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  • The Evolution of FR24 Receivers from Gunter's German Beast to the
    Sweden Raspberry PI and Sweden Raspberry PI LCD.

    A long while ago Gunter, a engineer in Germany designed an ADSB receiver and built it to his specifications making it better than it had to be and upgradable by the user and FR24.
    It was small, making it easy to mount in a weatherproof box to put the receiver ADSB/ModeS and GPS closer to the antennas. GPS was vital for timing for MLAT and automatically determining the antenna's precise location. Other receiver providers slowly redesigned their receivers to incorporate GPS and their MLAT capabilities.

    FlightAware was the first to discover that by building up a Raspberry PI, it could track ADSB on one port and ModeS on another port inexpensively. Their 1,000s of legacy receivers still do not have GPS capabilities.

    PlaneFinder uses a Beaglebone front end and a Puck for ADSB.

    Each of these three speak and understand different Formats with different ports and local IPs usually set to dynamic so that when the modem is turned off and power is restored the IP changes with the exception of Gunter's which allows a fixed local IP when you enable it. To discover the new local IPs you need to login to the service that provided the receiver and under statistics the new local IP will be listed.

    For those who use several receivers and use Virtual Radar Server (VRS) here are the Format settings and port numbers I use to set VRS up.

    LCD Sweden: Format Basestation, Local IP for receiver using port number 30003
    FlightAware legacy: Format AVR or Beast Raw Feed Local IP for receiver using port number 30005 for ADSB. For MLAT only the port number changes to 30105.
    PlaneFinder legacy: Format SBS-3 Raw Feed local IP for receiver using port 30054.

    Note that the LCD Sweden software incorrectly implemented the Basestation format which was corrected with the November software update.

    FR24 took an ownership position with a Swedish startup that is building Enterprise ADSB receivers based on the Raspberry PI. that looked similar to Gunter's Beast but of different dimensions. Enterprise is shorthand for secure. Later last year together with FR24 they built a receiver with LCD screen rather than 3 LEDs on the front. Functionally they are the same but the model with the LCD screen is more user friendly, showing what is working and what is not and the local IP the receiver is connected to.

    The LCD model local IP entered into any browser presents you with a login screen telling you your connection is not secure and the username is flightradar24 and the password is the Mac address of the receiver, in UPPERCASE.

    The Overview page shows how things are working. The Settings tab is where you can set your static IP if desired. The A/C List lists the aircraft both ASDB and MLAT.

    The Logs page is problematic in that it freezes after a few days running and the work around is to disconnect the power to the receiver and reconnect power. The Reboot button on the Overview page will not disconnect power for you. Few people look at the logs. Even as it freezes it is still tracking aircraft. The problem with the Logs page is the receiver has so many lines of redundant code that the space allocated in the firmware is insufficient.

    Early on we discovered that the LCD receiver overheated inside the case shutting the receiver down, depending on how the receiver was mounted. Later builds will have heat convection holes to create a natural airflow over the circuit boards and to carry away heat from the LCD.

    Since software design in the receiver is ongoing newer versions were automatically installed in November and January. The software version can be found at the top of the OverView page.

    RadarView on FR24 was written when the Beast was being shipped when only the local IP was necessary to get it to work. RadarView doesn't have the ability to associate a Mac address to a local IP for the new FR24 Raspberry PI receivers.

    Last edited by paradiselost; 2020-02-18, 22:02. Reason: Added typical VRS settings for those interested.


    • Interesting.

      I can't find the post, but someone put one up of the LCD in action just recently and what was on screen.

      Got an email today that the radarcape now has Deb 10 and a new FA update. So still hold their place I guess. My mode-s beast is still trucking along

      Shame the long term uploaders never got asked to beta these new ones along the way vs sending to some who don't run them for long (feeding since about 2009 on the first software uploader versions myself)
      Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers


      • RADAR F-RPUY1........ACTIVATED
        Area: North Easthern Luzon

        Greetings fellow FR24 feeders

        Last edited by rzlacub; 2020-03-04, 16:11.