Setting Up Aircraft tracking on your Raspberry Pi

Setting Up Aircraft tracking on your Raspberry Pi

Are you an aircraft enthusiast or just someone who wants to setup an aircraft tracker for cheap? Here is how to do it with a Raspberry Pi. We will be using FlightRadar24 aircraft tracking software.

Things needed:

Software setup

  1. Download Raspbian Stretch with Desktop 
  2. Plug your MicroSD card into your computer and open the Etcher Application.
  3. Choose the Raspbian image to flash and your MicroSD card.
  4. After Etcher has finished, plug the Micro SD card, HDMI cable, keyboard, mouse and power cable  into your Raspberry Pi.
  5. After the Pi boots up, connect to your WiFi or plug your Ethernet cable into your Raspberry Pi and router.
  6. Run through the first time setup choosing your wifi country, updating Raspbian, etc.
  7. Open terminal and copy paste:
    sudo bash -c "$(wget -O - https://repo-feed.flightradar24.com/install_fr24_rpi.sh)"
  8. You will be asked to enter your email address, antenna position and other details.

FlightRadar24 Aircraft Tracking Setup

  • Email address: Use the same one you used to signup for flightradar24
  • FR24 Key: If you have never used flightradar’s software before, leave this empty.
  • MLAT Calculations: Type “yes” for this.
  • Latitude and longitude:  Use a website something like latlong.net to calculate your latitude and longitude. You should try to be as accurate as possible. Latitude and longitude is in the format of xx.xxxx . Leave out any extra numbers.
  • Altitude: Find your elevation using whatismyelevation.com
  • Receiver  selection: If you are using the DVB-T stick, choose option 1. Otherwise look at the options available.
  • Dump1090: Keep this blank by pressing enter.
  • Raw Data and basestation data feed: Type no (unless you are sure you need it)
  • Logfile mode:  48hour, 24hour rotation
  • Logfile path: Press enter, or choose a location.

Sending data

  1. The FlightRadar24 aircraft tracking software should be completed. It will give you a sharing key. Copy and keep this key in a safe place for future use.
  2. Start sending data sudo systemctl restart fr24feed
  3. Wait 5 minutes and check to see everything is working: sudo fr24feed-status
  4. Check your data sharing on FlightRadar24
  5. If you want to goto your Raspberry Pi web interface, enter a web browser on your local network
    http://RpiIPaddress:8754
  6. Replace RpiIPaddress with your Raspberry Pi IP address.
  7. You should have everything up and work now. If you have any problems, goto FlightRadar24 forum page.

Optimisations

If you want to get the most out of your Receiver and antenna, you need to place your antenna in an optimal location. If it is a indoor antenna, you need to place it at a window upstairs. If you are using an external antenna, make sure it is on your house roof and make sure that the cabling is as short as possible. You need to use a high quality cable with a low impedance. For runs for 25-50 feet, you should use RG6 cabling. If you want to make your own DIY antenna, search the web for “ADS-B Cantenna” or ” ADS-B Spider antenna” or check out this post.

I hope you enjoy your aircraft tracker and your free FlightRadar24 Business account! If you have any feedback, comment below.

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2 Replies to “Setting Up Aircraft tracking on your Raspberry Pi”

  1. Not working, flightradar24 says needed to be updated and says out of date. I have a new computer 2.

    1. Are you using a Raspberry Pi? This tutorial should work as I currently have a Raspberry Pi Zero W locating aircraft and uploading it to FlightAware and FlightRadar. Could you provide a bit more information so that I can help you out? Did you double check that you have followed all steps correctly?

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