Hi All

Due to ill health, I found that I couldn't get out and about spotting as often as I used to or would like.
About 6 months ago, I got into 'Virtual Radar' so that I could still follow my hobby although in a different way.
I purchased an ADSB dongle and was soon picking up aircraft all around England. I then joined PlanePlotter.com who have a great community that were very helpful to a 'newbie'.

Virtual Radar is an excellent and very cheap way for everyone, but especially the less able bodied of us to still follow our hobby.
You will need a PC and a receiver ( quite a few people are using Raspberry Pi's)
You can spend as little or as much as you can afford. My original setup consisted of a USB RTL-SDR & ADS-B dongle costing around $20, which came with a desktop antenna. I soon found that I needed a better antenna so following this video https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkUYdCPFXXs I built my own for about $10 that I put in the loft and straight away had a range of approx 150 miles. You can then upgrade your receiver and antenna if you wish, but it isn't something that you have to do if you don't wish or can't afford to.

We have a thriving community in Europe and it is growing quite well in North America too, though we could do with a lot more especially in the central states and Canada as you can see here http://pp-sharers.co.uk/

Because of Planeplotter, I find that I can now give a 'heads up' to other spotters of anything interesting heading their way, for instance when the AN-225 Mryia came to DSA in November, I was able to keep people updated on it's location in time for them to get to the field to see it.

I have also built my own website that shows what aircraft I am receiving, in real time, with also a search facility so that can help people tie up their sightings.

I hope that you have found this of interest and may lead you into having a look at virtual radar in more depth. Please don't hesitate to contact me if you have any questions, if I can't answer them I know a man that can