What is ADS-B?

ADS-B is “Automatic Dependant Surveillance – Broadcast”. It is a Surveillance system used by Aircraft in which an Aircraft determines its location by Satellite Navigation, This information is then transmitted over 1090MHz to be received by Air Navigation Radar Systems on the ground.

Why did you make this?

The simple answer is because i can. It can be useful for tracking flights and it also is able to send data to systems such as FlightAware (PiAware) and FlightRadar24 to give them a wider coverage of data and more up to date tracking information.

I am currently feeding FlightAware, FlightRadar24 and ADS-B Exchange as well as my Virtual Radar Server running on a server in a London Data centre.

What Equipment have you used for this?

  • Raspberry Pi 3 – 16GB SD Card with PiAware SD Image
  • HAB ADS-B Saw Filter and Low Noise Amplifier (LNA)
  • Mode-S Beast Receiver
  • FlightAware ADS-B BandPass Filter
    • (to filter out RF from my Amateur Radio Equipment and prevent overload of the receiver) – not pictured in the current photo above as this was added later.
  • 2x USB Power down-converters (13.8V DC in – 5v USB out)

The Antenna is a Flight Aware Vertical Colinear antenna currently at 20ft AGL connected with a length of low loss Heliax (Commscope (Andrew) LDF2-50)

Some people have asked me why im using down converters from 13.8V DC and not mains to USB supplies:

I had some issues with strong noise sources within my radio shack causing issues with receiving the weaker signals and found a lot of the mains powered USB supplies to be nasty switch mode supplies which produce noise on my Amateur Radio Equipment’s receivers – This also allows me to run everything off one Supply and it was built originally to be used at a remote location on Cleeve Hill where it could run off Back-Up Battery Supply if the mains was to fail, therefore preventing the SD card from getting corrupt if there were multiple interruptions on the mains


I have a much simplified system installed in a friends loft in Basildon, Essex to provide coverage across the East and into Europe

The Basildon system comprises of a Raspberry Pi 3, a FlightAware ProStick and FlightAware Colinear Antenna the USB Receiver is attached directly to the Antenna with an adaptor so there is no loss in Coaxial Cable

The system was originally installed in the roof space of a high pitch roofed garage however has now been moved into the loft to gain additional height at the antenna



An additional receiver system will be being installed in the near future in Evesham, Worcestershire to get better coverage towards the north

Comprising of a Raspberry Pi, a RadarBox USB SDR Receiver and RadarBox Colinear Antenna (Items that were available during the COVID-19 Pandemic on one of the well known shopping sites at time of purchase).


The three systems above i plan to supply their feed data to my Virtual Radar Server in London to gain an all round general coverage map between the 3 receiving systems.