FlightAware Discussions

Pro Stick Plus operating temperature range

Does anyone know the operating temperature range for the Flight Stick Plus, I cant find it or a data sheet anywhere.

Reason I ask is I would like to attach the SDR directly to the antenna to eliminate all feed line loss, but it is located in my Attic which here in Florida regularly reaches 100+°F and I would hate to burn it out.

High temps will shorten the life of any electronics, but realistically, you won’t have a big problem.
Fan cooling helps a lot, but if you buy a $1 fan, don’t expect it to be an heirloom (I’ve have them fail in 3 months).
Rather than a screaming 40mm 5V fan, an 80mm 12V that idles silently (on 5V) is a good choice.

The fan failed on this site, then the heatsink adhesive went soft and fell off
but it kept running.


I tested an 80mm 12V fan at 5V, and would only run after I gave the blades a little push, before it was just stop&go. Even after the little help, you could feel it just kept running, and there was not a lot of airflow.

The fan was rated at 8V to 12V, so probably not a big surprise there. How do you power yours? I used the 5V of the Rapberry Pi, maybe that is even below 5V…

Maybe I’ll look for a separate power supply, even at full speed the noise should be significantly lower. That said, even the little 40mm screamer I am planning to replaces is doing a good job cooling pi and dongle.

I’ve just powered the fan straight off the Pi header. i can imagine not all fans appreciate undervolting this much, so you raise a good point that they do need testing before being shoves in an awkward location.

The 12V fan below was bought for a different purpose, but as it was on hand, I thought I’d see what it could do.
Turns out it will ‘just’ selfstart at 2.3V. At 3.0V, it produces a good breeze.

Unusually (for me) this fan was bought new so I was able to select the lowest power motor on offer.

Edit: at 5V, the current is 100mA, at 12V, 250mA

This is the one I tried, looking at the numbers it does not seem especially power hungry?

Comparing it with two other fans I have, the blades when given a little push do not move as easily. Not sure how long I have used in the past, has been lying around for ages…

Oh - you buy nicer fans than I do!
45mA@12V is pretty modest.
I guess it’s running 5V inside and needs a bit of overhead.

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By saying fans powered off the Rasberry Pi I believe I may be misunderstood. The Pi will be in the A/C and connected to the Pro Stick by a long USB Cable… but I guess I could build an enclosure with a fan for it and run a power cable to power it so I’ll look at that. Thanks!

There have been issues with that.
Sometimes it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

It might help to use a powered USB hub where the dongle is because supplying power to the dongle can be tricky.
(That could also supply a fan i suppose)

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Just get the receiver out of attic. It’s noise performance is affected by temperature.
The short cable won’t make too much of a difference.

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Used to, this one is pretty old :wink:

Just have to make it work, though…

The cabling was a bit makeshift, too, that probably did not help.

Why not use one of the two other fans?

The one I used was simplest one, that is why I used it first. The other are a 120mm one with a separate heat sensor, and a 80mm with a seperate screw to adjust fan speed. They are both non pwm case fans, and I may need them later.

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You can also get the metal case from the rtl-sdr website and attach a couple of heat sinks to it. Add a 6”/15cm quality USB pigtail so that it is not jammed up next to the RPI. An RPI case with a fan can also help.

This is a more passive approach and may not work as well as a fan.

Overheating in Malaysia:

my newly purchased FlightAware Pro Stick (Orange dongle) start to failed after 48 hours of operation