Avionics

ADS-B in for $20

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ADS-B ( Automatic Dependant Surveillance Broadcast ) provides much needed information to pilots and air traffic controllers. ATC can see the location, speed and direction of any aircraft equipped with ADS-B out. Pilots can see other aircraft with ADS-B out and get updated information such as weather and temporary flight restrictions. Historically getting access to this data required expensive avionics but recently a few low cost solutions have appeared.

With some specialized software European USB TV tuners can pickup the ADS-B signals and thanks to mass production such devices can be purchased for under $20. I purchased a tuner that comes with an external antenna from Amazon.

NooElec SDR
NooElec SDR

Using a USB OTG cable I connected the tuner to my tablet.

USB OTG with charge cable
USB OTG with charge cable

I already had Avare installed and setup so I only needed to install ADSB Receiver Pro on my tablet. Now when using Avare I can see other aircraft and weather data.

Blue dots represent other aircraft
Blue dots represent other aircraft

If you need more detailed directions to get this setup head over to the site that made this possible: http://hiz.ch/index.php/home/adsb-receiver

The FAA has mandated that aircraft flying in nearly all controlled airspace must be equipped​ with ADS-B out by Jan 1st 2020. I hope this mandate helps drive some competition in the market and bring down prices of ADS-B out transponders. In the meantime at least I can pickup ADS-B in with little investment.