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I’ve been having a ball lately with SDR Radio and of course I’m a huge fan of the Raspberry Pi. Together they can be used to make a PiAware receiver that feeds ADS-B or Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast from aircraft transiting in your area. You can then upload that data to FlightAware.com and in turn they give you a free Enterprise account. I’m a big user of FlightAware during my frequent work related travel.
First I tried a vacuum cleaner bag but that really sucked.
The Unknown Comic.
PiAware
Here’s what you need to get started.

* Raspberry Pi B 2 Get it here This is a starter kit. If you have everything else just order the Pi here.

* SDR Radio

* Antenna (this is optional but recommended) You can also DIY an antenna for pennies.

* Filter (optional, improves performace by blocking radio interference)

* PVC case (Optional,this is not the exact one I don’t think. I bought this off the shelf at a Home Depot

* Antenna Cable This only is a few inches long and not optimum. It goes from the SDR Radio to the Antenna. You’ll want other adapters and lengthier cable. A trip to RadioShack will fix this problem.

* Register an account on Flightaware.com It is free and required later after you set up the PiAware.

* All the directions are here at their website. I just like to document my own methods.
Here is what my set up looks like. Note that I have an MCX Male to SMA female from the SDR radio to the filter. Then a 10’ long SMA female to female cable. At the antenna end is a Male N connector to female SMA with a male to male SMA coupler.

You could also get a cable made with male MCX to male N Connector and skip the filter. There are unlimited possibilities and again, a trip to RadioShack probably gets you what you need. It did for me.

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Now you need to program your Raspberry Pi with the PiAware software. There are a couple ways to do this but I’ll go the path of least resistance.

Basically you need to download their software and write it to your disk. Here is the software link. Now in your Mac do this:




Place your micro SD card in a card reader and type (in a terminal program):

diskutil list
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Now I do not have an SD card in this example but you’re going to get all the important info. /dev/disk0 and /dev/disk1 are your hard drive. DO NOT write over these.

/dev/disk2 is a downloaded program. Were I to pop a 16GB micro SD card in the USB it would most likely be /dev/disk3 with a file size of 16 GB. The important thing here is to id your proper SD card and file size. That is what you aim to over write.
Now open your terminal program and type the following.

sudo dd if=

Now open Finder and find the piaware file you downloaded and drop and drag it in the terminal. See how it auto fills out the location? Cool, huh?

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Now after the img put a space and type

of=/dev/rdisk3 bs=4m

Make DOUBLY SURE you are writing to the correct /dev/disk or you will overwrite your operating system. MAKE SURE YOU ARE WRITING TO THE USB DRIVE OF THE PROPER SIZE.

adding the r makes it go faster (they say) and bs=4m which means it will write block sizes of 4 meg at a time.


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Hit enter, type your admin password for your computer and it will write. It will seemingly be doing nothing but about 10 or 15 minutes later it will complete. Now take the micro SD card and place it in the Pi and that’s it. Start it up.

Now log in your computer and then follow the directions here on Number 4 to associate your device to your account.
Now go to your browser and get the IP address of your PI and type

http://10.0.1.188:8080

Your address will be different. The colon 8080 (:8080) is the port of the raspberry pi. And yer doing it. Airplanes on a map.

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