FlightAware Discussions

Replaced RasPi PSU - Big change in Message Rate

I swapped out the PSU for my RasPi which has FA Blue 1090MHz and RadarBox Red 978MHz dongles. Didn’t have any particular performance reason but it had been something I’d wanted to do for a while. I replaced a ‘wall wart’ plugin USB device as supplied with many RasPi kits with an 5V 8A PSU.

Very surprised to see an almost doubling of the message rate. The dongles are on short 6in USB cables but it would seem to indicate they mush have been having either performance or communication problems with the smaller PSU.

Posting this so others can see the impact of the better PSU.


I guess that makes a lot of sense. Those receivers are working at the limits of sensitivity with planes out at a distance and even low levels of switching noise on a power supply could easily interfere.

Thanks for the heads up! Will definitely look into a better power supply than the wall wart I am using.

Just to clarify - it didn’t significantly change the sensitivity or range (maybe a small improvement, but will need a few days to see a trend) - as you can see from the graphs, just the communication between the USB Dongles and the RasPi

This was the PSU I switched to:

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@DavidUnsworth, what cable did you use to connect PSU to RasPi?

I found these cables on Amazon - I cut one in half leaving just a short tail with the Micro USB and connected to it some heavier gauge red+black wires, since the gauge of the wire to the Micro USB is pretty thin I wanted to minimize the length of that.

My Pi3 was throttling the CPU frequency with a couple of generic PS, especially after they functioned for a while in my hot garage.
I had to purchase a 5.1V/2.5A official one to have it working properly.


MAED IN CHINA. Gotta love “MAED”. Looks like a nice PS though. Did you put it into some sort of enclosure? Looks like something that one wouldn’t want sitting out exposed if anyone might accidentally go near it.

Hard to find anything not maed in China these days. Its in the attic so I didn’t feel the need to put it in an enclosure - and wanted to maximize the ventilation.