FlightAware Discussions

Who do we feed and Why?

I am an enthusiastic Pi user for various projects, Linux is my main OS. Love aircraft but purely as an observer or traveller.

As for feeding ADSB sites I am curious as to reasons we choose some and not others.

I personally started and have stayed with the PiAware system. Main reason for preferring them over FR24 was I found the forum more welcoming and friendly, appreciate many post in both but I tend to ask any questions here.

Also feed FR24 as their web page is brilliant, happy to support, feed and benefit from the extra functions on the site.

ADSB-Exchange I’ve seen some criticism, negative opinions on the fact it is unfiltered. Personally I am unsure about this, is it a security issue? I have no real idea, guessing if it was a security issue it would have been stopped somehow.

ADSB-Hub I don’t fully understand if this is similar to ADSB-Exchange or not, the former offers an image for viewing collected data, the latter does not appear to.

Smart speakers have apps that will verbally announce certain close by aircraft data, a novelty indeed but not sure how useful this is.

I’m sure there are numerous other ADSB Data sites and would be interested to know as to why you maybe choose to feed some over others.

Geoff

Planefinder
Opensky-Network
Radarbox24
Variflight

Just to name some others.
There are also lots of people running their own FR24 using VirtualRadarServer

For ADSB-Hub i also never got an idea what exactly their purpose ist. Maybe for people loving statistics

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I’m feeding to 3 sites:

  • Flightaware
    I have bought the FA dongles and antennas and registered the first site 3 years ago.
    Forum is pretty helpfull and it enables me to get the most out of the hardware also thanks to the forums members and their assistance

  • FR24
    I feed them in order to use the FR24 business grade app when on the road
    I don’t have a high regard of the forums there. Lots of whining when something breaks and i don’t like their interface as it is now.

  • ADSB exchange
    I feed them due to the fact that they are unfilterd indeed, most others block out the military aircraft and the governmental aircraft.

Being a pilot myself I’d like to have the the total overview of what is flying around my house and it’s a way to give back to the community as well.

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FlightAware because they make some good hardware and an easy to use Pi system image.

ADS-B Exchange because it’s completely unfiltered (and non-profit I’m guessing).

PlaneFinder because their visualization tools are excellent (the polar view for example).

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Well my Pi feeds;

RadarBox24: Mainly because I started with their RadarBox back in 2008 and I liked their software despite a few longstanding issues including butting heads with Andre over the years!

FR24: As I always preferred, paid for & used their iOS App above all others I wanted to give something back.

FA: Mainly because I seem to find myself frequenting this forum to ask questions so again wanted to give something back.

ADSB Exchange: My longstanding interest in Military (aka unfiltered) and because I use an app called OpenADSB that uses ADSBx as their data source.

Sites I don’t feed but could be persuaded especially if my reasoning is out of order;

OpenSky Network: Seems to have a dead community so not sure if it is supported or not?

PlaneFinder: Used to feed these back in the early days but they seemed lazy and weren’t very helpful this time round.

PlanePlotter: Always liked Bev & Co and used to feed them also back in the day but don’t see any iOS app?

ADSB Hub: No reason why I shouldn’t become a feeder other than I never got round to it!

Another reason I don’t feed more sites is because I am not an expert in Pi’s and I worry that adding another feed will upset what has been a very reliable, solid, stable platform requiring minimal maintenance although my experience to date with the help & support of you guys in here and who frequent a couple of other related forums tends to lay that irrational fear of mine to bed!

I would be interested to hear opinions as to my train of thought on the above reasoning or indeed of other sites that I haven’t mentioned that I might consider for feeding.

Thanks & kind regards,
-=Glyn=-

I am still feeding this site, because it does have some nice stats and charts. But i agree, the community is not well maintained.
The data is still in use for their project, but they obviously does not have that much interest in supporting the feeders

Interesting reply GlynH

Depending on how you access your Pi system it should be quite easy to make a backup of a working stable system then if you add anything and it goes wrong just revert to saved copy.

Probably easiest way is to poweroff the Pi, remove microSD card and backup however convenient. There are ways of backing up a working system but with temp and cache files can cause problems. Because of the generally small size of MicroSD cards copying is usually quick.

I do tend to keep a few small capacity cards for Pi devices running this software although the Pi can be run from an external disk (All models but Pi 4 easiest) but probably bit pointless for ADS-B requirements.

Geoff

Several Backup-Strategies have been discussed already in this board:

I meanwhile have three Raspberries in use. The oldest one is now two years working for different purposes.

All three are equipped with 64 GB SD-Cards, not any of them failed in all the time.

FA - I started with piaware, use their software and enjoy the discussion group.

ADSBexchange - because it is unfiltered. There is no security risk to my Pi that I have found, nor is there a security risk to an aircraft because, well, if you wanted to shoot something you’d be better off just looking up!

FR24 - their included business account has a neat app where you can point your phone at an aircraft and the app will identify it for you.

Actually it is because of my fear of losing a perfectly working system that I keep an identical SanDisk Extreme Pro 32GB MicroSD Card permanently plugged into a SanDisk USB3 adaptor into one of the USB3 ports on the Pi 4 and before any updates/changes etc. logon using RDP and use SDCard Copier on the Pi to clone a working copy of the boot card.

I do occasionally shutdown the Pi and swap the cards round to verify the cloned card does actually work as a disaster recovery measure and spread the load across both cards.

I wait about a week between updating the Pi just to make sure it is running without issues before I clone the card and immediately after cloning I update the software on the original card which means if anything goes wrong during the update I can quickly switch cards around and I am back to exactly where I was before attempting the update/install.

It takes less than 7 minutes to logon, run SDCard Copier and clone the card and seems to work well for me.

One of the Pi’s also acts as a ‘hot spare’ in case of any hardware issue which means I can just swap in the required card from the faulty Pi and I’m back in business in no time at all.

The card in the hot spare contains a customised Buster OS which is all setup, up to date and contains all of those utilities & configs so if I buy another Pi I just use the spare card to plug into that and I’m all good to go with a fully patched, fully configured Pi setup.

-=Glyn=-

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Wow, you sound very organised with backups.

I just keep a safe copy of my unique identifier ID so that if I need to reinstall it resumes with my account instead of creating another.

I actually live in UK and used to maintain a Pi at a friend’s home in California. Management using ssh.

Brought it back after last visit as using it as a portable project now.

Geoff

Not sure if you are aware but if you are logged in to Flightaware web page and go on to the adsb stats section - at the end of the URL will be your username.

If you delete your username and enter any other users (case sensitive) you’ll see their stats.

Can see you have an excellent range.

Geoff

Just as an aside, it’s not case sensitive.

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Your ID is shown in the profile of the receiver as long as you’re logged in. No need to “keep a safe copy” :wink:

image

Most of the other feeders together with PiaWare store the information in the /etc files. Simply copy them over and done

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My feeds:
Flightaware: because it is the site with which I met this world and where I was helped when I had difficulties.

Flightradar24: because it has a number of unique features and I really like the AR mode.

ADSB Exchange: because it’s unfiltered and I’m passionate about military aviation.

Fly Italy Adsb: because I am Italian and it is the only Italian project that exists at the moment (and it is without filters, like adsbexchange).

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FlightRadar24, was where I started out on this journey and we use their app on our mobile phones (including a Windows phone, which I hope never need reinstalling as it is unsupported now) because the missus prefers it. Surprisingly perhaps, it was actually my wife that got me interested in this hobby.

ADSB Exchange was the second one I used and I still feed because it is unfiltered and we quite like being able to look up military planes when we see them.

FlightAware was the third aggregator I discovered and IMHO, has the friendliest and most helpful people on the forum and support. Why wouldn’t you want to share your data with them?

RadarBox and Plane Finder because they have USPs that can be useful on occasion.

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Totally agree with the third paragraph. Forum is great.

Geoff

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Community is great. Discourse is a joke.

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Haha, you will note that I said the people on the forum were great. As for the the forum software, not so much, although I don’t think it is as bad as some I frequent.

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