FlightAware Discussions

New device VHF Airband FlightStick from Radarbox/Airnav Systems

Just have seen this, seem to be a new device.

Matching Antenna (1090+VHF), but currently sold out


Green stick, red stick, now a yellow one.

Seem to be a relation to Jamaica :smiley:

And a Yellow Antenna as well (at least the packing is yellow :wink:)

This one is VHF ONLY, also sold out now

Seems AirNav/Radarbox are now putting more emphasis on making profit from hardware manufacture/sale, in addition to selling the data.

Or is it to attract more RPi feeders to feed them?

That would make sense for uncovered areas. But if there’s no Airband it’s the wrong approach

I like the idea - ATC would be a nifty addition to Flightaware, but it could also be a rabbit-hole as well I guess.

AirNav seriously needs to dump the non-removable cables from their antennas. It’s kept me from buying any of their offerings. Either sell an antenna or a kit, but don’t force their crappy cables. Sorry, off-topic. Will more than likely pick the VHF stick up for the collection

Fully agree. It’s a shame beeing not that flexible

This actually was explored at one of our hackathons. Rabbit-hole status: Confirmed.


Not really possible in the UK unfortunately. Monitoring airband isn’t strictly legal unless you are licensed to do so or have explicit permission (eg at an airshow). In practice it’s something that’s never enforced, but rebroadcast of ATC on the internet would be problematic. I suspect the legal situation varies in every country.

Appear to have a few on Amazon (US)

and antenna


That is why liveatc.net has almost all airports of Europe & America covered, EXCEPT UK.



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No Streaming, only local listening


Install software SDR Sharp AND dongle’s driver Zadig. Once these two software are installed, you can listen to AM, FM, Air Band, Police, Taxi, Fire etc, etc using a generic DVB-T, or ProStick (orange). With RB yellow stick you can listen toair band only due to builtin filter.

RPi or Linux computer:

Install package rtl-sdr (sudo apt install rtl-sdr), , and you can listen to AM, FM, Air Band, Police, Taxi, Fire etc, etc using a generic DVB-T, or ProStick (orange).

Alternatively install RTLSDR-AirBand . With RB yellow stick, you can listen to air band only due to builtin filter. It will work with generic DVB-T and Orange ProStick also.

Last update: Fri, 24 Jul 2020 15:53:38 -0000

debian pure blends / debian hamradio / packages / software defined radio

Debian Hamradio Software defined radio packages

Debian Hamradio Software Defined Radio Packages

This metapackage will install packages useful when using Software-Defined Radio with Debian.

Official Debian packages with high relevance

Package Version Description
▾ Airspy 1.0.9-3 Tiny and efficient software defined radio receiver - utilities
▾ Bladerf 0.2016.06-1 Nuand bladeRF software-defined radio device (tools)
▾ Cubicsdr 0.2.5+dfsg-3 Software Defined Radio receiver
▾ Cutesdr 1.13.42-2 simple demodulation and spectrum display program
▾ Gnss-Sdr 0.0.12-1 Global navigation satellite systems software defined receiver
Gnuradio GNU Radio Software Radio Toolkit
Gqrx-Sdr 2.12.1-1 Software defined radio receiver
▾ Gr-Dab 0.4-2 Gnuradio blocks and tools for receiving DAB and DAB+ radio
▾ Gr-Fcdproplus 3.8~20190817-3 Funcube Dongle Pro Plus controller for GNU Radio
▾ Gr-Hpsdr 1.2.1-2 gnuradio interface module for OpenHPSDR protocol 1
▾ Gr-Limesdr 3.0.1-2 LimeSDR blocks for GnuRadio
▾ Gr-Osmosdr 0.1.3-2 Gnuradio blocks from the OsmoSDR project
▾ Hackrf 2018.01.1-2 Software defined radio peripheral - utilities
▾ Inspectrum 0.2.2-1 tool for visualising captured radio signals
▾ Limesuite 18.06.0+dfsg-1 tools to test, control and update LMS7 transceiver based hardware
▾ Lysdr 1.0~git20141206+dfsg1-2 Simple software-defined radio
▾ Miri-Sdr Software defined radio support for Mirics hardware (tools)
▾ Osmo-Sdr 0.1.8.effcaa7-7 Software defined radio support for OsmoSDR hardware (tools)
▾ Qthid-Fcd-Controller 4.1-5 Funcube Dongle controller
▾ Quisk 3.6.18-2 Software Defined Radio (SDR)
▾ Rtl-Sdr 0.6-1 Software defined radio receiver for Realtek RTL2832U (tools)
▾ Sdrangelove Osmocom Software Defined Radio
▾ Soapysdr-Module-All 0.7.2-1 All device support for default version of SoapySDR (metapackage)
▾ Uhd-Host universal hardware driver for Ettus Research products - host apps
▾ Uhd-Soapysdr 0.3.4-1 SoapySDR device support for libuhd





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I agree. I recently added UAT and got the RB antenna because FA 978 antenna is not in-stock forever. The concept of not being able to use my super thick high quality spare 50’ antenna cable didn’t enter my mind until I realized the RB antenna’s cheap thin 30’ cable was not removable. Luckily I also had a 15’ spare to add the distance I needed to my Pi.

I suspect the RB UAT antenna isn’t great great either. There’s some signal weirdness. But I suppose that could be Dump978 having inferior optimization or the diff between 978 Mhz and 1090 Mhz? It really shows in the few planes I get each week that have both 1090ES and UAT. The 1090ES signal tracks much more consistently and better range. Antennas are almost at the exact same 30’ height… Just waiting for the FA UAT antenna to come back in stock so I can compare…

There are a few non-antenna reasons why UAT reception will tend to be worse than 1090:

  • UAT transponders are lower power transmitters
  • UAT-equipped aircraft tend to fly low, so line of sight is more of a problem
  • The modulation+bitrate is right on the edge of what a rtlsdr can handle (more so than 1090 because of the modulation). UAT uses FSK with a bitrate a little over 1MHz, so dump978 has to get by with 2 samples/bit, which must be somewhere around the theoretical minimum…
  • The modulation is more sensitive to over-amplification (maybe try turning down your gain a little if you see weirdness)

Thanks for your awesome reply. That makes a lot of sense.

I suspect it is #1 and #3 in your list mostly. I’m comparing planes that have both UAT and 1090ES transponders. I’ve seen a few such planes each week so far, they tend to go to high altitudes and the difference is significant in range and stability of the 1090ES vs 978 signals. I’m also comparing other 1090 GA aircraft at similar position and altitude (there’s many, and even at 800 feet they get much better range). I bet the lower power transponder signal you mentioned plays a big part of this. The few dual 1090/UAT planes that have had similar range were twin engine commercial aircraft that probably have higher power UAT transponders than most casual GA planes.

As for gain, I’m still testing back and forth between FA orange stick with and without the dual band band-pass filter and RB 978 stick which has amp and filter. The FA orange does seem a bit better. I’ve tried gain all over the map in 24 hour increments and I’m convinced that higher gain consistently yields better results for my station. (I’m in a forest of pine tree attenuation basically).

Even when gain is in the 20’s, the signal peaks at 0.0 (as reported in TAR1090 RSSI and graphs) for close aircraft as they get in the clear line of sight which only lasts briefly. Yet I still retain the standard UAT 1 msg p/sec with frequent positions even when the signal appears crazy overloaded. I’ve seen older forks of Dump978 that claimed better UAT signal strength logic but I haven’t bothered to try anything beyond the latest dump978-fa release.

What about PlutoSDR :slight_smile:

Except SDR Sharp (Windows), I have NOT tried any software radio.

Yesterday I tried to build szpajder/RTLSDR-Airband from source code on Pi4, failed, got error:

pi@piaware:~ $ sudo apt-get install build-essential libmp3lame-dev libshout3-dev libconfig++-dev  
pi@piaware:~ $ sudo apt-get install libraspberrypi-dev 
pi@piaware:~ $ sudo apt-get install librtlsdr-dev  
pi@piaware:~ $ sudo apt-get install libpulse-dev  

pi@piaware:~ $ cd
pi@piaware:~ $ git clone https://github.com/szpajder/RTLSDR-Airband.git  
pi@piaware:~ $ cd RTLSDR-Airband  
pi@piaware:~/RTLSDR-Airband $ make PLATFORM=armv8-generic
g++ -O3 -g -Wall -DSYSCONFDIR=\"/usr/local/etc\" -DDEBUG=0 -DRTL_AIRBAND_VERSION=\"v3.1.0\" -march=armv8-a+crc -mtune=cortex-a53 -ffast-math -DWITH_RTLSDR   -c -o rtl_airband.o rtl_airband.cpp
rtl_airband.cpp:33:10: fatal error: fftw3.h: No such file or directory
 #include <fftw3.h>
compilation terminated.
make: *** [<builtin>: rtl_airband.o] Error 1