FlightAware Discussions

PlanePlotter Support And FlightAware

Today we are announcing that FlightAware intends to discontinue support for data feeding via the Planeplotter software at the end of 2019. Planeplotter has been a part of our ADS-B data network for many years and has served us well as we built our worldwide coverage. We appreciate everyone who has contributed via this method over the years. As our PiAware and FlightFeeder network has grown, the size of our Planeplotter network has gotten smaller. FlightAware continues to invest in the development of our own software and the ongoing growth of our ADS-B network. We encourage current Planeplotter participants to consider using PiAware as their data feeding software in the future. We are providing this notice in advance to give everyone an opportunity to convert their feeder setup if they choose to do so.

It is important to note that users that wish to continue using Planeplotter to view and visualize ADS-B data will be able to continue doing that by connecting Planeplotter to the output of a PiAware, FlightFeeder, or other ADS-B data source. This is a feature of Planeplotter and is not within FlightAware’s control.

We will be reaching out directly to our Planeplotter participants via e-mail as well to keep them updated on the upcoming changes. The timeline of changes is:

  • April 1 – no new Planeplotter sites may be claimed on flightaware.com
  • October 1 – Planeplotter data will no longer appear in tracklogs on flightaware.com or on the “recent positions from this feeder” list on the “My ADS-B” page
  • December 31 – “My ADS-B” page will no longer continue accumulating statistics for Planeplotter sites and Planeplotter feeders will not receive Enterprise Account benefits after this time

We understand that this change is significant to those of you using Planeplotter and is not a decision we made without careful consideration. If you believe your location provides important coverage then you may feel free to request a FlightFeeder for your location, and we may reach out to specific users proactively if we believe this option a good option.

Thank you for your support of the FlightAware ADS-B network!

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Will there be a process to migrate a Planeplotter station to rPi and retain the existing site number?

On your stats page for your planeplotter do you have a Unique Identifier mentioned?
If there is one that number can just be set via piaware-config and the station will live on :slight_smile:
(For Beginners - How to Get Back Existing Station Number in A Fresh Install)

While my rPi units have the unique codes for piaware, the planeplotter site is identified by the 2 character ID assigned by Planeplotter. :frowning_face:

I guess there still is time to implement a solution for this. Not sure they thought about this, but it probably will be important for quite a few people.

I sent a note directly but have not heard back yet. As you say, there is still time to address it.
But as they say, “light casualties are never light to the casualties”

We are discussing this internally and should have an answer for you in a few days.


We have time to come up with a solution.

Just an aside, did the developers who decided to base the flightfeeder on a raspberry pi conceive of where this actually went?

If I recall correctly, the original designers of the Internet envisioned a world with as many as 254 computers and somewhat slightly underestimated on that.


Joel Wiley

I’m feeding data from a Kinetic SBS-1er via planeplotter. What are my options? I have a nice above-roof antenna and really don’t want to mount another/set up another receiver on my network.



You can use piware/dump1090(fa) and beastsplitter to pull the data from your SBS1 and feed it to flightaware.

Do I need to stand up a RPi for this? I’m already decoding using Kinetic’s basestation…

I’m not familiar with the SBS1, does it have a beast protocol output?

Not sure if piaware works with anything else nowadays. Probably they want to keep the data quality high by not accepting other mode-s decoders but rather processing the raw messages themselves.
(maybe that’s why they are moving away from planeplotter, they have no control over the mode-s decoder.)

The SBS1 is somwhat painful to deal with, it has a raw protocol that’s not widely used elsewhere and IIRC it won’t talk to more than one device at a time in that mode. You may be able to convince modes2mixer to translate the SBS raw format to Beast format, to then feed to piaware. It won’t work with mlat though. Make sure you take the raw/binary feed not the decoded feed.

Yeah, data quality issues due to not having the raw messages were a contributing factor there.

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Yes the piaware feeder runs on the Raspberry Pi or another Linux computer.
But it’s not as easy as jonhawkes made it sound:

ModeSMixer2: http://xdeco.org/?page_id=48
Reading the documentation on this page i’m somewhat uncertain that it can even use that protocol as an input. It is specified as a possibility for output, but regarding the input the documentation is somewhat vague:

ModeSMixer2 has ability to receive data via network from Mode-S decoder for RTLSDR devices as dump1090, rtl1090, modesdeco2, ADSB# or some other program producing and outputting Mode-S data over network.

At the same time the application is able to work with hardware Mode-S receivers as modesbeast or SBS-3 with traditional serial (COM Port) connections over USB interface.

ModeSMixer2 can output the data over network in a variety of different formats for use with many of the available virtual radar applications including BaseStation, PlanePlotter, Virtual Radar Server, ADSBScope and Globe-S RTL Edition.

Buying a RPi and a FA Prostick plus or similar dongle might be the best option for you. You could then feed your local Planeplotter from there.

On the other hand i get the impression the UK is really well covered with FA receivers so there doesn’t seem to be any necessity to feed FA at all if you rather keep your station as it is.


Feeding data from Piaware into Basestation


Thank you. I have the SBS-1er and basestation already running. My preference would be to feed from that configuration since it is already set up (and has a really good antenna/location). I am located in the Philadelphia PA USA area.

I’m familiar with the Pi. I run one for my Stratux (to get ADS-B while in flight – feeding my Electronic Flight Bag). But I’d rather not have another box to babysit/reboot/etc.

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I also run an sbs, i’ve been feeding for nearly 1100 consecutive days. I won’t be buying any more equipment to feed flightaware I’m afraid, so when you turn off the PP feeds it looks like I’m done

Well, it is probably a sign of the times that the newest product from Kinetic Avionic Products is made as a HAT for a Raspberry Pi, even though it can be used without one.

Still, guess the SBS is such a powerful device, even a Pi Zero for 10$ might be enough to collect the data and send it, assuming that is possible.

Out of interest, I played around about bit with PP when I started this,is PP running on a dedicated PC that is always on, or a server that is running 24/7 anyway?

As far as i’m aware as good as the Kinetic hardware might be, they don’t provide the raw messages.

As such flightaware can’t accept those data.

Anyhow that inability to produce raw messages is the reason flightaware stopped planeplotter support.

Without the raw messages the feed client only gets SBS format data.
Which means they basically get a table of aicraft but they don’t know how current each parameter of each aircraft is.
So it could be that the position is old but the altitude changed.

As such the data is inaccurate.

My guess is that may be the reason for fr24 stopping support for Windows. (Curious why they don’t just stop support for Basestation and similar formats but hey who knows.)

Also really curious why Kinetic does not provide a AVR output via TCP.
Really can’t be that hard.

AIUI there is a raw format of sorts, but you can only have a single client connected to that; so you’d have to do something sort of like beast-splitter to support fan-out to the BaseStation software and so on, but for a completely different protocol that’s only supported by one thing; then build protocol support for it into dump1090 et al. The cost of doing all that is hard to justify given the low numbers of SBS-based feeders.

(random trivia: very early versions of the FlightFeeder were built around a SBS)