Charlie Mike's Utility Programs

HFDL_Plotter

HFDL_Plotter Logo for Google Earth Logo
Google Earth Screenshot

HFDL_Plotter Screenshot

HFDL_Plotter

HFDL_Plotter is freeware.

WinZip logo HFDL-Plotter.zip, the latest full installation of HFDL_Plotter is dated 23 April 2011

This program will extract data from PC-HFDL Log files which have been saved in '.txt' format, and display it on a spreadsheet type of grid. This grid can be sorted on any column in either ascending or descending order by simply clicking the column headings. If you sort in ascending order of Registrations, then the 'Condense' button will remove all except the latest entry for each aircraft, thus providing just one entry per aircraft.

The grid can be edited manually, just click on any cell and edit what is there, (note this only changes the cell on screen, not your original log file, but may be useful if you are saving the grid). Rows may be deleted by clicking on the first column of the row to select it, then selecting 'Delete' from the menu. The spreadsheet may be saved to a file in either Comma Separated Values, Tab Separated or Text format by clicking the 'Save to File' button on the bottom line of the screen.

To use the program, just run HFDL_Plotter and tick the boxes at the base of the screen to select whether you wish the Airline entries to appear in full or not (when you change these selections, they are saved for future use). Then click the appropriate button to select a PC-HFDL log file. The data will then appear in the spreadsheet in the following order:-

Registration Aircraft Type Airline Date-Time Flight No. ICAO Position Route

The aircraft data is contained in the file Templates\AIRCRAFT.csv which is derived from the file 'HFDL.xls' by Koen Duijnmayer which can be downloaded from the Files section of HFDL Groups on the YahooGroups site. When a new version of HFDL.xls is released, it must be opened in Excel or other spreadsheet program and saved as HFDL.csv in the Templates folder of this program. You can then run the option Files/Extract data from HFDL.csv and the data will be placed in a new file named 'Aircraft_New.csv'. Once you are certain all new entries you have made are included in Aircraft_New.csv, you may delete the original and rename the new one to Aircrsft.csv.

The same applies to Flights.txt which is derived from D002.dat in a similar manner. However, the 'Flights.txt' included, has a lot of extra flights in it which I have manually added, so make sure you include these in any merged Flights.txt/Flights_ New.txt which must be placed in the Acars Converter folder. The Airline data in the file AIRLINES.txt which is held in a tab separated file consisting of 3ltr code tab 2ltr code tab Airline name. It may be manually added if new airlines appear on HFDL, but make sure you use tabs and not spaces to separate the columns.

USING THE PROGRAM

Run tile program and if you wish select the path where your PC-HFDL logs are normally kept from the Files/Options menu.

Click the 'Select PC-HFDL text file' button and select the log file you wish to view. The program will process all the messages in the file and display the data on the screen in column format. Each message in the log is displayed in order. The number of the message being processed is displayed in the box at the bottom left of the screen. Once all messages are read, they are processed (which may take a considerable time if there are thousands of messages).

A message box will appear once processing is complete to advise you that you can now Condense the sheet if you wish, but to sort items on Registration Nos. first. Condensing will remove all messages for each aircraft apart from the final one. Thus listing all aircraft heard, but in shortened form (messages with no call ie. 'NO-REG' aircraft are all kept).

When you close this box, a list of all Flight Numbers for which you do not know the route details appears. You can print this and go to a site such as http://www.flightstats.com/go/FlightTracker/flightTracker.do to search for the flight details.

There is a button 'Find Unknown ICAO' which you can click at this point, it goes through all messages and lists any ICAO codes which are NOT listed in the Aircraft.csv file. The report will often include '000000' and the various anomalies which have been reported.

You can now sort on any column to view whatever you wish from the data, and look for any unknown Registrations, these will appear with a blank aircraft type and probably no airline or ICAO code.

If you now wish to view all of your aircraft on Google Earth, sort on the Flight No. and click the 'Plot on Google Earth' button. A file named Plotsxx.kml (where xx is a number) will be produeced in your HFDL_Plotter\Google folder which if you click up on will start Google Earth and display the aircraft and routes shown on your spreadsheet (assuming of course that you have Google Earth installed correctly).

Where the aircraft is displayed as a line, then multiple plots have been received from the aircraft and its course is shown, if only a 'pin' appears then only one plot has been received. Clicking on a line or pin will display details of the flight, time of message, aircraft type, registration and route.

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©2010 Mike Simpson | Updated 19 Mar 2010