A few months ago I was poking around on FlightAware and FlightRadar24 looking at random flights as any aviation enthusiast would too. Living under an arrival flight path is also one of the things that led me into doing this. For under $100 I built a ADSB receiver ground station. It collects the data received from the aircraft that the receiver “sees” and relays that information directly to FlightAware. I will include a link where you can read some more information, but for those that have spotty radar coverage on either of these sites, you can build your own and help contribute to these sites.
There are a few benefits to making your own and registering it with FlightAware specifically. I am going to make the assumption that most of you don’t pay the $89.95/mo for an Enterprise account. This is given to you as a “Thank you” for the contribution that you are serving with FlightAware. You personally are given through your own set up, live radar, meaning no more 2-5 minute or more delays on the aircraft within a 250mile radius of your receiver. The aircraft that your receiver sees is delayed only by a few seconds if even that.
FlightAware provides Amazon and eBay links to the equipment that is required and optional. Keep in mind, the prices may have changed from the time of creating this thread. You make/assemble it your self. I took the easier route and bought the SD card that was preloaded with the software to track flights.
If you already have one of these ADSB receivers built, comment below your FlightAware username, and I will add you to the FlightCrew for IF Trackers.