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in PlaneSpotterColor by (120 points)
Sorry to bother sir. I got the Plane Spotter to compile and upload. The splash screen comes up, it says connecting to wifi… for a few seconds, and then that goes away, the “plane progress bar” goes across the bottom then goes away, and then nothing but the splash screen. I’ve even gone in and uncommented the reset setting line, connected to the plane spotter, entered my wifi credentials and saved them. As soon as I do, it’s wifi AP goes away, it connects to my wifi, the progress bar displays and we’re right back stuck at the splash screen and in the splash screen, when I touch it, it goes away and then displays a screen with a blue dot in the center, and the lines that say pan, com+, com-, rack. ?

1 Answer

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by (9.1k points)

Hi blueknight,

Sorry to hear you are having issues. For every device, tool like this a online service is required which provides the data. When I first wrote this project I chose adsbexchange because they were the only once providing such a service for free. It seems that in the meantime they have changed to a other model. You either set up a Raspberry Pi with an RTL-SDR dongle to help them collect data or you have to pay for it. Building such a collector device sets you back about 30USD (one time costs), and subscribing to their paid service is 9.8 per month. So if you have the time and expertise it's far cheaper to setup your own collector device (called a feeder). 



Kind regards,

by (120 points)
Thank you most kindly sir.  I already have a Pi4B running on my desk, so I think I'll go the feeder route.  One question, if I may, could you tell me please how I modify your code for PlaneSpotter to use the feeder?
by (13.9k points)
Unfortunately our code has not been updated yet to work with the non-public API (i.e. where authentication is required). There is a new `api-auth` header to send your API key in.

So, first you build a feeder[1], then you apply for an API key[2].

[1] https://www.adsbexchange.com/how-to-feed/
[2] https://www.adsbexchange.com/data/#ADSBREST

P.S. I built an outdoor feeder half a year ago (unrelated to what I do for ThingPulse). I built and published two Docker images for RaPi-based feeders because I don't like installing arbitrary stuff at the risk of messing up an existing installation: https://github.com/marcelstoer/docker-adsbexchange/ A couple of days ago I finally started writing a detailed tutorial but it's not yet done.
by (120 points)
Great work!  I've got my feeder working, and have even got a splitter running to incorporate both a 1090 and 978 anetanna's.  I am regularly feeding over 60 aircraft at a time including commercial, military and private air.  I have an API key coming from ADSBExchange.  Do I just plug that API key into the code for Planespotter to work?
by (13.9k points)
Cool! As per my previous comment our client isn't ready yet access the now protected ADS-B Exchange API. Would you be willing to give it a go and try to add API key authorization? I might be that adding a single HTTP header around https://github.com/ThingPulse/esp8266-plane-spotter-color/blob/master/AdsbExchangeClient.cpp#L53 is all that it takes.
by (120 points)
I certainly would once I finally get the key from them (request is currently pending).  I looked at the code and must admit I'm not a coding genius, so once I get the key, a little help formatting it into the highlighted line in the code you referenced would be appreciated good sir!  Thank you!
by (120 points)
edited by
OK.  My feeder is feeding like GANGBUSTERS, so they gave me an API key.  It's actually a key built into a link (https://www.adsbexchange.com/api/feeders/tar1090/?feed=xxxxxxxx-7238-11ea-a0f4-2f0705355b3a).  The details he sent are:  
Use your uuid as API key:


send header 'api-auth' with value of key to REST end points

OK.  IF you can give me some guidance please, I'd like to try getting this set up.
by (13.9k points)
I redacted the key information in your last comment as you probably don't want to have it fall in the wrong hands. Last week ADS-B Exchange introduce aggressive rate limiting on their API (w/o telling anyone). So, if someone else uses your key or you yourself make too many requests in a certain period they just ban you.

I started updating the somewhat dated code last week but it's not as easy as I first thought. The ADS-B Exchange API is quite different now and there are further complications. As you need to protect your API key almost like your eyeball (see above) the requests have to go encrypted over HTTPS. That requires a significant amount of memory - more than the ESP8266 with the current version of our app has available. Hence, the app needs to be trimmed or refactored with memory optimization in mind.

We'll get there eventually.

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