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If any items are missing or damaged, please contact FlightAware FlightFeeder support immediately and reference your FlightFeeder serial number.
The FlightFeeder should be located indoors near a power outlet and an ethernet port. The FlightFeeder doesn’t have a physical reset or on/off switch, but you can power it off in the touchscreen menu by pressing: system -> system settings -> shutdown. Once powered on and connected to the internet it will automatically configure itself to connect back to FlightAware.
Outdoor GPS antenna and bracket for mast mounting. (This antenna must be used for the FlightFeeder to function properly)
The antenna length is approximately 25in or 635mm. This antenna is specially designed to work with the FlightFeeder and must be used as provided. A filter will block the GPS signal and cannot be used with this setup. If you have problems with the antenna, please contact support .
Antenna cable: to connect FlightFeeder receiver to Antenna
The antenna cable has an SMA connector to connect to the FlightFeeder (smaller connector). The N-type connector (larger connector) will connect to the Antenna.
Micro-USB Power Adapter
The power adaptor will have a country-specific plug. The USA version is shown.
The FlightFeeder kit does not include:
Mast to hold the antenna
3Installing the FlightFeeder
Required if using Wi-Fi: connect the small black antenna to the port labeled 'Net'. If you will be connecting the FlightFeeder to the router via the network cable skip this step.
Connect the antenna cable to the antenna via the N-type connector (the larger connector).
For initial set up purposes connect the antenna indoors. The antenna must have clear line-of-sight to the open sky in order to receive signals. Leave the antenna connected indoors until you have verified data is sending to FlightAware. Once you have verified data is sending to FlightAware, proceed with the final outdoor antenna installation (Instructions are provided below.)
Connect the antenna cable to the FlightFeeder via the SMA connector (the smaller connector).
Plug the ethernet (internet) cable in. (If using WiFi skip this step)
To send data, the FlightFeeder needs access to your Internet connection. Usually, no special configuration is required but if you are having trouble then please consult our FAQ page for information on firewall rules and network ports that need to be open.
Plug the power adapter into the recommended 200 joules surge protector. If your location has power issues it is recommended to use an 800 joules surge protector.
The FlightFeeder will start.
Note: the FlightFeeder might need an update the first time it is powered on and will reboot twice upon startup, which could take a few minutes.
The radio light will turn green to indicate ADS-B signals are being received. The network light will turn green to indicate the network connection is active. The GPS status will turn green once a GPS signal is recieved which requires your antenna to have a clear view of the sky, no filter in place, and use the specially provided GPS antenna. It can take up to 30 minutes depending upon your location to receive signal from the satellite. The gateway and network light will turn green to indicate a connection has been established with FlightAware. The MLAT light will turn green to indicate MLAT is active. Note: it might take a few minutes for all lights to turn green.
Select Wireless Password. Enter your WiFi password and hit OK.
Back out of the WiFi menu to select the Network tab.
Press the WiFi (Off) button and then select Turn On.
Note: If you have an active Wired connection while WiFi is 'on', the feeder will default to the Wired connection.
WiFi (Off) should turn green and show WiFi (DHCP).
Check the Status tab and all five statuses should show green. MLAT may take a while to complete initialization. It will show yellow during installation.
Note: You can also check the FlightFeeder status by typing the IP address (displayed in the "Network" tab on the FlightFeeder screen) in a web browser.
5Installing the 1090MHz Antenna
After verifying FlightAware is receiving data on your stats page please plan to place your antenna in a high location such as a pole, mast, j pole antenna mount, or chimney that has a clear unobstructed view of the sky. Be sure to mount the antenna securely so it does not become dislodged in high winds. Antennas that broadcast 1090MHz signals (the signal the antenna is receiving) are set up vertically and the best way to receive the signal is to align the antenna vertically, also. However that means if the antenna is tilted it will cause some signal to be lost.
Note: You will need to use the provided GPS antenna without a filter for this setup so the FlightFeeder can function properly. If this is not possible, please contact support.
A mounting bracket has been included to help mount the antenna.
There are a variety of ways to run the cable from inside to outside, below are some ways others have run the cable:
Drill a hole in the wall
Drill a hole in the ceiling/roof/attic/loft
Drill a hole in the windowsill
Run through a roof vent
Run through a pipe that leads to the roof. Caution: If you drill a hole into a pipe, be careful with sharp edges
Through a window, leaving it cracked and using foam/cloth/etc to create insulation
Do not bend the coax cable to a smaller circle than the following or it will cause internal damage to the wiring:
Minimum bend radius if bent only a few times: 1.5 in. (38 mm)
Minimum bend radius if repeatedly bending the same spot: 4 in. (101.6 mm)
Please keep cable runs as straight as possible and don't clamp, crimp, crush or bend too tight as this will cause damage to the metal inside the cable. Image below shows a damaged cable causing the FlightFeeder to not function properly.
If your kit was supplied with Coax-Seal tape apply it after mounting the antenna outside by winding it around the cable to antenna connection. Watch the video for more information on how to place the tape.
Your FlightFeeder should arrive already registered to your account. If not, you can register your FlightFeeder by entering the serial number on the bottom of the FlightFeeder. You will receive an email once your FlightFeeder is successfully sending data.
To view your site's statistics click on 'My ADS-B' in the site's header. See image below for an example outlined in yellow. Remember this may take up to 30 minutes to appear once you've started feeding data.
Your site should automatically set its location via GPS. If the LED on the side doesn't start blinking green within an hour please contact us at ADSBsupport@flightaware.com.
Multilateration, also known as MLAT, functions by pinpointing the location of an aircraft by knowing the locations of sites that received messages from the aircraft.
The FlightAware stats page will also tell you the local IP of your device and provide a link for direct connection. This is where you can find a link to Skyview, a web portal for viewing flights the receiver is picking up messages from on a map.
Aircraft that are spotted by your kit can be seen by everyone on FlightAware. You can also view the receiver status through our ADS-B statistics portal. An optimal outdoor setup will have 200+ miles of coverage!