FlightAware Discussions

Couple Questions Please


Just set-up my PiAware Skyview and have a couple questions please:

-One the Skyview home page, there is a column for “MSGS”. What is that referring to?

-The “age” column, is that the age of the aircraft? If so, why does it change?

-One the Skyview home page, some callsigns are not displayed, why?

-One the Skyview map, how do I get it to permanently display aircraft callsigns?

-What is the max distance your feed is receiving? I’m getting 150NM.

-The icon of aircraft type is not always correct. E.g. a MD-11 had an icon of a 747. Any way to fix that?

-Why do aircraft suddenly disappear even though they are still w/ in my coverage area?

-Does Raspberry Pi ever require a firmware update?

-Any youtube videos on how to “optimize”?

Thank you.

Msgs is the number of messages received from the plane
Age is the number of seconds since the last message was received
Callsigns are not sent by ADS-B, they are calculated by other means. Sometimes they take a while to obtain, sometimes they are wrong and sometimes they aren’t available
edit: this is not correct - they are usually sent but can be variable (see clarification in messages below)
Don’t think you can alter any settings like that
The maximum distance depends how good your antenna, cable and receiver are -
I get about 180 NM max but my antenna is in the loft - some folks get way way more if they can ‘see’ the horizon
Aircraft type is not sent by ADS-B, they are calculated by other means. Sometimes they take a while to obtain, sometimes they are wrong and sometimes they aren’t available
ADS-B is line of sight so reception of signals depends on how good your antenna, cable and receiver are and whether you have a clear view of the sky where the plane is
Raspberry Pi doesn’t require firmware updates as far as I know
Not sure what you mean by optimisation?

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Thank you for the quick reply.

I just put mine up in the attic. I do know they say outside but I can’t. Just want to get an idea what the average was/is.

I wasn’t sure if there was a way to log into Pi and do some setting changes.

Thanks again.

Which antenna and which dongle you have?

You can use VRS to view your own data which has a database which is a little more up to date.
It can also display labels.

Maybe someone else can link you a thread on how to install VRS i don’t personally use it.

Different altitudes and in your attic reception may not be uniform due to the roof in the way.

Look at this: What is the Maximum Range I can Get?

Callsigns are sent by ADS-B, if set; but they’re only as good as what’s entered into the avionics. In general in Europe they’re good but in the US they’re very variable. Also, you might have to wait for a while before you hear the message containing the callsign (e.g. if the aircraft is just entering your receiver’s range and reception is patchy) as those messages are not as frequent as position messages.

My mistake. I (wrongly) assumed the delay was due to them being calculated by other means.

Thanks for the clarification.

Aircraft type is looked up in a database
(which is quite incomplete for SkyView, the VRS database is more up to date i believe)

Aircraft have a unique code, the ICAO hex code associated to them which is transmitted by their ModeS or ADS-B transponder.
From this you need to look up registration and type.
(As ranges of these codes are allocated to different countries the country of the aircraft registration can also be derived from that)

The folks who maintain the sources used by the VRS database do a pretty good job but it does contain errors.

I like VRS but only use the Windows version and the software hasn’t been updated since June 2018.

I wrote a SQL script to export the data from VRS into a file for use with adsbscope on my laptop when I’m out and about. It is a pretty old, basic program but it is useful where there’s no mobile signal.
Must also say that I should have known that the ident is sent by ADS-B, otherwise it wouldn’t come up in adsbscope when there’s no internet. DOH.

Maybe, in a limited way, look here:

Or try Virtual radar server , you can, relatively easy, add silhouettes and other information.

This forum has a wealth of information, just search for it :grinning:

Yes and no. The Pi has a firmware, on the standard raspian image there is a tool update it, iirc, it is also updated when you update the os via apt-get. But it is not like other devices where this adds new functionality, for this, the updates of piaware are more important, that works automatically if have them enabled via the FA web page. Those actually might also update parts of the os as well.

Thank you all for the replies!

I’m running the pre-built FA ADS-B package:

But I added the blue “pro stick plus”.

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Some people who frequent this board have been working on this problem and documented their progress. I have also had some success but I was hoping that others who might have taken it further would chime in on my thread here:
Updating the dump1090 databse

Did you remove the in-line filter after swapping for the Blue Prostick?

No. To my understanding the in-line filter works in conjunction with Blue Prostick. I live in a city environment so I thought both were (are) needed to remove “noise”.

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With the blue FA dongle most of the time the filter in front still improves reception.

But trying without it doesn’t hurt.
Depending on the surrounding electrical noise and antenna type removing the filter can improve reception slightly.

I’ll give that a go. Any “clues” to help determine an improvement. Thank you.

Never mind. Removed filter and my tracking dropped by 100NM.