Acarsdec 2.0: A Multi-Channel Realtime Linux ACARS Decoder which supports RTL-SDR

Acarsdec is a recently released open source, multi-channel realtime ACARS decoder for Linux. It supports direct input from an RTL-SDR dongle, and with the RTL-SDR can listen to four ACARS channels simultaneously. It’s official feature list includes

– up to four channels decoded simultaneously
– multithreaded
– error detection AND correction
– input from sound file , also sound card or software defined radio (SDR) via a rtl dongle

Acarsdec Terminal Output
Acarsdec Terminal Output
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Struggling to keep the current build stable in parallel with dump1090 on a raspian based pi2 with a pair of TCXO enabled R820T2 sticks, or with a R820T stick as the dump1090 host.

Dump 1090 grabs stick 0 from boot and Im manually starting acarsdec

With both R820T2 sticks the same dump1090 starts perfectly, but running ACARS fails with
“Failed to submit transfer 31”

With an R820T2 as dump1090 and a E4000 for ACARS I get none of the issues but the e4000 is deaf
and has none of the benefits of the TCXO.

With an R820T running dump1090 and the R820T2 for ACARS I get the same “Failed to submit transfer 31” ,
but if i pull the R820T2 and plug it in again , ACARS will start …then you can literally watch dump1090 fall over progressively after about 5 minutes, then ACARSdec falls over , then the machine just locks up.
It isnt power draw as the two sticks are in a USB hub with a dedicated 5 amp feed and the PI2B itself is running on a dedicated 3A feed !

Anyone suffering similarly and found a solution please ? I d like to put the two TCXO sticks outdoors under the antenna.


Was very pleased to see this is available.
Managed to get v 2.3 running on my RPi, tested with the .wav file and everything seems in order. However, I am only capturing a small fraction of the messages I can receive with other software using the same type of rtl2832u (R820) on my laptop. (Specifically SDR# and MultiPsk to decode ACARS)

The rtl2832u was installed on the Pi along with Dump1090 a fews weeks ago and has been running for several weeks with very good results (similar to my laptop installation), and feeding FlightRadar24

Am using the same antenna so that isn’t the variable. Based on results from Dump1090 and testing the rtl2832u on my laptop at least three times, the dongle is receiving o.k. at various frequencies including 136.800 MHz.
I have looked at all options and am running thus: acarsdec -p 42 -r 0 136.800

My Linux skills are a bit weak, so any thoughts will be appreciated


Mike from David Taylors site.. -p
You might like to create a simple command to run the decoder, and specify the frequencies you want to use. Use nano to create a file (e.g. run-acars) containing the one line:
./acarsdec -p -8 -r 0 131.525 131.550 131.725 131.825


Witch Image on the RasPI do you use? Du you have come hints to run this on RasPI?

I was only sucsessfull on kali-linux


Hi! Sorry, haven’t checked this page long time. I’m running it on stock Raspbian. Compile process gave me a bunch of errors (sndlib(?) and couple of others), but these were related to SSE2 extension and sound file or sound input. I just deleted those from MAKEFILE. I use it with rtl2832u based dongle.

Sorry, not on my machine at the moment, and I’m not a programmer, but roughly that how’s it worked out for me 🙂


anyone know how to change -ppm and gain?


Works great on Raspberry Pi with an RTL-dongle!