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[Package Install] How to Install and Configure Piaware on Raspberry Pi OS Image / RPi

[Package Install]

How to Install and Configure Piaware, dump1090-fa and dump978-fa on Raspberry Pi OS Image on RPi

1 - Download and write Raspberry Pi OS (Lite) image on a microSD card.

Download Page: https://www.raspberrypi.org/software/operating-systems/

2 - Enable SSH & WiFi while microSD card is still plugged into Laptop/Desktop

While the microSD card is still in the card reader of your Laptop/Desktop, in File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) click on drive letter of the microSD card (labelled boot) to open it. It will open folder /boot which has many files & few folders.

2.1 - SSH
In the folder /boot , create a new text file and name it ssh

If you are new to SSH, please see this post:
For Beginners - How-to SSH to RPi - Setup Putty in Windows

For Raspberry Pi OS image
username = pi
default password = raspberry


2.2 - WiFi (if required)
2.2.1 - In the folder /boot, right click and create a new text file.

2.2.2 - Open the text file using Notepad (Windows) or TextEdit (Mac)
In the opened text file, copy-paste following text:

ctrl_interface=DIR=/var/run/wpa_supplicant GROUP=netdev 



  • CA by two letter code for your country e.g. GB for UK, US for USA, DE for Germany, FR for France, SE for Sweden, CH for Switzerland, NL for Netherland, AU for Australia, NZ for New Zealand, etc etc. (click here for complete list)
  • YOUR_SSID by your router’s wifi ssid
  • YOUR_PASSWORD by your router’s wifi password.

2.2.3 - Save file.

2.2.4 - Change the name of file from “New Text Document.txt” to “wpa_supplicant.conf”

IMPORTANT: If your Desktop/Laptop settings are such that it does not show file extensions, the newly created file will actually be wpa_supplicant.conf.txt, but will not show .txt extension at the end. With hidden .txt extension the file wpa_supplicant.conf will not enable wifi. Configure File Explorer (Windows) or Finder (Mac) to show file extensions and remove .txt from end of file name.

For details please see:
Raspbian Image - Howto Enable & Configure WiFi Before First Boot

3 - Slip microSD card in RPi and Power up.

4 - Install Piaware, dump1090-fa, and dump978-fa

The dump978-fa is for USA only. Users outside USA should NOT install dump978-fa
Even users in USA who are not interested to add another dongle and antenna for 978 MHz should not install dump978-fa.

Detailed instructions are here:

5 - Configure Station ID

Get a brand new station number & feeder id

Log-in to your Flightaware account.
Go to followin page and follow instructions to claim a new station

Configure an Existing Station

(a) - Find existing station’s feeder-id (Unique Identifier)
Log-in to your Flightaware account.
Go to “My ADSB” / stats page flightaware.com/adsb/stats/user/
On above page look for 32-digit Unique Identifier: xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx

(b) - SSH and configure station id:

sudo piaware-config feeder-id xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx 
# Replace xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx  
# by your actual feeder-id 

sudo systemctl restart piaware

Note: Steps 6 & 7 below do not apply to receivers outside USA, as UAT 978 does not exist outside USA. These steps also do not apply to the receivers in USA who have not installed dump978-fa.

6 - Configuration for using both dump1090-fa & dump978-fa (Two dongles are required)

6.1 - Serialize dongles if using UAT 978: (CLICK HERE)

If you want to recieve both ES1090 and UAT978, then two dongles are required, one for 1090 and other for 978. In this case you will have to serialize dongles so that correct dongle+antenna sets are used by dump1090-fa and dump978-fa.

For 1090 Mhz dongle: use serial # 00001090
For 978 Mhz dongle : use serial # 00000978

Note: You can use any other serial numbers if you want, but do not use single digit serial numbers (0 to 9) or (01 to 09), as these may conflict with device numbers. Use at least two digit numbers like 21 or 93 etc)

6.2 - Configure dump1090-fa & dump978-fa to use dongles of assigned serial numbers

sudo sed -i 's/--device-index [^ ]* /--device-index 00001090 /' /etc/default/dump1090-fa  

sudo sed -i 's/driver=rtlsdr[^ ]* /driver=rtlsdr,serial=00000978 /' /etc/default/dump978-fa   

6.3 - Reboot so that dump1090-fa & dump978-fa can pick their assigned dongles at boot

$ sudo reboot  

7 - USING ONLY ONE FREQUENCY (978 Mhz OR 1090 Mhz)

7.1 - If you want to run 978 Mhz only

In this case, you will need only one dongle, but you will have to disable dump1090-fa by following command

sudo piaware-config uat-receiver-type sdr
sudo piaware-config receiver-type none
sudo systemctl restart piaware

To re-enable dump1090-fa (requires an additional dongle for dump1090-fa)

sudo piaware-config receiver-type rtlsdr
sudo systemctl restart piaware

7.2 - If you want to run 1090 Mhz only

In this case, you will need only one dongle, but you will have to disable dump978-fa by following command

sudo piaware-config receiver-type rtlsdr
sudo piaware-config uat-receiver-type none
sudo systemctl restart piaware

To re-enable dump978-fa (requires an additional dongle for dump978-fa)

sudo piaware-config uat-receiver-type sdr
sudo systemctl restart piaware



Raspberry Pi Imager
(Image credit: Future)