avr, beastbinary or 30003. If you are using the Jetvision RTL1090 client choose 30003
- Connection Type: this should be one of network or serial
- Home Location: this is the decimal latitude and longitude of your receiver separated by a comma (eg. 50.113,-1.222)
- Username: This is the username as supplied to you by pinkfroot.com
- Password: This is the password as supplied to you by pinkfroot.com
- IP Address: This is the IP address of the receiver. If you are using the Jetvision RTL1090 client this should be 127.0.0.1 assuming the Jetvision client is running on the same machine
- TCP Port: This is the listening port of the receiver. It should be 30003 if you are using the Jetvision RTL1090 client
pfclientYou should see the PlaneFinder client connect to the receiver and display a webpage (http://localhost:30053) displaying various tabs. All good! Press Ctrl-C to stop the PlaneFinder client.
Step 4: Download and Install FireDaemon ProDownload and install FireDaemon Pro. Install as a local or domain administrator.
Step 5: Create the FireDaemon Pro PlaneFinder ServiceStart FireDaemon Pro by double clicking the desktop icon and then click on the "Create a new service definition" button in the toolbar or type Ctrl+N. Enter the information in the fields as you see below. Pay special attention to the Executable, Working Directory and Parameters fields. These should be:
- Executable: C:\Program Files\nodejs\node.exe
- Working Directory: C:\Users\<YourLogin>\AppData\Roaming\npm\node_modules\pfclient
- Parameters: client.js --showBrowser=false
Note that <YourLogin> is the user that you are logging into Windows as (eg. jbourne). The showBrowser directive stops a browser window from being displayed.
Ensure you uncheck Graceful Shutdown in the Lifecycle tab:
Then optionally, you can make a Dependency on the FireDaemon Pro Jetvision RTL1090 service if you are using that software as your receiver decoder:
Step 6: Install the Service, switch to Session 0 and see the PlaneFinder Client Feed Working
You should now be able to browse to planefinder.net and see your feed's ADS-B being visualised!
Also don't forget to take beautiful photos of the aircraft you track and submit them to Pinkfroot!