Mobile PiAware

Hello all,

I have a couple of PiAware receivers on my account. When I go “plane-spotting” I would like to take on with. Then I can have hyper-accurate information when I am out and about as my receivers are the only ones local to my my area. I have all the hardware set up and just have an account/network question.

Here is my question. Since I am away from my home local network will my stats still be uploaded to my account since I have “claimed” my receivers online and the MAC address have been registered to me? Or, will something not work since I am away from the network they were originally registered from and I will be using a cellular connection?



If you are uploading data, what do you do to identify the location from which you are uploading? I have not done this with a Pi, but I did do it with a laptop running Pp and dump1090win across the country last summer. I used the --lat --lon parameters with dump1090 and changed the home location in PP at each location. Data uploaded w/o much problem. If you use PPup1090 to upload to PP on the Pi, you need to change location in coaa.h file and recompile before running. There may be a config file change needed for dump1090 on the pi

There’s this option, but the GPS and USB cable combined cost more than the Pi. :neutral_face:

Do you really have to change the location of the receiver? The ADS-B message has the lat. & long. of the plane so for FA the location of the receiver can be changed by the control panel in the stats page. I have been using a mobile Piaware for plane spotting too without any trouble (that I know of).

From what I have noticed and read from the FA staff, the location is off anyway sometimes due to a bug in the software. I change mine often to reflect where the receiver actually is, but it always changes to some random location nearby anyway.

The receiver location can be used when decoding some position message types (ground positions, and air positions when you don’t have an even + odd message pair within 10 seconds). Having the wrong receiver location could in theory result in these messages being decoded incorrectly. But it’ll only be an issue if the receiver location is wrong by a large amount (hundreds of km).

Thanks for the info. :smiley:


Did the stats upload to account your “while” you were mobile? Even though you were away from your original network you claimed your receiver on? That was my original question.


As far as I’m aware the PiAwares are identified by the MAC adress of the Pi itself. If you look on your own stat’s page while logged in, your Pi has a site identifier ie: b8:27:eb:87:f3:29. This shouldn’t change if you don’t change your setup and as such the PiAware should be claiming towards your stats.

When I was on the road, I was not using the Pi. The stats kept uploading no matter what the location. That shouldn’t change with using the Pi IMNSHO joel

All, thanks for the replies and info!

Is it Ok to reopen this old thread?

I would also like a mobile version of PiAware, the use case I can see is to help multilaterate low-level traffic when out operating my drones.

It’s more likely that a Mode S machine is bearing down on me than an airliner!

Also and truth be known the nerdy ability to go to the top of a hill and try and get some really long range tracks that hide behind hills here.

So PiAware with a USB GPS then talking to flightaware via my cell phones interwebs connection.

Now that I think of it, no need for the external GPS, just an app on my cellphone that listens for the PiAware and then uses the phones GPS and data to send the data in. The phone/tablet then displaying the traffic

If you run gpsd on the Pi, PiAware will automatically connect to that for location info, so you shouldn’t really have to do anything else to get a mobile mlat platform.

Don’t rely on the mlat data (or any other piaware data for that matter) for anything safety critical!

1 Like

Would that move my receiver position for reporting? I see you did have an app at one stage. … er-android

Yes it will move your position for reporting.

The android feeder got discontinued a while back (we released the source, but it is no longer supported as a way to feed data to FlightAware)

I am using a mobile Piaware setup in my car with a USB-GPS providing my current position via gpsd. I have disabled MLAT as I don’t know how to set my correct elevation dynamically. GPS altitude is typically of bad quality. A good approximation could be to rely on SRTM data but I don’t know how to adjust piaware dynamically. SRTM elevation values are available on my Raspi for every given lat, lon position.

GPS altitude is good enough for mlat with a rtlsdr - the errors elsewhere in the system are much larger than the GPS error.

There is an outstanding bug where altitude provided via GPS does not make it back to the receiver location stored in the DB (and shown on the stats page) but it is used for mlat

That’s pretty cool! So in theory, I could set up a Pi in my truck (with sufficient power management built in so that turning the ignition off doesn’t hard kill the Pi) and just drive around with it feeding data via my hotspot with just adding a GPS unit and using gpsd?

I am using a UPS PIco HV3.0A plus ( which includes a voltage converter for up to 30V and a small backup battery which can be exchanged by larger capacity batteries. This allows to automatically shutdown the pi about 1 minute after the ignition is switched off.
The location is determined by a USB GPS device and for transfer to the internet a UMTS USB stick is used.