New FlightFeeder app for Android available for beta testing


#1

Today we have officially released the first beta version of our new FlightFeeder app for Android devices. This app allows you to turn your Android phone or tablet into an ADS-B receiver that uploads aircraft positions to FlightAware. You will need a USB DVB-T dongle, plus a USB OTG cable/dock compatible with your Android. We recommend using a powered USB OTG cable that can supply power simultaneously to your Android and to the DVB-T dongle from wall power brick, however you can also use the app on only battery power for short periods of time.

For full instructions and hardware requirements, please visit the following page: flightaware.com/adsb/android/

Since this application is still in beta testing, you will need to follow the above instructions to join the Google+ group and opt-in to receiving our beta version before you can find it in the Google Play store. We welcome your feedback and suggestions about the app. We would also appreciate any reports of successfully finding a powered USB OTG cable/dock that is compatible with your Android and allows both devices to powered simultaneously so that we can update our documentation for other users.

http://flightaware.com/adsb/android/screenshot.jpg http://flightaware.com/adsb/android/setup.jpg


#2

Can it have a facility to capture the data for later upload

  • there are occasions where people may be able to capture data but have no facility for upload at the time (during flights etc).
  • Obviously this wouldn’t help with current positional info, but could be goof for historic data.

It would be interesting to have an ADS-B receiver facility for use on ships etc.

  • reduce network traffic - internet may be by expensive satellite
  • maybe use a USB mouse, etc - so station location can be updated frequently (maybe hourly, or interval dependent on vessel speed)

#3

I bought ebay.co.uk/itm/191497639639 for ADSB tracking with my Samsung Galaxy tab 2.

The OTG worked fine, the USB power connection would power the USB connectors, but not the tablet.

Since I used it mobile, I used a portable power pack similar to ebay.co.uk/itm/171432777735 to run the dongle, and the tablet from it’s own battery.


#4

We do not incorporate historical data and currently discard any data received that is more than a few minutes old.

The app uses GPS to detect its position every few minutes and send that updated location back to us already.


#5

Where would you like us to post bugs, enhancements, and feature requests? I’ve got a handful of things I’d like to submit back.

As for the USB-OTG cable that powers both devices, I don’t believe you will find one, as it’s not part of the spec.

I have a few other devices I use an OTG cable for (USB wireless adapters for use with nethunter/kali linux) and I’ve yet to find one that powers the host device too. In my research, I’ve read numerous times that it isn’t supported.


#6

I’ll post the feedback here for now.

  • It’d be nice if we had an option in our ADS-B page, to disable “anomolies” for the android based feeder. I suspect a fair number of people will run it only occasionally on many devices, and I log in daily to make sure my other feeders are ok, having that big “anomoly” section every time I login is stressing me out! I’d consider “flightfeeder for android” to be a transient feed, and maybe even have it default to not display when it hasn’t been seen in a while, let the user opt-in to those alerts/notifications

  • On two separate occasions, I’ve had my phone reboot. Once when plugging in the SDR dongle, once when unplugging it. Unfortunately, both times I was on the road, and could not capture the adb dump logs.

  • It’d be nice if the map auto-scaled (only at startup) to a scale appropriate to the last “max range” the reciever saw. ie, if the reciever has only been getting 50NM on the last launch, it doesn’t make much sense to have the map automatically be at zoom level 6 or 7 (whatever it defaults to now) on smaller devices like an android phone, that is a lot of wasted/useless screen real estate.

  • Have an option to keep the screen on. Sometimes, I’d rather see the information, rather than have my screen go dark at the preset time (usually, 1 minute in my case for battery life)

  • It’d be nice if “Max distance” was changed to be the current max distance, so you can see if antenna positioning or changes make a difference. Either that, or have both. Max distance this session, as well as the current maximum distance of signals it can see right now.


#7

I think we may already have a fix for the crash on startup (plugging in), and hope to have a new version out soon–maybe later this week.

Your other feedback is also good… We’ll keep those ideas in mind for the future.


#8

Dell makes one for the Venue 8 Pro. I bought one and it works as described. I have never tried it with my Android phone or tablet. I need to do that. It might come in handy with this new app.

accessories.us.dell.com/sna/prod … 3a1f4885fe


#9

I had a feeling people might be curious about the Dell cable, so I tried it with my Samsung GS4 and a DVB-T dongle. When the external power is attached to the OTG cable, the phone stops recognizing the dongle. When the power cable is removed, the phone can see the dongle.

Somehow they have overcome this limitation with the Venue 8 Pro. It’s able to use both the USB device and the external power cable simultaneously.


#10

Thanks for trying. If someone finds an OTG cable that powers both, I’ll be buying a dozen immediately!


#11

These guys have a powered OTG cable called +Port which was designed specifically for Dell Venue tablets, but some users have reported it working on some limited Android devices. I have ordered one for testing purposes a couple of days ago and will let you know when it arrives and we’ve tried it on a few of our test devices here.

However, they also claim to be in the process of developing a more generic Android OTG cable that provides power in the next few months, so maybe that will have greater compatibility.
mobiledesignlabs.com/products/port
facebook.com/mobiledesignlabs


#12

We’ve just tested another possible solution to simultaneously power your phone and your DVB-T dongle…

If your phone supports wireless (Qi) charging then you can use that to supply power, leaving its USB port fully available for use with an unpowered OTG cable. Even if your phone doesn’t natively support wireless charging, many phones can be updated to support it with a different backplate or addition of a receiving coil inside of the battery compartment.

  • Google Nexus devices (4, 5, 6, 7) come with wireless charging.

  • Galaxy S4 and S5 phones and Galaxy Note 2, 3 can be upgraded with wireless charging by installing a <$5 coil inside of the case, or by buying the official wireless charging backplate.

  • Galaxy S6 will have wireless charging.


#13

Version 1.0.10 of our FlightFeeder app was published today as the first public production (ie: non-beta) release. It is no longer necessary to join the beta group in order to download it.


#14

I tested the FlightFeeder app on a HTC One X+. I used a simple OTG cable. The smartphone powered the dongle. With the simple antenna that came with the dongle I received planes at 75 nm maximum. (indoor 1st floor)
When I switch to the map page I do not see planes on the map (as with dump1090). The list however, does show the planes.
Is it only me that does not see the planes on the map?


#15

Now we just need badges for those who did the beta testing!


#16

I cannot log in with the FlightFeeder app. I use the same credentials as on the flightaware website.
“Signing in…” dialog keeps on spinning.


#17

valarm.net makes a set of custom externally powered usb cables for Samsung and Sony devices. We have some installed here in the office that we used for testing.

shop.valarm.net/collections/cables-connectors


#18

@bkhall thanks for the link. I’ve just ordered one for testing, but I’m not overly optimistic since they list specific devices it works with, and warn that it doesn’t work with several other devices from the same manufacturers.


#19

Cable for specific Samsung devices:
http://galaxyworld.nl/micro-usb-otg-host-y-kabel-met-micro-usb-female-power-kabel-tegelijk-opladen
Also available through amazon.de ( http://www.amazon.de/Flash-Cable-Galaxy-Charge-Shipping/dp/B00SXXTSCM/ref=pd_sim_sbs_ce_4?ie=UTF8&refRID=0N34ZNSSEQVBTMVNC6RR )

Note: I tested with HTC One X+ but did NOT work.


#20

It will not work with TMobile Samsung Galaxy S2. Some other posts say its the phone kernel and is not made to do this. The one cable your staffer said they use I checked their page, it will not work on a S2 plus others. So until this is solved I’ll just play with my Solar powered Raspberry Pi feeder. If this is ever solved, tell me and I might dedicate my smartphone. Good reason for a new one. I used a outside antenna and it had cover as good as my best receiver, but the phone power goes fast.