FlightAware Discussions

Dual 978Mhz & 1090Mhz Piaware Setup with FlightAware

Hi,

I have two questions regarding the dual band PiAware setup. I currently have the following PiAware setup;

-1 Pi 3
-1 Orange FlightAware Pro Stick USB ADS-B Receiver (programmed for 978 UAT)

  • 1 Blue FlightAware Pro Stick USB ADS-B Receiver (programmed for 1090Mhz)
  • NooElec ADS-B Discovery 5dBi (High Gain) Antenna Bundle - 1090MHz & 978MHz Antenna Bundle

Question 1: I recently added the 978Mhz receiver and I have noticed that when I plug in the Orange 978Mhz UAT receiver in simultaneously with the Blue 1090Mhz receiver it dramatically decreases my overall performance of the 1090Mhz receiver to the point where tracked aircraft goes from 50+ to <2 in a matter of 10 to 20 seconds. There are two things potential reasons I came up with, although I am unsure if it is related. The first is that the Pi 3 is being overworked with both receivers plugged in and my Pi case does not have a fan, which is causing the Pi 3 to overheat? The second potential reason is that I plugged the antennas directly into the receivers without a SMA to SMA connector. Most builds I have seen online have a SMA to SMA or SMA to MCX connector between the antenna and receiver. Is this required? That being said, when I plug the 1090Mhz Blue receiver directly into the 1090Mhz antenna (without the SMA connectors) the performance is great, it is only when both receivers are plugged in simultaneously that the performance diminishes dramatically. Is there something I am missing?

Question 2: Is there a way to have the 978 UAT data appear in the same Piaware IP address as the 1090Mhz data? I currently have two seperate IP addresses in my PiAware so I need to open two tabs to see both sets of data from each band.

Check your power supply; you need solid power to support two dongles on the same Pi.

This is not currently available out of the box, though there is 3rd party software you can use to combine the display.

thanks for the quick reply. Do you have a recommended power bank Output? I am currently using the Portable Charger Anker PowerCore 20100mAh - Ultra High Capacity Power Bank with 4.8A Output. Also re second question thank you for clarifying and do you by chance have the names of the 3rd party software options? Thanks again.

I would not recommend using something designed as a charger at all with a Pi - charging has different requirements to what a Pi needs. You need something that can consistently provide 5.1V-ish under load, phone chargers and power banks often won’t do this; get a power supply designed to be used with a Pi.

tar1090 possibly does it (I haven’t actually checked). uat2esnt plus VRS would also work.

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@obj mentioned VRS. If you want to give that a go you might find my Linux VRS guide useful for getting all the bits in place. I can confirm that VRS can be installed on the Pi that’s running PiAware, it works great. I’ve tested it since I wrote the guide.

You’d have to expand the socat feeding methodology a bit to include the 978 data but it should be relatively intuitive to work out and add to vrsfeed (assuming the 978 instance has the raw data on ports the same way as the 1090 instance does). And if you’re on the same network as the Pi when setting up VRS you won’t need the Web Admin access / PluginsConfiguration.txt workaround.

Edited to add:

I’ve remembered that if you’re running VRS on the same Pi as PiAware itself, VRS of course has access to the data from PiAware directly. In that case you don’t need to use socat to push data to VRS, nor do you need vrsfeed to check and launch socat, instead you can just tell VRS to fetch the data from the relevant ports on localhost.

When configuring the Receivers in VRS, instead of configuring them as Push receivers and giving them a free port to listen on, just leave them as normal receivers and tell them the port to fetch the data from. That would normally be:

ADS-B
Address: 127.0.0.1
Port: 30005

MLAT
Address: 127.0.0.1
Port: 30105

Now I’m in the UK and haven’t used the 978 part of PiAware. You mention a second IP address being involved. If you can still access it from the Pi itself then just repeat this process and add the 978 Receivers using whatever address is needed to access the ports on the second IP, eg 127.0.0.2 or whatever is being used. Then merge all four receivers into one Merged receiver and set that as the default on the map.

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VRS does not understand the 978 data format, neither does dump1090.
You’d need uat2esnt to convert the messages.

It does indeed, you set it up on the 1090 receiver and then put the URL for the 978 skyaware in the configuration. It will just every second wget the aircraft json from there and serve/use it along side the 1090 aircraft.json

https://github.com/wiedehopf/tar1090#tar1090

Check this section:
https://github.com/wiedehopf/tar1090#uat-receiver-running-dump978-fa-and-skyaware978

# Change to yes to enable UAT/978 display in tar1090
ENABLE_978=no
# If running dump978-fa on another computer, modify the IP-address as appropriate.
URL_978="http://127.0.0.1/skyaware978"

So you’d first set ENABLED to yes.
Then replace the 127.0.0.1 with the IP address where the 978 webinterface is located.