Chris Smolinski Of HFUnderground.com and Black Cat Systems wrote up a great How To on his RadioHobbyist blog about getting the R820T USB RTL-SDR DVB-T Dongle working for ADS-B, and listening for data bursts from nearby air traffic.
For those unfamilar, a few years ago there as a small boon of USB “TV Tuner” adapters that hit the market. If you live in a weak “Over the Air” market, they weren’t all that great.
However, the chipset in them, offered hobbyists a little more bang for the buck in the form of a low-cost SDR.
While Chris’ installation and experiment worked under Ubuntu, and later became part of his snazzy new Mac app, Cocoa1090, I wanted to attempt getting the R820T dongle up under Raspbian on my Raspberry Pi.
My Current Setup:
- Raspberry Pi, Model B
- NooElec R820T: http://www.nooelec.com/store/computer-peripherals/usb-ota-receivers/dvb-t-receivers.html - If you’re really brave, NooElec sells an upconverter that will expand its abilities and complements the http://sdr.osmocom.org/trac/wiki/GrOsmoSDR project.
- Snazzy Case: Radio Shack “Sidekick” Arduino kit container, left over from previous project, FREE WITH PURCHASE! :D http://bit.corq.co/12PF8eA
- Code: Dump1090, installed via git for the RPi, how-to here via satsignal.eu: http://bit.corq.co/12PEApe
./dump1090 --interactive --net --net-beast --net-ro-port 31001
I was quickly aggregating data from the dongle:
If you want a simple web-page based output (using the IP of your Raspberry Pi and a simple Gui:
From the Dump1090 directory; (example: /opt/dump1090)
./dump1090 --gain -100 --net --net-ro-port 31001 --net-http-port 8080
From the SatSignal.eu link, there are further instructions for scripting the process to run at the RPi’s startup; this gets you both a client/server port to connect to with a 3rd party app, or a simple web gui without much extra work.
If you’re a windows enthusiast, and really want that Client/server based GUI, give this post a look:
It should connect from any windows PC to the port you defined with dump1090, and give you fascinating flight tracking info right from the RPi with and a minimal amount of install time.
Awesome further reading on the Dump1090 Project itself, can be found here:
Thanks to Chris Smolinski for the inspiration and the links.