Altering Flightfeeder Orange

I have an Orange Flightfeeder on another account. It’s a few years old. I have thought about cracking the case and adding 978.

Has anyone done this?


A flightfeeder is owned and maintained by flightaware and operates on a custom software image.
As such, hardware or software alterations to rhw device are not to be done.

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Ask them for a FF setup for 978. They sent one to me in addition to the 1090 one.

As long as the unit is returned upon request…I don’t see why I can’t add 978. I have requested a 978 Feeder and FA did not want to send one. It’s nothing more than a Raspberry Pi in what seems like a custom made case.

Keep in mind that you do not own the Flightfeeder. If you want 978 capability, build your own.

AND the device runs a custom software image that you don’t have admin rights to access…
If you change the software image, device wont run correctly.
Suggest you discuss further with the owner of the device (Flightaware) and they will advise you the same details:

As others poster suggested, if you want to experiment with 978, put in another request for a 978 unit, or possibly build one.

The restrictions put on equpment supplied free of cost by all adsb sites are almost identical and justified.

I started adsb hobby in 2013 when it was very easy for me to get free equipment from Flightaware, Flightradar24, Radarbox24 and Planefinder, but I never requested their equipment.

I experimented with purchased & DIY equipment and free software. Till today all my hardware is either purchased or DIY. This way I have not lost my freedom and flexibility to modify my hardware & software at my will.


I’m gonna hack it. If FA wants their feeder they can ask for it. I’ll send it back and if I don’t…My guess is that they aren’t going to sue over $150 in property.

Yeah, please don’t mess with the hardware/software. If you’re not willing to host it unmodified, please mail to arrange a return. (Consider this “asking for it [back]”). Or feel free to request a separate 978 flightfeeder, or build your own …



I’m good. I’ll do what I want. FA can request the feeder if they want it back. Otherwise if FA doesn’t like what I am doing they can sue…Which they won’t do.

@mtflightfeeder, it seems you haven’t understood. @obj “is” FlightAware".
(and FlightAware have now asked for it back)


FYI - They have now asked for it back…



@MTFlightfeeder does not have the feeder in question. So, FlightAware has not requested their feeder back. FlightAware has not given the account hosting the feeder Notice. They have not stated any violations of their terms of service. Therefore, FA can inform the account of their request and send a shipping label.

At the end of the day FA is sending out hardware they know they cannot control and cannot ever expect to reclaim in an economically viable way.

Moreover, why wouldn’t FA want hardware ‘hacked’ and made better? It seems to me that FA would want people to add features all the time. Everything FA uses is open source so for FA to claim violations of IP is kind of laughable.

@mtflightfeeder, you are being an ass and you know it.
The physical hardware is owned by FA and it was supplied after certain conditions were agreed to.

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@geckoVN You may call me what you want. That is fine. The fact is that while there are agreements in place those agreements may not be economically enforced. That is life. It’s not being anything other than realistic. FA has a model. So far that seems to be to throw hardware out into the wild without any real way of reclaiming that opensource cheap hardware…Again. What damages can FA show by an account adding features to a feeder?

My original question stands. Has anyone cracked a FlightFeeder Orange and added 978?

If FA wants to try to show they have been damaged by getting additional data…when they are a company that relies on gathering data over hardware that costs less than the filing fees to bring suit that would be pretty bad PR.

The short answer about “why don’t you want this?” – FlightFeeders are a managed device and if you mess with the hardware and software, it becomes harder to remotely manage them. For a self-managed device, go nuts! But for the FlightFeeders - part of my job is looking after these and poking at them when something goes wrong, and that gets substantially harder if there are random hardware/software modifications that I don’t know about. Is the lack of a rtlsdr device on the USB bus because the cable or radio hardware has failed, or because you’ve unplugged it? Are the random reboots because of a power supply issue, or a real software bug in the standard image, or because you’ve added software that ends up running the system out of memory? Is a remote upgrade failing because of a network issue, or a sdcard fault, or a real problem with the upgrade path, or because the upgrade was never tested against the extra stuff you’ve installed?

I mean, I can’t stop you from stealing the hardware (and we expect to lose some fraction of our hardware to losses in shipping, hardware failure, repurposed hardware, outright fraud – it’s a cost of maintaining the network). But please don’t do that – this is why we can’t have nice things. If there are enough bad actors out there, eventually it won’t be worthwhile sending out more hardware, and I don’t think anyone wins if that happens.


So what are you going to use as second antenna, receiver? I found out that two receivers on the Pi USB is too much.
That’s why I have asked for a separate FF for 978. Plus FA sent me an extra antenna, tuned for that exact frequency.

Although, based on your comments about other people property respect, I don’t think they will send you anything more.