FlightAware Discussions

Do you guys bring ADSB gear to your trips?

I was wondering if some of you guys bring ADSB portable equipment to your trips. I’ve been avoiding it if I travel air due to bad experiences with customs people. (I used to bring lots of radio stuff)

I have taken a Pi, a dongle, a power supply and a portable antenna that is usually either taped to a window or strung up in a courtyard on three trips last year to Vietnam, Cambodia, Bali Indonesia and Phuket in Thailand.

Never had anyone take any notice of it at all.

Radio stuff has got attention in the past but I always make sure I carry licence documentation for the country i am visiting translated into the local language. Some countries it is easier not too carry radio equipment that I am not licensed to use.


I always carry my NooElec ADS-B receiver dongle and flightaware ModeS filter together with my laptop. For Antenna I bring along DIY Cantenna (I disassemble and put in the luggage so noone think it is an antenna). I bring along 6ft RG6 cable (wind the cable seperately in small circle), 6ft USB cable to connent Laptop and ADS-B receiver(so that I can put Antenna near the window and I dont need to sit near the window with my laptop) and 2-1" pvc pipe Tee connector as a Antenna stand) so that you can put Cantenna on one end and take the Cable out from the side 1" connector hole and you can put the PVC connector on the table as an Antenna stand near the window. Noone think that these are radio related equipment. They think ADS-B dongle as Big size Thumb Drive!. If you bring along commercial whip Antenna than the custom people or security might think it is for walkie -talkie or HF-VHF transceiver which was not allowed to use by civilian in most of the countries. All the best. 401-420 (The length of the pvc connector is about 5inches)

So well I have never hard problems with the handhelds or SDRs. I have had problems with some VHF whips that extend.

But transporting the cantenna diassembled sounds like a good idea.

Picture below shows my laptop on which I have built “Handy Spider” right over the SMA connector of Pro Stick. Used a 90° USB bend to keep Pro Stick vertical.

The Laptop’s Hard Drive has Windows & Ubuntu (dual boot). Pictures below shows laptop booted by Ubuntu on which dump1090-fa and piaware are installed.

The lap top need not have Linux on its Hard Drive. It can be booted from a USB Flash memory stick on which Raspbian x86 .iso is written, and dump1090-fa & piaware are installed on it.

The .iso can be downloaded from here:


4 radials made using two pieces of steel tie wire. More than 1 turn over sma female’s barrel can be provided for better hold



Used Steel Tie Wire to make radials and whip of "Handy-Spider"


Wires from a scrap network cable can also be used to make radials & whip of "Handy-Spider"