FlightAware Discussions

Boys need new toys

First of all thanks to my wife not complaining while i am buying new suff every few months for a useless hobby (her words).

Today i’ve put my newest toy in operation, the Jetvision Air!Squitter.
Some of the FA users are using it already.

The device itself is based on Xunlong Orange Pi Zero with a SD card. This card can be flashed directly via USB cable without removing it.
Operating system is Debian 10.4 with kernel 5.4.11-1
It is the little brother of Radarcape, missing a few features. But it includes a built in Wifi-Client and a front LCD with basic functionality (e.g. reset config, restart network etc)

The device itself is in a high quality metal case, on the rear there are typical connections

  • Antenna (ADS-B + GPS combined)
  • USB for external storage
  • USB-C for direct access via PC
  • LAN access
  • WiFi Antenna

The setup is done in less than five minutes (As long as you are not as stupid as me limiting the router to known devices only which i have forgotten to disable).
It can be used out of the box for FA, FR24, OpenSky and ADSBx. Other clients can be configured.
For the external ports providing the Beast/RAW Data, a seperate key needs to be bought.

Below some pics. MLAT is showing 0 because the key for it is pending. I did not order the FLARM option, because it means +120 Euro extra.

Major Question: Does it perform better than a Raspi? Possibly yes, as long as no Airspy is used. Do you need it? No Do i want to have it? Yes :slight_smile:

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Namely actually using the raw data as you like.
If i’m not misinformed.

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Yes, this is one of them. The ports for it are not open, so i am currently not able to feed my VRS. But i can live for now with that.

What i also did not find so far is my receiver at ADSBx
From the log it’s feeding, but i have no clue about the feeder name.

I will find this as well :smiley:

Statement in Wiki:
Air!Squitter and Radarcape both share the same featureset, so you can look up the versatile features in our Radarcape description. The only exception for Air!Squitter is availability of TCP and UDP data streams (raw data, Port 30003 and JSON streaming) is limited for the commercial version.

It’s only feeding ADS-B, they didn’t add MLAT support for adsbx.

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OK, thanks. No problem, there’s still my Raspi running with lower performance

Some ports are open locally:


I’d love to see the internals :face_with_monocle:

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Fun fact:

The GPS has registered “EDEL” as next airport.
This is an airport with a 295ft “runway”.

I passed this several times by bike. Looks more like a streched soccer field.
I was even not aware that this airport is listed as such.

Maybe there’s a picture somewhere. I will not open it as long as it’s under warranty

That’s beast. (beast protocol was defined by those guys)
Curious i thought the AirSquitter didn’t expose that.

Or did you get the commercial license? :stuck_out_tongue:

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No, i did not. That would exceed the patience of my wife :flushed:

I assume the ports are open for local connections only, not via network. But at 10:30pm i am too tired to verify that. Maybe the next days.
Meanwhile i’ve received my MLAT access key and it works as expected.:slight_smile:

Nice information page locally, as there is no such status on FA:

Aren’t hobbies by their very nature useless?
And expensive?

Over the 30 years we have been married, my wife has put up with golf, competitive bowling (10 pins), Touring motorcycle, all things computer (I actually run a fully functional domain in my house - everyone has a user account, group policies, Exchange Server with Outlook email, authoritative DNS, a couple of web servers, FTP, 3 Linux servers, 1 RPI, etc), running, and now this.

Golf costs clubs, balls, grees fees, cart rentals…
Bowling has new balls, shoes, tournament entries, travel to tournaments…
The motorcycle needs maintenance, repairs, upgrades, fuel, hotel rooms…
Computers need more computers, (duh!)
Running needs shoes, specialty clothes, entry fees, medical care (:grinning:)…
This hobby needs almost nothing - I think I have right at $200 invested. That’s 2 pair of running shoes. A day on the road on the bike. One bowling ball. A Windows 10 license. My wife is THRILLED with how little I spend on this!

Funny side story - back when I was running a lot, I went to pick up my race packet for the marathon I was going to run the next day. When I got home, my wife noticed that I had bought a new pair of running shorts while I was there. She looks at the price tag and says “50 bucks?!?!?! I thought this was going to be an inexpensive hobby!!!” I said “Honey, there ARE no inexpensive hobbies!”

Anyway, congrats on the new toy!


As I tell my wife (of 44 years)
“He who dies with the most toys - wins!”

I’m trying hard to keep up on my pension and she doesn’t complain too much :wink:

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It is quite an expensive toy too.

Does it do anything useful or is it just pretty with flashing lights? :rofl:

My first Raspberry Pi took less than 2 hours for me to work out how to put it together and have it feeding Flightaware.

I like that Jetvision says Your SDR dongle solution is too complex? I’s prone to error and does not work stably enough?

That first Pi is up in the roof running image version 3.5.3 (because I like that layout of Skyview).

I’ve changed the original generic dongle for a V3 and added a filter but everything else is still original including the microSD card.

1512 day streak seems to indicate that it is quite reliable, is not prone to error and was not too complex, although I think some of the enthusiast on this board have made it somewhat more complex by added features and changing the UI to suit their fancy. This is great but not my interest.

Will a proprietary solution such as this one from Jetvision allow such customization or is it more aimed for commercial users who just want to sit it in the corner and run for ever?


We are currently in lockdown trying to stop the virus spreading and my overseas trips have been cancelled including the trip to Patagonia to view the 12/2020 Total Eclipse of the Sun. I have the money from the trip burning a hole in my pocket.

So, now tell me why I need one.


It depends on the hobby. My wife is spinning (two wheels at home plus a bunch of hand spindles), knitting (two sets of expensive needle sets), weaving (one weaving frame), plus one carding device and (of course) three different types of knitting machines.

You don’t want to know how many Air!Squitter you can buy for it :slightly_smiling_face:

But at the end she is producing something useful, directly from the sheep.

I think she’s fine because i do not spend money on other stuff like Golf, Motorcycles, classic cars etc.

Ehm… wait… (thinking)… No. And even the flashing lights are off after a few minutes. :slight_smile:
It’s more like playing around with the ADS-B stuff.

You’re right for that money i could have bought an Airspy Mini with LNA and Filter.
But i am a big fan of beeing off from the mainstream :slight_smile:

You do not

Then my wife would win. She has even a dedicated room in our home for all her toys.

My wife does, too - it’s called “our home”. Sometimes, she lets me put some of my stuff in it! :crazy_face:


Wow, you’re a lucky man. In the room of my wife there is absolutely nothing which belongs to me…
But sometimes there comes something out of the room for me like linen shirts for summer or hiking socks.
(the last things were face masks due to COVID-19 we have to wear)

During that time i produced… nothing except mess on the balcony with all that antennas and cabling.

Fun Fact: The device setup is documented with “Jan 1st. 1970”
Yepp, that was me in the age of nine years. I was pretty progressive knowing that ADS-B will become popular at some time.


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And if someone asking about the power consumption: It’s less than the Raspberry 3B

I would expect it to have low consumption given it’s base. Add an OLED, an SDR, a GPS and presumably on top of Armbian… That’s why I am more than curious to see the guts, but I also understand not wanting to open it up. I’m all about toys myself, so no foul there. I’ve spent more $$ on junk for my hobbies (this one included) I can’t see straight, so hat’s off.

I do wonder however…what advantage does it supply apart from being more or less a turn-key solution at a premium? I say premium since Jetvision doesn’t let loose of anything for reasonable prices, sorry to say.

I stated this above already. It can give a better performance, but this needs to be verified individually. Beside that it’s just playing around with new toys, it’s not necessarily the search for an advantage

But this question is in many cases hypothetical when it comes to brands and features.

I understand the new toy thing, not downplaying the fun factor. I just found this portion interesting from their site:

Currently we’re quite often asked if there is a dongle inside the Air!Squitter? No, there isn’t!

The ADS-B receiver section of the Air!Squitter is equal to the Mode-S Beast and Radarcape. Both based on a FPGA and highly optimized SDR algorithm. Just we left some options away, like video out and antenna diversity.
A dongle based receiver never reaches the sensitivity of our receiver, and it never provides high precision Multilateration, because it has no GPS timestamps.

Just for the FLARM option we’re using a dongle in parallel, and even here not just the cheap R820T2 dongle but the significantly better RTL-SDR dongle.

The FPGA would explain the cost away, so basically all demodulation is done on hardware vs. software. There are certainly advantages to that. I was hoping you’d be able to sell me more. LOL. (I have no interest, but always curious)