Anyone using FlightRadar 24?

I have a Raspberry Pi in my roof office serving ADSB readings to FlightRadar, 24/7. One advantage of being a data contributor is that you get to use more features on the app, which incorporates a filter option: I’ve set one up to display aircraft flying between 0-500 feet, which would hopefully give me an early warning of aircraft encroaching in “my” airspace. The example below shows planes on the runway at Manchester Airport.


I’m an occasional user (use it before flying the drone to see what may be about + just outlet of curiosity to see what is locally about where it’s been and going too )

not. a plane spotter just look up from time to time and wonder…

I use the shipping one too when at beach or on a ferry etc etc.

how did you setup your receiver, other than the obvious what did you use hardware and software?

I have been keen to make an ADS-B receiver that just beeps a warning when something is close (same as you get on DJI fpv goggles)

but it seems that the devices are expensive to read ADS-B … I just need to know the objects proximity to me not interested in it’s details… just the signal strength I guess

Search “SDR Dongle”. These are very inexpensive devices (originally made for digital terrestrial TV) and are fairly simple to use as ADS-B receivers.

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Something like this

The setup was quite simple - FlightRadar have a link to build your own receiver and there’s a downloadable image to burn to a MicroSDHC card. I added a better quality antenna because my whole rig lives indoors and the roof tiles tend to attenuate the signal a bit. Using the recommended components you can do it cheaply though.

I’d be really interested in having some of proximity alarm/beeper - I’ve seen a few light aircraft doing some weird manoeuvres locally that looked a bit too close for comfort: maybe i should contact FR24 and see if there’s a way to do it. Right now I’d have to have an observer watching the phone display for a sub-500ft intruder!

I believe that xjet in NZ uses one or the club does.
He is on YouTube and twitter

just stumbled on this

may be helpful later… so I know where to find it…

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Flight radar 24 doesn’t show all aircraft though. Had a private helicopter fly over here, quite low yesterday so I opened the app and it didn’t show on the app at all. So I assume it’s only aircraft that are transmitting adsb info that show up. :wink:

yes that is correct it is not mandatory in the UK… (I think it should but that is just me)

Nowadays, the majority of aircraft broadcast ADS-B messages constantly. Starting from the year 2020, civil aviation aircraft in Europe and United States are required to be ADS-B compliant. Old aircraft which are not compliant with ADS-B requirements are required to be retrofitted or phased out within a number of years.

i dont think it is mandatory in the UK, but it is being encouraged

(this dates from Dec 2022 so for the CAA it’s hot off the press and the ink is still drying)


They filter out Police and HEMS, but seems to show them for me.

not heard of that one looking with interest now.

Thanks - that sounds like a winter evening project.

Edit: I previously set up another Pi with an SMS hat - if that could be combined with the 1090 project we could have a great early-warning system!

That’s a very impressive map display!

but you want it local to where you are flying your drone… not to the pi (unless it’s a pi on a local battery on 2040)

…more thought required as it’s just (just he says!) filtering the message for the coordinates… and comparing them to local GPS signal coordinates… if within a few miles emit beep!)

as an early warning

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Yeah, and that’s been the problem to a certain extent - it would be easy to masked battery/power bank-powered Pi but FR needs a static location. I need to think about this one…

Yep… ADS-B Exchange for me all the time. :+1:

Please don’t ever rely on flight tracking sites to fly your drone. Whilst ADS-B exchange and 360radar are both good there’s still lots of aircraft that don’t show up on them, including some military, light aircraft, microlights and gliders.
PlanePlotter is very good if you are a ground station and master user, it will show many more contacts. In fact you can also force MLAT contacts that aren’t plotted on the map based on their squawk code. For example F-15s F35s and Typhoon fly over my house on route to the mach loop, they don’t always show up on the map but they do show up in the contact list with a military squawk. I can choose to manually or automatically force MLAT contacts of interest based on their squawk to make them appear on the map.
It is a very effective system but even then there are still contacts which will not appear even in the list, especially certain military stuff and low level aircraft where there isn’t enough ground stations receiving them because of their low altitude. A great example would an air ambulance landing or taking off from the local school field, too low to be received by enough ground stations for MLAT but perfect to conflict with your drone flight.
So don’t assume that if you can’t see it on screen it’s not there.

I certainly don’t…I’m also a bit of an Av Geek so just use it for that. I concur re A/C that don’t appear. I recently had a Merlin at low level over my place that didn’t show on either site.

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