FlightAware Discussions

RTL-SDR Dongle

Good day!

I am new to this hobby, but doing well so far. So, one question for the learning curve: can both 1090 and 978 be received on 1 dongle?

I’m using piaware, PI, and an rtl-sdr dongle


No, that requires two receivers.

Also 978 is only used in the US.

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Maybe consider setting up a second Pi with a second rtl-sdr dongle. I just started myself and on my first go I used a Pi 3+ with the Raspberry Pi OS lite then added dump1090 and Piaware. Worked well but I decided to see if I could get dump1090 and Piaware working on a Raspberry Pi zero w. and found it does work well also.

So I went back and disabled dump1090 and Piaware on the Pi 3+, this lets me run it as a remote SDR using TCP with GQRX on the linux desktop.

The end result is now I have a full time ADS-B feed running on the zero and can use the SDR on the Pi 3+ to monitor the air channels using GQRX. Being so close to an airport I can listen to the tower and aircraft while I watch them on the local web Piaware. Lots of fun!

Perhaps you could do something similar but set dump1090 and Piaware not to start automatically. This would let you use it as a SDR or shut down the SDR service and manually start it as a 978 feed. Almost endless possibility.

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Thanks for the reply, great information.

I am using the PiAware image with a PI3 and an sdr-rtl dongle.

It’s working very well and nearly 90,000 reports to flightaware in 3 days. I live in a small community near a small airport, but getting some good receptions up to 80 miles with an indoor antenna.


Looks like your setup is working very well. 80 miles with an indoor antenna is excellent from what I can tell. On my first try I was only getting about 5 miles but that was on a general purpose discone scanner antenna. Now I’m using the FA 26 inch antenna mounted on a mast next to a satellite dish up about 12 feet. Got over 5900 at the 100 > 150 mile range and 180 at 150 > 200

On a side note - I set the GQRX on 978MHz this morning but did not see anything. It’s on the scanner discone. Might try making a better antenna for 978 and try again.


Does adding UAT require a separate flightaware account?


No, it’s just handled like any other site (you can have many sites associated with one account)

There are way less planes with UAT.
Their radio transmitters have less power than some of the commercial ADS-B planes.
They fly lower.

All those results in a much smaller range for collection of data…

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