Cheap ADS-B system with Pi Zero and tv tuner

I would like to build a cheap ads-b system with a raspberry Pi Zero and an old tv tuner (compatible with ads-b).

I’m planning to :

  • use an existing software to decode signal from tv tuner with the Pi Zero

  • encode data in uAvionix dialect by using Pymavlink Libraries (mavgen)

  • send encoded data to the pixhawk…

I doesn’t see major issue with this solution.

Could you say if a tv tuner can be reliable and use in flight… ?

Which kind of DIY antenna can I make to improve efficiency / increase the range… ?

I doesn’t need more than 10 kilometers range…

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Not sure about TV tuners, but if you are going to write the code and the whole 9 yards, just get a cheap ADS-B rx.

Like this one.

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Sounds like a fun project. Have you had a look at this RTL-SDR page on ADSB, some good info on antennas also.

And If you are successful, contact me and I will fund you To develop a commercial version.

The demand in the future is for the ADS-B to become a beacon just like in commercial aircrafts.

This one looks great : https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B076GWF6FF

You want to pick one that gives you some type of SDK capability so you can write your own ap. So do some due diligence first.

It can works with a Raspberry Pi (product in my previous post…) : https://www.rtl-sdr.com/new-nano-3-rtl-sdr-available-from-nooelec/

https://www.nooelec.com/store/sdr/nesdr-nano-three.html

The constructor website says that it can works with raspberry pi…

A lots of examples to use this receiver with a Pi are available on the web…

You can stream data from dump1090 to mission planner to get aircraft showing up or your flight screen, it is not relayed to the aircraft however.

Thats why I’m planning to :

  • use an existing software to decode signal fromh the ADS-B receiver with my Raspberry Pi 4 (I already have it from a previous projet and I have enough space in my Quadplane)

  • encode data in uAvionix dialect by using Pymavlink Libraries (mavgen)

  • send encoded data to the pixhawk…

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Sounds like a plan. Looking forward to see your solution.

When you are writing the code, think about how it can be migrated to a tiny controller later on.

The reason, not everyone will want a pi on their UAV’s. the uAvionics ADS-B is your real competition :slight_smile:

I don’t want to do this for commercial purpose (for now…), its just a funny project to build a DIY alternative to expensive commercial devices… not really make a commercial alternative… (for now…)

BTW : I think that if you have the space in your UAV to put an ADS-B receiver , you have the space to put a Pi…

Teensy 4 is very powerful, I think that its possible to have enough CPU power with an optimized code to decode ADS-B…

Sounds good, regardless its a fun project. Keep us posted.

I think the difficulty is that your micro-controller would need to handle a full USB-protocol if it should work with a simple tv tuner… I don’t think that it is possible to do that, maybe if you read the signal output before converting it to usb, but then you would need to do the signal decoding too.

So I think the easiest solution would be to get the data from dump1090 as Peter suggested, if Mission Planner can handle the input a python script should be able to do the same

Teensy 4 solution can work, but requires a complex and long development work…

I’m planning to :

  • use an existing software to decode signal from the ADS-B receiver with Pi

  • encode data in uAvionix dialect by using Pymavlink Libraries (mavgen)

  • send encoded data to the pixhawk (solder tx/rx wires from Pi to a df connector plugged into a pixhawk port…)

Using mission planner is dependent of telemetry link between PC and FC…

I would like to use ADS-B with my OSD without being dependent of ground telemetry… so I have to onboard the ads-b receiver…