Recently I got an RTL-SDR Kit (software defined radio radio receiver kit) for aviation. Basically what it is is an antenna with some mounts, an extension cord and a special USB stick that connects to my laptop to allow me to use certain programs to listen to radio frequencies. The first thing I tried was using my UHF radios and receiving my broadcasts from the UHFs on my laptop. It worked. Now it’s taken me 2 weeks to get this working, but I now have a setup that allows me to track ADSB aircraft and know of the existence of Mode S aircraft. Here’s how it works.
The antenna is set up outside my bedroom window on a suction cup mount. It receives the data from 1090MHz (the ADSB and Mode S frequency) and a program called RTL1090 decodes it.
It then broadcasts the data over a my network, called a TCP connection. Coincidentally, TCP is also used by the Infinite Flight Connect API. RTL1090 also displays this neat little table.
Another program, namely Virtual Radar Server, receives the broadcasts sent by RTL1090 then displays the information in a map/table layout, similar to that of FlightRadar24.
So that’s my little thing. If you’re wondering where to get all of this here are the links:
RTL-SDR Kit: You can buy on Amazon at https://amzn.to/2nIKFcT however I recommend looking at the list of local resellers on this page if you’re not in the US so you don’t have to pay as much for shipping.
Computer: I’m not gonna link every single computer but a laptop or PC or even Raspberry Pi will suffice. As long as it has >2GB RAM and a USB port you’re fine.
Virtual Radar Server: http://www.virtualradarserver.co.uk