FlightAware Discussions

How to see if your USB dongle works?

I have two Raspberry PI with PiAware install, one is working ok, the other not.
Same USB dongle model.
When I swap the USB dongle between the two Raspberry PI the failure follow one of the dongles, but when I issue a “sudo piaware-status” in a terminal I get this response:

PiAware master process (piaware) is running with pid 595.
PiAware ADS-B client (faup1090) is running with pid 794.
PiAware ADS-B UAT client (faup978) is not running.
PiAware mlat client (fa-mlat-client) is running with pid 834.
Local ADS-B receiver (dump1090-fa) is running with pid 593.

dump1090-fa (pid 593) is listening for connections on port 30005.
no program appears to be listening for connections on port 30978.
faup1090 is connected to the ADS-B receiver.
faup978 is NOT connected to the ADS-B UAT receiver.
piaware is connected to FlightAware.

got ‘couldn’t open socket: connection refused’
dump1090 is producing data on localhost:30005.

Your feeder ID is (My ID here)

So it looks to me that the USB dongle is found and communication is working.
The strange thing is that both dongles works fine when connected to my PC and I use them as SDR, so the dongles is working, bit one is not under linux or driver issue?

One difference might be the power supplied to the SDR.
For best operation, the Official RPi power supply is recommended, the RPi has some problems with giving sufficient voltage to the dongle.

Also note that dump1090-fa is using a sample rate of 2.4 MHz.

If you want to run a test on the dongle, you can use this script:

sudo bash -c "$(wget -q -O - https://raw.githubusercontent.com/wiedehopf/adsb-wiki/master/rtl_test.sh)"

Or just install rtl-sdr, stop some stuff:

sudo systemctl stop dump1090-fa piaware

and run

rtl_test -s 2400000

Reboot when you are done to restore the services you stopped.

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I did the first test and it shows for the faulty device:

Found 1 device(s):
0: Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U OEM
Found Fitipower FC0012 tuner
Supported gain values (5): -9.9 -4.0 7.1 17.9 19.2
Sampling at 2400000 S/s.

And for the other:

Found 1 device(s):
0: Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U OEM
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 2400000 S/s.

So it apperes that the tuner “Fitipower FC0012” it not that good for ADS-B receiving, and the other tuner “Rafael Micro R820T” is fine.
It looks like I have to get a new USB dongle.

That tuner is not capable of tuning to 1090MHz, so can’t be used for ADS-B. It only covers up to about 950MHz. It’s probably not faulty, just not suitable.

If you are going to buy a new dongle, and it’s purely for ADS-B then the FA flightstick pro plus is a good choice since it has a built in filter and amplifier. If you are likely to want it for something else as well then you might want a more general purpose dongle. The rtl-sdr.com v3 is good, as it also has a bias-t that can power an LNA should you want to put one near the antenna.

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