ADS-Pi: low cost ADS-B


Low Cost ADS-B IN for OzRunways

Commercial 1090ES ADS-B in products cost $1000 or more. By cleverly using the Raspberry Pi mini-PC, off-the shelf hardware and free open source software, you can build your own for a fraction of the cost. We call it ... ADS-Pi!

Of course, like any portable ADS-B device, ADS-Pi is not certified. It is experimental and of assistance to situational awareness only. It is not a collision avoidance tool.

Just want an ADS-B Receiver?

FlightBox by Open Flight Solutions is an all-in-one kit that snaps together in minutes and is compatible with OzRunways.

Buy direct


What You'll Need

Raspberry Pi Mini-PC

Get the "B+" model that has the two USB ports you will need. There are various kinds of cases you can choose from.

Element 14 is a good place to get them.

8 Gigabyte Micro-SD card

Get a fast, quality one that's actually 8GB so our image will fit. Or get a 12 or 16GB one to make sure.

Get them from just about anywhere online or at a retail store.

USB External Battery

No 12V socket in your aircraft? Use a standard USB battery.

Available just about anywhere, with best prices on eBay or DX.com

DVB-T Receiver with R820T Chipset

This is the magic bit. These TV receivers can tune to 1090MHz and using a software defined radio decode ADS-B traffic.

This little one from DX works well.

USB WiFi Adapter

The Pi will be close to your iPad, so a tiny one without external antenna will do fine.

Again DX.com has one that works well.

Micro-USB Power Adapter

The same cable as used by many phones (just not ones that run OzRunways) can power your ADS-Pi from 240V or 12V Adapter.

You can simply order some cables with your Pi from Element 14 and use any USB power adapter.

Putting it Together

Getting the software image

You can download our Linux image for Raspberry Pi B+ (2 GB, unzips to 8 GB) here and unzip the file.

You can download our Linux image for Raspberry Pi 2 (2 GB, unzips to 8 GB) here and unzip the file.

You can download our Linux image for Raspberry Pi 3 (474 MB, unzips to 1.5 GB) here and unzip the file.

Windows Users!

Download Easy 7-Zip to extract the image from the .gz file.

Writing the software to the card

On Windows

  • Download Win32 Disk Imager
  • UnZip and Run Win32 Disk Imager
  • Browse to the image file you downloaded and unzipped
  • Select the drive your SD card is in
  • Press write
On Mac OS X
  • Download and unzip Pi Filler
  • Run Pi Filler and follow the instructions

Plug it all in

Now just stick in your SD card, WiFi adapter and TV receiver, and plug in the power. Withing a few minutes of the "activity" light blinking on the Pi, you should be able to see the "ads-pi" WiFi hotspot.

Connect OzRunways

  • OzRunways 4.0.1 or newer required
  • Open the iPad Settings App
  • Go to WiFi
  • Wait until ads-pi appears in the list and select it

Trouble Shooting

Having problems making it work? Check out our support articles to find an answer.

Still having trouble? Contact us on the OzRunways Support website.

Geek Alert: Read our full guide on how we built the image using basic Linux and a whole bunch of open source tools.