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  #1  
Old 02-23-2014, 04:40 PM
MacPara's Avatar
MacPara MacPara is offline
 
Join Date: Apr 2010
Location: Tucson, AZ
Posts: 461
Default ADS-B Flight Tracking

A while back we had a thread about APRS and ADS-B flight tracking. I'm not sure why but the thread was closed, so I am starting a new one instead of replying to the other one (Keeping Track Of Your Plane).

In the thread mentioned above we had a few guys reporting that they were just using the ADS-B tracking feature by means of some common flight tracker websites. Back then my plane wasn't flying and I thought this to be a nice feature which would make the installation of an extra transmitter and antenna for the APRS system obsolete.

Well, now my bird is flying and although I have ADS-B in & out installed, I still do not see my bird's tail number show up on any of these tracker websites. I double-checked that my Mode S code is correctly configured and the transponder is happily transmitting when in flight. I do get traffic and weather information through ADS-B without any issues.
What else might I be missing that I cannot track myself? I was flying VFR (1200) and with Flight Following (and discrete transponder codes) but to no avail - I still do not show up on any tracker.

Any ideas what to try?
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  #2  
Old 02-23-2014, 04:54 PM
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KALEWIS KALEWIS is offline
 
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Location: Jackson, OH
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Most only show IFR flights. ADS-B does not matter. I am not aware of any VFR flight tracking websites w/out the extra radio equip installed.
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  #3  
Old 02-24-2014, 10:36 AM
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MacPara MacPara is offline
 
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Well, Bob Bogash (NASA515) showed his track in this reply and it obviously shows his RV-12 being tracked. I don't think he was on an IFR flight when that was recorded...
It was his article actually that made me think the APRS equipment would be kind of overkill for flight tracking.
Oh, and while I was researching those trackers a bit more thoroughly a few weeks ago, I saw a large number of VFR flights around Phoenix and Tucson being tracked live and they were little Cessnas and such.
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http://torstensrv-12.blogspot.com/
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Last edited by MacPara : 02-24-2014 at 10:39 AM.
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  #4  
Old 02-24-2014, 10:44 AM
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Thermos Thermos is offline
 
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Location: KASH
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Default planefinder.net

Have you tried planefinder.net? This site gets traffic data (mostly IFR) from the FAA like Flightaware and other flight tracking sites, but also gets realtime ADS-B traffic feeds from private individuals with ADS-B receivers connected to computers/networks.

APRS sites like mail2600 and aprs.fi won't show ADS-B or other ATC traffic - just aircraft with operating APRS beacons.
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Last edited by Thermos : 02-24-2014 at 10:50 AM.
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  #5  
Old 02-24-2014, 10:48 AM
BigJohn BigJohn is offline
 
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FlightAware tracks me pretty much any time I use flight following. Not ADS-B dependent.
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  #6  
Old 02-24-2014, 10:59 AM
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Radomir Radomir is offline
 
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FlightRadar24 does not care if you are on a flight plan or not. They use a network of ADS-B receivers that get "raw" data directly from your transponder.. so squawk code/IFR/flight following etc do not matter here.

you have to be within reach of one of the receivers. If you're not then you wont' show up. So, you'd want to first check coverage in your area, then go fly and have someone else watch while you're flying..

It's really difficult to say whether you were simply outside of coverage area or if you have something misconfigured...
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  #7  
Old 02-24-2014, 01:00 PM
NASA515 NASA515 is offline
 
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Flightradar24 still works for me - I used to think it was only when I was "in the system", either via a Flight Plan or Flight Following, but I notice it picks me up any which way.

Even when I land and have lunch! Also, you can go back and replay your flight at assorted speeds, up to a week later. On this particular flight, however, it did not track my location accurately - it was good all the way through my landing in Friday Harbor - but my actual ground track was straight south from Victoria to Port Angeles, the shortest crossing of the Straight of Juan de Fuca - not the SE angle depicted. That's the only time that has ever happened - maybe poor ADS-B coverage in that area - there might have been a signal drop-out and when it picked me up again, it just drew a straight line between those two points.

Flight Aware has never worked for me - it doesn't know who I am - whenever I have entered my tail number it just shrugs with something like "we don't track bug-smashers."





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  #8  
Old 02-28-2014, 11:01 AM
funflying funflying is offline
 
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Default Tracking

I have Flighttracker24 app now and was looking Bob's prior post and note his squawk code. Were you assigned this by ATC thus you were "in the system," but you then went on to say you were in the Flighttracker24 data base "any which way."

As I played with this app on my IPad mini. I was trying to see if there was traffic I could see out of my home base but it looked like only the IFR traffic showed up. And of course out of Denver International there was a lot of activity in the air and on the ground.

Just wondering how it would track me during a local flight like Bob showed in the prior post? Thanks
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  #9  
Old 02-28-2014, 11:56 AM
NASA515 NASA515 is offline
 
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On the flight to Friday Harbor, I used Flight Following. The return via Victoria was with clearance from Victoria Terminal (the Canadians control the airspace in NW Washington State, as well as in B.C.) After passing Pt. Angeles, I was handed off to Whidbey (NAS) and then Seattle Approach returning to Bremerton. There was no Flight Plan filed.

The Squawk Code was assigned to me by ATC. You can/should never enter any Squawk Code other than 1200 VFR (in N. America) unless assigned by ATC (except for the 7000 series emergency codes.)

Here's a round-trip flight I made Weds (26 Feb 2014) from Pt. Townsend (0S9) to Bremerton (KPWT). There was no Flight Plan filed and I never used ATC services. You can see my Squawk Code was 1200, and all my data was there.

I played this flight back the next day and grabbed the screen shot.



Bob Bogash
N737G

Last edited by NASA515 : 02-28-2014 at 11:58 AM.
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  #10  
Old 02-28-2014, 01:25 PM
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MacPara MacPara is offline
 
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I don't want to get too technical and come across like a total geek (which would be true though), but I have some (low cost) equipment on order which will allow me to pick up and decode the Mode S transmission from my transponder. As soon as I have it put together I will check if I can pick up my own transmissions at the hangar.
I do see a few PA-28s frequently showing up through private ADS-B receivers (that actively feed the information to flightradar24) around my airport but I still don't show up even if I fly in that same area where I saw them. The PA-28s are flying VFR and pretty low too, so I have no explanation why their signal would get picked up but mine wouldn't. I'll post my results when I got my equipment set up.
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