FlightAware Discussions

[ Beginner ] - Please advise on dongle to receive both 1090Mhz and 978Mhz


my son fell in love with airplanes and we live in north Colorado near small airport. He attempt to build piaware but we realized that we have a wrong dongle ( with FC0012 tuner ).

All the recommended dongles are out of stock so would you know if this dongle with RTL2832U+R820T2 would work for both simultaneous reception of 1090Mhz and 978Mhz?

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Yes, this dongle will work for both 1090 and 978, but only one dongle will not work for both simutaneously.

For simultaneous reception, you will need 2 such dongles, connected to 2 antennas. One dongle+antenna will be used to receive1090 mhz, other dongle+antenna will be used to receive 978 mhz.

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There are quite a few options.
What you linked are actually sometimes mislabeled FC tuners you’re trying to avoid.
I believe the green RB stick is currently the best option for the price, an antenna is needed though.

No, that’s not working. You need two different dump tasks, Once one is loaded it will block the device for the other frequency

You would be much better off buying two RTL-SDR Blog brand dongles vs. those cheap TV receiver ones. They’re currently available on RTL-SDR.com’s official store on eBay for $29.95 each with free shipping. The TV tuners lack temperature compensated crystal oscillators (TCXOs) so they tend to drift off-frequency when they warm up from use. The better dongles like RTL-SDR, FlightAware, Nooelec, ADSBexchange etc. have been designed from the ground up to be radio receivers first and foremost and have TCXOs among other improvements.


@Slipstream232 You have 2 of the resident experts helping you out here, @abcd567 and @wiedehopf . It would be worth having a scroll through their previous posts for ideas on setup, programming and even making your own antenna that will be miles better than that little stock antenna in the picture. They are a fountain of knowledge and the information they have been kind enough to share will help you no end :+1:t2:

More specifically, this is not a software limitation – the rtlsdr hardware is simply not capable of receiving both 978MHz and 1090MHz at the same time. You need two dongles (or a considerably more expensive SDR and a bunch of development work)


I’m a noob as well. My set up has two of these:

If you want “easy” you can buy the kit but the antennas are kinda junk.

Then I built this for the antenna:

If you buy that kit above, you can get started right away with so-so antennas. Then maybe upgrade them later for another project to see the difference with your son.

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thank you, if we get the second dongle for 978MHz, would you know of any guide how to tell Flighaware OS on Raspberry to tune to 978MHz. I believe the 1090 is default.

1 - Serialize dongles if using UAT 978: (CLICK HERE)

If you want to recieve both ES1090 and UAT978, then two dongles are required, one for 1090 and other for 978. In this case you will have to serialize dongles so that correct dongle+antenna sets are used by dump1090-fa and dump978-fa.

For 1090 Mhz dongle: use 8-digit serial # 00001090
For 978 Mhz dongle : use 8-digit serial # 00000978

2 - Configure UAT 978


If you are using Piaware SD Card image (downloaded from Flightaware site):

sudo piaware-config uat-receiver-type sdr 

sudo piaware-config rtlsdr-device-index 00001090  

sudo piaware-config uat-sdr-device driver=rtlsdr,serial=00000978  

# Reboot Pi to implement configuration settings
sudo reboot 


If you are using Raspberry Pi OS image (downloaded from raspberrypi.org site) and have done Package Install of piaware

sudo piaware-config uat-receiver-type sdr  

sudo sed -i 's/^RECEIVER_SERIAL=.*/RECEIVER_SERIAL=00001090/' /etc/default/dump1090-fa  

sudo sed -i 's/driver=rtlsdr[^ ]* /driver=rtlsdr,serial=00000978 /' /etc/default/dump978-fa  

# Reboot Pi to implement configuration settings
sudo reboot 

3 - Check Status

sudo systemctl status piaware  
sudo systemctl status dump1090-fa  
sudo systemctl status dump978-fa  

4 - View Maps

4.1 - 1090 map

4.2 - 978 map


thank you very much Sir! We should be getting the first dongle today and if all works for 1090MHz will proceed to get the second one.

so 1090MHz is up and running and for just leaving it in WIndow getting very nice signal

tried Quick Spider antenna yesterday but it did not go well. Will try again later this weekend.

A DIY spider should easily outperform this generic antenna.

What you can also try is removing the tip of the antenna and replace it with a wire in the correct length.

@abcd567 did offer already some construction hints in the forum.

thank you, this is not generic antenna it is dedicated 1090MHz antenna from Amazon ( ~9$ )

I saw the @abcd567 post and I`m trying to follow it. First try ended poorly.

this is with the 2.5dbi antenna in window and it looks great. So hoping with better Spinder and under roof could get better results

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This requires using a thin wire so that it can be easily wrapped over brass stud of magnetic base of the antenna.

Thin steel tie wire, or one wire of a scrap network cable, will do the job. Both are about 0.5 mm dia. Please see photos below.

Do NOT use a thick or stiff wire as it will be hard to wrap around the brass screw of base, and applying force to wrap it may cause screw to break away from base. I have broken away one screw from base when trying to wrap TV Coax (RG6) core wire. This wire looks copper, but is actually made of steel of 1mm dia, coated with copper. :slightly_frowning_face:


PICTURE-1: Dimensions


PICTURE-2: Shows thin steel tie wire roll besides the unscrewed whip


PICTURE-3: Shows thin multiple wires inside a scrap network cable. One of the wires with insulation removed will be OK

RG45 cable



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I have on of those antennas and they perform better than expected indoors. Tried other generic ones, even the lambda/2 one that @abcd567 shows and they are not better.
Of course, the real deal is the Flightaware antenna, installed outdoors.

That coiled antenna, from second story indoors, behind the window glass gets this results:

About 150 miles with FA’s filtered and amplified receiver dongle.

Thank you Sir for sharing, this looks great.

Question: How did you setup the view with all aircraft information on the left?

This map is NOT from dump1090-fa/skyaware.
It is from another app called “tar1090

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@wiedehopf member created this:
wiedehopf/tar1090: Provides an improved webinterface for use with ADS-B decoders readsb / dump1090-fa (github.com)

PS: That’s my son’s installation, 3000 miles away from me, viewed over Internet with ZeroTier networking.

Gentlemen! thank you very much for your great assistance. Second dongle arrived and we are up and running including the new UI.

Next we will have to finetune maybe better antenna and location in attic.

@wiedehopf quick question, what does the Persistence Mode do? When ON it adds quite a few planes