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ADS-B Exchange

How to set up a connection to ADS-B Exchange
Using data of ADS-B Exchange is via a subscription through RapidAPI, which requires you to register with RapidAPI, and subscribe to ADSBEx's API. Free plans may be available, details below.
Also, please see their usage Terms & Conditions. If interested in API details see their documentation.

LiveTraffic Settings

Find them in Settings > Input Channels > ADS-B Exchange:
Same settings after successful entry of a RAPID API key
ADS-B Exchange
Disabled, inactive
Enables usage of ADS-B Exchange as a live flight data channel. This setting is only available if you filled in an API key in the next field.
ADSBX Radar View
This link opens the ADSBX Radar View, in which you can check coverage, centered on your current simulated location. The same link appears on the Status page.
Paste or enter your API Key into this edit field. See below for how to come by an API key. A button "Test and Save key" appears when you enter the key: Click the button to have LiveTraffic send a test request to ADS-B Exchange for validation of the key. If the test succeeded the key is saved to your settings and the channel enabled, otherwise not.
button toggles if the key is shown as clear text or hidden as stars.
...RAPID API requests left
If ADSBEx is running with a RapidAPI key, then LiveTraffic shows the remaining quota as reported by RapidAPI.
I did my best to verify the information on this page, but I can't guarantee for it to be correct, complete, and always up-to-date. This all depends on how ADS-B Exchange offers the data and how RapidAPI works. Please also read their documentation, many links are provided throughout the document. It is their service in the end, not mine. But I am happy to correct things if you point them out, e.g. in the support forum.
This way has been introduced in May 2019 and has originally been designed with plugins like LiveTraffic in mind, which need only a very specific access to tracking data, namely aircraft in a defined radius around a center location. Please see their available subscription plans. There might be a free option with a lower request quota and paid ones for higher volumes. All fees go to ADS-B Exchange. LiveTraffic and its author are not affiliated with ADS-B Exchange and I don't receive any gratitudes etc.
You may want to start with a free version and once understanding API Request Quotas and if they limit you, only consider updating to a paid subscription.
To connect to ADS-B Exchange via RapidAPI do as follows:
  1. 1.
    Register with RapidAPI, click on the "Sign up" link on their homepage and follow instructions for creating an account. Registration by itself is free.
  2. 2.
    Go to the ADSBEx Flight Sim Traffic API pricing page and select a plan by clicking its "Subscribe" button. For paid options, you will be asked for credit card details. (Tip: The last field is for your zip / post code.)
  3. 3.
    Once you are subscribed go to the "Endpoints" page of the ADSBEx Flight Sim Traffic API and find your API key in the field X-RapidAPI-Key consisting of a long series of 50 digits and letters. From the Code Snippets on the right hand side, the key can be easily copied:
  4. 4.
    Back in LiveTraffic, paste this key into Settings > Input Channels > ADS-B Exchange > API Key, see above, and click on "Test and Save key".
At Rapid API, make sure to go to "ADSBx Flight Sim Traffic" and not to ""!

API Request Quotas

As of May 2019, all plans include a limited number of requests per month. Read the plans' conditions to understand what happens after the request limit is exceeded, so if access just stops or if you pay a (probably high) pay-as-you-go price for every single additional request made by LiveTraffic. You can influence how often LiveTraffic sends requests and hence how long such a request budget lasts!
LiveTraffic sends requests in regular intervals as configured in Live data refresh in the Advanced Settings. By default this is every 20 seconds, or 3 requests per minute.
If your API request quota is, say 5,760 requests per month (the free Basic plan's limit as of Nov-2023), then this converts to 1,920 minutes = 32 hours of simulation time. And you can further extend these hours if you configure a longer refresh period while flying at high altitude.
Would you configure LiveTraffic's refresh period to be 30s, then LiveTraffic would send only 2 requests per minute and the 5,760 request quota lasts for 48 hours. The downside is that longer refresh rates will lead to less accurate plane movement. Play with the refresh period to find your personal sweet spot.

Monitoring API Usage

LiveTraffic shows the number of remaining API requests of your monthly quota in the Channel Settings, see the screenshot above. This information is returned by RapidAPI with every network response received. It is not tracked by LiveTraffic. It really is RapidAPI's information. Hence it should be fairly accurate.
You can (and probably should) also monitor your usage directly at RapidAPI. RapidAPI has some documentation on monitoring API usage.
Last modified 9d ago