Mode S-Beast for Better Data?

I have 2 FA dongles - all have worked great. I also have the FA antenna too. However, wold I get better (greater range, more everything) with a Mode-S Beast Kit? I’d certainly would still run my current setup (move to the spider antenna).

Simply a desire to maximize my arrangement for a slightly more $$ investment.

Thanks! Like the new forum look.


The FlightFeeder that FlightAware provide if you apply for one and if they approve you, has the same hardware inside.
Just apply for one and then if they do not approve you,
buying a Beast kit can be your next option.
Look the video and see for yourself.

So my Russian is a little rusty…but I think FA FlightFeeder is Mode S-Beat in a different wrapper (literately). I need a new project to tinker with. Think I’ll give it a go.



P.S. FA denied me already, predictably.

FlightFeeders, both currently and historically, are a mix of hardware platforms. Some use the mode S beast, some use the Pro Stick. In the past we’ve also used the blade RF, and in the really early days before it was called a FlightFeeder, the kinetic SBS-1.

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and how were/are your experiences with the blade-rf?

just wondering because one year ago a forum member did make an announcement regarding his software and stated that together with blade-rf it were the by far ultimate ads-b receiver High performance VHDL ADS-B decoder open sourced

It’s exceptionally capable, but takes a lot of FPGA expertise to get the most out of and wasn’t going to hit our long term cost goals (for FlightFeeders or the community of self-builders).

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thanx for reply :slight_smile: maybe i have to give it a try …

The LimeSDR is another option that’s similar to the bladeRF (same chipset manufacturer as the transceiver in the bladeRF, but the next generation of chip). If you can get hold of one, at least… LimeSDR | Crowd Supply

Is beaglebone better than raspberry pi regarding ads-b tracking??radarcape has beaglebone I guess. Lots of rf related tiny machines around.

The host is largely irrelevant so long as it has enough CPU for whatever you’re trying to do. The BBB that the radarcape uses is substantially slower than a Pi 3.


I’ve been coveting a LimeSDR for some time. Hmmmm…

I’m going to assume the Mode S-Beast is indeed a step up from the latest orange dongle…


haha - true that really looks like a winner. but i’m afraid this thing needs much more skills than i have to make use of. isn’t this a similar fpga the radarcape has built-in? the radarcape and beast runs guenthers software to detect and decode messages, the bladerf uses nuands software, dongle and airspy make use of your dump1090 decoding-engine - but what software would i run on the lime for ads-b?

or do you plan to port the decoding parts of dump1090 to fpga? that would be of course a huge advantage for your code not to be bound anymore to all the hardware-limitations of the simple dongles. and the thing has 10 or more antenna inputs - but are receivers built in too? and how many?

so many questions and no answer - i’ll have to dive deeper in this …

Being an aerospace engineer I have experience in on board avionics…but tracking them with tiny little computers is now totally new to me…raspberry pi,beaglebone,bladerf,lemonsdr,hackrf,orange pi…the list is very long…please keep trying them and share your experiences…it’s wonderful to learn new things.:man_mechanic:

what do you think about this little thing? LimeSDR Mini | Crowd Supply
is this fpga strong enough for decoding mode-s messages? to be honest i have no idea whether it were possible to port your decoder to fpga - and if so how much effort it were? and in addition it were possible to add the gps timing for mlat …

BladeRF … LimeSDR … $$$$$$$ ££££££ €€€€€€

I am happy with this one $7.90

I have one ordered, they’re expected to ship end of the year.

:))) when did you order?

ordered mine now too :blush: the bigger lime was too much of a good thing for my needs and skills and moreover costs a lot more …

I got one of the early-bird orders when it first came out (they sold out very quickly!)

lucky you - saved about 25% of the price i paid! anyways 140$ inclusive shipping is still a good deal :slight_smile: