Are you having trouble getting Virtual Radar Server installed and running? If so then this is the place to ask about it.
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Post by agw » Sun Nov 03, 2013 9:20 pm

These instructions are out of date as of version 2.3. That version introduced online aircraft detail lookups, which solves a few of the problems that people were having with having to obtain a BaseStation.sqb and keeping it up to date.

I've kept the thread here but it's no longer sticky - basically if you want to get the reports working and you don't have a BaseStation.sqb then make sure you're running version 2.3, download and install the Database Writer plugin, create a new BaseStation.sqb with it and tick the box to tell it to save online lookups to your BaseStation.sqb.

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If you're finding that the aircraft's registrations aren't appearing in Virtual Radar Server, or that the silhouettes and operator flags aren't appearing, or that when you run the reports they've got nothing in them, then you probably don't have a BaseStation.sqb database file configured.

Aircraft do not transmit their registration, nor their model type or any information about who owns them. The only bit of identifying information that they transmit is their Mode-S code, also known as the ICAO or ICAO24 code, which is a unique number assigned to each aircraft. For Virtual Radar Server to work from that to the registration, operator, manufacturer and model type you need a lookup database. The one that Virtual Radar Server uses is BaseStation.sqb, which is an SQLite database file that was dreamt up by Kinetics.

VRS does not come with a BaseStation.sqb, you need to supply your own. If you have a Kinetics radio then you already have the database. If you don't then there are a few pre-populated databases knocking around on the Internet:

Option 1 - download Kinetic's pre-populated database
You can't do this any more, the link on their site is broken.

Option 2 - download the SBS-Resources installer and fish the database out of that
The Windows installer (no Linux or Mac version available) is here:
It's a big installer and it takes a while to do its thing, but once it's finished you should have a folder on your C drive called C:\SBS-Resources.
In there you should have a folder called C:\SBS-resources\Files\Registration. In that folder is a pre-populated BaseStation.sqb.

Looks like this site has disappeared, at the moment it's going to a non-functioning "domain name for sale" page... :(

Option 3 - download BaseStation.sqb from the VirtualRadarServer site
You can download a BaseStation.sqb from here: ...
That file is mostly UK aircraft, so if you're not in the UK you will probably only see details for international flights.

If anyone knows where you can download a BaseStation.sqb with more aircraft in it then please let me know.

Go into Tools | Options and select the Data Sources page.
In section 4, Aircraft Data, click on item 4.1 "Database Filename". You should see a ... button appear. Click that, navigate to your BaseStation.sqb and select it.

That's the database configured. If you've downloaded SBS-Resources then you can also set the silhouettes and operator flags folders in the same page. The folders for them are:
4.2 Flags folder = C:\SBS-resources\Files\OperatorLogos
4.3 Silhouettes folder = C:\SBS-resources\Files\SilhouettesLogos

Click OK on the options screen to get VRS to save your changes. VRS will immediately start using the database and you should start seeing them on the web site.

BaseStation.sqb records details about the aircraft and details about the flights. The reports are just reporting on the flights in BaseStation.sqb. If you have a Kinetics radio then the BaseStation program that came with the radio will be recording details about the flights, but if you don't and you're using a pre-populated BaseStation.sqb then there are no flight details in there and the reports are going to be empty.

If you are in this situation then you need to install the Database Writer Plugin for VRS. You can download it from here:

Quit VRS before installing it. After installing it restart VRS and go to Tools | Plugins. Find the Database Writer plugin and click Options.

Tick "Enabled" and, if you are using a pre-populated database, remove the tick from "Only update databases that this plugin created".

Click OK.

From now on VRS will create flight records in your BaseStation.sqb and you will be able generate reports from them. Note that it mimics the behaviour of the Kinetics program - in particular the end of a flight is not recorded until 25 minutes after the last message is received from an aircraft.

Having a pre-populated database is fine but after a while you're going to see aircraft that aren't in the database. What you need is a program that will run in the background and will periodically check the database for new aircraft, fetch the details for the new aircraft from a web site and write those details back to your database. There are a couple of programs that will do this (both Windows-only), both by Gatwick Aviation Society: SBSPopulate and AD. Unfortunately SBSPopulate has been retired, you used to be able to get the installer for it from SBS-Resources but it appears that they've stopped doing that. There are two versions of AD - I think the free "Lite" version *might* do auto-updates of databases but I've a feeling that it's only the subscription "full" version that does it. I don't know, I've not tried either - I use SBSPopulate:

Full version (pay-for):
Lite version (free):

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Re: [STICKY] BaseStation.sqb

Post by Jester » Sun Mar 23, 2014 10:51 am

To add,

SBSPopulate has been retired (even if you still have the software, it wont work any longer)

With AD Lite you can auto-update your database (with VRS and the databasewriter plugin installed)

With AD full you can go back into your database and update/populate unknowns etc.

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Re: [STICKY] BaseStation.sqb

Post by RoSi » Mon Mar 24, 2014 11:37 pm

@Jester: I did try AD Lite, but without success. Will it be possible to write some small how-to about updating VRS BaseStation.sqb with AD Lite please?

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Re: [STICKY] BaseStation.sqb

Post by Jester » Tue Mar 25, 2014 8:30 am

RoSi wrote:@Jester: I did try AD Lite, but without success. Will it be possible to write some small how-to about updating VRS BaseStation.sqb with AD Lite please?
I though it was posted before, however, its pretty simple, you tell VRS where your basestation.sqb is in the setup, then you download and install the database writing plugin, so VRS update the database, then you install AD lite/full pointing to the Basestation.sqb location and it should all work.

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Re: [STICKY] BaseStation.sqb

Post by mezoo » Sun May 18, 2014 5:36 pm

Unfortunately ADLite dooes not work directly with VRS.
It is reported that only the full version can do that.

You should read the last posts in the following thread to find a work around to get ADLite to run ... 3&start=30

Basically you have to trick ADLite into thinking that it is connected to a SBS via Basestation.exe
Looks complicated but its not.


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Re: [STICKY] BaseStation.sqb

Post by hatter1951 » Mon May 19, 2014 11:17 pm

I have been giving VR a try as an alternative to BaseStation which i cannot get to work on my dongle. Following this thread and the various instructions I got it to work virtually first time albeit with a bit of re-reading and doing what it said and NOT what i thought it said. Many thanks and well done. :D

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Re: [STICKY] BaseStation.sqb

Post by lyndale » Sun Nov 16, 2014 4:23 am

This worked for me. Wish I had found it earlier. Would have saved lots of headaches re the string to integer conversion error. I was initially feeding data into ADLite from modeSmixer. ADLite seems to be VERY picky. Feeding ADLite from basestation.exe seems to be trick.

From: ... 3&start=40
IntensiVuS wrote:
I've been fighting with ADlite for countless hours to get it to work without the infamous integer error but with no luck.

the modesmixer2 application was the key to get it working.

ADLite is VERY picky on the format of the data it receives. One would think that getting a basestation format feed would be enough to get ADLite going. In fact it is, but only for a very short time before it pops up with the String "" to integer error.

The only way it works is to let the basestation.exe program receive the data from vrs, rtl1090, dump1090 or whatever "basestation feed creator" you use. This doesnt work with just serving a basestation format feed to the basestation application. Now the modesmixer2 program comes in. It converts the basestation feed data (from VRS, rtl1090, dump1090 etc) to the format the basesstation.exe program can receive. When the basesstation.exe program shows the planes, connect ADlite to the port basestation.exe sends out (which is 30003 default) and hit the play/run button. woohoo, planes get listed and updated without errors.

To me it seems the basestation.exe program does something to the data that ADLite really needs. Probably converting empty numeric data (interpreted as an empty string ""by ADLite) to a 0 so ADLite doesnt get mucked up.

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Re: [STICKY] BaseStation.sqb

Post by brennan74 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:34 pm

[did you ever have any luck with basestation? i spent a week messing with it only to go back to VRS. could not get modesdeco2 to get going.

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Re: [STICKY] BaseStation.sqb

Post by brennan74 » Sat Oct 17, 2015 10:36 pm

Anyone come up with places to go to et more logos/flags?

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Re: [STICKY] BaseStation.sqb

Post by brennan74 » Tue Oct 20, 2015 2:17 pm

Yes about the same here. Just wish i could ge the military logos to show more, i.e. units etc, you have any luck with that?

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