FlightAware Discussions

Raspi Pi gear required

Hey folks

I’m looking to start a feed with a raspberry and need some help getting the parts - would the following work for the raspberry ?

thanks
FF

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According to the pictures the power supply has 5V rating, the Raspi Foundation recommends 5.1. If you search here you will find this can lead to problems, the recommendation is to use the official Raspi power supply.

A Pi 3 is more than good enough for feeding, but there is a newer one available, the 3 B+, and the 4 B has been released yesterday, so probably there is a chance to make a bargain on the older models.

Do not forget you will need a sdcard as well, and the feeding success will depend more on the dongle and antenna you are planning to use than the Pi.

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The 3B+ has 5 GHz WiFi if you care about such things.

The 3B+ is also available in a kit: https://www.amazon.com/CanaKit-Raspberry-Premium-Clear-Supply/dp/B07BC7BMHY

I’m not sure which suppliers power supply is beter.
But i haven’t heard complaints about the canakit supply yet, even if it says 5V, not 5.1 V which would be preferred.

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ok thanks guys I’ll do some more research about the power supply ! I will also want to use this over wifi

Any further recommendations ?

Ok, so the for most people, the blue FA dongle seems to perfom better than the orange and most basic dongles that do not have an inbuilt lna.

If you are in the US, adding the light blue FA filter might improve the results. If you are in Europe, the dark blue FA filter will probably improve results. All this depends on your location.

The combination of the rtl-sdr dongle and the rtl-sdr adsb lna seems to be a good combination, improving reception in many cases.

If you are willing to spend more, the airspy mini is a good choice, however you will need a lna, eg the rtl-sdr ads-b lna and a separate bias-t inserter or a uputronics lna powered via usb or the inbuild bias-t of the airspy.

Antenna-wise, the FA ADS-B antenna will give you good results, there is a seller from Slovakia which also seems to produce good antennas, sold via ebay.

Thats about it, I guess. Many people start with a cheap dongle and a self made spider, but you might also decide to go all in immediately, though I guess that would mean buying a radarcape or a mode-s beast and a dpd antenna…

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He’s sold out at the moment :frowning:
Only ships to Europe anyway i believe, not sure.

If you want a cheap antenna, this one is much better than the whip antennas:
https://www.ebay.de/itm/1pcs-ADS-B-PCB-Antenna-1090MHz-Antenna-SMA-female-Antenne-CASE/253915016420

You’ll need a SMA male to male adapter though.
And an SMA coax cable of course, CFD200 or LMR195.
(don’t get a cable with RP-SMA connectors, those are different)

The green AirNav/radarbox dongle from their store has good performance for the price.
But reliability seems to be worse than an rtl-sdr v3 stick or Flightaware dongle.

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Pity, I have one of those and apparently it perfoms as good as the FA antenna.

Could be, though. If you are in the US, I guess the FA antenna via amazon.com is a very good option.

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That about sums it up nicely, I guess :smile:

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Can I ask what you ‘current’ objective is?
Do you ‘just’ want to get up and running at this stage?
or
do you want to spend a lot more and build a high performance station?

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Hi Gecko

Thanks for the reply. I’ve been running an sbs for years and have been a long term feeder but now they are killing the planeplotter feeds I need to get a pi, trying to do it as reasonably as possible, just a fairly basic set up will do

thinking antenna
Pi Pi - I assume this is wifi enabled because that’s what I’ll need (is it inbuilt or would i need a dongle?)

pro stick + stick

plus a random sd card and reader

Would all that do ? plus any advice on cable ?

Buy the best coaxial cable you can afford. Do not skimp on coax!

I wrote a piece on my blog just last week, a few days before the Pi4 was released where I went into some details and suggestions about what kit to buy with loads of links. I haven’t posted it on here before but if you’re interested, you can read it here.

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3B+ has WiFi builtin 2.4 and 5 GHz.
Reception isn’t too good but it works in most cases.

How long does the cable need to be?
This 30ft cable would be very nice for example:
https://www.amazon.com/MPD-Digital-Shielded-Cable-Connectors/dp/B07RG6ZTJL

Can’t you use the existing SBS antenna and coax?
Provided it’s a reasonably good one.

Edit: Don’t forget an sd-card: https://www.amazon.com/Samsung-Endurance-32GB-Micro-Adapter/dp/B07B98GXQT

Hi Weidehopf

Yeah I may possible use my sbs stuff and replace the ones on that - i’m going to run both devices, PI for the flightware feed and sbs for me and my own databases as I have that set up very well.

I’m guessing I wont need more than 5ft of cable for the Pi

5 ft is quite short, i’m guessing the antenna is indoors?

This would be a really top notch 5ft cable.
https://www.amazon.com/MPD-Digital-Shielded-Cable-Connectors/dp/B07RG5YFT2

You might also want to try the Flightaware filter:
https://www.amazon.com/ADS-B-1090MHz-Band-pass-SMA-Filter/dp/B010GBQXK8

A pre filter is important if you are close to a mobile phone tower or other radio/tv transmission towers.

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I’m not near towers, would I still need the filter with the pro stick+ ?

Yes the setup will be indoors near a window, so I’m guessing 5-10ft cable would suffice

This is the 10 ft version which isn’t much more expensive, gives you some flexibility: https://www.amazon.com/MPD-Digital-Shielded-Cable-Connectors/dp/B07RG7HX5R

It will probably be fine without the filter.
Just mentioning it.

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Excellent - so you have realistic expectations and you’re not going to lose interest in a few weeks.
In that case, the 3B+ is the Pi to buy and that’s a great antenna.
The PS+ is filtered, and has an amp.
Any random (brand name) 8G+ SD card will be fine (speed is not a major concern).

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The Flightaware sticks all have an LNA integrated.

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Thanks - I was going off that amazon ad

so does this cable come with the right connectors for the flightaware aerial and the pro-stick ?