Contributing ADS-B Data to RadarBox with an RTL-SDR and Raspberry Pi

RadarBox.com is an ADS-B aggregator which is very similar to other aggregators like FlightAware.com and FlightRadar24.com. These services use ADS-B data provided from volunteers all around the world to create a live worldwide snapshot of current air traffic. The data is then used by airlines, airports, aerospace companies, as well as enthusiasts and regular people to track aircraft and estimate arrival times.

Typically contributors to these services use an RTL-SDR combined with a Raspberry Pi as the receiver. Some sites also use their own proprietary hardware, but they seem to be slowly falling out of favor as the RTL-SDR solution tends to be cheaper and more effective.

Over on their blog RadarBox have uploaded a new tutorial that shows how you can contribute to their service using an RTL-SDR, Raspberry Pi and their new RBFeeder client software. The set up procedure is very simple as they provide a script which downloads and installs the software automatically.

On their store they also sell an ADS-B antenna and 1090 MHz preamp which may be of interest to some ADS-B enthusiasts.

RadarBox Web Interface
RadarBox Web Interface

9 comments

  1. Jason Robert O'Kennedy

    Tried RadarBox and compared to other ADS-b aggregators, this one lags nearly 90sec behind the usual standard 30sec (high latency servers most likely). It doesn’t support telemetry and it’s not free. There’s is 4 [that I an aware of], open source ADS-b /aggregators more worthy contributing to.

    • AirNav Systems Team

      Hello Jason,
      We try to ensure that the user can see the data in as close to real-time as possible. Even a 30 second delay would be considered too high for our standards. If you notice any latency issues, please do not hesitate to contact us at [email protected], stating the exact time at which you experienced the issue and any other relevant information.
      Thank you for checking out RadarBox!

  2. thebaldgeek

    I tested this a few night ago, will be reaching out to RadarBox as it seems to have a very bad memory leak. So just a heads up warning, do not test on a production setup.

    • Jonis Maurin Ceará

      You’re right, the was a memory leak. Should be fixed now (just uploaded a new version). The memory usage now will increase a little over first hours, but it’s the ‘normal’ memory usage, the same when you use ‘standard’ dump1090 (base of our feeder) in local or network mode.

  3. Drone

    In my experience: For casual visitors RadarBox times out after 10 minutes then offers you an “Elite” level sign-up for $1.95 per month recurring. This undoubtedly hurts their user-numbers and ad-supported revenue, which makes no sense to me. Data contributors get Elite status for free (or you might view it as them buying your data for $1.95 per month). You may want to think about these issues before passing them data.

  4. Denis

    The rbfeeder tool is only available in binary package form for armhf platform. No i386, amd64 or source packages. But “doc/rbfeeder/copyright” say “License: GPL-3.0+”.

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