FlightAware Discussions

Where is dump978-fa?

I’m trying to log all traffic at our local airport for research purposes. UAT 978 appears to make up MOST of the traffic here, so I need to get dump978 working. I’m using a Raspberry Pi 3+ running Buster Lite. I was able to easily get dump1090-fa working, after building the system manually myself (including the NGINX web server), and I’m using my own client app connected directly to dump1090-fa to log flights (No PiAware yet). I can see the SkyAware map, too. I’m pointing this out to show that despite the fact that I’m not a Linux person I have successfully been able to jump the hoops required to do the 1090 logging I need.

I’m trying now to get 978 logging working. I’ve been working 2 or 3 weeks on this, using every tutorial imaginable I found on the web. Nothing works - there’s just too much disparate information out there. I’m getting desperate.

What I Now Need to Do
I need to get a separate Pi working with ONLY dump978(-fa) running. I couldn’t compile it from source (too many missing dependencies I don’t understand), so I went looking for an executable. I thought I had found one right here on the FlightAware site, as specified in this link: https://flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/install

I entered this command in the Pi:
sudo apt-get install dump978-fa
I got the error message “Unable to locate package dump978-fa”
I tried ‘dump978’ without the ‘-fa’ and got the same thing.

Why can’t I simply download the dump978-fa executable as described on the FlightAware site?
Does anyone know what’s going on here? Has the executable’s name changed?

Write Piaware SD card image to your microSD card.

The Piaware SD card image has both the dump1090-fa and dump978-fa pre-installed. By default, the dump978-fa is disabled and only dump1090-fa is active.

The Piaware SD card image can be easily configured by user as follows:

Option -1 (default): only dump1090-fa is running and dump 978-fa is disabled. Only one dongle is required (for 1090)

Option-2: both the dump1090-fa and dump978-fa are enabled. Two dongles, one for 1090 and other for 978 are required.

Option-3: only dump978-fa is running and dump1090 is disabled. Only one dongle is required (for 978).

Please see following post for detailed instructions:

Howto : Piaware SD card image 3.8.0 Quickstart Guide

You absolutely can; but you have apparently not configured this second system to know about the FlightAware package repository. Did you follow the step of installing the piaware-repository package? The repository package installs config files so that apt-get knows where to find the dump978-fa package. (Make sure you do an apt-get update to update the package lists after installing)

No, I wasn’t aware of the piaware-repository package or how it worked (I’m fairly new to Linux). I now see it described in the original post, so apologies for missing it. I was trying to skip the 1090 portion and didn’t realize I still needed this package.

While I’m at it, and since you’re on the FA staff, can you point me toward a document that describes the various outputs of dump978-fa that are available on the ports, along with what ports these are? I’m talking about the same thing as port 30003 on dump1090-fa that I’ve been tapping into, but obviously if both servers are running on one Pi then they must use different ports.

Thanks again.

Thanks, I’ll try that again, especially now that I have different serial numbers on my two dongles. Your response was a big help. Ultimately it would be best to eventually have both 1090 and 978 processing on one Pi. Thanks again.

There is no real documentation, but the short version is:

  • port 30978 - raw, undecoded, corrected messages, one message per line, AVR-like format. Uplink messages start with +, downlink messages start with -. Data bytes follow, two ascii hex digits per byte. Anything after ; is metadata. Uplink messages have been de-interleaved. The preamble and the FEC bytes are not included.

  • port 30979 - decoded messages, one message per line, JSON format.

Great, that’s very useful. I did see the 30978 in the Config chart, but 30979 will probably be as useful at this point.

I’ve now installed dump978 after updating the packages, so that’s good. I’m trying to start it like I do dump1090 but I can’t find the executable in the filesystem, and I don’t see a folder ~/dump978
Where should I be looking?
I do see piaware-repository_3.8.0_all.deb in the pi directory but I don’t know what that is.

So near yet so far, but definitely getting closer.

The executable is /usr/bin/dump978-fa (try dpkg -L dump978-fa to see everything installed by the package), but it’s got an associated service file, the usual way to start it is to configure /etc/default/dump978-fa and then start the service.

Thanks, obj, I found it and was able to at least show the help, with the command line options. I know the options I used for dump1090 were lengthy, so I’ll try to come up with a command line for dump978 in the same fashion.
I do appreciate your help.

Thanks, abcd567 for your fine tutorials. I used your Howto Quickstart Guide to get dump978 working, and have finally seen 978 traffic for the first time. What a relief. I can’t thank you enough. I’m actually running two dongles with the specified serial numbers programmed, and am getting both 1090 and 978 on separate maps, and even feeding with PiAware, all using a single Pi 3+. The problem I think I was having was that there is SO much information out there, from many sources including other tracking providers, that it was hard to figure out ‘what goes with what’. Well, your Guide had what I needed in one place, so if anyone else is trying what I’m trying, this is the place to go. Again, thanks so much.