Tracking airplanes in real time up to 400+ miles, with the use of RTLSDR and Coax Cable

dump1090

Here is a fun project that you can do that allows you to track airplanes in real time for less than $50.

Tools needed:

USB RTL-SDR (hardware that can capture radio waves):  http://www.amazon.com/NooElec-RTL-SDR-RTL2832U-Software-Packages/dp/B008S7AVTC

External Antenna Connector (optional as it includes a mini antenna with the above USB device):  http://www.amazon.com/coaxial-cable-female-right-angle/dp/B00CKG6T9I/

Dump 1090 (software that logs the data and shows the planes in realtime on google maps):  https://github.com/antirez/dump1090

10-15 Feet of Coax Cable (any scraps will do).

 

Collinear Antenna build with coax cable (optional):

 

Instructions:

Install your favorite version of Linux, Dump 1090.  Plug in your USB hardware.  Execute the following:

./dump1090 --interactive --net

Finally open the browser and browse to http://localhost:8080 to see live traffic.

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