FlightAware Discussions

Flightaware Prostick Plus

I just got Flightaware protstick plus which is replacing my Nooelec SDR.
After connecting and restarting when I checked port 30005 to see if any data is recieved from the stick, it did not work.
I used the following command sudo rtl_test -t to test if its detected by Raspberry pi or not and see the following output

Found 1 device(s):
0: Realtek, RTL2832U, SN: 00001000

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U
Detached kernel driver
Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
Supported gain values (29): 0.0 0.9 1.4 2.7 3.7 7.7 8.7 12.5 14.4 15.7 16.6 19.7 20.7 22.9 25.4 28.0 29.7 32.8 33.8 36.4 37.2 38.6 40.2 42.1 43.4 43.9 44.5 48.0 49.6
[R82XX] PLL not locked!
Sampling at 2048000 S/s.
No E4000 tuner found, aborting.
Reattached kernel driver

Also for following sudo systemctl status dump1090-fa -l
● dump1090-fa.service - dump1090 ADS-B receiver (FlightAware customization)
Loaded: loaded (/lib/systemd/system/dump1090-fa.service; enabled; vendor preset: enabled)
Active: active (running) since Fri 2019-01-18 19:31:21 EST; 7min ago
Docs: https://flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/
Main PID: 3351 (dump1090-fa)
CGroup: /system.slice/dump1090-fa.service
└─3351 /usr/bin/dump1090-fa --device-index 0 --gain -10 --ppm 0 --net-bo-port 30005 --max-range 360 --net --net-heartbeat 60 --net-ro-size 1000 --net-ro-inte

Jan 18 19:31:21 raspberrypi systemd[1]: Started dump1090 ADS-B receiver (FlightAware customization).
Jan 18 19:31:21 raspberrypi dump1090-fa[3351]: Fri Jan 18 19:31:21 2019 EST dump1090-fa 3.6.3 starting up.
Jan 18 19:31:21 raspberrypi dump1090-fa[3351]: rtlsdr: using device #0: Generic RTL2832U (Realtek, RTL2832U, SN 00001000)
Jan 18 19:31:22 raspberrypi dump1090-fa[3351]: Detached kernel driver
Jan 18 19:31:22 raspberrypi dump1090-fa[3351]: Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
Jan 18 19:31:22 raspberrypi dump1090-fa[3351]: rtlsdr: enabling tuner AGC

When I connect my old stick everything starts working normally. What can be the issue?
Also if I goto 127.0.0.1:30005, the page keeps loading whereas in the old stick i could see data loaded continuously.

try powering off, changing the dongle, then powering up again.

anyway it looks like it is working, didn’t anything display on the local map?

After the pi had time to run 5 minutes, please show the output of this command:

cat /run/dump1090-fa/stats.json | grep total

Thanks for the reply. I restarted few times when I was changing the dongle.
One thing which I noticed is 127.0.0.1:30005 keeps loading whereas on the old stick i could see the junk data.

Output for stats.json

“total”:{“start”:1547857882.8,“end”:1547858842.9,“local”:{“samples_processed”:2304245760,“samples_dropped”:0,“modeac”:0,“modes”:23519319,“bad”:15162837,“unknown_icao”:8356213,“accepted”:[269],“signal”:-1.9,“noise”:-5.2,“peak_signal”:-1.0,“strong_signals”:258},“remote”:{“modeac”:0,“modes”:0,“bad”:0,“unknown_icao”:0,“accepted”:[0]},“cpr”:{“surface”:0,“airborne”:5,“global_ok”:2,“global_bad”:0,“global_range”:0,“global_speed”:0,“global_skipped”:0,“local_ok”:0,“local_aircraft_relative”:0,“local_receiver_relative”:0,“local_skipped”:3,“local_range”:0,“local_speed”:0,“filtered”:0},“altitude_suppressed”:0,“cpu”:{“demod”:185549,“reader”:114212,“background”:6867},“tracks”:{“all”:34,“single_message”:6},“messages”:269}

yeah gain is too high.

try 42.

Sometimes the pro stick plus seems to have problems with mobile internet or tv broadcasts swamping out the amplifier. Might need a filter (yes i know it has a filter, but it is behind the amplifier)

@kan84

What do you see at 127.0.0.1:30003

The stats.json shows it’s producing data, but very few messages. That’s probably why there isn’t much to see.

Oh and in case you are wondering @kan84, how to change gain: For Beginners - How to Set / Change Gain

Thanks will try that.

I can see data loading
MSG,8,1,1,A2000F,1,2019/01/18,19:52:07.589,2019/01/18,19:52:07.616,0
MSG,6,1,1,AD61B4,1,2019/01/18,19:52:16.684,2019/01/18,19:52:16.732,5344,-1,0,0,-1
MSG,8,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:52:52.809,2019/01/18,19:52:53.164,0
MSG,8,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:52:53.136,2019/01/18,19:52:53.164,0
MSG,7,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:52:54.304,2019/01/18,19:52:54.359,5000,
MSG,7,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:52:55.430,2019/01/18,19:52:55.451,4975,
MSG,7,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:52:55.435,2019/01/18,19:52:55.451,4975,
MSG,8,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:52:55.520,2019/01/18,19:52:55.564,0
MSG,7,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:52:55.630,2019/01/18,19:52:55.673,4975,
MSG,8,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:52:56.814,2019/01/18,19:52:56.870,0
MSG,7,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:52:57.888,2019/01/18,19:52:57.916,4925,
MSG,8,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:53:01.413,2019/01/18,19:53:01.461,0
MSG,8,1,1,A2ABDA,1,2019/01/18,19:52:28.217,2019/01/18,19:53:01.788,0
MSG,7,1,1,A2ABDA,1,2019/01/18,19:53:01.740,2019/01/18,19:53:01.788,3825,
MSG,8,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:53:02.338,2019/01/18,19:53:02.389,0
MSG,8,1,1,A64996,1,2019/01/18,19:53:02.599,2019/01/18,19:53:02.667,
MSG,8,1,1,A64996,1,2019/01/18,19:53:02.642,2019/01/18,19:53:02.667,
MSG,8,1,1,A64996,1,2019/01/18,19:53:02.905,2019/01/18,19:53:02.938,
MSG,7,1,1,0C2051,1,2019/01/18,19:53:04.881,2019/01/18,19:53:04.906,34175,
MSG,7,1,1,A64996,1,2019/01/18,19:53:06.505,2019/01/18,19:53:06.542,35975,
MSG,8,1,1,A64996,1,2019/01/18,19:53:07.316,2019/01/18,19:53:07.360,
MSG,3,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:53:07.350,2019/01/18,19:53:07.366,4750,0,0,0
MSG,7,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:53:07.383,2019/01/18,19:53:07.417,4750,
MSG,4,1,1,A64996,1,2019/01/18,19:53:07.915,2019/01/18,19:53:07.960,375,240,0,
MSG,7,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:53:08.494,2019/01/18,19:53:08.513,4725,
MSG,8,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:53:08.528,2019/01/18,19:53:08.563,0
MSG,8,1,1,A64996,1,2019/01/18,19:53:10.276,2019/01/18,19:53:10.312,
MSG,8,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:53:11.086,2019/01/18,19:53:11.129,0
MSG,7,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:53:11.751,2019/01/18,19:53:11.786,4675,
MSG,8,1,1,A64996,1,2019/01/18,19:53:11.903,2019/01/18,19:53:11.947,
MSG,7,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:53:13.436,2019/01/18,19:53:13.477,4650,
MSG,8,1,1,A64996,1,2019/01/18,19:53:13.718,2019/01/18,19:53:13.752,
MSG,8,1,1,AC575B,1,2019/01/18,19:53:15.292,2019/01/18,19:53:15.334,0
MSG,4,1,1,A2ABDA,1,2019/01/18,19:53:21.359,2019/01/18,19:53:21.398,189,63,-64,0
MSG,8,1,1,A3B86C,1,2019/01/18,19:53:21.454,2019/01/18,19:53:23.912,
MSG,7,1,1,A3B86C,1,2019/01/18,19:53:23.885,2019/01/18,19:53:23.912,10800,

That seems it has done the trick. I can see data on 30005. Do you know what value I should set it to ? Currently its 42 but the help guide had 30.

30 is probably too low. (and only used as an example in that guide)

These are my thoughts on the matter: Thoughts on optimizing gain

You can also check the end of that thread for some other thoughts.
Anyway going by that percentage is relatively easy and gives a good start.

Do you have an amplifier between antenna and dongle?

No amplifier between antenna and the dongle, its just a 4 feet cable.
As per the optimizing page I am getting 35% for 42 gain. So should I reduce it to get something close to 5%?

Yes, 5% or below. Are you close to an airport?

I live in Manhattan so not too far from LGA and JFK or even EWR

Yeah go down to about 5%.

Then you can try increasing gain again by 5 and check if your range improves if you are mainly after range.

If you mostly care about local traffic that is close by you could even aim for 1% or less.

Oh by the way these are the values you can choose from:
0.0 0.9 1.4 2.7 3.7 7.7 8.7 12.5 14.4 15.7 16.6 19.7 20.7 22.9 25.4
28.0 29.7 32.8 33.8 36.4 37.2 38.6 40.2 42.1 43.4 43.9 44.5 48.0 49.6

dump1090-fa will just chose the closest value, so entering for example 36 is just fine.

36 or 33 try that next :slight_smile:

Thanks for all the details. I had a nooelect one which worked out of the box with good range and all. WHen I saw the flightaware stick i thought it will increase range etc, so far it has not been that impressive.

Hopefully with the gain settings it will improve. Thanks again for the help.

It might very well be that the amplifier is overloaded.

A filter might help with that, no guarantees though: https://www.amazon.com/ADS-B-1090MHz-Band-pass-SMA-Filter/dp/B010GBQXK8

Most likely yes, as he lives in Manhattan, which is saturated with Cell, TV, and many other mobile communications signals.

@kan84
Check levels of these interfering signals by method given here:

Do I need A Filter?

.
.

Any clue why nooelec nesdr 2.0 had no issue.
I ll run it and check back if i face more issues.

The amplifier can get swamped due to the strong interference.
With a filter infront it might work better than the other dongle.

This amplifier stage that could be the problem just doesn’t exist on the nooelec.
On one hand that amplifier can increase range but can also be a problem with interference.

That explains. WIll check with the gain and see how it works.

The effect of overload can be quite dramatic. When I switched from a basic 1/4 wave antenna to a FA antenna without any chnage to gain settings, feeder etc,. I lost all aircraft…absolutely nothing showed on screen. Dropping gain to a low figure brought some back, but only an additional filter restored full coverage.

The really annoying thing was that two antennas I built and discarded as useless before buying the FA antenna, actually turned out to be pretty good with the filter added.

I’ve now switched to a dedicated receiver; a whole lot better.