Flightaware dedicated receiver - receiver board


I’ve applied for and received a dedicated flightaware box which I’ve located at a local airport. Of course you dont receive something without opening it so I’ve noted the box has a raspberry and a dedicated receiver board inside.

The receiver I’ve noted performs VERY well, I gather it has an amplifier onboard (no filtering though as there is one inline with the supplied antenna) and I’m wondering if flightaware themselves are interested in selling the board separately if it performs better than a USB TV dongle…

Has anyone discussed this with flightaware as I’d love one of these boards to experiment with at a proposed remote solar site I’m putting together.


I believe you are referring to the BladeRF SDR that is attached to the RPi. You can buy the BladeRF off Nuand’s site. nuand.com/blog/product/bladerf-x40/

However, I do not think the FA software specific to this board is open source but you have a point about discussing with FA about its feasibility.

The full board has a transmitter too fwiw (the flightfeeders have this connector removed)

The bladeRF libraries are open source but the FA specific bits are not (yet?)

40MSPS and 0.040ppm, that is some serious hardware right there. FA is giving these to people? Why am I busting my chops building stuff? :laughing: :laughing: :laughing:

I’d like to see a comparison of rsults of one of these and to a HABAmp at the masthead + a R820T2 with the standard FA antenna

Hey thanks for the information, thats interesting. I must say its a beast of a receiver, the coverage I’m getting on it is very impressive…Wish it was a tad cheaper I’d get one to play with !!!


They were being distributed free to places which helped fill in blank spots in their coverage when they were first developed. Someone opened one up and asked if that was a then just-released RPi. That led to a question on software availability, and then piaware appeared. Since then, their coverage as improved ‘somewhat’. :open_mouth: :wink:

I would like to see the ability to hook one of these to a PiAware. What are the chances the ‘specific’ bits can be released, even in a binary format?

What would be really interesting would be to see a Dump1090 [/dump978] for these SDR’s - it really would open the doors of possibility.

That’s fundamentally what the FF 6.2 firmware is running.

I have the groundwork for bladeRF support done in dump1090-mutability but I have too many things on my plate at the moment.

i wouldn’t consider $420 “low cost”…

Is there a cheaper alternative with similar specs?

What about the HackRF (~$300US) or HackRF Blue (~$260US)?

That is indeed cheaper, but it’s a fair drop in specs too (8 bit ADC, 20MHz, no FPGA)

Has anyone had any luck running a beast receiver with RPi?

I think a few people are, you need something like modesmixer to turn the beast’s output into a network feed.