Decline in the number of aircraft and positions received



For the past month or so, the number of aircraft and positions received has been declining gradually. It’s down to about one third of what it used to be.

Not sure if it’s connected, but since upgrading to PiAware 3.5.1, any upgrade attempts now ends with an error message about failure to expand the card, and that the card is out of space. Its a 16GB card dedicated to PiAware.

Any idea what is going on?




SSH and give command
sudo raspi-config

Then select “Expand file system” from the menu. When complete, exit the menu and reboot.
sudo reboot


Thank you for your reply.

That was the first thing I tried when I first noticed the problem. I tried it again, and it still shows no space left on device.

I’ll likely re-image the card.

Do you think the reduction in the number of aircraft and positions is related to this space problem?

Thanks again.



I cannot makeout the reason, but as re-imaging is easy, and clears all the bugs and breaks in software, it is worth trying.

If re-imaging does not solve the problem, then it is the hardware (Pi and its power supply, microSD card, dongle, antenna, cable, connector etc) which needs to be investigated to find out the cause.

After re-imaging, you have to do 2 things while the microSD card is still in the card reader and plugged into laptop/desktop

(1) open the drive named “piaware” and create a blank file ssh

(2) double click to open file named piaware-config.txt, and below the last line add following line

feeder-id xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx

Replace xxxxxxxx-xxxx-xxxx-xxxxxxxxxxxx by unique feeder id from your stats page.


If you are going to re-image, dont use a cloned or old image. Download latest image from here and write it to microSD card using etcher or Win32diskimager.


I’ll soon re-image the card. I have already replaced the SDR dongle, no change.


I have the file, and I use Win32diskimager.

Thanks again.


Water/moisture infiltrating your antenna and/or connectors??


Yes, this is a possibility, but let us go step by step. First let us isolate the fault to one of the two main categories (Software? or Hardware?) by re-imaging.


The complete receiving station is protected from the elements, including the antenna. I examined all components, no sign of moisture anywhere.


might be seasonal - less holiday flights as summer winds down.

compare your stats with others near you - do they have the same trend?


Given that you’re located near Ottawa and that your antenna appears to only pick up traffic within 80 nm, I would say it’s almost certainly a seasonal decrease.

In addition to the decrease in big aluminum flying around, flight training also slows down.

Here in Toronto, I’ve seen a decrease after August the last two years.


Rodents in the attic?


your decrease is not caused by seasonal effects - at least not the main decrease!
this is no doubt a software/hardware problem. check all what others here already mentioned - fresh sd-card install, cables, sd-card hardware, dongle, antenna, power-supply … and why not rodents :slight_smile: