FlightAware Discussions

Heat effected hardware

Hi all.
Just doing a bit of research and pre set up planning. Being a radio user in various forms has taught me that least amount of coax is the way to go. I have been reading around on various posts and forums etc and was looking at installing the RPI and dongle etc in a box on the antenna mast. But this raises the question, how hot can it get before the RPI and dongle fail?
We get up to 45 degrees c here and I guess the box in the sun would be a lot hotter. Looking for peoples experiences.

Alternatively I may end up putting the RPI and dongle in an enclosure under the eave and running coax from there which would obviously shorten the run a bit

Least amount or expensive coax.
Just look at a couple data sheets and check the attenuation for 1090 MHz.

If you’re really looking to min/max, there is a thread here: Building a new receiver, this is going in a prime location - Suggestions for receiver/preamp/filter please
It’s pretty long, there is a blog post on what components the thread starter ended up with: https://qso365.co.uk/2019/12/rebuilding-and-raising-my-ads-b-receiver/

Don’t expect such big range though as the horizon from your location will dictate how fare you can receive. See this handy page to calculate what you can expect: GitHub - wiedehopf/tar1090: Provides an improved webinterface for use with ADS-B decoders readsb / dump1090-fa
1090 MHz is line of sight, everything but clouds will block your signal.
One tree will hamper reception but usually not destroy it.
A forest will attenuate too much to get far away signals with the line of sight going through it.

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A bit of Background
I have to admit I love tech/data and a challenge. I used to be a comms officer in a local fire service and communicated with pilots at fires. even owned a air band radio for a while (brand new but never used it) and now I find myself trying this hobby. All because I started flying a drone and decided I should try and see where aircraft are flying. Only a regional airport near me (YGLB) but get Rescue choppers into our Hospital. Located 80kms from Canberra and 2 hours to Sydney.I have worked with underground comms systems in Leaky Feeders etc, Have a marine radio operators ticket but this is new to me.

I actually may end up setting up 2 bases as where I work has an area I could install another setup but would need a 4g router to back into the internet. Will play with the first and then upgrade it and move the first to my work.

Decided I am going to run coax down the pole and if I go the RPI way, will put it under the house eave, out of sun and add cooling.

Alternatively I run an UNRAID server and I found they have a Piaware docker [Support] FoxxMD - fr24feed-piaware - Docker Containers - Unraid

As a first effort I ordered a FlightAware ProStick Plus and was wondering if I add coax can I add a LNA such as RTL-SDR Blog ADS-B Triple Filtered LNA (Bias Tee Powered) - South Eastern Communications and if so can it be powered by the prostick or am I better adding an External Bias tee

Checkout this very nice combination of docker containers for ADS-B if you want to go that route: https://mikenye.gitbook.io/

prostick doesn’t have bias-t power.
You’d need the rtl-sdr v3 for that, it’s a good combo for their filtered LNA.
External bias-t would also work.

But the prostick is a good start, just have a look how it goes.

They say it only gets to 45°C in my area once every 5,000 years. The last time was a few weeks ago. Quite the anomaly! My outdoor station’s Pi core temp hit 60° which is probably around 20° below throttle temp.

My utility box is in the shade though. It has a weak 40mm 5v fan on the bottom and some downward slanted slots on the sides near the top to force the heat out and keep the rain out. The dongle/Airspy and LNA were pretty warm when I checked but I didn’t have any performance problems.

I recommend trying to protect the box from the sun if you can.

I have run my Pi’s in my loft now for quite some time… Have not had great luck with fans as they seem to die within a few months… With my new Pi4 I ordered a Armor case without fan… and could see a good improvement with temps… Last few days in the UK has been close to 30c and temps have gone up to about 70c on the Pi.

This morning my wife started defrosting some mince for our dinner using the meat defrosting tray that we have. Basically a big 30cmx15cm heatsink right?

Now just before 4pm, she has started cooking I grabbed it for the loft, and can see about a 5degree improvement :wink: (Pi4 is just resting on-top of the tray)


(gap is unrelated)

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Thanks all.

Well I have 2 options I have decided on and now have to choose between one of them.
1.Under our house I have as mentioned above an Unraid server and I can add a 10m USB lead to it. There is an App/Docker already made for it

And this is the way I am leaning towards

2 Run an RPI under the house and add the packages individually as that RPI also runs a Pi-Plate coupled with Node-Red to monitor my worm farm (yes I love fishing) and thus I don’t want to use ne image completely.

I have a few hobbies and have multiple RPi’s running. One runs my house automation. I just dont want to run a another dedicated one if I dont have to but may end up doing this

Ok all. I have a prostick sitting on my work bench running as a test. This isn’t where its going to end up. I already had the Node-Red and its User Interface installed with the Pi-Plates etc. I haven’t tested that all that still works but its not throwing errors so we will assume it is.

I made up a Coaxial Collinear Antenna and had it hanging inside off my curtain rod with the 15mts of plain old RG58 between it and the stick. Picked up a few so all working. Put the antenna in some pvc pipe made ready to add the LNA to it later and shoved it up outside top of a 8mt length of pipe. Increased the range upto 8 times. No LNA as yet as I have no bias tee to power it.
All this means that it appears I can put the RPI in its enclosure out of the sun and feed the irrigation system that it was originally set up for but more importantly out of the sun.

So far so good

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