FlightAware Discussions

PiAware data comes and goes

New user - excited to join the “club”.

Got my Pi2, FlightAware stick, FlightAware filter and antenna setup and going.

The issue I am curious about is that my data comes and goes – for brief periods of time I am getting data on quite a few planes; but then for longer periods I get no data at all.

The PiAware app shows no data recently. I understand my setup won’t receive extremely long range, but I wouldnt expect there to be zero data.

During the time where no data is being collected, the Pi is running ok - I can SSH into it, the little hdmi monitior shows the system & application continiously running (no rebooting due to low voltage/amps power) and it’s shows connection to FlightAware as being ok. When I bring up the device’s SkyView webpage, it operates ok, just no aircraft on the map, and the table is empty.

You can see the cyclical nature of the data collection from my profile:
https://flightaware.com/adsb/stats/user/mliebster

Pics of my setup:

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Your mag base is operating without any kind of ground plane. These are not a great antenna at the best of times, but you are handicapping yourself here. Find a can of beans or something else to sit it on.
Second. Is that a metal mosquito screen? if so, you’ll need to get the antenna on the outside.
Third. receivers dropping out are most often attributed to poor power supplies. Try an alternative.

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Most likely a weak power supply or you are using an extension cable to connect the USB receiver to the RPi.

You can either try to connect the USB receiver via a powered USB hub or get a stronger power supply.
Raspberry Pi Official power supply and Canakit powersupply both supply 5.2 V to cope with such problems.

As for whip antennas:
How to improve performance of whip antenna of DVB-T

Two methods to shorten the whip to 1/4 wavelenght (=67mm at 1090 Mhz)

  • Cut the original whip to required length.
    OR
  • Unscrew original whip, use a thin steel tie-wire or one of multiple wires of scrap network cable, and cut the wire to required length.

Groundplane in these photos is provided by a cookie can (photo 1) and a beans can (photo 2)

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My pi

Are you supplying the screen with power from the RPi?

Just remove the screen and login via network, it will likely be more stable.

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Thanks for all the suggestions!

It’s working as I had hoped now. Eventually I’ll get a better antenna and move it outside.

I put a metal can underneath, and that did the trick.

My new “temporarily permanent” solution:

  • Switched to a RaspPi 3B+, and got WiiFi working
  • Removed the keyboard and screen
  • Moved to the garage, placed next to the window
  • Put an old paint can underneath the antenna

Thanks again for the help!