One of the items discussed – which we promised to follow up on – was the open-source, do-it-yourself ADS-B receiver system called Stratux, as presented by Spencer Rice, which is made using a few items you can buy on Amazon for about $110.00. It enables subscription-free inflight weather and traffic reception capabilities on your compatible tablet or smartphone app. We said we would provide the information and links – so in the true spirit of experimental aviation, here you are!
Also: If people would be interested in meeting as a group to assemble your own Stratux after acquiring the parts from Amazon, please let us know (by sending email to firstname.lastname@example.org) and we can collect a list of names and then set up an evening or some time on a weekend to meet and learn. It would be a fun way to learn more about the technology and build something you can actually to fly and play with — and this is truly something anyone can learn about and do!
The Stratux system is comprised of a small, wi-fi enabled computer, called a Raspberry Pi 2, a special USB receiver and antenna, and a battery pack. You download some free software and copy it to the little computer. It’s also possible to add additional parts such as a second receiver and a special chip that contains a GPS receiver, attitude gyro, and barometric altimeter. The list of required parts is provided below. The little computer runs the Linux operating system (hence the clever name: Stratus+Linux=Stratux), but you don’t need to understand Linux or even what an operating system is in order to use it. So, don’t worry about that too much. There are people who can and will help you with all that, if needed.
What you need:
- An iPad, iPhone or other device running compatible electronic flight software such as Foreflight. Android tablets running Avare (a free aviation software app) can also be used, and a few other common electronic flightbook apps like FlyQ and others have been made to work as well. Those of us running Garmin Pilot are out of luck at least for now.
- The hardware components listed below.
- As needed, a little help from your friendly local computer geeks/pilots. There are a few of us around. Help will freely and gladly given. 🙂
Here is the complete Amazon shopping list of parts for the Stratux:
- http://amzn.com/B00MV6TAJI $69.99 (the Raspberry Pi 2 computer — you need one of these)
- http://amzn.com/B00P2UOU72 $25.95 (the radio receiver — you need one of these, and can optionally buy two if you want a dual-band ADS-B receivers)
- http://amzn.com/B00JM59JPG $13.99 (this is the USB rechargeable battery pack)
- http://amzn.com/B000TGSPV6 $3.97 (velcro tape – you can get some if you don’t already have it in your junk drawer)
Here is the link to the STRATUX page on the web site Reddit. This page contains the two-part description of what’s needed and how to acquire the parts from Amazon as well as how to make it work.
Again, if you want to build the system but need help understanding the parts and how to put it together, let’s get together and assemble and make the run as a group! We could likely meet at the chapter hangar at Twin Oaks, and then make a quick field trip to the park pn Bald Peak, where some of us have gone with this Stratux system to receive ADS-B weather data since we know it works there!
If you’re interested in meeting together to build your own Stratux (or to watch others do it), please send an email to email@example.com and we will set something up in the near future!