ADS-B – Introduction

This is a “step by step” guide for building an ADSB recveiver and connecting it to FlightRadara24 and Flightaware.
I won’t go into too much details for everything, since you are reading this I assume you already know what ADSB is, you are the proud owner of a Raspberry Pi, you know how to hold a soldering iron and you can find your way with basic commands in a Linux environment.

Let’s highlight some important things first.

  • Equipment enclosure. This is important since in most cases we are talking about outdoor installation. It is more or less a matter of personal preference and mostly affected by installation location (indoor/outdoor, power supply/POE etc.). For my case, living in Greece I had to take special care regarding enclosure cooling during summer period. Trust me, it can get really really hot. My unit is installed on rooftop, and powered through passive POE.
  • Talking about POE I used an old laptop power supply to inject 19V. These are converted to 5V needed for the RPI and the receiver and to 12V needed for cooling fans with two UBECS. These little monsters have neever let me down. 
  • Powering the receiver stick from PI’s USB ports (there have been several issues reported, I am not willing to confirm them) is not generally a good idea. I used a separate USB breakout board whose power pins are connected directly to the 5v UBEC.