MY set up is currently in my second floor office - with a wire colinear antenna in front of a double glazed window. Works, quite well, but strongest in line-of-site through the window (unsurprisingly).
Until I can get this roof mounted, I’m thinking of moving the Rpi and the antenna to the attic, running off PoE, to keep the coax run down.
So, couple of questions:
Would you agree that attic mounted vs window mounted antenna is better?
PoE - all the PoE splitters I’ve seen terminate in a 2.1mm “barrel” for the power connector (in / out) . Of course the RPi uses a micro usb connection.
If anyone else here has used PoE (which I’m sure you have) , how did you connect the RPi to the power “fork” on the PoE splitter?
I have one in the attic and one on a pole above the roof line. Another is mounted below the roof line pointing West. These are my daily median results over the last week:
flights positions aerial
1,546 76,849 attic
1,882 72,307 pole 11m agl
1,412 60,759 mag mount facing West
I did have one indoors in the window but the results were very poor.
The installation in the attic is an old laptop running dump1090 and Planeplotter connected to the LAN by PLT plugs to router downstairs.
The glass in many windows is a good attenuator - it may degrade 1 GHz and above signals significantly.
An attic may be better for an antenna - but it depends a LOT on possible insulation materials. Anything foil backed may also attenuate signals as well. Same goes for insulation / siding on a building.
You can help overcome some of this attenuation by having a better antenna (higher gain - not necessarily so easy to construct) as well as ensuring the connection between the antenna and receiver has the shortest run possible of lowest loss coax.
Raspberry Pi’s can suffer from overheating - if you put it in an attic that exceeds 40C / 100F the ambient heat combined with the heat generated by the Pi may lessen its life / cause intermittent problems.
I don’t know what you mean by “wall patch.” If you mean Ethernet over AC power line adapters, no, PoE will not work. If you’re talking about a 4-pair cable in the wall with RJ-45 jacks at both ends, then PoE will probably work. For an inexpensive way to get there look at the TP-Link TL-POE200, around $25 for the full setup including wall wart, injector, splitter, and some cables.
Thanks Gents - yes, that’s what I’m thinking of… (Yes, PeterHR, that’s my set up).
Made the initial “test” move last night.
With a great deal of thanks due to Mr.Gaffa and Mr.Tape, my antenna and RPi are now in the attic, running off an extension lead from the bedroom below.
Initial indications are good - VRS shows c140nm range in both NW/SE directions, with lesser ranges at other points.
Running since c18:00 last night, so will compare to last Tuesday once today is complete.
Current (flawed) calculations suggest 2,249 air craft based on basic Reports → Aircraft %'s from last week. (vs 1524 last week). I dont expect to hit this number, but certainly indicates some level of improvement.
If this remains as good a change as appears, I’ll crack on and get the PoE stuff next week.
Still running on c15ft 75 Ohm coax (which I dont need) but have left for comparison.
Will cut down to min run after one week of reports to test.
eta: yes, I realize in those pictures the Pi is powered via USB hub, but I found that to be somewhat unreliable and had issues with the Pi, so I ended up bypassing it and plugging the Pi directly into the PoE converter, which resolved a few of the issues. I have since completely removed this set up and have the dongle plugged into my virtual server and connected to a Ubuntu server for processing.
You’re better off shoving more that 5v up the POE then have a power regulator at the remote end - this is to avoid a volt drop on network cable … which will get worse as the cable gets longer.
I’m using a cheap regulator from China (as mentioned in a previous post), Others are using the TP-Link TL-POE20 that splits out the POE and has the regulator all in one (though that will need a 2.1mm to microusb power adapter or something)
The IEEE standard for PoE requires category 5 cable or higher for high power levels, but can operate with category 3 cable if less power is required. Power is supplied in common mode over two or more of the differential pairs of wires found in the Ethernet cables and comes from a power supply within a PoE-enabled networking device such as an Ethernet switch or can be injected into a cable run with a midspan power supply.
The original IEEE 802.3af-2003 PoE standard provides up to 15.4 W of DC power (minimum 44 V DC and 350 mA) to each device. Only 12.95 W is assured to be available at the powered device as some power dissipates in the cable.
The updated IEEE 802.3at-2009 PoE standard also known as PoE+ or PoE plus, provides up to 25.5 W of power. The 2009 standard prohibits a powered device from using all four pairs for power. Some vendors have announced products that claim to be compatible with the 802.3at standard and offer up to 51 W of power over a single cable by utilizing all four pairs in the Category 5 cable.
Both of these amendments have since been incorporated into the IEEE 802.3-2012 publication.
I send 48v up the cable from my 802.3af switch (Cisco SG-300-10P). The only problem was the original RPi model B wasn’t grunty enough to power the USB DVB-T stick itself, hence the USB hub. The new ones have no problem, so I don’t use the USB hub.