Tag: RTL-2832U SDR

Adding ADS-B, ACARS, and ATC Audio to PlanePlotter Using Multiple RTL2832U Sticks

 Introduction
If you are an aircraft monitoring enthusiast, you might have eyed some of the ADS-B radar boxes that allow you not only to receive ADS-B tracking information, as well as ACARS information, and live Air Traffic Control frequencies. These boxes typically go in the $800 range. If you are wanting to experiment with adding these features to your cheap ADS-B station, we can do it for about $40, using two additional RTL2832U sticks. This is of course assuming that you already using a RTL2832U stick for ADS-B  reception with PlanePlotter. If you are using another ADS-B receiver, you can still add the additional two sticks to add ACARS and live ATC reception. I highly recommend that you consider using a RTL2832U stick with the R820T chip set for ADS-B, since it has the best sensitivity in the 1090MHz range. Even used with the included whip, you can typically receive ADS-B signals out to 75 miles indoors or more depending on your location. As we have seen, adding an external antenna can increase the RTL2832U ADS-B reception significantly. This “poor mans” ADS-B, ACARS, and ATC receiver system in no way competes with the $800 boxes, but can work very …

Building an Inexpensive ADS-B Receiving and Sharing Station

Introduction

ADS-B Aircraft Monitoring can be a fascinating hobby, allowing you to view live tracks of some nearby aircraft within a 100 miles or more in your area. Some hobbyist also like to share their data with networks that provide this information to the general public. ADS-B monitoring can be an expensive hobby with ADS-B receivers alone going in the $200 to $800 range plus the cost of a computer system to process, display aircraft positions, and possibly share the data. Thanks to recent advances is using certain inexpensive Digital Video Broadcast – Terrestrial (DVB-T) dongles as Software Defined Radios, it is now possible to create very inexpensive versions of ADS-B receivers and sharing systems. This article will show you how you can create your own complete ADS-B receiving and sharing station for less than $200. This is done using some inexpensive off the shelf computer hardware and a RTL2832U DVB-T stick. The price of this project can vary greatly depending on what you may already have on hand, what hardware options you choose, and where you shop for parts. This article will try to keep the price around $200 or less. You don’t have to be a computer expert …

The RTL-2832U SDR and ADS-B

What is ADS-B

Looking for something else neat to try with your new RTL-2832U SDR dongle? How about using it to set up an ADS-B capable aircraft monitoring system.  In a nutshell, ADS-B stands for Automatic Dependent Surveillance Broadcast used by aircraft to broadcast such information as registration number, flight number, altitude, speed, and position in realtime. This data is used as a radar type system that allows ground stations and other aircraft to view the data about each aircraft. The ADS-B system is pretty widely used in some areas such as the UK and is gradually making it’s way into the US. Using an ADS-B receiver and some decoding software, you can view this data and plot the aircraft on a map if it is transmitting its location. The system generally transmits data on 1090MHz. How well this project works for you will depend on your location and how much air traffic passes near you location. Another factor will also be the antenna, its location, and your view of the sky. If you are in the US,  only a small percentage of the aircraft transmit their location along with the other data. However, you may be surprised at how …

Trunk Tracking with RTL-2832U Dongle and UniTrunker

The lowly $20 – $35 RTL-2832U dongle is being used for several interesting projects these days. That is to be expected for a VHF/UHF SDR radio that is available at this price range. Considering that the RTL2832U / E4000 DVB-T sticks didn’t start life as a SDR radio, they have done a pretty good job of impersonating one. I am still pretty impressed just how well they work. Remember it is important that it to get a good RTL2832U DVB-T stick to make these projects work well. I have had very good luck with the Ezcap 668 DVB-T stick. I would say that it performs easily as well as the 4 times more expensive Funcube Dongle if not better. When buying any RTL-2832 DVB-T stick make sure it also contains the Elonics 4000 chip. Some DVB-T sticks may not include the E4000 chip (even some of the Ezcap sticks marked 668 may not contain the E4000), buy from a vendor that knows what they are selling and with a good return policy. Maybe eventually a cheap certified for SDR use RTL2832U stick will come out, until then your mileage may vary on the quality of these sticks. With that …