FlightAware Discussions

Using on a Mac?

I have a Mac Mini running MacOS Catalina 10.15.

When I bought the FlightAware Pro Stick Plus I assumed that it would come with something other than the plastic bag that it came in!

Where can I find software AND step by step instructions on how to get it to work on my Mac?

I have installed CocoaRTLServer 2.0 and it CAN find the USB stick so the stick IS working, BUT everything that I have followed on the Internet just keeps coming back saying that it cannot open the device!

So, where can I get clear, concise step by step instructions on how to get it to work on my Mac?

https://flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/build

It’s meant for use with a Raspberry Pi.
Not sure if there ADS-B reception applications ported for OS X, but i don’t think so.

There is some ADS-B decoding software around for Windows.
The typical dump1090-fa used on the Raspberry Pi also works on Debian or Ubuntu on x86 PCs.

The typical use case is that you connect to a Raspberry Pi that you run 24/7.
Obviously that’s Flightawares intent as you can read on the build page.
Supporting other platforms costs lots of money, plus most computers don’t run 24/7.

1 Like

So I have just bought something that does not work with my hardware/operating system?

https://www.blackcatsystems.com/software/cocoa1090.html

The above is the first google hit for “OS X ADS-B decoder”.

Anyhow it’s much more practical to run it with a Raspberry Pi and then view the planes via a webinterface running on the RPi.

You may be able to build dump1090-fa from source; at one point it would build under OS X. But that’s not maintained or tested so it may need some TLC to get it working. You’ll need to sort out a build environment and build libusb / librtlsdr at a minimum.

I was using these directions: https://www.blackcatsystems.com/software/cocoa1090.html.

I am getting this error:
"Found 1 device(s):
0: Generic RTL2832U (e.g. hama nano)

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U (e.g. hama nano)
Failed to open rtlsdr device #0."

…and I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA what could possibly be causing this or what I would have to type into Google to find the answer.

 

Does it give any error number such as "error -3" or "error -6" like below?

Found 1 device(s):
  0:  Realtek, RTL2832U, SN: 00000101

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U
usb_claim_interface error -6
Failed to open rtlsdr device #0.

It does NOT give an error number! I copied and pasted the output.

Trying sudo never hurt … (might be a permission problem)

I have tried that…and the same thing happens…

If you using his
https://www.blackcatsystems.com/software/cocoa_rtl_server.html
it is probably claiming the device.

You have to configure it to match what Coco1090 is expecting. The directions should be on his site.
If you installed any other SDR SW, it could be claiming the device, so only you could know what that might be.

BTW, you can pretty much run all the SDR stuff on the Mac, Flight Air Map, VRS, ACARS, etc, but you have to install homebrew or MacPorts and build a bunch of stuff yourself - Not for the non-programming folks.
Much easier to buy a super cheap raspberry pi,and burn the piaware image to an SD card, and get an instantly working set up.

1 Like

You bought a computer with an OS that has nothing working on it. Nothing else that is not from Apple walled garden.

2 Likes

You can run whatever you like on the Mac. The problem @pforkes has is to find a suitable demodulator that can talk to the Pro Stick Plus, perhaps a dump1090 variant like dump1090-mac, a suitable local viewer for the data and a process for feeding FlightAware. That’s a lot of work researching and gluing things together.

If the goal is to get it up and running, then, as @wiedehopf suggested, a Raspberry Pi is the way to go. Grab PiAware, write it to a card. Instant results.

 

curl https://github.com/mxswd/dump1090-mac/releases/download/1/dump1090-mac.pkg -o dump1090-mac.pkg

NOTE:
In above page following command is given:
git clone https://github.com/mutability/dump1090.git

Replace above command by:
git clone -b "unmaintained" https://github.com/mutability/dump1090.git

The FlightAware Pro Stick is inserted into a USB drive on my Mac Mini and if I run CocoaRTL Server 2.0 it shows the device name “ Generic RTL2832U (e.g. Hama nano) ” which suggests (to me) that the device is being recognized by the operating system as having the name " Generic RTL2832U (e.g. Hama nano) "

I have downloaded SDRplay_RSP_API-MacOSX-2.13.2.pkg and run the installer program to completion.

  1. Running SoapySDRUtil —info shows me:

######################################################

Soapy SDR – the SDR abstraction library

######################################################
Lib Version: v0.7.0-g69c16e98
API Version: v0.7.0
ABI Version: v0.7
Install root: /usr/local
Search path: /usr/local/lib/SoapySDR/modules0.7
Module found: /usr/local/lib/SoapySDR/modules0.7/libsdrPlaySupport.so (0.1.0-12c3db6)
Available factories… sdrplay
Available converters…

  • CF32 -> [CF32, CS16, CS8, CU16, CU8]
  • CS16 -> [CF32, CS16, CS8, CU16, CU8]
  • CS32 -> [CS32]
  • CS8 -> [CF32, CS16, CS8, CU16, CU8]
  • CU16 -> [CF32, CS16, CS8]
  • CU8 -> [CF32, CS16, CS8]
  • F32 -> [F32, S16, S8, U16, U8]
  • S16 -> [F32, S16, S8, U16, U8]
  • S32 -> [S32]
  • S8 -> [F32, S16, S8, U16, U8]
  • U16 -> [F32, S16, S8]
  • U8 -> [F32, S16, S8]

Which (to me) does NOT imply that ‘ driver xxx is installed and is working ’.

  1. Running SoapySDRUtil --probe=sdrplay shows me:

######################################################

Soapy SDR – the SDR abstraction library

######################################################
Probe device sdrplay

– Device identification

driver=null
hardware=null

– Peripheral summary

Channels: 0 Rx, 0 Tx
Timestamps: NO

This is definitely not showing anything to me that says ’this driver is installed and is working’ .

If you can suggest anything that might help me to get my FlightAware Pro Stick to be accessible for use on may Mac mini then it would very much be appreciated.

Try this

brew install librtlsdr

rtl_test -t

command not found: brew

I am guessing that “brew” is part of MacPort (?)

I took a look att this and could not figure out which/what I should download. If you can send a link to me then I will give it another shot.

brew is used by package manager Homebrew. You need to install it on Mac

You can test dongle by using it as FM radio.

On a Mac, the following command will do reception of commercial wide-band FM signals. This assumes that the sox package is installed by command: port install sox

rtl_fm -f 90100000 -M wbfm -s 200000 -r 48000 - | play -r 48000 -t s16 -L -c 1 -