OpenSky Feeder for Radarcape (Old)

Important note: Newer radarcape firmware (since major release 2) supports feeding to the OpenSky Network out of the box! This is described here.

Older Radarcape do not support client mode without manual intervention. To add the OpenSky feeding function, you generally have two choices.

  • on a stock radarcape, you can install the OpenSky data feeder. It can run besides the original firmware and it only adds the functionality needed by OpenSky. It does not affect the device's normal operation.
  • you can also replace the stock firmware with the OpenSky image. This is the default for radarcapes, which are shipped by the OpenSky Network. This changes the device's normal operation: you cannot use the radarcape's default functionality any longer.

Installation: add package to original firmware

Please note: Before you install our feeder, you should create an account and add your device to My OpenSky>My Sensors. Please refer to this article for more information.

To install the OpenSky feeder, you need to access the device's command line interface. The easiest way to do so is using an SSH client such as Putty (if you are on a Windows machine). First you have to identify the version of the firmware you are running. To display the number (e.g. 3.8.1), run the command:

uname -a

For version numbers up to 3.8, your device runs an Ångström linux. Newer devices (from version 4.1) run a Debian linux.

Ångström Linux

To install the feeder, simply install the fededer with the following command:

wget --no-check-certificate
opkg install openskyd_latest_armv7a-vfp-neon.opk

Debian Linux

First, you have to download the firmware on the device:

wget --no-check-certificate

Then install the feeder using the follwing command:

dpkg -i openskyd_latest_armhf.deb

Installation: replace firmware by OpenSky image

Please note: Before you use the OpenSky image, you should create an account and add your device to My OpenSky>My Sensors. Please refer to this article for more information.

This method will replace the stock firmware of the radarcape. You cannot access the default radarcape functions while the replacement firmware is in use. You can, however, revert to the default radarcape firmware anytime by following the instructions at Radarcape:DebianSupport.

In order to deploy the OpenSky firmware, you'll first need a micro SD-Card with at least 2GB capacity. For older radarcapes (based on beaglebone white), you can re-use the SD-Card that is already inserted in the SD-Card slot inside the radarcape. In any other case (newer radarcapes or if you want to keep the original firmware to revert to the stock firmware), you need a new one.

  1. Download the latest image at
    Alternatively, the lastest image is always available at
  2. Assuming your SD-Card is assigned to /dev/sdX: (you must be root in order to execute the following commands)
    1. Make sure it is not mounted: umount /dev/sdX*
    2. Extract the firmware: xzcat image-latext.xz > /dev/sdX
    3. Flush all pending I/O operations: sync
  3. If not already done, you have to open the Radarcape: unmount the plate with the LEDs (you will need a Torx T10 screwdriver).
  4. For older radarcapes, replace the SD-Card. For newer radarcapes, insert the SD-Card and locate the little switch at the left side of the LEDs. Place that switch at the outer position (towards the case).


2017-04-11 (OpenSky image only)

  • Includes OpenSky Sensor 2.1.1
  • Fixes timestamping: the GPS LED will switch to green as soon as a GPS fix is available


  • Fixes network configuration: enabled IPv6 again, including DHCPv6 and ip6tables


  • Includes OpenSky Daemon 1.1.1: GPS Position, selective forwarding of Mode-S
  • Fixes network configuration: disabled IPv6 for the moment
  • Updated base system, including Kernel 4.6.1


  • Includes OpenSky Daemon 1.0.6: relay all Mode-S frames unless filter is set
  • Fixes device tree: pps gpio
  • Fixes device tree: MMC reader for beagle bone white (prevented older radarcapes from booting in the last image)


Markus Engel (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.)

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