Featured ADS-B Feeder for June 2023: Stuart (EXTRPI004190) - Switzerland
Stuart L, ADS-B Feeder in Rudolfstetten, Switzerland
In this month's RadarBox featured ADS-B feeder, we feature Stuart L., an IT professional from Switzerland who combines his love for HAM Radio and technology with his newfound passion for ADS-B. Having recently joined the RadarBox community & family, Stuart graciously shares his experiences, set up, and the distinctive advantages and hurdles he encounterd as an ADS-B enthusiast. Join us as we embark on Stuart's captivating journey!
Residing in Rudolfstetten-Friedlisberg, near Zurich. Stuart lives in a strategic location for capturing and tracking flights. With his ADS-B antenna mounted on the roof, approximately 13 meters (42 feet) above ground level. However, the surrounding hills pose a unique challenge, resulting in an elongated pattern on the feeder map. Nevertheless, Stuart's proximity to Zurich airport allows him to track flights mere seconds after takeoff and arrival.
Stuart's ADS-B (1090 MHz) Antenna
Recognizing the importance of antenna elevation and signal strength, Stuart has undertaken various experiments to enhance his ADS-B reception. Through utilizing a 12dB antenna in conjunction with a USB radio, Stuart has experienced notable performance improvements. This setup has expanded his coverage range and allowed him to track more flights in the area.
His ADS-B station currently has a range of 208 nautical miles (385 km) and covers Switzerland, parts of Italy, Germany, and France. A good range!
In his pursuit to improve ADS-B reception, Stuart serendipitously came across RadarBox, a captivating find that opened up new possibilities. Intrigued by the features and tools it offered, he eagerly became a part of the RadarBox Family. Initially motivated by his wife's career as a flight attendant, Stuart's ability to track her flights in real time ignited his curiosity and passion for ADS-B as a hobby. This experience catalyzed his fascination with the flight-tracking world and community.
"The roof gets hot in summer; never a good thing for electronics! I tried to minimize this issue by only having the amplifier and USB radio in the attic warm zone. I use a Lindy USB extender to move the radio data from the attic to the basement server room over a standard CAT-6 network setup in the house. In the server room, this terminates at the USB input of the Raspberry Pi. Thus the Raspberry Pi remains at a constant temperature no matter the time of year. I also configured the Raspberry Pi to boot over the network of my NAS server. I found this to be a major advantage because SD cards on Raspberry Pi's are known to wear out, and this avoids the situation entirely. It also allows for automated system backups and easy swapping of the Pi itself in case of hardware failure (I have a reserve spare in case of this!). The result is reliability, which is very important when feeding any real-time data.", says Stuart.
For Stuart, one of the most fulfilling aspects of using RadarBox is the opportunity to explore the sky and space movements. Over time, he has developed a keen sense of intuition and a deep understanding of flight routes and airways, allowing him to predict flights during the day accurately.
According to Stuart: "The great thing about having a RadarBox system is that you become aware of what is happening in the sky above you. After a while, you get a feeling for the traffic patterns and can often correctly guess a flight that may pass by, just by the time of day! As a hobby, it is rewarding to see the flight patterns and paths that the aircraft follow and see in real-time the ebb-and-flow of traffic patterns based on the time of year. This was starkly noticeable with the traffic reduction when the pandemic peaked."
We also asked Stuart how he learned about us: "I found out about RadarBox while researching how to enhance my reception further. I got into ADS-B as a hobby after meeting my wife, who happens to be a flight attendant. I thought it would be cool to watch her at work in real-time!"
Rudolfstetten-Friedlisberg is a municipality in the district of Bremgarten in the canton of Aargau in Switzerland. It has a population of about 4500 people and is a bedroom community of Zurich about 15km (10 miles) away. The Reuss glacier covered the entire area about 12000 years ago, forming the valley that is now my home.
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