FlightAware Discussions

ADS-B Antenna not picking up aircraft

Hi there,

I recently installed the ‘ADS-B Project’ with dump1090-fa on my Raspberry Pi 1B (Raspbian Stretch) with an antenna I bought from AliExpress. I had a plane passing over about 15 miles away and the antenna did not seem to pick it up whatsoever. I have ran the ‘RTL Test’ and here are the results:

Found 1 device(s):
0: Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U OEM
usb_claim_interface error -6
Failed to open rtlsdr device #0.

If anyone else has any idea on what I can do to resolve this, that would be great. Am I missing any drivers or do I have a faulty antenna? Let me know please.

Seem to be that the device is already in use by a different process. Or it’s simply not working.

The only ‘program’ I have on my Pi is the PiAware/FR24 feed. Unsure what else it would be in use with.

Here is the pi-aware status logs:

PiAware master process (piaware) is running with pid 433.
PiAware ADS-B client (faup1090) is running with pid 661.
PiAware ADS-B UAT client (faup978) is not running.
PiAware mlat client (fa-mlat-client) is not running.
Local ADS-B receiver (dump1090-fa) is running with pid 310.

dump1090-fa (pid 310) is listening for connections on port 30005.
no program appears to be listening for connections on port 30978.
faup1090 is connected to the ADS-B receiver.
faup978 is NOT connected to the ADS-B UAT receiver.
piaware is connected to FlightAware.

got ‘couldn’t open socket: connection refused’
dump1090 is producing data on localhost:30005.

You’ll need to stop dump1090 (sudo systemctl stop dump1090-fa) before running rtl_test.

I see. Other than that, would tuning the ‘stock’ antenna to 69mm work better?

It depends - which antenna did you purchase from AliExpress? Some are much better than others and without knowing, tough to answer other than maybe telling you to test them side by side the best you can. Location, noise, antenna height, etc are all determining factors to consider. IE a stock antenna on your roof will more than likely perform better than the best antenna sitting on your desk, so much to consider to get to a black and white answer.

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Place your magnetic base antenna on a metallic plate or food can, and you will notice good improvement. In addition if the plate or can is made of iron/steel, the magnetic base will cling to it and hold the antenna upright.


Welcome to the forum.

Is ‘ADS-B Project’ somebody’s image or set of instructions?
Suggest you start with the FA PiAware image - it will work ‘out of the box’. You can then start to play and customize once you are confident everything is working.

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I think he’s referring to the meanwhile outdated project which hasn’t been updated quite a while.

Never understood why people install random ‘projects’, then expect tech support from this forum.

Any chance of a pic?
Is it a single straight wire, two with with a coil etc?

I think because this one is the most frequented one and you’re getting the fastest answer.:wink:

That’s fair.
Perhaps there needs to be a a separate thread for “Competitor / alternative systems”

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Yes maybe.
But the main connect of this discussion board is to Flightaware. We should be at least glad that they do not delete threads related to other systems. I’ve seen this several times in other boards (not flight related)

Yeah, I’ve installed this system as you can install FR24 feed on it as well, and as I’m quite a ‘new’ person to this, I found it to be a rather easy install process. Would it be possible to install the FR24 feed on top of the FA image then?

Here’s the product page if it is any help: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000995185570.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.3ee94c4dJDYlun

I’ve got it sat on a windowsill at the moment. Here’s the product page for reference: https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4000995185570.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.3ee94c4dJDYlun

Still a bit unclear what this system is but the suggestion from @geckoVN to start with the Flightaware image is by far the easiest, most basic and it should just work. If it does not work then it is the easiest to debug and the easiest to get support on this discussion board.

Then, once you are feeding Flightaware there are instructions on this board to add feeds to all the other aggregators.

Get the easy stuff working first.

Good luck,


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Thanks, I’m going to wipe my SD Card and see if the official FA image gives me any results.

Once you do, log in to https://flightaware.com/adsb/stats/user/Banham and set your location.