Mark Colwell made a post on G+ last night about this, Mark is one of the folks that if he says something you listen. I immediately grabbed some Beta updates and realised no aircraft would be coming past me before bed time, blast. Well its morning O clock now and the first aircraft out of Durban is on its way. In fact it rather shows the holes in airfields shown on mission planner as Durban is not there. Perhaps its time to use aviation overlays. Anyhoo

Why am I so excited about being able to display ADSB data? Well its one step in the detect sense and avoid chain. We can now tell aviation authorities that we can see ADSB equipped aircraft at range and plan our actions accordingly. Maybe one day the GCS will even take avoiding action on our behalf.

Even here in my sleepy corner of Africa high end modern light aircraft come by from time to time at low level and I see them in advance. As more aircraft are fitted or retro fitted with ADSB the sky will appear to fill.

Its cheap to do less than $30, I'm not going to go into extreme detail. There are pages of how to's out there.

First you need the receiver itself 

3689610459?profile=originalSearch for R820T and ADSB for the best near you.

Its then a matter of installing suitable free software and getting it to speak on the right port.

I use mine to both track aircraft and receive NOAA weather satellite images. The weather images are handy if you are operating miles from an internet connection and you are a cheapskate like me and don't have a sat connection.

I digress. The supplied antenna with the dongle will work locally if sited well out to more than 100km but you are better off creating a better one, again instructions all over the web. 

This contains everything you need to get this working and talking on the right port.

Once you can see aircraft on your machine you simply tick a box in planner settings and Roberts your fathers brother.


What a week for APM (ADSB might have been out for a while and I missed it)

Terrain following

Transitioning VTOL code


Feels like a leap forward.

Once you get your setup working you might want to send position reports to sites like Flightradar 24 from your fixed site. In that way a better low level picture can be built up worldwide and you can look at tracks on an app that becomes free if you are a contributor.  That's what I have been doing until now, but of course it does not work if there is no web.

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  • Admin


    Gr8, I am from India,  So wouldn't  know  the answer to your question.  It is  just that every one/ each countrie's regulations  obeys it.

    If only the armed donkeys at ground had ability to see/sense ADSB-IN data,  the  Civilian air tragedy in Ukraine could have been  avoided few months back and  many lives need not have been lost.

  • Thanks guys. Morli, I am generally familiar with ADS-B, but not the regulations surrounding the 1090 frequency. I don't know if you are US-based, but if so, do you know of the specific regulation that prohibits this? Is it an FCC regulation, or a title 14 CFR?

  • Admin

    Thanks Pedals.

    Dan, U got ur answer.

    The radio freq  required to be heard and to transmit ADS-B traffic  is highly regulated one. This includes the equipments used, installations, certifications etc and the list continues. The conditions to comply for these regulations is beyond any hobby/recreation budgets.

    And  if you use un-licenced  freq( e.g  FRS channels or ISM/wifi channels) to transmit your ADS-B Out signal of your drone, no one/other manned aircraft equipped with ADS-B IN   would not be listening/expected to listen on your freq to avoid your drone. So won't serve the purpose any way.  

    So you( the drone / manned AC pilot  if equipped with ADSB-IN  receiver is expected to avoid other AC when you see(Sense) their  ADSB-out  signals.   

    Note: you cannot  transmit on the ADSB freq,  but you can receive it( in most of the countries) with any possible device( dedicated ADSB or RTL type cheap dongles and computer). What you do with that info is your choice.   Lets see what happens after year 2020.


  • It is illegal because you are not authorized or licensed to transmit on the frequencies in question. Just like you're not allowed to call the police using a police radio to summon them directly. Anything transmitting ADS-B OUT data needs to meet a set of specific standards and requirements. Nothing you attach to your model aircraft is going to do that.
  • Morli, why would it be illegal? Not doubting you, just curious if you have anything that might demonstrate that.

  • Admin

    Nope,   it would probably be illegal to transmit home made transponder( ADSB) in our own drone/quads etc.  Instead when you notice( in your GC/monitor equipped with ADSB Rx) other manned  A/C  near/over your flying location,  then

    1. Stop flying and bring down your craft.

    2. Don't  fly near flight paths/airports( 5miles) or where low flying aircrafts are expected.

    Having said that, most of manned aircraft hosting ADSB transponders fly  really high( +15k' ) over my area. The nearest airport is 40k.m  away.

    Fly safe and be happy


  • so how is advisable for our units to have transponders in them? is there anyway to identify manned and un-manned aircraft in the area?

  • Admin

    can we use adsb#  instead?

    there is this article of integrating the quad and adsb here which some of you may find interesting.

  • After using this in the field today, here's some constructive feedback. I still think this was a great addition to Mission Planner. 

    The biggest thing is the size of the air traffic icons. The plane picked up by ADS-B plotted in mission planner is huge. It'd be nice if we could shrink that down a bit. 

    I didn't realize how tight I zoom in until I was having to zoom way out to see any ADS-B air traffic. What's scary about that is the fact that I wouldn't know about the air traffic until it was to late. 

    This is no fault of Mission planner, but more of RTL1090. I noticed with the Windowz version of RTL1090 it likes to put random 'contacts' all over the place. The Linux version of RTL1090 with the same type of dongle placed side by side doesn't do it. It's some sort of bug in RTL1090. You'll be tracking a few planes and then all of a sudden Blamo! 30 planes appear out of nowhere. 


  • Admin

    Thanks Gary. 

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