ADS-B Receiving and Flight Tracking with PiAware from

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Why would you want to build your own ADS-B Receiver?

Well…. Have you????

  • Have you ever looked up at the planes flying overhead and wondered who they were?
  • Have you ever been curious to know where they were from and where they were going?
  • Have you wondered why that plane went over lower than you expected?
  • Have you wondered where that police helicopter was flying over?
  • Have you thought that maybe air traffic in your area increased….and you wanted to know why?


And with your own ADS-B Receiver…

You could see all of the beaconing aircraft in your area.  Usually over 150 miles (241 km) away from your location!

Monitoring the traffic from my home using an ADS-B dongle and a Raspberry Pi. Click to make the image larger
ADS-B Data of the Blue Angels Performing at the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach
ADS-B Data from the Bethpage Air Show at Jones Beach

Setting up your own ADS-B receiver is quick!

I setup my very first monitoring station in under 30 minutes!   I used my existing antenna, so your time will take a little longer if you are going to setup a dedicated antenna.

Setting up your own ADS-B kit is affordable!

If you have some SDR’s floating around and a Raspberry Pi, you have everything you need.

If you are starting from scratch, you can get going for about $50 USD


Before jumping into the tutorials, please sign up for my ADS-B e-mail list

In this list, I will keep you updated on my own ADS-B project.   

The tutorial on this page is just to get you started. 

All of my advanced tips and tricks will be sent to you periodically via e-mail.   This list will only be for those interested in ADS-B and will not be shared with anyone.

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Purchasing the hardware for PiAware

(Note – some of the links that follow are affiliate links.   This means that Scanner School could earn a referral fee at no additional cost to you if you make a purchase using these links.  The best part is that you are helping to support Scanner School)

All of my recommended items are already saved as a shopping list for you on Amazon.  Click here to jump straight to my recommended list.


FlightAware Pro Stick Plus ADS-B USB Receiver with Built-in Filter

The FlightAware Pro Stick Plus improves on the revolutionary Pro Stick high-performance SDR USB dongle ADS-B/MLAT receiver by adding a built-in 1090 MHz bandpass filter. The filter, when combined with built-in self-powered amp, provides improved reception of Mode S/ADS-B signals for users in areas where filtering is beneficial. By building the filter into the dongle we are able to significantly reduce the total cost when compared with buying a Pro Stick and an external filter.


Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Motherboard

The Raspberry Pi 3 Model B builds upon the features of its predecessors with a new, faster processor on board to increase its speed. It also features WiFi and Bluetooth Low Energy capabilities to enhance the functionality and the ability to power more powerful devices over the USB ports.

Previous models of the Raspberry Pi can also be used.   PiAware can work on the Raspberry Pi 2, but you will need an external dongle if you wanted to connect via WiFi



Raspberry Pi 3 Model B Case with Heat Sink

1. All ports accessible. This case is specially designed by real machine, two parts snap together design, easy to install, all the access ports are accessible, SD card can remove when the pi install in the case. And the top panel is designed for easy access to the GPIO pins and easy to plug and remove anything you will be connecting to it.
2. High quality material. This case is made from high quality PC material, which has the advantages of good high temperature resistance, impact resistance. And you can put much pressure or weight on the case without danger of cracking.
3. Good heat radiation. The case design has enough room to add heat sinks, and the bottom ventilation design allows sufficient air circulation.
4. Ergonomic design, comfortable to hold, agile to operate.

Package includes: 
1 * Case for Raspberry Pi 2/ 3 Model B / B+
2 * Heat Sinks
4 * Screws
4 * Rubbery feet

SanDisk Ultra 16GB Ultra Micro SDHC UHS-I/Class 10 Card with Adapter

MicroSD Card will fit into the Raspberry Pi.

Adapter is usually required to plug the microSD card into your computer.   You will need to setup the microSD Card in your Windows or Mac computer before plugging it into the Raspberry PI





To Be Continued…..


I will be building the rest of the page over the next few days.   In the meantime, please subscribe to the e-mail list below and I will notify you as soon as the page has been updated.

And remember – all of my recommended items are already saved as a shopping list for you on Amazon.  Click here to jump straight to my recommended list.



One Comment

  • Jason Dasho

    Great episode. Looking forward to building a Ads-b. Looks like it will be good project to do with my daughter (stem project) .. Took time and reviewed FlightAware sight while listening to show helped provide some visuals of what was being discussed.

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