FlightAware Discussions

Fluctuating Positions

Just an update to this post. I haven’t used Skyaware Anywhere for a couple weeks now, and my positions have stabilized i.e. the slopes are not steep. Instead, I have been using Piaware Anywhere. Below is a older screenshot that shows the numbers begin to flatten out around 8/17 which is about the time I stopped using Skyaware Anywhere.

I, too, have struggled to understand the fluctuating stats I was seeing since I started this hobby a few months ago. Thanks to the OP for posing the question and others for the answer. I thought I was crazy thinking that logging in to SkyAware Anywhere seemed to trigger higher position reporting, but it turned out to be the case. Any reason why this cannot be fixed easily in a future release? Unreliable or misleading statistics are not useful to anyone.

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This variation in positions reported drove me crazy. I spent so much time looking at my internet settings, QoS settings, transfer rates of power-line adapters, software updates, software incompatibility etc. Fortunately I have a duplicated setup of Primary and Secondary receivers, so I was able to do comparative changes. I finally noticed in the log that as soon as I clicked on the ‘SkyAware Anywhere’ hyperlink, there was an entry ‘adept server faup request received: faup_adjust_upload_rate’. Then when you close the ‘SkyAware Anywhere’ tab, the entry ‘handleFaupCommand(): Adjusting message rate to FlightAware by 1.00x’ is seen, bringing the rate back from 3.00x to 1.00x. Well, at least I learned a lot along the way. I agree with dvsvejk, this functionality is misleading.

Well done with your investigation. I also saw the log messages about increasing the message rate, but never made the connection they were related to SkyAware Anywhere being opened. I thought the FA servers were temporarily requesting more data to help in tracking.

I think you are correct in that the FA servers need a faster data feed when using SkyAware Anywhere, in order to reduce the latency and improve screen updating. I could be completely wrong, but I have a feeling that there’s a possibility of a 'time-out ’ function also, because if I leave the SkyAware Anywhere tab open for a long period of time, the message rate eventually drops. Refreshing the screen brings it back again. I could be wrong on this, but now I have an excuse for further testing and investigation to see if my assumption holds up.

If you are doing this, you als impact the stats in your profile, it’s significantly increasing the number of positions (almost double). There was already a discussion ongoing where the FA staff explained the root cause of this.

Thanks for your reply, Foxhunter. I’ve not seen any other postings on this subject, but I’m sure they exist. Maybe you could include a link or two.
What’s quite noticeable is on days when I run SkyAware Anywhere, the figures for FlightAware and FlightRadar24 are approximately the same. On days when I do not run SkyAware Anywhere, the FlightAware figures drop to around half of the FR24 figures. Perhaps they are not identically derived units, but the comparison is interesting.

This is one of the previous discussions:

Yeah, this is one of them. I am trying to find the other one where i replied.

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Thank you for the additional information Lawrence. The information I provided above was a comparison of records from an instance of FlightAware and of FlightRadar24, running on the same Raspberry Pi, sharing the same dump1090-fa, sharing the same FlightAware Pro SDR and the same antenna. I then rebuilt another Pi 4+ with just FlightAware 7.1 on its own, in order to eliminate possible software conflicts. The results were identical. I agree, comparing two sites at differing locations is not a definitive measure, however that was not the case in my investigation.