FlightAware Discussions

Thoughts on the pre-built FA systems on Amazon?

Any reason I shouldn’t just grab this? Any notable limitations or problems with this pre-built setup?

Or is there another similar one that’s much better for some reason?

Thanks very much!!

Seriously overpriced for what it is. You get an old model Pi, a PSU, dongle, filter and a crap aerial.

/edit - The most recent review there is quite telling. The PSU is one of the most important components and it appears that they’re cutting the cost and not even supplying an official RPi jobbie. I wouldn’t touch a bundle like this.

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As above.
Way over priced. PoS antenna (will never perform well). You can easily build an antenna that will perform as badly as that one for almost zero cost.
If you are running that antenna, you are unlikely to need the filter.
The only benefit of a kit like that is that the SD card has an image on it. Unless you have no way of writing to an SD card, this is not a huge bonus.

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Thx very much to both of you!

So I think I’ll grab a Pi and power supply, this, an antenna, and some coax?
https://www.amazon.com/FlightAware-Receiver-Built-Filter-MicroSD/dp/B01M7V8VP1/

It does not meet the “Gillete” standard.

For that price they should include on-site hardware installation. :smile:

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The receiver dongle at link sells for about $19.95 to $24.95. An 8 gb memory is about $5, so overpriced quite a bit. Check out:

There you will get great instructions and help on building an ADS-B receiver set, save some cash, and have the sanctification of making it yourself. You will also know about making improvements and understanding how this all works. The journey is just as important as the destination with this hobby. Have fun, and Welcome!

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Way over-priced. Third party seller, not Flightaware

 

This is sold by Flightaware at Amazon at a reasonable price, but unfortunately currently stock is not available.

 

If you dont want to wait, then a cheaper alternative is Radarbox24’s FlightStick (green). It also has a LNA and a 1090 Mhz SAW Filter.

If purchased directly from Radarbox store: $24.95 + Shipping $4.99
Radarbox24-FlightStick

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Thanks, guys. Parts ordered!!! :slight_smile:

Can you compare these two Dongles? Is the FA better, equal or? to the Radarbox 24’s?

One sample only, FA Pro+ was better.

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@moone

I use both the Flightaware ProStick Plus and Radarbox24 FlightStick. These perform more or less same.

The difference is in location of SAW Filter chip. In Flightaware, it is after the LNA, while in Radarbox24 it is before the LNA. At some locations FA performs better, while at some other RB24 performs better, depending upon Cell/Mobile signal at the location of use.

 

Following post may give you some insight into the Cell/Mobile interference issue:

RF Scan of Various Combinations of Dongles, Filter, and LNA

 

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Not sure where you are based but The PiHut could be the one stop shop you are after
They have everything you need from your Raspberry Pi to the FA antenna in stock and ship international
https://thepihut.com/products/flightaware-pro-stick-plus-usb-sdr-ads-b-receiver

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price clearly too high.

There’s nothing special on that bundle which deserves that pricetag.

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They are both aimed at the same performance point.
Which is better may depend on your own location / traffic / interference etc.
A bit more gain on one may give you some range at the cost of close in positions - doubt there is a definitive answer.

The RTL-SDR BlogV3 (not to be confused with the copies) is a better receiver, but is sold for broad-band use, so doesn’t have a high gain amp or filter which are needed before it will outperform the receivers above.

The RTL-SDR Blog stick, and the now discontinued RTL-SDR Blog LNA/filter combo, was the best low cost setup available IMO. The addition of an FA antenna made it a serious performer.

One of my two setups is exactly that. Coincidentally, I received another RTL-SDR Blog stick yesterday. I did not really need another one, but eBay was offering a good discount in early March, so I went for it.

The current production, the new one is dated January 2020, performs much better in the HF direct sampling mode, so I was both surprised and pleased.

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