Build a PiAware ADS-B Receiver

Hey everyone!

I don’t know if people know about this, but you can make an ADS-B receiver with a few things and see planes flying overhead.

What You'll Need
  1. Raspberry Pi 3
    (A Raspberry Pi 2 will work, as long as you have a Ethernet cable or WiFi dongle)

  2. Power supply
    (I use a MicroUSB cable and an Apple USB Power Adapter)

  3. A MicroSD Card (8 GB or larger) and a way to read/write files from your PC (NOT the Pi)

  4. A USB Receiver
    (I use an RTL-SDR, which is $20)

  5. An antenna
    (An SMA male antenna will fit into the RTL-SDR. Here is one:

Once you acquire the required materials, you will download PiAware onto your MicroSD card. While it is plugged in, you can change the Raspberry Pi’s settings. Then, just plug everything into your Pi and watch it startup. Next, on a different computer, open your router’s webpage and find the IP address of the Pi. Type this address into the bar at the top of your browser to see the data from the Pi. Viola! You can now see planes overhead using ADS-B.

For more info, you can go to this website:

Good luck, and have fun seeing planes fly above you.


A few people asked what I use, so here’s my list:

Raspberry Pi:
Antenna (couldn’t find a link for mine, but this one should work):
WiFi Dongle:
Power Supply (Any microUSB cable):

I would recommend the Raspberry Pi 3, instead of the 2, so you don’t have to buy a WiFi dongle.

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Also, a good video that explains what everything is. The only optional thing I have is a 3D Printed case.


I’ve built this not that long ago and it is interesting. Plus you get a free Enterprise account!


What would you use it for when there is apps like flightradar24.

Right! It’s a good thing to have, especially for flight planing.

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PiAware sends the data to and I think FlightRadar24 has software that is similar. You can run them both is what I’ve heard, but I haven’t tried it yet.

Also, there is more delay on FlightAware and Flightradar24, where the Rasberry Pi is getting the live data from the aircraft.

Hope that answers your question.


Planes I saw on ADS-B in the past 30 mins:

2 Military C17s
3-4 747-400s
A TUI 787-800
A ton of commercial airliners

Waiting for the RTL-SDR USB Reciever. Do you use dump1090 ?

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Yes. The PiAware download will include dump1090. Hope that answers your question.

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I currently feed data to FR24 and get a free business account (49.99$ a month). This is a great deal.

I don’t know regarding FlightAware but the delay with FR24 is so small today it’s almost not noticeable.

Why should I choose FlightAware over FR24? I have no problem switching and just curious. If there are useful features I could consider switching.

The two useful features are:

  1. Like @harmyd said:
  1. Feeding data to more than one source.

If you feed to FR24 instead FlightAware that is fine. This was just to show people how to receive ADS-B signals easily.

Regards, Cbro

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I tried to run them simultaneously without any success… ;(

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I would love to help, but I don’t know how to run both. Maybe a google search my come up with something.

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