Plane Finder Radar Receiver - possible FPGA/GPS bargain?


#1

found this receiver box from planefinder https://shop.planefinder.net/products/plane-finder-radar and was wondering whether one/some of you have the device. and moreover if they opened it and looked whats inside and if there is a chance to use it with dump1090-mutability and piaware.

pricewise this seems to be a bargain because the decoder inside is fpga based with gps and highly precise timestamps for mlat like the radarcape can do.

any input welcome
cheers
tom


#2

really - not a single person in this forum owns this box or knows something about it ???


#3

Not something I have ever seen before, but I believe it is meant to be a totally standalone unit - so no Pi needed etc.

Taking this from the FAQ: The Plane Finder Radar is designed for plug and play use and includes Plane Finder 3D client pre-installed with additional port access for PlanePlotter, Virtual Radar Server (VRS) and third party software.

Looks like it will output in the usual way, if VRS will work most other things should. But… I am a noob so YMMV :slight_smile:


#4

Jeepers, 500 NZ (:new_zealand:) dollars, I bet I get as good a performance from my 90 NZ dollar RPi3 and FA Pro Stick! Nice looking though :traffic_light:


#5

As regards fpga for Flightaware, I think that unlike Planefinder, their MLAT calculation method does not depend on it. Please see my post linked below, and several posts after it (including obj’s post). Replace XXXXX in my post by Planefinder :slight_smile:


#6

i know - but like radarcape in every case you could feed ads-b to flightaware and if it is possible to tweak the software probably you could feed mlat too like radarcape. but what is way more interesting you could have a private mlat network with much more precise mlat tracks and without anonymizing :slight_smile:


#7

Yes, it has benefits, provided one is ready to pay £264.00 (Can $ 424)+Postage.


#8

I’m running the PlaneFinder Radar Receiver 24/7 since July 2016. It has excellent strong signal and overload performance whilst also maintaining a high sensitivity. This is an issue here with a lot of strong unwanted signals and a high-placed antenna.

The PlaneFinder network suppresses most mil traffic, but the receiver shows all positionless mil traffic locally in the PlaneFinder Client Data View screen. In conjunction with COAA’s PlanePlotter, you can also view all mil/civ traffic using PlanePlotter’s manual MLAT. Besides that, PlanePlotter shows (and logs) Mode S TCAS RA downlink messages, which the PlaneFinder Radar Receiver is able to receive. More info on that: PlaneFinder Forum


#9

I’ve got one here too. It gets exactly the same range and message rate as my Pi3 with an Airspy mini front end. But hey - it was free :slight_smile:


#10

free is always nice and in every case it’s a nice box :smile: in my tests two years ago the airspy was about on par with the dongle - exactly the same number of received aircrafts and about 5-10% more messages here at my site.

but did you ever open your planefinder-radar? i was wondering what’s inside and if it could be possible to alter the software and use it for a private mlat-network with much better resolution …


#11

… you could try a cavity-filter e.g. from jetvision.


#12

Spotted this when it first became available a year ago at £299. Now £316 so this has never been a bargain to me.

I’ve got an SBS-1e and an SBS-3 which I bought in the days before DVB-T dongles. Would I buy one now? NO!

I reckon the days of custom boxes are over except for a business that wants to create a network. For everyone else: a dongle :grin: