FlightAware Discussions

Pros and Cons of feeding data to ADBS Exchange as well?

So I’ve got my FA system up and running, plan to move the antenna even higher later today. With FA we get a free Enterprise level subscription which is nice.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of adding my feed to ADBS Exchange?

Also, if I do decide to add this to my current running FA setup, it looks like I literately just need to run two scripts?:

Thanks again!!

p.s. Mostly want to make sure I don’t blow up or corrupt my working FA setup. :slight_smile:

I am running Adsbexchange for many years. It does NOT affect any other installation.





Apart from the one you mentioned (breaking your working setup), which is possible but unlikely and the additional overhead of feeding to another aggregator, which is pretty minimal really and probably not an issue unless you are connecting to the internet on a metered connection such as a mobile, there’s really no downside to it.

But why stop with ADSB-X? There’s plenty of other sites who I’m pretty sure would love to have your data.

RadarBox, Planefinder, FlightRadar24 are other candidates that spring to mind and they all have configuration or installation information on their websites.

The only one that can cause an issue is FR24, but if you follow @ABCD567’s instructions on here or on their forum you’ll be fine.

If you are concerned about recovering after some sort of error, it might be a good idea to make an image of your card on a PC before making any changes. That way you can flash it back if disaster befalls you.

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Installation is simply running a bash command only.
However signup/configuration is tricky.
Key precaution is given in FR24 as well as FA forums:

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The scripts really shouldn’t blow up any possible installation.
2nd script is optional.

There are no accounts or anything for adsbexchange, but you are getting MLAT results for your local interface just like FA.

If you use the adsbexchange webpage to look at aircraft, it’s the logical thing to do, that page only works with enough people feeding.

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didn’t see that thread.

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Got it, thanks, guys! I took an image of the card, then restarted the Pi, ran the Exchange scripts and it works!

Been here less than a week and have had a great experience, everyone helpful and friendly. Really appreciate it.


Actually 3rd script (stats) is optional. The 1st & 2nd (feed and mlat) get installed when the feed is installed.

If I understand correctly, it is like this:

  1. adsbexchange-feed (feed-adsbx)
  2. adsbexchange-mlat (python3)
  3. adsbexchange-stats (json-status) - optional

The rbfeeder's mlat uses python3.7 on Buster

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feed and mlat are one install script.

That’s python3 …
Also what’s the relevance? :slight_smile:

Due to using the same package name mlat-client and rbfeeder installing the same package which did weird stuff … we’ve moved to using python virtualenv, so it’s decoupled from the rest of system in regards to the mlat-client package.

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Is that only in recent installs or is it in older versions as well? If so, can you tell me which port the MLAT results are available on? I couldn’t find that in the documentation for the setup I have.

edit: I hadn’t touched my receivers for over a year and had forgotten how the feeders were installed/configured but the post below kinda answers the question.

interestingly, I have three mlat-clients running on my receivers and they seem to co-exist quite happily.

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After installing rbfeeder on buster, I could install mlat-client by command sudo apt install mlat-client which is actually provided by RadarBox24 repository.

I then ran bash script to install adsbx-feed & adsbx-mlat, and it waited for long time, installing lot of packages in background. I understand it installed mlat-client again over the mlat-client installed earlier from RB24 repositories, but not sure as all was done in background with commands running with argument --quiet

For RB24 feeder, it is python3.5 (stretch) or 3.7 (buster).

This is default from /etc/rbfeeder.ini:
mlat_cmd=/usr/bin/python3.5 /usr/bin/mlat-client

Above works on stretch, but fails on buster. This works on buster
mlat_cmd=/usr/bin/python3.7 /usr/bin/mlat-client --results beast,listen,30007

Note: “–results beast,listen,30007” is for diverting RB24 mlat feed-back to port 30007 to keep it segregated from FA mlat feedback in SkyView map, and display it in VRS.

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You also have the option of running alternative feeders on a completely separate RasPi, which is what I do. I’ve been feeding for a while and have collected various versions of the Raspberry Pi. But I like to keep my Piaware SD card install clean. So I run Piaware on a RasPi 3B+ that’s connected to my dongle and I run other feeders on a RasPi 2B V1.1 that I just had in a drawer. That version may be 5 years old but just running feeders doesn’t even make it break a sweat. I run PlaneFinder, modeSmixer2, ADSBX, and OpenSky all on that second Raspberry Pi and just point them at the proper ports on the RasPi running Piaware. If all you want is to feed the other sites the easiest thing to do is just set the data source of each feeder to the IP of your Piaware RasPi, set the input type to Beast, and connect to port 30005. That’s the port that dump1090-fa provides Beast formatted data on. It’s a very small amount of data to send over a network, especially if everything is wired with Ethernet. So that’s another option. If you were interested I could go into the configuration of each feeder, since they are all setup somewhat differently.


If you are going to do this - feed multiple sites from the same system - do yourself a BIG favour: Make a temporary image of the SD card after each successful feed addition. After all the feeds are up and running, make another image of the SD card, and this one becomes permanent.

If your card goes bad, recovering will be a ‘walk in the park’, and you are going to remember me with affection. :smiling_face_with_three_hearts: :rofl:

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No it doesn’t overwrite any mlat-client if you use the current install script.
There used to be some issue with rbfeeder using the same package name … and the package from them being modified heavily while using the generic name …

Well it’s always automatically just pushed MLAT results into 30004 on localhost.

If you want a listen port, it used to and still is available as basesation on 31003.
Not sure for how long.
Maybe just install the current feed script?

Easiest way to find out:

pgrep -f -a adsbexchange

Noob question. How does one make a backup image of the card? Is this just a simple drag & drop or does this have to be done in an app/program. Thanks

Thanks @wiedehopf.

I’m going to rebuild my receivers using Buster on new SD cards soon so I’ll just install the latest versions of everything.

  1. Install Win32DiskImager on your Windows computer.
    Download page:

  2. Slip microSD card in card reader, plug card reader in windows computer, start Win32DiskImager and do as shown on the screenshot below

piaware - backup 4 Gb


Awesome. Thanks :+1:

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I forgot to mention, the newest version also offers MLAT results as beast on 30157.

Thanks very much @wiedehopf .