FlightAware Discussions

Using a rtl sdr 820t2 dongle

I have setup a sd card with the piaware image, got it up and running and connected to an antenna follwoing all instructions on the ‘build a new piaware receiver’ page.

Im not getting anything as yet, i know these are quite times but does the rtl sdr 820t2 dongle actually work or do i need the dedicated ads-b flightaware stick?

Also i see ingo about dump1090, do i need to install this, if so how?

Any rtlsdr dongle with an r820t2 tuner should be fine.

If you are using the piaware sdcard image, that already has dump1090-fa installed, you don’t need to separately install it.

what antenna?
connected with which coax?

You can confirm the tuner type using rtl_test.
Either manually install rtl-sdr, stop dump1090-fa and piaware, run rtl_test.
Or run this script: https://github.com/wiedehopf/adsb-wiki/wiki/Debug-commands#test-the-rtl-sdr-receiver

i have made a lmr400 coax 9 section antenna.
connected with 1mtr of lmr400

You probably haven’t used one, but check if it’s an RP-SMA connector.

Also as a reference, you should probably just try a simple quarter wave.

And some output would also help:

piaware-status

hi, ive used a sma to so259, as my bit of coax has a pl259 attached…
Ive now made a spider with 8 gp’s @45 degrees and now have an improvement (getting a distance to about 25NM)

pi@piaware:~ $ piaware-status
PiAware master process (piaware) is running with pid 467.
PiAware ADS-B client (faup1090) is running with pid 555.
PiAware ADS-B UAT client (faup978) is not running (disabled by configuration set tings)
PiAware mlat client (fa-mlat-client) is running with pid 605.
Local ADS-B receiver (dump1090-fa) is running with pid 466.

dump1090-fa (pid 466) is listening for ES connections on port 30005.
faup1090 is connected to the ADS-B receiver.
piaware is connected to FlightAware.

dump1090 is NOT producing data on localhost:30005.

Your feeder ID is acf91073-89c2-4ef7-ac37-403537450c3c (from /var/cache/piaware/ feeder_id)
pi@piaware:~ pi@piaware:~ piaware-status
PiAware ADS-B client (faup1090) is running with pid 555.
PiAware ADS-B UAT client (faup978) is not running (disabled by configuration set tings)
PiAware mlat client (fa-mlat-client) is running with pid 605.
Local ADS-B receiver (dump1090-fa) is running with pid 466.

dump1090-fa (pid 466) is listening for ES connections on port 30005.
faup1090 is connected to the ADS-B receiver.
piaware is connected to FlightAware.

dump1090 is NOT producing data on localhost:30005.

Your feeder ID is acf91073-89c2-4ef7-ac37-403537450c3c (from /var/cache/piaware/ feeder_id)
-bash: pi@piaware:~: command not found
pi@piaware:~ PiAware master process (piaware) is running with pid 467. -bash: syntax error near unexpected token `(' pi@piaware:~ PiAware ADS-B client (faup1090) is running with pid 555.
-bash: syntax error near unexpected token (' pi@piaware:~ $ PiAware ADS-B UAT client (faup978) is not running (disabled by co nfiguration settings) -bash: syntax error near unexpected token (’
pi@piaware:~ PiAware mlat client (fa-mlat-client) is running with pid 605. -bash: syntax error near unexpected token `(' pi@piaware:~ Local ADS-B receiver (dump1090-fa) is running with pid 466.
-bash: syntax error near unexpected token (' pi@piaware:~ $ pi@piaware:~ $ dump1090-fa (pid 466) is listening for ES connections on port 300 05. -bash: syntax error near unexpected token pid’
pi@piaware:~ faup1090 is connected to the ADS-B receiver. -bash: faup1090: command not found pi@piaware:~ piaware is connected to FlightAware.
piaware options:
-p value specify the name of a file to write our pid in <>
-configfile value specify an additional configuration file to read <>
-cachedir value specify alternative cache directory </var/cache/piaware>
-serverhosts value specify alternate server hosts (for FA testing) <>
-serverport value specify alternate server port (for FA testing) <>
-plainlog log to stderr without timestamps
-debug log to stderr, maybe enable more debugging messages
-logfile value set logfile location (not used if -debug or -plainlog are given) </var/log/piaware.log>
-showtraffic emit traffic to stdout (for debugging)
-statusfile value periodically write json status to this location <>
-v emit version information and exit
– Forcibly stop option processing
-help Print this message
-? Print this message

pi@piaware:~ pi@piaware:~ dump1090 is NOT producing data on localhost:30005.
-bash: dump1090: command not found
pi@piaware:~ pi@piaware:~ Your feeder ID is acf91073-89c2-4ef7-ac37-403537450c3c (from /var /cache/piaware/feeder_id)
-bash: syntax error near unexpected token `(’

(1) Post output of this command:

sudo journalctl -u dump1090-fa --no-pager

 

(2) Give following commands. What is output of last command below (rtl_test -t)?

sudo apt install rtl-sdr

sudo systemctl stop piaware dump1090-fa dump978-fa

rtl_test -t

 

(3) After test is finished, reboot Pi to restore the system

 

pi@piaware:~ $ sudo journalctl -u dump1090-fa --no-pager
– Logs begin at Mon 2020-04-13 16:17:01 UTC, end at Mon 2020-04-13 19:28:57 UTC. –
Apr 13 16:17:19 piaware systemd[1]: Started dump1090 ADS-B receiver (FlightAware customization).
Apr 13 16:17:19 piaware dump1090-fa[466]: Mon Apr 13 16:17:19 2020 UTC dump1090-fa 3.8.1 starting up.
Apr 13 16:17:19 piaware dump1090-fa[466]: rtlsdr: using device #0: Generic RTL2832U OEM (Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN 00000001)
Apr 13 16:17:19 piaware dump1090-fa[466]: Detached kernel driver
Apr 13 16:17:19 piaware dump1090-fa[466]: Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
Apr 13 16:17:20 piaware dump1090-fa[466]: rtlsdr: enabling tuner AGC
Apr 13 16:17:20 piaware dump1090-fa[466]: Allocating 4 zero-copy buffers

pi@piaware:~ $ rtl_test -t
Found 1 device(s):
0: Realtek, RTL2838UHIDIR, SN: 00000001

Using device 0: Generic RTL2832U OEM
Detached kernel driver
Found Rafael Micro R820T tuner
Supported gain values (29): 0.0 0.9 1.4 2.7 3.7 7.7 8.7 12.5 14.4 15.7 16.6 19.7 20.7 22.9 25.4 28.0 29.7 32.8 33.8 36.4 37.2 38.6 40.2 42.1 43.4 43.9 44.5 48.0 49.6
[R82XX] PLL not locked!
Sampling at 2048000 S/s.
No E4000 tuner found, aborting.
Reattached kernel driver

That’s a start.
Logs agree, everything is working nominally.

Colinear antennas can be very tricky, if you put them into a plastic pipe, the resonant frequency changes.

The Spider you described is ok if the length of vertical center wire is 1/4 wavelength (67mm), and radials are also aproximately 1/4wavelength bent down 45 degrees. This antenna with short (few meters) coax to dongle can easily receive planes as far as 250nm, provided it is installed at a location clear of obstructions, i.e. it can “see” the horizon. Normally such condition is met when antenna is outdoor, on top of roof or a mast. An indoor Spider in a window also can easily receive signals from planes at about 100nm ~ 150nm distance

Thanks for that, my spider is built 69mm? you say its a bit long?

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