FlightAware Discussions

Adafruit USB dongle. Any good?

I see that RS are selling a nice little dongle, with the appropriate RTL2832+R820T chipset.
Is this any good for FlightAware?

I’m thinking about making a portable receiver and this little thing could save some space.

Adafruit USB 24MHz Software Defined Radio (SDR) Dongle - 1497 RS Stock No. 124-5461



It would work, but you would likely get much better performance with one of Flightaware’s Flight Stick Plus dongles, since it has a filter and pre-amp built in. If you only want it for ADS-B reception, then it’s worth spending the few extra pounds, and the slightly larger size is also a worthwhile tradeoff.

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If you have to have a low form factor, use the Stratux one available here:

For mobile use range is probably less important so pretty much any dongle should do.
Still wouldn’t use a whip antenna or at least cut the whip antenna to length.

Adafruit Software Defined Radio Receiver USB Stick

This USB stick and aerial brings radio to your computer. Listen in to radio signals across a wide frequency range from 24 MHz to 1850 MHz.

Frequency range?

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I don’t want to derail this thread, but I have a question on this statement.

I am pretty new to this stuff, and started out by buying this antenna, which was linked from the “Build your own ADSB” page on FlightAware: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013S8B234/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

It seems to work ok-ish, I see planes out to 80-100nm pretty consistently, and depending on the time of day/day of week, anywhere from 0-40 or so aircraft at any given time.

Is this antenna actually not suitable for my use case? Should I be cutting it down to a shorter length?

Currently, I have it installed in a north-facing window on the second floor of my house, sitting on top of a quart sized paint can.

Thanks for any tips you can provide.

Had a similar antenna.

Unscrewed the whip and used a shorter 1/4 wave whip made from wire.
That improved performance.

So i would say, no this antenna is not made for 1090 MHz despite the description.
Don’t know why people selling this antenna advertise it as 1090 MHz.



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