Is there any differences between FlightAware Pro Stick USB and Kinetic SBS-3 or Garmin for aircraft tracking purpose?
Something like: SBS-3 can receive twice more data.. is there any benefits?
Assume, that I have power PC.

  • $\begingroup$ Are those all ADS-B Receiver setups that you are using on the ground? I've never heard of them, do you have links? $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads May 2 '18 at 12:48
  • $\begingroup$ flightaware.com/adsb/prostick wimo.com/sbs-3-virtual-radar_e.html If Garmin has a ground station, I am not able to find it. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads May 2 '18 at 12:53
  • $\begingroup$ something like this: modesbeast.com/radarcape.html or airspy.com does they have benefit against dongle? I need only 1090Mhz $\endgroup$ – delkov May 2 '18 at 13:22
  • $\begingroup$ I imagine harware in some form is needed no matter what, between the ADS-B Antenna and your PC, as your PC will not have the radio tuning/signal decoding needed to interpret the data that the planes are sending out. Read reviews, see what others are saying about their performance. I have a Garmin ADS-B In/Out transponder in my plane, and just watch stuff on FlightRadar from time to time at home. I gather folks use equipment such as you show to collect data at home and perhaps send it to FlightRadar and similar sites. $\endgroup$ – CrossRoads May 2 '18 at 16:31
  • $\begingroup$ Waht is your use case? What do you need as an output from the receiver. $\endgroup$ – DeltaLima May 2 '18 at 18:23

Most ADS-B receivers in the market (including USB sticks such FlightAware Pro Stick USB) are receiving the same data using the standardized GDL-90 protocol. There is not a lot of data available on their amplifier characteristics.

Both in the air and on the ground, the main differenciator will be the quality of the antenna and its positioning. In that respect, avoid some USB sticks with a tiny embedded antenna without an antenna connector, as they will lead to lower performances than those of devices that are connected to much more efficient antenna.

Furthermore, with any device with an antenna connector, you will be able if needed to install the antenna at a more convenient location, as it is important the antenna has unobstructed view of the sky and when installed the ground be located as high as possible. According Garmin GLD-5x installation manual, ADS-B receiver antenna should be a standard 50 Ω vertically polarized antenna with a VSWR < 1.7:1 at 978 MHz and < 1.5:1 at 1090 MHz.

On that respect, the FlightAware Pro Stick USB, Kinetic SBS-3 and Garmin GDL-5x are all supplied with an external antenna connector, so I guess the cheapest one will do the job.


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