FlightAware Discussions

New guy looking for some advice

I checked with flight24 and FlightAware and neither needs data from my location. But I am kinda still interested in building my own receiver to feed data.

I’m a software developer and a ham radio operator so this is kinda right in my world? But still hoping I don’t get in too far over my head technically.

A few things I could use some advice/help with.

How different are flight24 (just shortening the name for typing here :slight_smile: ) and FlightAware? What are the differences? Do they both end up with all the same data?

Do helicopters broadcast ADS-B just like planes do?

How does this site fit into the mix?

For someone building a new ADS-B receiver for the first time, what’s easier? The Flight24 steps and program? FlightAware? Something else? Or are they all essentially the same and you just feed the data where you want?

Thanks VERY much in advance!

p.s. I use this Shortcut on my phone a lot.

Lots of us here - This is a link to my current ADS-B setup to whet your appetite :slight_smile:

That Siri shortcut looks interesting, I’m going to try that.


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Wow…lots to unpack. The less ‘verbose’ the better, so straight to the point.

How different are flight24 (just shortening the name for typing here :slight_smile: ) and FlightAware? What are the differences? Do they both end up with all the same data?

As far as data go, pretty much the same. The differences are in the ‘user experience’ area. The FA forum seems to be the best overall. Nice people, yours truly not included. :wink:

Do helicopters broadcast ADS-B just like planes do?

I don’t know if all, but the medical emergency choppers in my area do.

ADS-B Exchange.

This one can turn into ‘religion’ quickly. They are non-commercial for the most part, and neither filter nor honour removal request, as far as I know.

For someone building a new ADS-B receiver for the first time, what’s easier?

The most cost effective setup, in my humble opinion of course, is an RPi3B, Flightaware antenna, Flightaware Pro+ stick.

You should get lots of feedback, so take your time before shelling out any money.

Lastly, as for feeding many different sites, again, it’s a personal thing. I feed FA only, but nothing wrong with feeding others or multiple ones.



I’ll just leave my short shopping list here: https://github.com/wiedehopf/adsb-wiki/wiki/adsb-receiver-shopping-list

FA prostick is a good choice.

The instructions for the piaware image are probably the clearest and it might be the easiest to set up.
Adding the adsbexchange feed client onto that piaware image is really easy, just check here on the forum on how to use Putty/SSH with the piaware image to have console access.

The FR24 image is a bit annoying in my opinion.

In the end it really doesn’t matter.
You can also just start with Raspbian Lite and add whichever feed clients you want:

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Yes…the single best ‘feature’ of Piaware, easy setup. Can’t beat a text file for configuration.

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STEP-1: Write piaware sd card image to your microSD card.

(1.1) Download image
Latest image ver 3.8.1

(1.2) Write image and configure it using this guide:

Howto : Piaware SD card image 3.8.0 Quickstart Guide

Note: When using QuickStart Guide:

  • Do not download old image v 3.8.0 from step 1 of guide
  • Follow steps 2, 3, and 4 of the QuickStart Guide. Do NOT follow steps 5 to 10 if you are not using 978 Mhz UAT. The 978 UAT is available in USA only and requires an extra dongle.

STEP-2: Install Feeders

(2.1) FR24 feeder

$ sudo bash -c "$(wget -O - https://repo-feed.flightradar24.com/install_fr24_rpi.sh)"  

## Caution: During configuration of fr24feed, never choose “Receiver DVBT”. 
## Choose Receiver: ModeS Beast(TCP), host/port:

(2.2) Adsbexchange feeder

sudo bash -c "$(wget -nv -O - https://raw.githubusercontent.com/adsbxchange/adsb-exchange/master/install.sh)"  

(2.3) Planefinder feeder

$ wget http://client.planefinder.net/pfclient_4.1.1_armhf.deb  
$ sudo dpkg -i pfclient_4.1.1_armhf.deb 

## Go to page IP-of-PI:30053 to complete configuration

(2.4) RadarBox24 feeder

$ sudo bash -c "$(wget -O - http://apt.rb24.com/inst_rbfeeder.sh)"  

$ sudo rbfeeder --setkey xxxxxxxxxx --no-start   
## Replace xxxxx by your actual key
## Press Ctrl+C to break log output.

$ sudo systemctl restart rbfeeder  

STEP-3: System Monitoring

(3.1) Graphs by Wiedehopf

$ sudo bash -c "$(wget -q -O - https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wiedehopf/graphs1090/master/install.sh)"  




ABCD567, you are such an asset to this site. thank you for all of your “Beginner How To” guides. is there a place where they all reside? (ie where one can see them all together)

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Wow, thanks for all the good info and kind welcome!!



These guides/howto’s are scattered as these were posted at different dates over a period of many years.

You can list most of these if you run forum search with following keywords:

Beginners @abcd567
How-to @abcd567
Howto @abcd567
guide @abcd567
exploring @abcd567

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Would be super useful to have a thread with all the setup links in it, then we could all refer to that thread for folks starting out, and to remember where to find links, refer to it when one needs to rebuild their installs, etc.