Background & Hardware Change
For the last 4 weeks I have been running a stable basic FlightAware setup with Pi B+ and software from FA with SD card 1.2 download with no software mods, antenna changes, etc. which would impact performance.
On Wednesday 5/13 night after my 5pm PDT date roll, I added a dc blocker, the Perfect Vision PVLA-30 in line amp, 21v power inserter and dc blocker.
**Results – Week 1 **
Self Comparison (BRep007, Site 6930) To Prior Week
Compared my results from Week 1 with PV amp from Thursday 5/14 –Wednesday 5/20 against my results for the week prior without PV amp from Thursday 5/7 –Wednesday 5/13.
Positions: +0%; +2,285 more positions
Aircraft: +20%; +1,725 more aircraft
Positions/Aircraft: -16%; 16 less positions/aircraft
Peer Comparison To Prior Week
Next I looked at my increase relative to 3 nearby PiAware feeder sites (within 6 miles) to base my changes against the average of their changes in order to eliminate any week over week volume fluctuations.
The comparison of my performance week over week versus the average of the nearby 3 peer sites shows:
Positions: Net +2% (my change of +0% over their change of -2%)
Aircraft: Net +16% (my change of +20% over their change of +3%)
Positions/Aircraft: -11%; (my change of -16% over their change of -5%)
Starting on Saturday 5/16, I have been reporting a decrease in positions per aircraft of about -20% (orange shading). Peer sites have experienced a decrease in positions per aircraft of about -5%.
A Potential Causal Factor?
On Saturday 5/16, I claimed my PlanePlotter account (KHND 7653) using the sharing code. In addition, I started running Meinberg NTP in the background on my home pc (not the RPI) to synch network time as indicated by PlanePlotter. Prior to Saturday 5/16, I had been feeding PlanePlotter and have seen the stats on my FlightAware Nearby ADS-B Sites page but it was marked “Unclaimed.” The stats were not integrated into my master FA account before then.
So, I averaged 97 positions/aircraft BEFORE amp, 90 for the first 2 days WITH amp (Thu & Fri), and then 78 for the next 5 days WITH amp and PlanePlotter site claim (Sat-Wed).
Questions For FA ADMIN/Forum Members
1 – Did claiming my PlanePlotter site while running Meinberg NTP (network time protocol) and integrating the feed into my overall FA account somehow reduce my FlightAware tracked positions? Coincidentally my positions started to decrease on Saturday after making this claim.
#2 – Perhaps recent system related issues began impacting the data sent starting on Saturday? I’m grasping, but I was down and so were my peers…
#3 - Are the reported FlightAware stats on the “My ADS-B page” based upon all positions and aircraft I sent to FlightAware or are they based on what I am “credited” with after FlightAware determines validity, stability, etc. of the feeder via some algorithm?
#4 - Would the addition of new nearby PiAware feeders effect my tracked positions and aircraft following the same “credited” logic above if this was the case for Q3.
#5 - Did the Perfect Vision amp eventually overload the dongle (beginning on Saturday) to reduce positions? Seems unlikely after running smoothly for 2 days with amp, but who knows?
#6 - What is the value of sharing PlanePlotter info with FlightAware if I am already feeding data using PiAware? I like some aspects of PlanePlotter as there are some cool features, but their Help, detailed instructions and Forum are below par.
#7 – So am I better optimizing for aircraft or positions? Hmmm…
Any insight into this perplexing decline in positions from ADMIN or other members is greatly appreciated.