Dongle overheating


Hello, I have a flightaware dongle pro plus and I’m using it with an RPi model 3 B.

After a while I go onto the virtual radar and it says that the radio is connected but no data received but I can see on flightaware that there is aircraft in my area.

The dongle is hot to touch (have to put it down or it burns fingers) so I think it may be overheating and not working when it gets too hot, is this possible? Thanks.


I must add that when I reboot the pi it works fine. Reconnecting the dongle before restarting does not work though. Could it be a pi issue?


Are both the devices in the open air? Or in a sealed box? In the sunshine?

I have my FlightAware Pro outside, wrapped in silicone tape to protected it from rain. It doesn’t overheat.


had same issue, dongle attached to rpi3. it helped removing the top plastic cover from the pi and also lowering the gain.


Cases removed from both, and now fan pointing towards them… there is a few aircraft showing on the list with no position but as soon as I restart dump1090 an aircraft popped which was going over the top. It’s strange, I’m not sure if the RPi or dongle is at fault.


I have done some testing and found out that after a few minutes the dump1090 virtual radar stops displaying info and if I use sudo systemctl restart dump1090-fa to restart it, then I get the aircraft on the screen for a few minutes until I restart it and it goes like that. Anyone ever had this? Using latest version of Piaware.


If you have another power supply unit, try it. Such problems are often due to power supply unit either undersized, poor regulation, or was good initially, but gone bad.

Also try another dongle if have one.



A lot of cheap power supplies don’t meet the specification they advertise.


RTL-SDR doungle chips with a heatsink underneath the body of the chip. This heatsink had to be both electrically and thermally connected to the PCB
For better cooling:


SDRBlogImage_1_Side-150x150 used to sell their aluminum case with thermal pad separately.

Maybe they still will if you contact them.


After monitoring the device all day, I have concluded that after around 30 minutes the web server stops showing all aircraft until I do sudo service dump1090-mutability restart and then it loads the aircraft into view. Could the dongle be turning itself off or something? Could the USB port be turning itself off? At the bottom of the page it gives the error saying that dump1090 might not be running.