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.
Schematic overview of the monitoring station
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 PCs (network names 'Icarus' and 'Aurora') are two cheap, ex-thin client Fujitsu Siemens Futro S200 machines.
These PCs contain an 800 MHz processor. I have provided them with 256 Mb RAM and a 4 GB Compact Flash card as a hard drive. As these PCs don't have moving parts, they're absolutely silent. The energy consumption is low: about 10 - 15 W, which is nice for machines running 24/7.
The PCs run Windows 2000 Professional. Old, but very stable on these machines.
The PCs are controlled through a KVM (keyboard, video, mouse) switch.
Icarus, Aurora and the WLAN Bridge
NetworkI have flashed a Linksys WRT54GL with DD-WRT firmware, so that the device can work as a bridge/switch for the wireless LAN. The only disadvantage of this configuration is that DHCP requests are not forwarded by the WLAN bridge. This has been solved by providing fixed IP addresses to Icarus and Aurora.
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 the Linksys WRT54GL switch/wireless bridge, the SBS-1 is connected to PC 'Icarus'. 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. It can take a couple of minutes before 'Basestation' is ready; the other applications start rather quickly.
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 PC 'Aurora'. 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.