FlightAware Discussions

Suddenly not seeing many planes at all

Hi all,
Running Piaware4 with both piaware and FR24 feeders on a Raspberry Pi3.

Just before Christmas, I ran an update on the Pi and things went bad - it wouldn’t boot, so I had to re-image and start from scratch. I reestablished the same FR24 and piaware feeds and the Pi is now feeding again.

However, I’ve noticed that it’s hardly picking up any flights. (I did think that maybe there aren’t any, but when I check on the FA website, there are a fair few around me, but my Pi is no longer picking them up. I’ve also noticed that my max range seems to have dropped from about 85 miles to 8 or 9.
Nearest airport is probably LPL (although MAN is equally close).

So I’m thinking maybe 2 things:

  1. Something’s gone wrong on the re-install (although not sure what would cause this)
  2. Something’s gone wrong with the FA Pro stick.

Antenna hasn’t moved at all - it’s in my loft, right at the top, no changes to the connector or cable.

Is there anything I can do to diagnose this before starting to pull it tp pieces and start again?


1 Like

graphs can be useful to get a better picture:

GitHub - wiedehopf/graphs1090: Graphs for dump1090 (based on dump1090-tools by mutability)

Given that you probably re-imaged the card, try re-plugging the SDR, re-doing the SMA at the SDR and re-plug the power for the pi.

You can check if there are voltage issues:

sudo dmesg --ctime | grep voltage

No output means no issues.

Thanks, @wiedehopf - no output from the voltage check, so all’s good there.
I was just reading about the graphs, so good timing. I’ll get them instlled now and see what is produced and will come back.


While I wait for the graphs to collect sufficient information, I just had a thought that it could be the gain setting, so I changed this to max. Now I see a couple more aircraft, but they only appear for about 10 miles radius, then they disappear.

That points to either moisture in the coax or a bad connection.

Did you re-do the SMA connection at the SDR, check if the pin is straight and present?

When you ran the update, did you by chance move the Pi or bring other electronics up there?

No, I’ve not even undone the SMA - it’s been attached to the antenna and the ProStick all the time. It’s up in the loft, so shouldn’t be getting any moisture.

A total fresh install (wipe the SD and start from scratch) seems to have made a bit of a difference, as I just had a couple of aircraft at about 20 miles out. Looking on the FA site, there’s next to nothing about now anyway, so I’ll come back when it’s a bit busier and see what it’s tracking. Meanwhile, the graphs are installed and should be tracking some data…

Thanks - will come back shortly…