Flightaware Pro was not RX'ing data.

I tried a Flightaware Pro usb stick and had no luck with it. On systems, including a Raspberry Pi, that had no problem RX’ing ADS-B using other dongles (RTL-SDR.Com, NooElec NESDR, etc) and outdoor antennas mounted at 40’ (omnidirectional and a Discone), I had no joy with the Flightaware Pro stick. I even tried Piaware image alone on the RPi. It would “sometimes” get a couple aircraft if I loosely put on the SMA cable and held it, but if I tightened the cable then nothing would RX. After hours of trying to troubleshoot, I concluded the Flightaware Pro dongle was bad. Maybe a broken SMA port, cold solder joint or something. Got tired of the headache, so just returned the thing (Amazon). I tried even looking at what it was receiving at 1090 using SDR software and it looked like junk. Was this just a fluke? Maybe I’ll get a Flightaware Pro dongle again, but when I have SDR dongles working fine, not sure if I want to gamble on one again.

A common problem is overdriving the input, you may need to reduce the gain. (Especially true if you’re using a discone - you may need a filter too in that case). But not much point in suggesting diagnostics if you’ve already returned it.

Do your other dongles use SMA or MCX? are you sure you didn’t try an RP-SMA… ?

Anyway, your post has very little value since you already returned the ProStick…


No, it was a straight SMA connection, going to an outdoor Omnidirectional antenna intended specifically for ADS-B. I even put just an image of PiAware on one of my RPi’s for it. Other SDR dongles worked fine, just the Flightaware Pro wasn’t working. I suspect the SMA port was broken or had cold solder joints. Wasn’t about to T/S something that should’ve been QC’d in the first place. I may regard it as a fluke and order another Flightaware Pro. I seen pics on EBay that it should’ve came with a blue cap? Mine did not. There was no cap when it arrived. I suspect some else had returned it for the same reason and an Amazon seller just flipped it.


Yes, they all have caps when new, but the Pro is all orange, the Pro Plus is blue (case and cap of course)

But, if an item is faulty, it should be reported as such and a replacement sent? Just returning it will keep circulating the faulty unit?


Who did you buy it from? If it’s a 3rd party then yeah, sounds like you got a reject - take it up with the seller.

FWIW we see a failure rate of around 1.5% on the incoming units that we test before shipping.
Of course it’s entirely possible for a dongle to pass testing and then fail somewhere during transit.


That doesn’t tell me who the seller was though, just that it was bought through the Amazon marketplace.

That’s true, I just assumed that it would be from FA as all my purchases of FA equipment only found FA as the seller. But that may of course vary. Right now there are 3 seller of the orange ProSticks.


I reported it as faulty, in detail, to Amazon so (hopefully) they won’t recycle it again. I’ll probably get another as can’t see another getting through to me again. Odds are against it. Guess I just lucked out first time. With feedback score so high on Amazon, can’t see this being a common occurrence. BTW: the SMA connector even felt a little loose. That and missing cap.

I bought my FlightAware Pro Stick from ModMyPi.com, but all I can say it works fine out of the box. Very simple to install the PiAware SD image, connect everything up, turn on and claim your station. that was it.

I must say though since then I’ve also upgraded my Antenna to the FA 26" last night and have noticed a vast improvement. I’m moving it to the loft over the weekend for hopefully better results again

Does sound odd, the missing cap especially. Who was the seller, FlightAware or someone else?

Each prostick should have a sticker with a date code on them. Usually the sticker is removed when it is opened but it might still be there.

As far as I know Amazon has a policy to not put returned units back into their stock. We always thought they were discarded on return.
About a month ago, we changed the Amazon setting that returned units should be sent back to FlightAware instead of whatever they do with them.

It should saying something like “sold by FlightAware and fulfilled by Amazon” when you purchased the item and also on your order and shipping information.
If you did order from Amazon-FlightAware we can look up more information with your amazon order number by email us.
Use adsbsupport@flightaware.com

[quote=“david.baker”]As far as I know Amazon has a policy to not put returned units back into their stock. We always thought they were discarded on return.

I have bought items twice now from Amazon which were prior returned items. One even had the return paper inside the box with the last customer’s data written on it. My two times were both with the standard sold by Amazon directly…shipped prime. You never know what you’ll get with them.

I have since gotten a new blue FA Pro Plus dongle and the FA 1090Mhz antenna and it is working beautifully. Receiving well to the east and once I get this antenna masted above the roofline I’ll really be in business. 8)