AIS and ADS-B / Mode-S Monitoring
This is slightly off-topic for this website, as readily available dedicated equipment is used in stead of converted receivers.
Recently (2014) I have replaced the two Siemens Futro thin clients I used before by a single more powerful machine.
The antennas are situated about 6 m above ground level. The utmost right antenna is a Wimo GP-1090 ADS-B antenna. Airborne beacons transmit at 1090 MHz. This antenna has a gain of about 5 dB for this frequency band.
Left of the GP-1090 you can see a CX-4. This marine VHF antenna is suited for 145 - 165 MHz, which is fine for AIS, using frequencies around 162 MHz.
The utmost left antenna is a Diamond D-777 for civil VHF and military UHF aviation bands. On its right, a dual band antenna for 144 and 430 MHz. If you look closely, an inverted V antenna for HF can be seen as well.
The PC is a secondhand HP T510 thin client. These kinds of refurbished machines usually are sold for a fair price.
The PCs contains a VIA Eden X2 U4200 dual core-processor. My device has a 16 GB SSD and 4 GB RAM. As this PC doesn't have moving parts, it's absolutely silent. The energy consumption is low: about 15 W, which is nice for a machine running 24/7.
The T510 runs Windows Embedded Standard 7, which proves to be very stable.
NetworkA TP-Link WN823N USB adapter connects the PC to my WLAN.
ADS-B / Mode-S
For ADS-B en Mode S airborne beacons, a Kinetic SBS-1 is used. Originally, this was the USB version; I have retrofitted it with an ethernet module. This receiver is connected to the GP1090 antenne with about 5 m Aircell-7 coax.
Through a UTP cable, the SBS-1 is connected to the T510. This PC runs the following software:
Dimension 4 is launched at PC startup. The shortcuts show the order in which the different applications are launched.
PlanePlotter. Aircraft with green labels have been received locally; shared aircraft have grey labels
AISA dual channel SR-162 AIS receiver is used. This device is connected to the CX 4 antenna by about 5 m Aircell-7 coax. An RS-232 cable connects the SR-162 to the serial port of the T510. This PC runs the following software:
Here you find a recent image that I received on the east side of Rotterdam.
For more reliability and functionality I can recommend www.vesseltracker.com. Apart from a more detailed overview of shipping traffic, Vesseltracker offers historical data and photo's of individual vessels.