FlightAware Discussions

New Raspberry Pi available - Pi 4

Available in three different memory sizes, 1Gb, 2Gb and 3Gb at £34, £44 and £54 respectively.

Details here.

Unfortunately it won’t just be a case of buying one and swapping out an existing Pi because this new one is now powered via a USB-C connector and it requires a 3 amp PSU.

I will get one but not straight away. The only Pi I have which might benefit from the higher performance is the one mounted outside at the top of my mast that’s running my feeder and getting a decent power supply to it was a challenge at a couple of amps. Replacing it with a Pi 4 would require a lot of extra work.


Maybe also better to wait and see how much cooling it needs before putting it in an enclosure outside.

My first impression is that the changes make it more useful as a desktop replacement or small server, but not necessarily as a headless feeder. Maybe for an airspy set up with -m 20?


Maybe because it is outside on a mast -sorry fancy washing line :grinning: - with long cables and a buck converter.

Tom’s Hardware’s review is very good. Temperature is sure to be an issue.

Video playback, something I was hoping would be better, is not.

Still no eMMC memory. Must be in the next version.:wink:

Maybe an interesting fact:

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Actually that’s a valid point - There’s also an official micro-USB to USB-C adapter. Somehow, one of these new boards ended up in my shopping basket and then the checkout button was pressed. The DC-DC converter I’m using is rated at 3A (heatsinked). Whether I swap it or not, it’ll be interesting to fire it up and see how well it works and whether the existing software is all compatible with the new OS.

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USB3 & a more reliable USB controller are pretty attractive; I suspect this will work better for anyone that’s trying to drive significant USB traffic (e.g. Airspy…)

nb: the piaware 3.7.1 sdcard is unlikely to boot on a Pi 4, but the next release should pick up whatever bootloader changes are needed.


That’s what I picked up on and is largely the reason I’ve ordered one, despite saying earlier that I wasn’t that interested in swapping mine out from the washing line!

I’ll build from Buster Lite anyway so this shouldn’t be an issue for me.

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I ordered a few from Newark(US).
Now I just need to find POE+ adapters with enough power and USB-C support.
The 3B+ poe hat states only 2.5A.

A pinheader for power input would be really nice.

That way you could easily connect any power supply without losing input protection.

I’ve just run up Buster on a Pi3B+ and all the FA stuff seems to be working perfectly. I installed Piaware, PiAware-Web and Dump1090-fa and everything worked.

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Hmm, do i do a backup or do i just change the sources.list and upgrade the system?

Edit: I do have a backup that’s probably 3 month old, so i’m going for it :slight_smile:

Anyone who is crazy enough to upgrade from stretch:

sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt dist-upgrade

Do a reboot check if everything still works.
After updating to the current stretch version of packages, upgrade to buster:

sudo sed -i -e 's/stretch/buster/' /etc/apt/sources.list.d/raspi.list /etc/apt/sources.list
sudo apt update
sudo apt upgrade
sudo apt dist-upgrade

Good luck!
Be ready to rewrite the sd-card though in case there are unforeseen problems.

Quite a bit of manual cleanup required indeed, but my system is rather custom.
Writing a new image is probably easier for most people :wink:

Start from scratch, it’s always the tidiest way.


I am going to do it tonight, but I belong to keithma’s school of thought, and also I love Win32DiskImager :wink:

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Funnily enough, just for the hell of it, I’ve just written a new Stretch Lite image and am going through the process to update to Buster just to see if it works. There’s nothing else on it but I’ve not done an update like this before. I won’t use it for anything, I’m just doing it to see if I can.

When it comes to card writing, it’s all about Etcher (BalanaEtcher) for me.

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My upgrade worked fine, but as i chose to keep my own configuration files i had to fix some of them.
You are asked if you want the old or the new configuration file if it has been modified.

If you don’t know about the config file it’s probably best to install the new version and not keep the old (keeping the old one is the default).

During the update systemctl and journalctl stopped working, that was quite alarming.
But after the update ran its course, they went back to normal :slight_smile:

Also i have quite some packages installed for building dump1090, dump978 and piaware.
That’s quite a few packages to upgrade.

The new version of Etcher, now renamed Balena Etcher is excellent. It unzips the file, formats the card, and burns the image, all in one single step.


Mine has arrived and this is definitely going to need some cooling if I mount it outside because the CPU is sitting at 59°C while it’s just idle on the desk in my shack.