which ads-b software/apps do you like and use most?

hi all,

now after about 4 weeks ads-b tracking and feeding flightaware and planeplotter - i’m wondering what software/apps/portals you use most of the time? what are the pros and cons? what are the hidden gems?

what i use - or did a test-ride are - and my very personal findings:

→ flightaware (best feeder backend/forum, mediocre ipad app)
→ planefinder (mediocre feeder backend/forum, good ipad app)
→ flightradar (worst feeder backend/forum, best ipad app)

→ virtual radar server (supergood, only disadvantage for me is the way it runs on my mac server)
→ modesdeco2 (very nice polished interface, builtin stats easy install, good documentation but dump1090 seems to be the better ‘engine’)
→ rtl1090 (outdated?)
→ sbsplotter (outdated?)
→ adsbscope (outdated?)
→ planeplotter (outdated?)

my comments above are only based on short tryouts - maybe i missed or misunderstood things. so - would be great to hear your ideas, advice, secret software pearls and opinions …


I guess it depends on what you are looking to get out of the hobby. If you are planespotting and want to see the flashy GUI with pictures of the aircraft and all the stats from your station, then you could call some of the software ‘outdated’. Sometimes I like that kind of display if I’m just seeing what’s up and around me.

However if you’re into virtual ATC, which I’m starting to get into as my Dad was an ATC in Newfie for the USAF and it’s interesting to me, then you don’t want all the bells and whistles. ADBScope is more than enough to give a trained controller a mental 3d view of their sector. Planeplotter is under very active development and it is another major method for serving information to FA. Sometimes all I want is a diamond on a screen so I can practice visualizing the airspace.

I guess sometimes IMAX HD SuperBlasterVision is fun, and sometimes a book is even better, just depends on what you want to do…

… probably the same as you - sometimes the imax and sometimes the book.

for the shiny section my favorite at the moment is dump1090->virtualradarserver. which one from both sections do you use most?

I used to like ModeSDeco/Mixer but the closed source nature of it all kind of turns me off of it. I’m trying to teach myself enough so that I could start adding parts to the open source dump1090-mutability and enhancing that. That’s the beauty of opensource, we can all contribute to help the project become what we’d like it to be. (Within reason of course…)

My go to right now is actually adsbexchange so VRS would be my pick. I like PP just because I’ve spent so much time customizing it to how/what I like and want and it’s the first program I used when I got into this whole scene.

that is exactly what my thoughts about are! additionally i had the feel that the ‘engine’ is less powerful in extracting messages out of the incoming data-stream …

that’s why i bought the license - but i found it to be not very intuitive (so have to learn) and my biggest problem is that i’m on osx normally and running vmware on a notebook is somewhat a fun killer …

You purchased a PlanePlotter license, or a VRS license?

haha - both bought planeplotter for about 30$ and made a 20$ paypal donation to vrs because i love it (even with the unusable backend running on mono/x11 … and the programmer seems to be a real nice guy