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  • Build Your Own Help

    I am trying to build my own ADS-B receiver and know very little about Raspberry Pis or how they work with Flightradar24. I have found two options I am hoping work. One is the Raspberry Pi Zero W which would be my first choice and the other is the Raspberry Pi 4. Would the Raspberry Pi Zero W work or do I need the Pi 4 and if I need a Pi 4 would the 2GB version work? What more would I get from a Pi 4 compared to the Zero W? I would be buying a starter kit for either option most likely from Canakit which seems to include all the necessities. Is Canakit a good choice? I also plan on purchasing the ADS-B dongle listed on the Flightradar24 website which is the Nooelec NESDR SmarTee V2 bundle. Will that ADS-B dongle work or are there others I should consider? I have done exhaustive research on this so any input will help and ultimately I just want a system that will allow me to share with Flightradar24 and possibly other flight tracking websites at a minimal cost. Thank you.

  • #2
    RPi4 is in my opinion the better option (the version doesn't matter they are all more than capable enough).
    While the RPi zero can run a decoder and feeder, adding more feeders and maybe graphs the CPU struggles.
    Also the power to the SDR doesn't work as well.

    I suppose it depends how much money you can save with the zero.
    If you'll never go to a proper antenna outside .... pi zero will likely be ok as you won't receive as many aircraft.
    It's a pity they aren't shipping something like the pi zero with a bit more processing power.


    • #3
      Thank you for the reply Wiedehopf! I am still trying to do a basic setup and believe I have the correct stuff. I will list what I have ordered below and provide the links below that. Can you or someone else please tell me if this setup will work or if I need something else. Any information will help.

      1. CanaKit Raspberry Pi 4 Starter Kit with fan which comes with the following below.
      - Raspberry Pi 4 4GB Model B with 1.5GHz 64-bit quad-core CPU (4GB RAM)
      - CanaKit Premium Clear Raspberry Pi 4 Case
      - CanaKit Fan
      - Micro HDMI to HDMI Cable - 6 foot (Supports up to 4K 60p)
      - CanaKit 3.5A USB-C Raspberry Pi 4 Power Supply with Noise Filter - Specially designed for the Raspberry Pi 4 (UL Listed)
      - CanaKit USB-C PiSwitch (On/Off Power Switch for Raspberry Pi 4)
      - Set of Heat Sinks
      - CanaKit Quick-Start Guide
      - CanaKit GPIO Reference Card

      2. JahyShow DVB--T DAB FM RTL2832U and R820T Tuner Mini USB Stick RTL-SDR SDR for SDR# HDSDR FM+DAB & ADS-B Receiver Set which includes the following below.
      1x USB DVB-T Stick
      1x Extra powerful antenna
      1x Driver and software CD
      1x Remote control

      3. SanDisk Ultra - Flash Memory Card (microSDXC adaptor Included) - 32 GB - UHS-I / Class10 - microSDHC UHS-I which includes the following below.
      32GB micro SD Card
      SD Adaptor

      The links for what I have purchased are below.
      Raspberry pi Kit -
      DVB-T Stick and tuner -
      Micro SD Card and Adaptor -


      • #4
        Originally posted by Colorado'sFlightMan View Post
        Thank you for the reply Wiedehopf! I am still trying to do a basic setup and believe I have the correct stuff. I will list what I have ordered below and provide the links below that. Can you or someone else please tell me if this setup will work or if I need something else. Any information will help.

        The links for what I have purchased are below.
        Raspberry pi Kit -
        DVB-T Stick and tuner -
        Micro SD Card and Adaptor -


        What you have purchased is good and enough to start.

        Now write Pi24 image on the microSD Card, and you are done.

        Guide here:
        2019 - PI24 (Image) QuickStart Guide

        Once you are up and running, you may desire to improve your range.
        You can then come back, and ask how to improve.

        Last edited by abcd567; 2021-02-28, 23:46.


        • #5
          I have been working on my setup for many hours now and come across two issues.
          The first is when I type in fr24feed-status I get an failure all the time for "FR24 MLAT" and sometimes a failure for " receiver: down"
          The second is shows "no devices found" when I attempt to activate new receiver

          I have followed all the instructions for setup and have no idea what the issue is. Any help will be appreciated as I am mentally exhausted trying to figure this out. Thank you

          My equipment is a raspberry pi 4 (4GB)
          DVB-T dongle (USB with antenna) Model RTL2832U and R820T
          32GB micro sd card


          • #6
            Errr. If you followed that guide, you might have missed an important bit

            Do NOT go to activation page. The activation page malfunctions, and does not list your Pi.
            Use the signup command given below. This command completes Signup and Activation process without any problem.

            Mlat doesn't activate, unless there are contacts received to be able to.
            Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers


            • #7
              _IF_ you actually have an ID, and it has been registered /communicating with the server

              (you can see your ID on status, you can browse to the config webpage and can see key in settings etc)

              But something is not launching to enable reception

              Wiedehopf has an automation that replaces the buggy image dump1090, removes the Read/Write issue. And replaces it with dump1090-fa
              While reconfiguring the config

              Lines under 'installation'
              Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers


              • #8
                I have tried the signup command and it still isn't working. There must be something I am missing or doing wrong

                I will list step by step what I do
                1. On PuTTY I type in fr24feed --signup. I then hit enter
                2. Enter your email address. I put it in and press enter
                4. Step 1.3 would you like to participate in MLAT calculations? For this I put NO and enter
                5. Step 4.1 receiver selection. I put in 1 for DVBT Stick and hit enter
                6. Step 4.3 Enter your additional dump1090 arguments or leave empty. I leave it empty and hit enter
                7. Step 5.1 Would you like to enable RAW data feed on port 30002? I put no and hit enter
                8. Step 5.2 Would you like to enable Basestation data feed on port 30003? I put no and hit enter
                9. Step 6. - Please select desired logfile mode. I put 1 for 48 hour, 24h rotation and hit enter
                10. Saving settings to /etc/fr24feed.ini...ok It also says Settings saved, please run "sudo systemclt restart fr24feed" to use new configuration. I type in sudo systemclt restart fr24feed and hit enter.
                11. What shows up is the standard pi@raspberrypi": $ It is here I believe I am done but let me know if I am wrong.
                12. I type fr24feed-status

                Every line is working except the last which says {fail} FR24 MLAT: not running ... failed
                This where I am stuck. Is it supposed to say fail and if it does what do I do next?

                Step 7.2.1 - I put in IP-of-Pi:8754 into my browser and it tells me "The site can't be reached" ( I am using Google Chrome)
                Step 7.2.2 - To check that the dump1090 is working, I also put this in my browser and get the same message "The site can't be reached) Again using Google Chrome
                Step 8 - Setting and configuration. I typed in the following to my browser IP-of-Pi:8754/settings.html and also get the message "The site can't be reached) Tried this both on Google Chrome and Microsoft Edge

                Since none of this works I have no idea where to go or how to fix it. Also, how will I know when it does work? Will data automatically start sharing to my account on
                Thank you


                • #9
                  You chose not to participate in MLAT. That will likely explain why that says no and complains it is down.

                  You need to replace 'ip-of-pi', With the ACTUAL IP of your pi in the browser. For instance 192.168.1.(whatever it is) Just like you type an address normally. It isn't a valid address on it's own.
                  The IP-of-Pi used below will be something like and can be found as shown in step 7.1 below.

                  IE, the same address you are entering in putty to connect to it via.

                  And if the status messages are showing like below, then it's running. If it wasn't. It wouldn't respond with the status. The key ones are highlighted.

                  pi@piaware:~ $ fr24feed-status
                  [ ok ] FR24 Feeder/Decoder Process: running.
                  [ ok ] FR24 Stats Timestamp: 2018-02-01 09:40:09.
                  [ ok ] FR24 Link: connected [UDP]. - talking to server
                  [ ok ] FR24 Radar: <radar> - activated if ID present
                  [ ok ] FR24 Tracked AC:0 - will be postive number if actually 'seeing' aircraft.

                  [ ok ] Receiver: connected (2941219 MSGS/0 SYNC)
                  [FAIL] FR24 MLAT: not running ... failed!

                  Just run Wiedehopfs command to be sure.
                  Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers


                  • #10
                    I have reached the final steps and get the following below. Does everything below look accurate? I seem to have everything set up but it won't pick up aircraft. What should I do?

                    I start at the IP-of-Pi:8754 where it shows all is working except tracked and aircraft loaded show zero.
                    Next I type in IP-of-Pi/dump1090/ and it opens and shows also zero aircraft and zeros for all.
                    Lastly, I type IP-of-Pi:8754/settings.html and then click save and restart where I get a page showing FR24 Feeder Restart and the message on the line below.
                    The FR24 Feeder application will soon restart and start using new configuration settings. Please stand by while application restarts... if it doesn't automatically redirect click here.
                    The page that says FR24 Feeder Restart doesn't do anything or redirect me and when I click the "if it doesn't automatically redirect click here" button it just takes me to the page of IP-of-Pi:8745 where I can click form the following: Settings, Reset Software, Terminate Software and Show Tracked Aircraft List. I left it overnight on the page hoping it would reset or automatically redirect me and nothing happened.

                    Below are my FR24 Feeder Settings with my sharing key correct but x'd out here. I seem close but just can't connect with aircraft.

                    FR24 Feeder Settings

                    Please note that changes will not take place until you save settings and restart the application!
                    Setting Config file Live setting Comment
                    Sharing key: 451397cb596xxxxx [16 characters]
                    Receiver: DVBT Stick (default) ModeS Beast (USB/SERIAL) ModeS Beast (TCP) SBS1/1e (USB) SBS1/1e (TCP) SBS3 (USB) SBS3 (TCP) microADSB (USB) AVR (USB/SERIAL) AVR (TCP) dvbt
                    Host/IP: n/a [,localhost:30334]
                    COM/DEV/PATH: /usr/lib/fr24/dump1090 [/dev/ttyUSB0, COM8, /usr/bin/dump1090]
                    Process arguments: [Extra arguments for dump1090, ex --net-http-port 8080 ]
                    Baudrate: default 57600 115200 (microADSB,etc) 921600 (SBS1/1er/3) 1Mbit (ModeS Beast) 3Mbit (ModeS Beast) default [COM/DEV only]
                    RAW data (30002/30334): YES NO no Enable/Disable raw data stream on port 30002(dvbt) or 30334(other)
                    SBS Feed (10001): YES NO no SBS1 compatible feed, port 10001, Kinetic Avionics RX only!
                    Decoded data (30003): YES NO no Enable/Disable decoded data stream on port 30003
                    Logfile mode: Disabled Keep up to 48h, rotate every 24h Keep up to 72h, rotate every 24h 1
                    Log file location: /var/log/fr24feed
                    Window mode: Start Normal Start Hidden 0 (Microsoft Windows Only)
                    MLAT: YES NO no Participate in MLAT calculations (requires at least Raspberry Pi B+ or later)
                    Extra settings: (Edit config file to modify these settings)
                    Last edited by Colorado'sFlightMan; 2021-03-06, 18:56.


                    • #11
                      It's not very rewarding trying to help lots of people replicate the guide.
                      If the guide doesn't work for you try one of the more automated approaches like this script:


                      You might also want to check if your SDR has the correct tuner, FC0012 / FC0013 won't work it needs to be an R820T tuner.
                      Note that you can't go by the product description as there are lots of fakes being sold.
                      If that test script shows FC0012 or FC0013 then you will need to get a stick that has the correct tuner, those two won't receive ADS-B properly.


                      • #12
                        I switched out the DVB-T stick and all worked. The original equipment despite being new was broken or fake. Thank you to all who helped!!!


                        • #13
                          I have had Flightradar24 setup and working for about two months now with DUMP1090 and would like to add FlightAware and RadarBox and can't figure out how to do these. It appears with FlightAware I need to download either raspbian stretch OS or raspbian buster OS. Is that accurate and if so what do I do from there? Is there an easier way maybe using PuTTY? With RadarBox, it shows all I need is RBFeeder but I can't see to figure how to install it or where to put the code in. I am hoping someone can help me set these two up. Thank you
                          Last edited by Colorado'sFlightMan; 2021-04-30, 19:47.