Dump 1090 FA or READSB?

With all the work occuring with Airspy R2 and mini, there are often comments about the 2 “common” systems (would you call ADSB or READSB a system?? For this post I shall) being used. I am curious to know what percentage of people use which system and why. The only thing I ask initially with this post, if the “creators” or perhaps persons with a lot of development of of either systems refrain from commenting at this time. I shall open that up to them later, to spin why their baby is best!!! I am after pure users of either, to voice an opinion on what differences they have found between the 2 and what leads them to particularly run as their system of choice. Are there things you might not be able to do if choosing one over the other. I suppose like in a comparison review, you can do this on this one, but not on the other one etc etc. Has such a review all ready been done, in comparing point by point what the differences are???

The reason for asking this is at the moment, I have only used ADSB, but keep looking at the info on READSB and wondering if I should give it a try. So fellow users, convince me if I need to change and why. :slight_smile: Thanks ahead for your contributions.

ADSB is the abbreviation for the system itself

readsb is an alternative for decoding messages coming from the different sources and can replace dump1090-fa

I would assume you’re talking about the two different decoders. From the result it should not matter while using an Airspy, because both are working then in net-only mode

What exactly do you want to achieve?

I think you have answered my question in one. It is the decoders then I am curious about.

A simple answer then, doesn’t matter which one with Airspy. So there will be no difference with ADSB and READSB in the end result of your detecting. So does an Airspy only work in net-only mode? What other “modes” in our hobby are there?

Leads me to a next question, if you are using the rtl-sdr, like flightaware prostick, they are not in net-only mode?? But is there a difference in using the 2 different decoders with the dongles? So in re phasing my question, when or is there a difference between the 2 decoders, working with what. I take it there must be a difference somewhere which is why some prefer one decoder over the other , a bit like a CHEVROLET, TOYOTA AND FORD MODEL followers in Nascar.

You still did not answer what you mean with ADSB

There are only

  • dump1090-fa (the one from Flightaware)
  • readsb (an alternative to dump, mainly provided by wiedehopf

as decoders (beside a few others not used that often)

No, both can adress the dongle directly. Only for the Airspy (or probably others), there is an additional driver required which delivers the data to one of these decoders

No, see the above answer

Not really that much difference. It’s more a flavor you prefer.
With the new Flightaware 6.x there comes dump1090-fa. This decoder does have adaptive gain control which readsb does not have.

correct, some prefer BMW, others a Mercedes. With both cars you normally achieve your goal.

check the title of this thread now … :wink:

                     Dump 1090 FA                                     readsb

and well that would be a major difference between FA decoder and readsb, adaptive gain.

Now my colleague foxhunter has sorted me out regarding decoders etc and some specific differences like adaptive gain, time for the creator/developers input, if they wish. Why should I use Dump 1090 FA or readsb? Which decoder do you prefer and why, Dump 1090 FA or readsb??

Did you know you can build a poll by clicking the little gear? Maybe that helps the response rate

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I prefer readsb. Why? Just a personal thing because i like the all-in-one script provided by @wiedehopf

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  • Dump 1090 FA
  • readsb

0 voters

But please a comment on why, thanks foxhunter for yours :slight_smile:

readsb and dump1090-fa are based on the same ancestor, so there’s not really much difference between them. They share basically the same demodulator and decoder, with some minor differences. Most of the differences are on the front-end (UI, network stuff, etc)


If I did not understand wrongly, there is one useful advantage of readsb for networking, as follows:

dump1090 cannot establish outbound connection to another computer through network, while readsb can do.

Because of this shortcoming of dump1090, I use modesmixer2 to feed adsbhub with following setting:

--outConnect msg:adsbhub.org:5002

I feel if I use readsb instead of dump1090, I will not need modesmixer2.


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I use this outbound stream of my readsb install to feed directly into a local VRS as a push feed without having Modesmixer2 in between.

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I use dump1090-fa 6 because it was already on the PiAware image and the adaptive and burst gains seem to be working well for me. I didn’t want to have to go back to manually tweaking gain settings to try to compromise between planes that were either very nearby or on the fringes of my range and prevent them from dropping off of the map to soon. I also run VRS which automatically keeps a record of my actual range and lets me optionally show it on the map, so I don’t really need that same functionality from using readsb instead. Plus VRS has aditional features such as showing route information if known, which is lacking in skyaware and tar1090.

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VRS can connect directly to dump1090 running on another computer/RPi, provided both the VRS computer and dump1090 computer/RPi are on the same local network (LAN).

The problem comes when the VRS computer and dump1090 computer/RPi are on different local networks, interconnected by Internet (WAN). In this case modesmixer is required on computer/RPi runniing dump1090.

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I know that. But this is a pull request from the VRS instance and not a push from the receiver.
This is required if the device is not available via direct connect

Not any longer with readsb :slight_smile:

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Yes, connection on WAN cannot be established by dump1090 without using another means like modesmixer2. The readsb has advantage that it can itself establish connection on WAN, and does not need any software like modesmixer2.

This what I have said in my reply above to @obj’s post.

As regards to connection to VRS on LAN, it is not a problem for either dump1090 or readsb, as it can be done without modesmixer2 for both of these.

Yes, but if it’s not required, it’s always better.

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