FlightAware Discussions

Airspy Mini - New investment?

It’s difficult to generalise since you aren’t comparing like with like. I was using an external lna at the antenna which is inherently better than having the lna incorporated within the dongle.

I doubt there’s much in it once you account for that difference. They both use the same ADC and receiver chips so will have broadly similar performance. I found that anywhere from 1600 to 1700 was a much more normal range to see, and it only went above that when conditions where right.


I agree and did not want to generalize this. But from the different discussions my understanding was that it’s in general pretty hard to go beyond 1300 Messages with the blue FA Stick.
The RTL-SDR seem to be different with a higher rate.

Seeing the 1800 above in the graph is surprising to me.
Maybe i give it a try with the Uputronics on my outdoor device where the Airspy currently resides

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Quick interim update from my testing.

I was able to have two receivers at the same location with a similar antenna, tested for a few hours. I also swapped the antenna in between to avoid differencies caused by them.

At my location the following things have been identified between the AirSquitter and the Airspy/Uputronics combination.

  • Both see the same aircraft. The Airspy is fetching aircraft a little earlier in the far distance. (Range 330 km to 345 km)
  • The two graphs “messages/sec” (Airspy) and “Frames/sec” (AirSquitter) are comparable
  • That results in a similar “Message/AC/Second” in relation 1:20 between ADS-B Positions and messages/sec (20 positions result in a message rate of around 400)
  • I did not have enough traffic to see which one is scaling better on higher traffic.

As stated this is valid for my location only where i have almost optimal conditions without larger obstacles or other distortions (e.g. GSM networks etc.).
It is clearly not representative as a general comparison.

Both are outperforming the blue FA stick i’ve used before, but the combination FA Stick with the Uputronics could also be a solution less expensive.
Maybe i will test it at a later time.


Map of my location.
The flight visibility is covering pretty good the max range per geography (except the small spot to the north east where my own roof is in the way).

Every further improvement cannot be made with new ADS-B equipment only, it would need a lot of excavators or dynamite :rofl:

So independent from your equipment you will reach a point with no further improvement.
That makes it important to check a location individually.

Increased traffic over here currently.
First time the Airspy was over 1400 Messages
Number of ADS-B aircraft was 82

Pretty impressive, never had this with a blue FA stick, even not with 50 more aircraft


Tomorrow i am expecting at least similar traffic and will give the AirSquitter a chance to prove the performance

Update June 15th:

Short update on my tests (all statements valid for my location only)

The Airspy and the AirSquitter are in a head to head race with a little bit of an advantage for the Airspy in regards of message rate and max range on similar conditions. But i am still not sure if this is simply a standard deviation based on the traffic

Both outperform the FA stick in almost all values, but it’s more a question of measuring not visibility of the differencies.

Looking on my stats pages for my main receiver you would not see a large deviation considering that the overall traffic has been increased the last days

Long term test is ongoing

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