I just discovered this stuff as I was looking into software-defined radio to be able to listen in on the world as it deals with covid. The orange FA dongle and antenna set was cheap and I had a few RPis laying around so went for it.
I’m really blown away and have a better antenna and feedline coming. Might upgrade the receiver too as I learn more about this.
I keep my Pi’s locked down so the live data link didn’t work until I opened port 8080 but that really put me over the top! It’s just so surprising and amazing to me I can watch planes taxi around at my local airport, watch life flights from my local hospitals, etc. I had no idea this technology was so developed or easy to experiment with. It’s just nuts!
One thing I noticed and will be fixing with the new antenna is right now I have my antenna looking out a window right at the house next door. The view should be obstructed hard to the east but the polar plot shows a pretty good circle. The homes here are stucco with metal mesh underneath to support the stucco. I think I’ve got a big reflector. The houses are closely spaced and relatively tall compared to where the antenna is in the window so I think the signals bounce back and forth until they reach the antenna.
I suspect but don’t know that this might have affected my MLAT position. I set it very accurately manually, even to where on the lot my antenna is, but the live data map shows my location about a block away.
I know MLAT synchronizes between multiple receivers but does anyone know if it further refines your position based on those other receivers? I was surprised when I saw that offset and that’s the only way I can rationalize it. Or maybe positioning on the map allows a more precise location than it actually uses and the new dot/location is simply my location with a few fewer significant digits?
Anyway, very much enjoying this new hobby. It’s really interesting stuff!