My Flightaware ADS-B Feeder Setup

Andrew Sarangan, PhD.
Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor

My setup is a bit atypical because the whole thing (antenna, receiver and raspberry pi) is contained inside a plastic box and mounted at the top of a rooftop mast. A more typical setup is to mount the antenna on the mast, and run a coaxial cable to the Flightaware receiver dongle attached to a raspberry pi somewhere close to the internet router. Another alternative is to mount the receiver dongle to the antenna, and run a USB cable all the way down to the raspberry pi. Both of these options are susceptible to signal loss. My setup does not suffer from any signal loss, but it makes the raspberry pi inaccessible without climbing on the roof and taking down the antenna mast. I also had to run a long DC power line and an ethernet cable up the antenna mast.

The box is a plastic electrical junction box. A few holes had to be drilled into the box to allow the antenna connection, power supply wire and the ethernet cable to enter the box. A couple of aluminum angle brackets had to be made to mount the box to the antenna mast. The total weight of this was probably less than 1 lb.

Running a 5V supply through a long line was another concern. Noise and voltage drop due to a long run was a concern. Instead, I ran a 12V supply and used a DC/DC converter to step it down to 5V.

The mounting required attaching braces to the gable, and support wires.

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