Integration with PlanePlotter

The PlanePlotter software program receives and decodes live digital position reports from aircraft and plots them on a radar-like display.

  1. Major Features of PlanePlotter

    PlanePlotter has three major features plus a lot of add-on facilities provided by its users. Its major features are:

    • Hundreds of users share their SBS-1 signals with everyone. This gives you extensive coverage and counteracts any local obstructions that you may have from, for example, hills. The one-off cost is Euros 25 + VAT.
    • There are a number of aircraft, notably military types and Flybe, which show in the listing on the SBS-1 but which do not transmit their position and so do not plot. Provided that there are sufficient suitable users receiving such an aircraft, PlanePlotter can determine the position using the arrival time of the Mode-S transmissions at each user. Multilateration therefore enables them to be plotted. It is free for users who regularly provide raw data into the system on a near 24/7 basis; other users pay Euro 12 + VAT per year.
    • For the later SBS-1e/er sets, a facility called Beamfinder and Beamfinder Plus enables PlanePlotter to use the pings from known radar stations to calibrate the radar’s rotating beam and to use that information to locate aircraft not transmitting position. Beamfinder Plus can even locate an aircraft without Mode-S transponder.Both PlanePlotter and Multilateration can be downloaded and used free of charge for 21 days before you have to sign up and pay. Full details are available on its website at

      An excellent review can be found at and

  2. Using the GFIA data with PlanePlotter to identify required frames

    Leon Loberman has developed a software routine which uses our database to decode aircraft signals and to identify on the screen which aircraft we still ‘need’.

    The files can be found at in the ‘Members Only Section’ under ‘Installation Files – ModeS’.

      1. Minor UpdateOn 12-2-17 Leon reported an update to the files below: Hi all

        Following the release of update 138 by Bob, which should have added new ICAO types to the database, I have released a new version of my program which should ensure that these types have the appropriate symbol set.

        You can find the install program for the latest version (PACModeS2017_v1007_install.exe) in the ModeS directory on the server. There is also an updated version of the user guide (V7.2) although this is only amended from v7.1 to note that release is available as a maintenance release.


      2. Major Update

    On 20-1-17 Leon reported the changes from the previous 2012 release:

    Hi All

    I have released a new version of my PACModeS application for interfacing between our database and Kinetic / PlanePlotter. The new version is called PACModeS2017 and the install can be found in the ModeS directory on the server – it’s called PACModeS2017_install_v1002.exe .

    There is also an updated user guide which is called PACModeS_Manual_V7_0.pdf in the same folder. The major changes for this version are:

    • Support for the latest set of enhanced aircraft symbols used in PlanePlotter. See for more details.**

    • Support for using either Operator Flags by Kinetic or GFIA – see the User Guide for details.

    • Faster processing by removing the incremental record count display in the application.

    Note the name change – this means that you will have both PACModeS2012 and PACModeS2017 installed on your machine as they will be in separate application folders.

    **You must run Nic’s install program first, then run PACModeS2017 to be able to use the new symbols. If you want to revert to the 2012 version please see the User Guide.

    Hope you like the changes Best


    On 27-10-15 Leon added the following notes.

    Since I created my original PacModeS2012 program, there have a number of new types taking to our skies – Boeing 787-9, Airbus A350-900 to name but two.

    If you use my program to build the basestation.sqb database, especially for use in conjunction with PlanePlotter, then these are probably not showing on your screen – the symbol and the registration will be there, together with any other data you select to show but the type filed will be blank.

    I have updated a single file called logged.mdb [updated 12-2-17 to logged_2017.mdb] which should resolve this issue. You can download it from the website at

    It should automatically unzip the file to the default directory for my program (C:\ModeS) and ask you to confirm overwriting the old file. If you specified a different location, then just extract the file to the location you specified.

    Then, the next time you build the basestation.sqb file using my program, the new types should be showing, along with the enhanced PP icons if you use those.

    Regards Leon

  3. Updating the Database from the PlanePlotter Screen

    Leon Loberman has also produced a program to fully integrate the database with PlanePlotter so that the database can be updated from the PlanePlotter screen, as our Populator program traditionally did.

    The files can be found at in the ‘Members Only Section’ under ‘Installation Files – ModeS’

    and selecting

    1. Andrew Cupitt had a problem on 12-2-17Have installed this on the pc im running Planeplotter.

      When I click on the icon to run, the cursor has the busy circle for a few seconds but then nothing. I’m running Windows 10 on the pc

      Any ideas but I know its not a lot to go on.

      Steve Hambleton had a similar problem

      I’ve got the same problem as Andrew I think.

      The program opens and I can see it as an icon when I cycle through Alt-Tab. I can also see it as an icon on the task bar, but I can’t see the actual program

      Comments received.

      Leon Loberman noted on 12-2-17

      As Gordon suggested, its probably because the program was running when the system is restarted after a Windows update is applied.

      The instructions he attached to his reply to Andrew will probably fix the issue…here they are again below:….

      Gordon Smith noted on 12-2-17

      See the attachment see if that helps. (given below)

      I have been working with Gordon in the background to resolve the problem and I’m pleased to say that I have found the solution. It would appear that when my program is being closed by the system (perhaps due to a Windows Update), the location of the application window is being saved as -32000, -32000 which is somewhere way off the screen area.

      So the solution is to edit the file where that data is held. On your machine there is a file in the following directory:

      C:\Users\[your user name]\AppData\Local\PACModeSLogging\PACModeSLogging.vshost.’some_string’]\\user.config where the bits in [ ] is your username on your system…and is the version of my program you are using.

      Open that user.config file in an editor such as Notepad and change the values in the last section to something like 636, 432 and save the file. That should put the window somewhere on your screen.

      Open my application and see if that works. If it does, then you can drag it to wherever you want to and next time you close it (as opposed tot the system closing it) it will save that new location.

      Hope this helps Regards

      Leon 26-2-16

      Leon Loberman noted 12-2-17

      After you’ve tried to run it do you see it listed in Task manager as an active program?

    2. Kevin Evans had a problem on 21-1-17:Having trouble downloading the file. Comes up with “this site cannot be reached”. He quickly found the solution: ‘Anti virus blocked it.’
    3. Leon Loberman had a problem on 16-10-15:

I have experienced an issue with my program today (this is the logging program not the basestation.sqb build program). For some reason it is no longer being shown on the screen, although it says it is running.

I have tried all sorts of things including re-compiling the app and re-installing and nothing is working. I’ve also tried the trick of trying to restore the window etc.

I think it may have occurred after the latest set of Windows 10 updates were applied to my PC – however for some reason I cannot roll back these updates (don’t ask about System recovery either!).

I’m not sure where to go from here – I’ve tried installing it on another windows 10 machine with the same result. On top of that I’m now having trouble recompiling the code!!

I’ll let you know if and when I fix it but I thought I’d give those of you who use my program a heads up!!. Leon

Comments received.

Gordon Smith noted 17-10-15

I have this issue as well and have had it prior to updating to windows 10. I was on windows 7 before.

Leon Loberman noted 18-10-15

I think the issue may have been caused by a Windows update installing while the PACModeSLogging program was running at the same time.

Anyway, I’ve managed to resolve it by uninstalling a couple of Windows Updates (KB3097617 and KB3081449 for windows 10), then re-compiling the app as a new version. I had to make some code changes as well, which I think were down to Microsoft tightening up on some previous code loopholes.

The code changes mean that I have to put default entries in for each of the fields in the Config screen, so if you do re-install please make sure that the config is as you require it.

The latest version is now v1.3.1 and can be found on the server at [since updated]

I would suggest uninstalling any versions you have first before installing this version – this can be done from the Control Panel as per any software.

Reminder – this is the logging software that runs alongside PlanePlotter to facilitate automated logging – not the software that builds the basestation.sqb database from our GFIA database. That is still v1.4.8 and should be running ok.

PS I then re-installed the Windows Updates without my program running.

Gordon Smith noted 18-10-15

Do I need to uninstall those two windows updates?

I have tried reinstalling your new version and still the same on my machine Leon: Possibly- are you running Windows 10?

Gordon: Yes. I’ll give it a try

Gordon: Hi Leon. All working again now. Thanks