FlightAware Discussions

Coverage Distribution

Here is a link to the message.

Now it’s showing, and my count is just over 35,000.

I just wish the color choices used in the coverage distribution plot were better. The lightest blue has very poor contrast, quite hard to see.

I bet that’s on purpose to stimulate you to improve your antenna :wink:

A fat lot of good a better antenna does us out in the wilderness where there isn’t a lot of traffic at times. :wink:

I wish the coverage distribution pie (and collection data, for that matter) would be archived so we could see more than the current day (or week, collection data). Any plans to do this?

Ok I add the following wish under the christmas tree :

An animated coverage distribution to be able to see how distribution evolves across days of the week, hours of the day, day of the month, month of the year…

Anyone know how the colour banding on the Coverage Distribution chart works ?

In PP, there is a Signal strength field which I assume generates this data. So for example.

0-10 : Light Blue
11-20 : Blue
21-30 : etc

I have aircraft fly so close to me and the best I get in PP is 70 or so signal strength and lots of light blue on the graph.

Thoughts ?

Pretty sure it is just number of positions.

It is number of positions. If you hover your mouse over the color move information will pop up for that segment.

The colors are just determined by the number of positions. Each block on the chart represents a certain distance range (e.g., 150-200nm) within a certain direction (e.g., SW). If you hover over a specific block on the chart, a pop-up will tell you how many positions were seen in that distance range in that direction.

The color of the block is determined by this number, with the color trending towards a dark red to indicate the regions of heaviest activity and a very light blue to indicate regions of the least activity.

Thank you guys for the quick response.

I have looked at this and have checked my SW position at 100-150 miles and have 40-50% more positions than others in my area however the colour chart is completely different.

Are there other factors ?

Here are screen shots of my PP and two others nearby.




Both of these feeders have similar positions reported (granted 25% of mine S at <50nm) however the remainder should produce different colour schemes. I am PP1 in the above URLs. You can see different colour schemes for the SW position with 3218(PP1), 2314(PP2) and 2431(PP3) positions respectively.

Thoughts ?


Any thoughts ?

Check out my ADSB stats link.


Make sure your home location is set accurately in your planeplotter configuration. That location is used to compute the center of the coverage graph.

Yes, I have checked the location and its set correctly.

Is there a key to the colour wheel ?

ie : 1-2499 positions = Light Blue , 2500-3499 = Blue, etc ?

Can someone please share ?

There isn’t an absolute color scale that’s used for the coverage charts. Instead, the scale is calibrated for each specific feeder. In short, it looks at the maximum number of positions seen by the feeder for any of the radial blocks, and based on that it interpolates (in HSL) between two extreme colors (light blue, dark red) to find the color for a given radial block.

Ah, that makes perfect sense to the chart now.

Given that 25% of my positions are at South <50nm, the next most plotted position area is SSW <50nm but only 7%.

Thank you for your help ZPCONN.


Late update. I saw your location was a km from where I grew up and your local airport was the Channel9 helipad.
I can here them take off when I talk to my mum in the morning(I can hear them on her phone). I loved watching them land at channel9, SBS and RNSH.
I even got my Helo licence in 2002.
(I worked at the FoodPlus on Penshurst st in the mid 1980s)

You have a great setup. I get more reports with my antenna at 3feet/1m, however, I am in the busy NYC area.
I often get 300 messages per second, however, 99% of my traffic is less than 60 miles.
I may need to use direction antennas when I move the setup to my attic(about 20 feet/6m higher)

What type of antenna do you have to get contacts out to 300 miles?

My stats are at flightaware.com/adsb/stats/user/ … tats-17245

Your handle is apt. Go Chucky!

Have a look at ads-b-flight-tracking-f21/three-easy-diy-antennas-for-beginners-t20177.html

if you want more still…

Have a look at ads-b-flight-tracking-f21/new-inexpensive-1090mhz-antenna-for-sale-t35561.html

Putting up a more sensitive antenna also means you may get interference from local cellphone towers - if this is problem - then you might need a filter to eliminate those signals

Thanks Peter.

I was more interested in the actual setup in that particular location. I grew up there(about a km from this location) and fly in Aus every year or two. I have a few friends that may setup Piawares in Sydney too.

I will probably add a commercial 5-7db antenna in my attic. I may also add a second dongle with a yagi pointed out to see to extend my coverage in one direction. I’'l only run mlat on the vertical so it can all be done on one RPI2(I only want to run a shielded cat5e to the attic and power it with a POE to USB device.

I have been a HAM for years so am familiar with antenna and cable theory.