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Mode S Beast does not work

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  • Mode S Beast does not work

    Hello,

    I am an active feeder for about ten years now. I have installed two receievers using RaspberryPi and got one Mode s beast from FR24. And it worked for years. However, about a year ago, the thunderstorm got the better of it. Frankly, this Mode S Beast was working at the radio tower, about 25m above ground, in plastic box, powered through POE adapter. For years. I am amazed it lasted that long, on -20 and +50 degrees. That was a good piece of hardware.
    So I have sent it back as instructed and FR24 sent me another one.

    Now the "fun" starts.

    When I connect the new Mode S beast to my LAN, there are couple scenarios that happen, depending on the firmware version.

    Usually the device/firmware does not want to pick up an address as offered by DHCP. After going through with support, I get to the "failsafe" web UI at the address 10.123.45.67 (/24). That way I could set the static IP address, and the Mode S Beast would contact the servers.
    However, after a restart, it stopped working.

    Here I have to point out that the support persons have been patient, and gave a number of suggestions about how to flash it, restart it from SD card or from on-board flash and so on. Gordon comes to mind as the best, but others were all polite and tried to help.

    Unfortunately, the first one I had to send back. It turned out that no matter what, we could not get the GPS antenna to work (I have two and both were tested on another device). Next Mode S Beast arrived in similar condition but the GPS worked and I did it all over again. Flashing the SD card with rc2-24-648-648-128.img, booting from SD and from on board flash, but the final result was the same.
    No matter what I did to it, the beast did not work after the reboot.

    Now, the third unit is on my desk, connected to the my Mikrotik switch, 5V 2A PSU, and the original GPS and antenna. This is what happens:
    - after the power-on, the device accepts offered IP address
    - the device does not respond to ping, http or https requests
    - the device attempts to contact at least two DNSs, and at least 6 Ip addresses, all hosted at CloudFlare
    - the device consumes about 3.5-4 W of power and does not bring the link on ethernet cable down (no restarts)
    - the device contacts the router with discovery packets, and other normal 802.2 signaling packets as expected

    What do you make of it?
    Last edited by Kvisko; 2022-08-25, 16:25.

  • #2
    That looks long itself may be disabled?

    There should be a status lcd now in later models?

    Browse to the IP but specify :8754

    If you can see outbound it's probably fine.

    But in general they refused to support here and say email them for supplied devices
    Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Oblivian View Post
      That looks long itself may be disabled?

      There should be a status lcd now in later models?

      Browse to the IP but specify :8754

      If you can see outbound it's probably fine.

      But in general they refused to support here and say email them for supplied devices
      - What may be disabled?
      - The Mode s Beast I got has LEDs, not (O)LED screen
      - The Beast does not replay to any ports or communication I could think of (22, 80, 8080, 443, 8754)
      - it replays only to the ping on the "failsafe" IP address (10.123.45.67)
      - I understand this forum is not official support, but if someone had similar problem, that could be helpful

      There is another catch. I have secured the place for the device on radio tower. What bugs me is that now the device is not there for almost a year. If you have worked with radio stations, you can know that they have a specific set of demands and some regulations I have to follow for maintaining the data link and the receiver there. I have put two cameras there, and I really do now want to install the faulty receiver up there.
      Thank you.
      Last edited by Kvisko; 2022-08-26, 05:33.

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      • #4
        Ping (not enable) good old correction

        Issue being most people who have struck it, usually get told/support in private. So the wider community (those that know the forum exists) doesn't get exposed to the ins and outs

        I have an original beast. But that was before they were commissioned to fr24. (Probably really a radarcape you have?) So not attached to the beaglebone Riser they did in early supplied units with smarts.
        As such no fail over or any hassles like this to need to fix.

        Guenter still works on the firmware for bare sold units I think and may have an idea. There is a beast/beaglebone support mailing list group.
        Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

        Comment


        • #5
          Let me wrap this up.

          So, it turns out that the firmware inside Mode S Beast uses the IP address to contact the servers (DNS and FR24), in order to download settings (and probably new firmware if necessary).
          After this initial period, the ping and HTTP access are still disabled, and you need to enable it through http://10.123.45.67 Username and password need to be provided for further use/access. This is understandable, but different from previous versions, and not widely known. At least I haven't found it anywere.

          I guess that concludes this topic.
          Last edited by Kvisko; 2022-08-28, 18:27.

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