Max Number of Syncd Nearby Receivers


What’s the maximum number stations that can be synced? I’m up to 23…

“Multilateration (MLAT): Supported / Enabled (synchronized with 23 nearby receivers)”



Receiver # 1 (Cantenna+Generic DVB-T black+ RPi B+):
Multilateration (MLAT): Supported / Enabled (synchronized with 48 nearby receivers)

Receiver # 2 (FA 26" Antenna+FA Filter+ProStick+RPi 2):
Multilateration (MLAT): Supported / Enabled (synchronized with 63 nearby receivers)

Receiver # 3 (Cantenna+FA Filter+ProStick+Orange Pi PC):
Multilateration (MLAT): Supported / Enabled (synchronized with 63 nearby receivers)


Synched with 176 and 164 nearby receivers – Silicon Valley is a target-rich environment…

bob k6rtm


About 120 in NYC.

For … tats-24223 I get

Feeder Type: PiAware (Debian Package Add-on) 3.2.0~dev
Multilateration (MLAT): Supported / Enabled (synchronized with 118 nearby receivers)


Yikes…my concerns are abated. I was thinking more synced units would cause my PI to bog down. Disregard!



Sort of along these lines - is there anything we can do to extend the distance “Nearby ADS-B sites” cuts off at? My synced with sites regularly exceed the number of sites in the nearby ADSB sites list, and judging by my range chart I overlap sites which don’t appear in the nearby sites list by quite a margin.


I think the number is going to be a result of how many messages your station is hearing in common with surrounding stations. I suspect two variables influence this, 1) the density of stations in your area and 2) the performance of “how much” your station is hearing that others are also hearing. Have you maximized your height, or position (to minimize obstructions on the horizon)?

edit: precision of time synchronization also tends to affect this… tuning your ntp settings might slightly skew the numbers, too.


NTP has nothing to do with it. Using a STD dongle, the timing is based on an internal unique clock(within the dongle) and timing messages from aircraft.
Some receivers, like the radarcape, embed a GPS time stamp into the message. It needs to be done in the receiver hardware itself as USB has too much timing variation and cannot be considered reliable. USB is a shared bus.


Is there a simple (understandable by non technical person (me)) reason why the number of stations synched varies?

I go from a high of 23 or so down to 7. Haven’t notice anything regular or a pattern.


It seems to me it’s highly dependent on traffic. If you have traffic to the north, south, west, and east, you will likely sync with receivers to the north, south, east, and west. If you have traffic only to the north, those receivers to the south will likely drop off.

It would be really cool if we could see the locations of receivers we’ve synced with on a map and be able to watch them blink on/off as they are synced. I suspect the correlation with traffic will be obvious with such a visualization.


Good question. I suspect this comes down to an arbitrary definition of “nearby”. Just speculating here, but I suspect “nearby” means within radio range of your receiver, which is fine for aircraft, but too close for synced stations. It doesn’t take much thought to realize the distance for two sites to sync could be double this distance, the commonly viewed aircraft being at the edge of reception distance for each receiver and between the receivers.

Actually, I always thought the list of nearby ADS-B sites was just a listing of the closest sits that fit into the table (closest X receivers). How many receivers are people seeing in their list? I’m seeing 25, including my own two. Same 25 whether I’m viewing one receiver or the other.