Adding GPS to Raspberry Pi running PiAware / Dump1090?


I did some searching through the forums but found nothing concrete. Here’s my situation: I already have the RaspPi on the roof with its USB SDR dongle and connected to the 1090 MHz antenna. I have a USB GPS dongle and nice external GPS antenna as well, and would like to be able to monitor the GPS constellation from the house. Is there a way to add the GPS via a USB port and have the data available not only to precisely establish the ADS-B station location but also for me to use the GPS for other purposes (mostly statistics), perhaps through a network port? I am novice enough with the RaspPi to not know whether I can run other code simultaneously with the PiAware / Dump1090.

Any ideas would be helpful.

Cheers and 73 - Jon N7UV

Adding GPS to PiAware RPi2

You probably want to run something like gpsd, I would guess.
Wouldn’t see any problems with that coexisting with dump1090 et al, assuming you don’t run into USB power draw problems.

Edit: And some more detailed instructions: … pberry-pi/



using GPSD will get you basic GPS location and timing. You can also use GPS to run NTP, giving you more accurate timing. That takes extra work. See for example:

which is the best I’ve found so far and walks through things in detail.

Note that the latest and greatest kernel, 3.18, introduces dev_tree, which changes (some might say screws up) how software interacts with various interfaces such as i2c, gpio, and the like.

having something like dump1090 automagically detect the shared memory segments updated by GPSD and dealing with location information would be interesting to see…

cheers and 73

bob k6rtm


The Adafruit Ultimate GPS Hat for Raspberry Pi looks like a nice hardware option, since it may be able to fit inside of your existing case. … i?view=all


After dealing with no-name eBay GPS modules, the Adafruit Ultimate GPS (breakout or hat form) is the way to go for me – I don’t have the time to spend futzing around with the others.

bob krtm


Is there any advantage to be gained running GPS on the Pi?

  • can Dump1090 / PiAware use the GPS positional or time info (especially if the Pi time is set by NTP)?


Them GPS hats looks pretty cool. Maybe something to try.


Not currently. It would be nice to hook into gpsd if it’s there for position info. If you’re running NTP, piaware will pick up on the time indirectly via the system time.


Just one more thing to add to the to-do list. You’re up to Vol 16 now?


I got a GPS antenna USB connector to do this and there is a dearth of information on how to have
the Raspberry Pi, use that GPS information to determine the Antenna position for MLAT etc.

I wanted to put the Raspberry Pi at the mast heard, with the GPS antenna mounted as close as possible to the antenna. This might also be a way of keeping track of the GPS differential for more accurate MLAT?

Is there any software for the Raspberry Pi for a GPS dongle at the antenna?


as suggested by obj (some years ago) gpsd is the way to go.
i have an el-cheapo u-blox7 based USB gps (10$ or so) and works well with my pi.

sudo apt-get install -y gpsd
sudo apt-get install -y gpsd-clients
sudo apt-get install -y python-gps
sudo apt-get install -y libcap-dev
sudo apt-get install -y pps-tools

then in /boot/cmdline.txt add


and in /etc/rc/local add (before the exit 0)

sudo gpsd /dev/ttyACM0 -F /var/run/gpsd.sock

reboot and then, in command line run :
sudo cgps -s and if all went well, you’ll see the gps output on-screen,
or if in raspbian desktop run the app gpsmon.

flightaware auto detects and uses gpsd positions.


PiAware Location Setting NOT Available in the feeder's Configuration page

Those little u-blox7 GPS dongles are great, and the price is certainly right at around US$8 shipped.

I use them for hamradio JT modes, when away from an internet connection. Timing is everything with the JT modes.

That said, what is the advantage/need of using a GPS receiver with the RPi/Piaware combo? Internet connectivity must always be present if feeding. The location is easily set using the map on the webpage. Timing/clocking does not seem to be an issue.



Their isn’t much advantage to using a GPS receiver. We don’t use GPS for MLAT and NTP is good enough for timing.

We have seen users that put piaware inside their car and the GPS (using gspd) will update their site position on FlightAware.


Ok, thanks.

No plans to go mobile, but always open to new applications.


Can you elaborate?
Is this a present file or a new file?
you mention boot/cmdline.txt (add)
etc/rc/local add (before exit 0)

then put in command line run:
sudo cgps -s ?

Some detailed instructions would be appreciated.



after installing the software i mentioned earlier…

file : cmdline.txt is under directory/folder /boot - use to set gps as serial device/speed
open file with nano sudo nano /boot/cmdline.txt and add
file : rc.local is under directory/folder /etc - use to run automated scripts / specific files upon system boot.
open or create (if it does not exist) sudo nano /etc/rc.local and add
sudo gpsd /dev/ttyACM0 -F /var/run/gpsd.sock before the line exit 0 .

now reboot the device
so after reboot to confirm the gps is active, test it by running the following in the command line:
sudo cgps -s you’ll get a similar display


note:you can omit sudo if you are looged-in as user ‘root’

sorry cant do any more detail than this, that gift is possessed by user abcd567 :grinning:


ed1 : a nice tutorial here : []