ADSBx Custom Pi Image

ADSBexchange.com offers a custom Pi feeder image with stats, dashboard, maps, US sectionals and is configured to reduce SD card writes.

If you want a feeder that can stay active in harsh conditions and needs minimal maintenance, then the ADSBx feeder image is a good place to start.

Warning: Other site clients are not as polite as ADSBx and can take over your feeder if not configured properly.  We can’t provide assistance with ADSBx image if you install feeders without understanding what they are doing.

To copy the image file onto an SD card we suggest the use of BalenaEtcher (Windows /OSX) or dd (Ubuntu, DEbian, *nix)

Bringing a feeder online using the ADSBx Custom Pi Image requires the following:

Raspberry Pi Computer

The cost of a Pi 4B is typically less than the current cost of a Pi 3B+. For best performance, a Pi 4B is recommended, but other Pi models will work.

Power Supply

Power supply issues are common when using a Pi based receivers and SDR. The Pi 3B+ requires a good 5V 2.5A power supply. The Pi 4B requires 5.1V 3.5A power supply. Clean power is important in maintaining a stable decode.

Official Pi 4 Power Supply: https://amzn.to/2SWFcez

Canakit Pi 4B power supply: https://amzn.to/2WvVAFX

We can’t express enough how important enough power for the Pi SDR combo is, many of the issues feeders have are due to poor power supplies creating under volt or under current anomalies with the Pi.

Antenna & SDR

ADSBx 1090/978 Custom dual band antenna is available on Amazon and ADSBx store.

ADSBx Store: https://bit.ly/33yItFH

Amazon (free shipping with Prime): https://amzn.to/34AI5Hy

Fight Aware Pro Stick Plus ADSB Filter (1090Mhz): https://amzn.com/B01M7REJJW


Cable

SMA to N-Type Male: https://amzn.to/2GJBBOH

Using good quality cable is important in optimizing range and decoding of ADS-B signals. Short runs of 3-5 feet / 1-2 meters can use RG-58 or other ‘poor’ cable. Runs of 10 feet / 3 meters or more require and low loss equivalent cable designed for high frequency.

Do not underestimate the loss from poor cable and connections.

*Before you start you will need your Location (Lat/Lon) to 5 decimal points and your Antenna Elevation, if you don’t know this already you can use THIS WEBSITE to get it. *Remember the website gives ground elevation so you will need to add your antenna’s height to that.

Image Download

https://adsbexchange.com/myip/downloads/adsbx_buster.1.0.zip

md5sums:
bc427e46e17554c3043146b475db46c6 adsbx-1.0.11.img
c7205638c7145adbb3bc08b3e99c229c adsbx-1.0.11.zip

latest
: 1.0.11 November 11th 2021

To find your latitude, longitude, and altitude for adsb-config.txt, go to https://www.mapcoordinates.net/en.

Be sure to add in the height above ground of the antenna install to the altitude.

To test your feeder is working correctly after setup go to https://www.adsbexchange.com/myip/ and look for 2 green smiles!

Links to the map and dashboard can be found by putting IP assigned to your Pi by your LAN network in a web browser.

Initial Configuration

After burning image file, remove the sd-card and put it back into the reader and a new drive / partition should show up, find the one that has the file adsb-config.txt and a bunch of other files on it.

Sample 1090 single SDR adsb-config.txt:

 LATITUDE=34.495594
 LONGITUDE=-41.782331
 ALTITUDE=1050ft
 USER="buster_adsbx"
 DUMP1090=yes
 GAIN=49.6
 DUMP978=no
 ZEROTIER=no

Edit the existing file with your information and altitude of antenna in MSL. Use notepad or basic text editor.

DO NOT USE MAGIC QUOTES.

DO NOT CHANGE FORMAT.

Be sure to change the USER to a unique name for your Pi.

Save adsb-config.txt to the sd card.

See next section for wireless setup.

Wifi Setup

The same drive / partition that has adsb-config.txt is the where you want to save wpa_supplicant.conf, download and save the base file from here:
https://www.adsbexchange.com/myip/downloads/config/wpa_supplicant.conf
Change the my_wifi, my_password and the country, save it.

You can repeat this step if you ever want to change the wifi credentials, you’ll need to download the file again.

First Boot

Insert the sd-card into the Raspberry Pi, plug in the power and wait 5 minutes for the first boot to complete.

Find the IP address

If you don’t know how to look up the IP address of the Raspberry Pi on your routers configuration page, check this link for some advice:
https://www.raspberrypi.com/documentation/computers/remote-access.html#introduction-to-remote-access

With the IP address you can visit the local webinterface for the adsbexchange image: http://192.168.1.3
(replace the IP address with the one you have found)
Useful info on how to use SSH:
https://www.raspberrypi.com/documentation/computers/remote-access.html#secure-shell-from-windows-10
https://www.raspberrypi.com/documentation/computers/remote-access.html#secure-shell-from-linux-or-mac-os

Login Info

Local console access is possible if desired using the below user / password:
SSH access is enabled on port 22 using the below user / password:

user: pi
password: adsb123

Grafana Dashboard Login

admin
adsb123

978 for US based 2 SDR receivers

You only need to do this if you have more than one SDR on the device.

Stop services that are using the SDRs:

sudo systemctl stop readsb
sudo systemctl stop dump978-fa

Unplug the 1090 SDR and set the serial for the 978 SDR:

sudo rtl_eeprom -s 978

Unplug the 978 SDR and set the serial for the 1090 SDR:

sudo rtl_eeprom -s 1090

Unplug both SDRs, plug them back in again to make the system aware of the new serials, a reboot is not sufficient.
You can use sudo rtl_test to check if the serials are assigned correctly to the SDRs.
Then use this command to edit /boot/adsbx-env:

sudo nano /boot/adsbx-env 

and remove the # for this line:

RECEIVER_OPTIONS="--device 1090 --device-type rtlsdr --ppm 0"

and add a # for this line:

#RECEIVER_OPTIONS="--device-type rtlsdr --ppm 0"

Then save: Ctrl-O and Enter
and exit: Ctrl-X

Edit /boot/adsb-config.txt and change DUMP978 to yes:

DUMP978=yes

Display ADSBx config

cat /boot/adsb-config.txt

Change ADSBx config

sudo nano /boot/adsb-config.txt

Then save: Ctrl-O and Enter
and exit: Ctrl-X
To apply the changes, reboot:

sudo reboot

Check that you’re feeding:
https://www.adsbexchange.com/myip/

If you’re on another network or the /myip above somehow doesn’t work, use this command to show the feed map URL:

adsbexchange-showurl

Make sure to check that your MLAT sync is working:

https://map.adsbexchange.com/mlat-map/
http://adsbx.org/sync
If you have other stations in your area and can see a couple ADS-B aircraft, you should have synced peers and not be timed out.
If you’re timed out or don’t have any peers re-check your coordinates and altitude entered in the config.


Restart readsb service

sudo systemctl restart readsb

Show readsb status

sudo systemctl status readsb

Start Feeder Services

sudo systemctl start adsbexchange-mlat
sudo systemctl start adsbexchange-feed

Restart Feeder Service

sudo systemctl restart adsbexchange-feed
sudo systemctl restart adsbexchange-mlat

Show Feeder Service

sudo systemctl status adsbexchange-mlat
sudo systemctl status adsbexchange-feed

Technical Info (aka, stuff you probably don’t even need to know)

  • All MLAT participants will receive a back-feed of any aircraft where their data was used in the calculations.
  • A list of the software on the image can be seen HERE

Reporting Issues

Feel free to report any issues you encounter with this script using the forum or contact ADSBx here.

NEED HELP? Join our Discord Chat.

That’s it, your traffic should now appear on the Global Radar Page.