Adding Raspberry Pi to Flightradar24 feeders (and getting Business subscription on FR24 for free)

Your Raspberry Pi with a simple DVB-T TV tuner can easily become one of the new Flightradar24 feeders. What do you need?

  • Raspberry Pi (obviously) with Debian-based system – I have Raspbian Stretch installed
  • DVB-T tuner with one of the ADS-B supporting chipsets (about 10-15 euro) – I have a RTL2832U based tuner such as this one
  • if you want to add a better antenna, RF/MCX converter might be helpful for some tuners like mine

Connect the tuner to the USB port on the device. Raspi Model 3 has enough power to feed my tuner without any USB host.

If you have Raspbian Stretch, run the following commands:

sudo apt-get install dirmngr
sudo wget -O /etc/udev/rules.d/rtl-sdr.rules ""

Then run the command that adds FR24 repository to repository list and downloads the feeding service:

sudo bash -c "$(wget -O -"

During the installation, the prompt will ask you to provide an e-mail address (best option is to provide one that you already have or will create a Flightradar24 account with), exact coordinates (up to four decimal points) and altitude in feet of the receiver. You can use tools such as Google Maps Find Altitude to find the altitude of your spot. Just remember that you need to add feet for your elevation above ground. You can also choose whether to expose raw data on a specific port which could be helpful for either debugging purposes or adding other tools to display planes on your own hosted maps.

The service should now run and you should be able to see the information panel when you connect to the Raspberry Pi host on port 8754.

A list of currently tracked aircraft will be available in „Show tracked aircraft list” link:

When you log onto Flightradar24, you should also already have a Business account which is given for free for the feeders. Business plan is the highest subscription plan, with flights history of 2 years and basically everything that’s available on the platform. It’s yours as long as feeding works.

You can also see some stats for your receiver.

My basic setup seems to be working fine, though the range is quite small comparing to my previous attempts from a few years ago with the same tuner in a different location. I’ll try to improve the antenna setup as right now I’m using a bundled one.

For more information and troubleshooting there’s a dedicated forum on Flightradar24.

Wigle – analysis and pinpointing of WiFi networks in your area

I like gathering all possible data, even if it has no clear purpose. That’s why I have a flights log (at 4 different sites, 2 of which I still update), use statistics pages to find out facts about geocaches I found, keep a map of all places I’ve visited and want to visit, sometimes I also log information about radio stations I was able to receive at a location (that’s called band scanning). Google Location History and Swarm are also my friends. That’s also something that explains why I chose Matchlogger as the project for Daj się poznać. I also like projects where people contribute to creating something bigger, like Wikipedia or OpenStreetMap. That’s why when I read about Wigle, I thought to give it a try.

Wigle is a page that collects data about Wi-Fi and cellular networks found by users. At the moment, there are more than 325 million networks that are in WiGLE’s database. An important point in history would be the second part of 2006 when it turned out that there are more encrypted than unencrypted networks in the database. People that provide data to WiGLE (mostly through Android app) are doing something that is called wardriving – that is searching for wireless networks from a moving vehicle. If you’re not in a car, then you’re either warwalking, warjogging, warbiking, warrailing or wartraining 😉 One important note is that they don’t connect to the networks – just listen to broadcasted data – so no unauthorized access takes place.

I played around with Wigle app for the last 2 days, starting it up when I was commuting to and from work and during my jogging around the neighborhood. I live in Gdańsk which is a city of over 400 thousand inhabitants and was commuting for about 8 km each day using public transport alongside one of the most popular routes. I also went for a 3 km run around my neighborhood. Can you guess how many networks I found? The answer is at the bottom of this post.

There was absolutely no point in time when I didn’t have any Wi-Fi network available when I was either outside or in public transport vehicles. There were moments when I could catch 73 (or even 80) networks at a time – though it was around Wrzeszcz’s Shibuya Crossing equivalent 😉

73 networks found at one moment.

There were some interesting findings.

Apparently, Xiaomi Yi car cameras are quite popular lately – I noticed at least three of them. WiFi is used for remote control on them.
Looks like we may have a fan of a Polish fringe politician here – „Korwin” network.
Some Audi cars have their own WiFi networks. You can connect up to 8 devices at a time.

I’m fairly high in the monthly ranking and it looks that I increased coverage slightly in Gdańsk – as most of the existing users were driving through the main roads and didn’t go into smaller side streets. Wigle’s maps also can show people where are the busy streets with all the cars.

So, how many networks have I found?