Featured ADS-B Feeder for August 2022 - Andreas Warburton (EXTRPI004762) - Canada

Andreas Warburton (EXTRPI004762 ADS-B Station) in Montréal, Quebec, Canada

This month's featured feeder is an aviation and amateur radio enthusiast from Montréal, Canada.

Andreas Warburton (radio callsign VA2WBT) is RadarBox feeder who has been feeding flight tracking data since January 2018. His station provides wide coverage over most of Quebec as well as some states like New York in the US.

Andreas' antenna is setup at a height of about 70 meters and mounted on the roof of his condo, a converted lingerie clothing factory built in the year 1900 near the center of Montreal Island. Setting up was not an easy task, but with some innovative thinking he managed to use a combination of filters and amplifiers and to solve the various issues he was experiencing.

This is what he had to say about the setup process. "The biggest technical challenge has been to get the ADS-B tracking data from the rooftop box into my home computer network in my apartment below. Since there was no permitted safe way to run an Ethernet cable, I first tried a Wi-Fi solution; however, this was unreliable through the metal roofing material, especially when there was rain or ice. In the end, I opted for a power-line Ethernet solution that now reliably sends the aircraft tracking data via the electrical wiring used to power the modified air-conditioning/heat-pump unit, entering my home computing network, and then getting sent to the RadarBox servers over the Internet. I also use a low-noise amplifier with active filters, a passive high-pass filter, ferrites, and low-loss coaxial cable to help maximize my station's performance." 

Andreas W. (EXTRPI004762 ADS-B Station) in Montréal, Quebec, Canada 

About advice and setup suggesitions he'd give other feeders, Andreas comments: "My advice to other feeders is not to give up if you live in a challenging location, such as in an apartment building in a large city with lots of nearby radio interference. A little bit of creativity can go a long way, provided that you keep safety in mind. In my case, I wanted my tuned 1090 MHz antenna to be mounted as high as it could be, but since I live in a condominium building, I am not free to mount antennas anywhere I please. As a solution, I chose to customize a rooftop air-conditioning/heat-pump unit, which I own, to double as a "mini antenna tower". I built my computing and electronics into a small weatherproof box and mounted it, along with my dedicated ADS-B aircraft and AIS ship-tracking antennas, to the heat pump chassis. The hot summers and cold winters in my location mean that the temperature inside the enclosure housing my tracking equipment can range from -20C to +35C — fan-driven air circulation is therefore important."

Andreas' Setup (Raspberry Pi) - Photo Courtesy of Andreas Warburton

His station is ranked #3 Canada and #1 in the Quebec Province. What is most impressive is his station's range: 314 nautical miles! Or approximately 581 km!

"I learned about RadarBox from online forums dedicated to the hobby of tracking aircraft using inexpensive software-defined radio equipment and Raspberry Pi computers.", he remarks on how he got to know about RadarBox. 

EXTRPI004762 ADS-B Station 

"It’s great to collaborate in such a cooperative international endeavor, knowing the data we feeders provide can be useful to curb the environmental impacts of aviation as well as to keep aviation as safe and efficient as possible." He says.

Photo Courtesy of Andreas Warburton

Photo Courtesy of Andreas Warburton

Montréal, Quebec, Canada

Montréal is the second-most populous city in Canada and the most populous city in the Canadian province of Quebec. As of 2021, the city had a population of 1,762,949 and a metropolitan population of 4,291,732, making it the second-largest metropolitan area in Canada. 

Arild Vågen, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

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