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Mobile use of Pro Stick for field testing

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  • Mobile use of Pro Stick for field testing

    Thanks to a lot of tips and support from this group, I have a FlightAware Pro Stick on a Raspberry up and working.
    I live in a very hilly area and moving the antenna 50 feet makes major changes to the range. is very close but I would like to do some field testing / propagation study on the ranch where there is no power or Wi-Fi just to see what happens.
    I will need to hike to most of the locations so I want a simple and light weight way to test.
    I have a Samsung tablet and the Pro Stick for hardware.
    Any ideas on how to interface the two devices or other tips for testing with no power or Wi-Fi?
    PS: Iíve been reading but I want to test the sites first.

  • #2
    Mobile dump1090?
    I have done it on my Samsung Galaxy Android Phone.

    This App is Android version of dump1090. It does NOT contain data feed to any site.

    This App does not require external power, works on Android Phone's battery.

    In photo below a DVB-T is shown, but it works equally good with Flightaware ProStick, with slight higher battery drain.

    It does not requires internet or data to funtion. However without internet or data, the google map is not downloaded and planes are displayed on a blank map (please see last image).


    It works without internet or data link, but map terrain is missing

    Last edited by abcd567; 2017-12-17, 19:53.


    • #3
      Thanks for the quick response.
      I see the app you are using is no longer available?
      Any and all recommendations on hardware and sources as well as apps would be helpful.
      I also see that battery life is an issue with SDR dongle’s.


      • #4
        The application on my Android phone is Flightaware's "Flight Feeder", which was available upto 2016 at Google Play Store (Free of charge). It had a decoder software (dump1090) and data feeder to Flightaware.

        By end of 2016, Flightaware decided to discontinue using Android Phone/Tablet for data feeding, but it remained available on Google store for next couple of months.

        Flightaware finally removed it from Google Play Store, and made it's source code as open source. Its source files are available on Github by the name "Flight Scanner". However in order to use it, one has to first built an installation package (.apk) from the source code.

        Luckily an already built .apk package "ADS-B Flight Scanner- Version 2.0.29" is available from a download site, and I have downloaded and installed it from there.

        (1) You will need an OTG cable to connect your Tablet to ProStick dongle.

        (2) The battery drain is an issue with phones. However as you are using a tablet, which has a bigger battery than phone, the battery drain may not be so severe, and the set may function longer than a phone before a recharge is necessary.

        Last edited by abcd567; 2017-12-17, 20:08.


        • #5
          Thanks for the link, I did some quick testing and it is working with the ProStick and my tablet.
          This is going to be a handy setup for field testing.
          As noted in the link below, “Terrain plays a very important role as hills & changes in ground level will restrict maximum range.”

          My very short testing shows how true this is.


          • #6
            For testing, I want to use the best dongle and I from what I have read, my ProStick is the way to go.
            But, I’m thinking about a second dongle just for taking on the road to play with. I don’t know anything about SDR but it might be fun to learn.
            I see some interesting packages from NooElec on Amazon
            Any recommendations?


            • #7
              Have not used these, but have read the customer reviews, and the dongles are reported good by buyers. There is only one negative thing that some users say too much heat, unless you remove the plastic cover of Dongles for better cooling.

              Sometimes overheating may cause dongle to malfunction. In a reported case of feed failing after few minutes, it was finally found that it was due to Dongle failure, and removing plastic cover of Dongle fixed the problem of failure of dongle (Click Here).

              The removal of plastic cover of two dongles is also necessary if you want to plug both simultaneously.
              Otherwise with cover on, you can plug only one at a time, as their width is more than USB port spacing on RPi.

              Please scroll down to Customer Reviews on the Amazon page you have linked.

              The set of Antennas, pigtails and connectors/adaptors seems good.
              Last edited by abcd567; 2017-12-18, 18:08.


              • #8
                Looks like NooElec just addressed some of those issues with a new release to “to eliminate issues with USB port occlusion” and “aluminum enclosures to greatly reduce EMI, improve performance, and facilitate heat transfer”
                This is a brand new item with no reviews.


                • #9
                  Seems a better package.
                  However an increase in price from $36.95 to $57.95, (157%) just because of new model dongles, while everything else (Antennas pigtails adaptor/connector) are same, does not seem justified