Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

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KB1JHU
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Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by KB1JHU »

In the world of unfiltered ADS-B data, ADS-B Exchange was the king. However, in late January of 2023 it was announced that the owner of ASD-B Exchange, Dan Streufert, chose to sell to a private equity firm-owned business called JetNet. The staff at ADS-B Exchange was entirely opposed to the sale and in turn, was told that their contributions were worthless and theoretical. Those were the folks to took a failing VRS-based ADS-B Exchange and turned it around into what it was before the sale. Because of his complete disregard for the staff and developers, the database of aircraft at ADS-B Exchange went without updates for months, folks with API access reported multiple outages of the API and on a number of occasions the entire site went down. When they migrated the forums, which are now completely inactive, they lost about a year and a half of posts back to a previous backup.

In the wake of the sale, a number of alternative community-based sites popped up using the same open-source software as ADS-B Exchange. The largest of these and the one that is being supported by former staff from ADS-B Exchange is adsb.fi which is also working collaboratively with adsb.one.

I originally started feeding ADS-B Exchange because they were completely unfiltered and had a very supportive and knowledgeable community. I switched to feeding adsb.fi after the sale because I felt it was a betrayal of the community. Some folks here may know about the sale already from other sources but I haven't seen it mentioned and figured I might as well throw it out there. I am not sure how many folks here have ADS-B feeders but I would love to see more coverage added to adsb.fi in New England.

While many of us would personally like to see those with feeders stop feeding ADS-B Exchange and switch over to adsb.fi, I am not asking that of anyone. I would ask that you consider adding adsb.fi to an already existing feeder or join the community and build a new feeder.

Scripts are available at: https://github.com/adsbfi/adsb-fi-scripts (This will not disrupt existing feeds)
Community chat and tech support is on Discord: https://discord.gg/jfVRF2XRwF
Global tracking map: https://globe.adsb.fi

And since people may ask, I have no financial interest in adsb.fi. This is purely a personal interest in aviation and flight tracking and supporting a great community.

More reading:
JETNET Acquires ADS-B Exchange
A curated list of awesome ASD-B tools, projects, docker images, resources and other shiny things
ADSB Projects from KE4BFI
Forbes article about sale
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by garys »

Thanks for the post. Adsb.fi certainly has the look and feel of ADSB Exchange. I plan to take a longer look and will likely switch.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by Scott »

I switched my startup page over to adsb.fi. Thanks for the info.

I used to provide a feed for years to FlightAware, but I discovered recently that the Raspberry Pi I used to do so generated so much interference in the radio room, I shut it down. It was that bad. No amount of chokes, different cables, relocation within the room, etc. could mitigate the problem. It was not the power source; that was the first thing I switched. It seemed like the Pi with its pretty much non-existent shielding in a plastic case, was the issue. I have not tried a metal case yet but would love to hear comment on that.

I understand the Raspberry Pi was made for this purpose but it is unfortunate that a Windows feeder is not made available. I have a PC that runs dedicated 24/7 for a call ingest system for MSP Zone 04 and it would have plenty of horsepower to run an ADSB feed as well. I would not hesitate to bring one online were there a Windows feeder.

Thanks for the info. I had heard of it elsewhere but this is the most in-depth description of the issue I've read to date.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by KB1JHU »

Most, if not all, of the feeders for the big commercial sites as well as the tar1090 based sites run on a Linux variant. I think the only windows-based feeding available is for VRS which starts to choke out when aggregating large numbers of aircraft. I think you could feed from any linux-based computer, obviously something running 24/7 would be ideal. People use pi's because they barely use any power compared to a full PC.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by Scott »

I'll look into running it if I can make it work on Ubuntu. I will in the very near future have a Linux machine running here 24/7 as well. The antenna is on the tower and the coax is hanging here ready to be connected to a receiver, so I'll contribute if that works when the time comes. Thanks.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by jbella »

Whelp, this is exactly the info I've been loking for.

I'm planning on feeding sooner than later. I live a mile from GDM (the airport) and a few miles from the beacon and need to change the coax on my antennas anyway so while I'm up there I can set up whatever it is I need to set up.

One thing I've found extremely useful is overlaying NEXRAD (especiually in this weather). I only run milair on the display so it makes it a little easier.

Ubuntu? Linux? You may as well be speaking in ancient Latin. I'll figure it out.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by garys »

I'm in South Carolina not far from Charlotte, NC. My son's house is on one of the approach paths to CLT. I'm using adsb.fi and I've noticed about 20 seconds of latency between when a plane makes it's closest approach to the house and when it shows up. Not a deal breaker, but I think ADSBExchange.com is a bit faster.

I've also noticed some short breaks in the actual location with the gaps filled in by the blue/orange dotted line. Again, not a deal breaker and I expect both will improve as the system matures.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by Scott »

I have not joined the Discord for this system. So what does one do to feed, just simply set it up and go? There's no application to fill out as there are for other such sites? From looking at the github pages it appears to me that there are two components I would have to install as I'm not already running a feed. Most directions point towards a Raspberry Pi and not Ubuntu Linux 22.04 LTS, which is what I'd be using. As mentioned at the outset I suppose I should join the Discord for it; not really familiar with how that works either.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by KB1JHU »

Most of the .fi instructions are currently tailored to feeders already set up. For putting a new feeder together you can find a lot here:
https://github.com/wiedehopf/adsb-wiki/ ... pi24-image

Here's some other info:
https://wiki.adsb.one/index.php/Getting ... th_adsb.fi

A lot will focus on using a RasPi but if you know your way around another linux type system you can probably just ignore the RasPi specifics and sub in your particular setup. I'm not familiar with all the different linux things, I basically started learning as I built my feeder a few years ago.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by garys »

I've been playing with both alternatives since the beginning of the months and give globe.adsb.one a slight edge. Only because the labelling is a bit more detailed. The one thing that I haven't been able to do with either that I can do with ADSBExchange is enter a custom lat/long so that my location is accurate. If I allow it to display my location based on what Comcast uses it's several towns over. That's only on my desktop of course because I don't have GPS connected to it. With mobile apps or even my laptop, the location is accurate.

Not a big deal since I know where I am.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by KB1JHU »

So some things happened in the ADS-B tracking world over the last few months. The folks that were pushed away by the owner of ADS-B Exchange along with some new blood were planning to build a new organization, adsb.fi was originally part of that. Unfortunately back in September, the owner of the adsb.fi domain decided he didn't want to give up any control or participate in the new organization. He had also been holding the others back from further developing the site.

The new organization is airplanes.live which had to launch early because of the departure of adsb.fi. Since launch, airplanes.live has added features to the tar1090 interface, including things like TFR and Special Use Airspace overlays as well as some departure and arrival info for commercial flights.

While all this was happening, some legal troubles for ADS-B Exchange became public when a court filing was posted for a lawsuit filed by Golden Hammer Ops - the developers of ADSBx infrastructure from 2019 on – alleging theft/transfer of intellectual property after the sale of ADSBx and multiple violations of both the California and US Criminal Code. Court Filing

The longevity of ADSBx is questionable under the control of a private equity firm and with a potential major hit from the lawsuit. And I doubt adsb.fi will last long since he was heavily supported technically and financially by the folks he walked away from.

How to feed airplanes.live: https://airplanes.live/how-to-feed/
Global map: https://globe.airplanes.live/
Discord: https://discord.gg/jfVRF2XRwF
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by Scott »

Regardless of who is running this, I'm not sure (or I'm entirely missing) why there is not a PC option for uploading/sharing data. I would do so if so. I run dump 1090 on an always on PC that serves other things, and watch the data locally using Virtual Radar Server, a simple and effective setup. I know VRS can feed to external sources but I'm not finding a correlation between the two at these websites.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by KB1JHU »

I don't have the knowledge of all the coding and back-end stuff, but from my understanding dump1090 isn't really used much any more because readsb is a more efficient decoder. These sorts of projects usually avoid using anything windows because windows-based anything is generally messy. With the image available, setting up on a pi is very easy. Some folks use old laptops or thin clients with a linux install.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by jbella »

I just wish I understood any of the last 2 posts so I could get a feed up and running. Programming, and the types of gerbils needed to spin the wheels inside a computer always leave me baffled and walking weay.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by Scott »

Basically it means that unless you have a computer that is running Linux operating system, you can't provide a feed.
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Re: Unfiltered ADS-B & the ADS-B Exchange sale

Post by KB1JHU »

The easiest way to feed is with a Raspberry Pi single board computer, SDR sticks and an antenna.

You can join the Discord and talk directly to the experts: https://discord.gg/jfVRF2XRwF
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