Feb 11, 2017

With my sons, we build a Flight Aware ADS-B receiver using Raspberry Pi. Here is what we finally bought (after many different tries). The items listed on the FlightAware site needed to be updated.

You need to buy a Raspberry Pi. Since you need a good power supply, I prefer the bundle. With the Version 3, you get built in wireless. I didn’t realize this until after I bought a wireless adapter.

You will need a 16 or 32GB SD Card. I just buy whatever was most reasonable at the time.  You will need to get the FlightAware receiver, you can get a generic one but if you are going to dedicate the unit for ADS-B, go for the purpose built one. For a case, I bought a generic one which included screws, heat sinks and a screwdriver. There are many others out there but this is one I plan use as for now we are keeping it inside.

Lastly, the best way to receive (see) more planes would be to ‘upgrade’ the antenna. While the basic antenna works, we see 5x more planes just by upgrading to a better antenna. I also found by having a USB Keyboard, USB Card Reader and Generic HDMI monitor on-hand made building everything easier.

Base Requirements:

Raspberry Pi Bundle
Generic Case
FlightAware Receiver
Basic Antenna
32GB Card

Things that made life easier:

Generic USB Keyboard
USB Card Reader
Generic Monitor

Better Antenna:

5M Cable
FlightAware Antenna

NOTE: We failed over and over again using a Mac to load the software. We thought it was something else but once we loaded the Raspberry PI software using a Windows PC, everything worked.