New user, need advice please


Hello, Orrin here in northeast Calif. Currently using an RTL-SDR with a puny indoor non-resonant groundplane antenna, and getting 2 or more valid ES frames/sec. My questions are software questions:

Using Android. I have running: Avare ADSB Pro, Avare, and FlightAware. Seems to all work well.

In Avare ADSB Pro, it is receiving packages. It says “Avare: Connected.” Does this mean i am contributing to the FlightAware info pool, and get ‘credit’ for doing so? Or do i need to run something else to accomplish that?

I have my FlightAware username etc.

For now i need to stay with Android. I have a Pi but am not ready to do PiAware. … … Thanks for responses



Avare connects to Avare network, not to Flightaware.

To contribute to Flifgtaware info pool and get acknowledged for it, you need a data feeder software which will connect to, and feed Flightaware. This software was available on Google Play store as “Flight Feeder”. In 2016, it was replaced by “Flight Scanner” which had no facility to feed Flightaware, only local display. Later “Flight Scanner” was also removed from Google Play Store.

If someone has Flightaware’s “Flightfeeder” or “Flight Scanner” installed on his/her Android, it will work locally on the Android, but wont feed data to Flightaware, as Android data feed is no more supported by Flightaware.

To summarize: You CANNOT feed data to Flightaware from Android

Further info:
You CAN feed Flightaware from Windows if you install Planeplotter.
You CAN feed Flightaware from devices running Linux (Debian and its derivetive distros like Ubuntu, Raspbian etc) by installing Piaware add-on package.


Thanks for this info. … My Windows and Linux computers don’t have a GPS, so i guess until i buy a gps module i won’t be feeding data to Flightaware. … I will install & look at Planeplotter to see if i get any inspiration there. Will also look for plug n play Pi gps if such exist. If it’s not a usb-port plugin module, i probably won’t go for it.


I feed data to Flightaware from RPis, CHIP board, and Destop intel cpu x64, running Linux Ubuntu.

None of above has gps module


abcd567, okay! i thought i had to have gps in order to qualify as a feeder. (But i will be reporting only from one location, at home.)

I don’t know what a CHIP board is… can you point me to a site that goes thru how to set up a Pi for this? I have a Pi available. (Fwiw i install software only via the apt-get etc method.)



Chip is similar to Pi Zero W. I purchased CHIP only out of curiocity, but wont recommend it, as I feel Pi Zero W is better.

For feeding data to Flightaware (and other similar sites), go for Pi Zero W, or better Pi 2 or Pi 3.

To feed Flightaware from a Pi
Bake a Pi


  1. For OPTION-1 in “Bake a Pi” thread, to download Piaware image, go to this page:

  2. For OPTION-2 and OPTION-3 in “Bake a Pi” thread, version number of Piaware is 3.5.1. This has changed subsequently to 3.5.3. Please use latest commands in Step 2 of following page


If you are curious to know about CHIP, read this thread:


Before i read your reply above, i installed piaware and dump1090 from the command line as explained at

It went well, and at the end i claimed the PiAware client and am station 71652. Tomorrow i will try plugging the dongle with antenna into the Pi.

------> Just insert the dongle (on a usb extension cord probably) into one of the Pi usb ports?

I’ve been getting results with an android and Avare. Using an RTL-SDR but tomorrow should arrive a FlightAware dongle ( Amazon) as well.

Then i work on better antenna options. With an indoor antenna i’m getting out to about 50 miles, sometimes 80 mi.



abcd567, could you please advise me: i have dump1090-fa installed. Also piaware. I start each one in its own terminal window, because at this point i haven’t written a shell script to start them both.

With my new FlightAware Pro Stick attached, dump1090-fa outputs a steady stream of data to the screen.

In the other terminal window, where i started piaware, it starts up and i get messages including:

  • couldn’t reopen piaware.log (permission denied).

  • TLS handshake with adept server at completed

  • certificate validated… logged in as orrinwinton… feeder ID… then:

  • failed to update feeder ID file at /var/cache/piaware/feeder_id: couldn’t open “/var/cache/piaware/”: permission denied

  • dump1090-fa listening on port 30005, so far so good

  • starting faup1090: /usr/lib/piaware/helpers/faup1090 --net-bo-ipaddr localhost --net-bo-port 30005 --stdout

  • started faup1090 (pid 10068) to connect to dump1090-fa

Then 30 sec later: 0 mesgs rec’d from dump1090-fa; 0 mesgs sent to FlightAware. Five minutes later, same message.

Above, i only wrote down the gist of the messages it was giving me.

I think i’m almost there. Btw the FlightAware Pro dongle at least doubled the number of packets i was receiving (using Avare android software) and extended my range out to 120 miles vs the old 50+ miles. (Indoor antenna.) I may get the FA antenna on Amazon – what is that, a collinear?

Thanks for any help.

Orrin in northeast California.


As you have installed dump1090-fa and Piaware data feeder as per instructions on page , startup automatically takes place when you boot/reboot the Pi. You dont have to startup anything manually in a terminal window or write any script.

Simply reboot the Pi, and everything will start automatically.


Thank you… i rebooted and left it for a while, and lo and behold i was reporting!

But when i then open a terminal window (not ssh from another machine) and enter ’ ps -a ’ expecting to see some processes running, only bash and ps show up. Why is this?



@abcd567 Do you remember where you bought CHIP from? And why do you think it’s not as good as pi zero w?


Try command top
To exit top, press key q

pi@piaware:~$ ps -a
  PID TTY          TIME CMD
32444 pts/0    00:00:00 ps


pi@piaware:~$ top


The CHIP was designed and built for an extremely low price. This works well for certain applications but there are a few problems with it.

The onboard power regulator is barely able to supply enough power. This means during a power spike the CHIP will crash or reset. This is made worse by using a FA prostick or RTL dongle which is already pushing near the max power for a USB port. If you use the CHIP for fight tracking you will need an external powered USB hub to use it reliably.

The software is a bit hard to setup. The memory card is built on the board so no easy to install SD card image. The plus is that you don’t need to buy a SD card.

There software is not as actively developed like the Raspberry pi. So some programs are not compatible out of the box. This will probably get a lot better over time and it doesn’t affect piaware installation at all.

The name of the product makes it really hard to search for. Try googling “chip”.

The Quality Control seems to be iffy. The Raspberry PI initial boards were extremely bad too. So they should have this fixed in the future.

Basically, the CHIP requires a lot more work to get it up and running compared to the RPi Zero. Which is why it is hard to recommend it.


If a dongle is not detected the dump1090 receiver decoder program will stop running. It will start up again every 5 minutes to see if it can detects a dongle.

You should check that the dongle is connected to your RPi.

First check lsusb to see if the dongle shows up in the connected usb devices


Check dmesg to see if the drivers loaded

dmesg | grep usb


Your receiver last connected to Flightaware 11 hours ago. What happened?

Also, your stats page shows that you have not set your location (latitude, longitude).


(1) Last night late, got it running. Shut it off because i had cables all over the place. Things are more orderly now & back online.

(2) Can you point me to a specific location where i can set lat/long? I cannot find it in any of my account info. I find “not set” but not how to set it.

(3) David, hello: i am up & running with a (now) headless Pi3. Not using a Zero or Chip. … lsusb and dmesg are useful of course.

(4) ‘top’ definitely works! … The Pi3 is now headless so i’ll be using ssh from another computer to check on things and shut down when i need to.

I made a 1/4 wave groundplane and put it indoors next to my window. Seems to work about the same as my indoor non-resonant groundplane which i use for FM broadcast (88-108) and weather (162.5). I may invest in the FA vertical that is on Amazon.

So, just need how to set my lat/long… fwiw i’ve considered my nearest ‘airport’ to be 99CN which is a helipad at the local hospital within eyesight of my apartment.



On your my-ADSB page click on the GEAR icon. You must be logged into your FlightAware account to see it.


Thanks David for pointing to an easier method.
Screenshots attached below to make it easy.


Click the gear icon at top-right corner of your stats page as shown by red arrow in screenshot below:



Click “Configure location” button to open location setting dialogue box.



Follow instructions on dialouge box opened by clicking “Configure location” and _Configure height buttons in step-2.


Thanks David for the information. I was interested in giving it a try but it’s better to wait for an improved version.