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  • FR24 Feeder Hardware Discussion Thread

    Area to ask posters questions/help about their setups and suggestions from this thread
    http://forum.flightradar24.com/threa...-FR24-hardware
    Last edited by Oblivian; 2013-07-05, 01:29.
    Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

  • #2
    What not to do with your setup

    I thought I'd kick this off with something a bit different. A what not to do with your setup as a warning to others about what can go wrong. My setup was going well, I thought, with a mast (capably)? installed by myself and my son approx 7-8 or so metres high, range out to in some directions just over 200nm (bearing in mind I live in something of a hollow). Post (existing treated pine log approx. 8ft high which surround our rear garden/fernery) firmly anchored to the ground with concrete and a few added extra star pickets, and 2 sets of guy wires up the mast. All was good. I was a happy little uploader. A 1090SJ mk2 on top, amplifier mounted on mast and SBS-1 basestation receiver at the wall just inside the house. Cable type etc doesnt matter now- it no longer exists as it was blown down during a storm late last year by a little over 100km/h winds and has been replaced (see pics below, pre and post storm). It's an awful feeling to plug your receiver back into the external antenna after a storm has past and find no aircraft displaying at all. I'll cover the new instal etc in a later post.

    PRE STORM.jpgPOST STORM.jpg

    Dont let this happen to you, avoid dodgey brothers installs wherever possible. Get a professional if and when necessary.

    Regards,
    Gregg
    Last edited by fungus; 2013-07-09, 12:52. Reason: to reflect post being in correct place
    YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

    Comment


    • #3
      Hey fungus, that's a discone on the left? You use it for scanning?
      The guy wires seem to be too close for the higher antenna mast, if they were more open it might have been there.
      Mine is still on construction but i'll take a few pics soon.
      F-LGTS1

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by leosedf View Post
        Hey fungus, that's a discone on the left? You use it for scanning?
        The guy wires seem to be too close for the higher antenna mast, if they were more open it might have been there.
        Mine is still on construction but i'll take a few pics soon.
        Yes it is and was used for my basestation originally. I wouldnt recommend it as its a 25-1300MHz (from memory broad range thing which I've found excellent for airband but isnt ideal for our use on 1090MHz). That's another story entirely. The guy wires were at the required 10ft spacing on the 1090SJ but is somewhat distorted by the pic angle. Perhaps though 3 sets of guy wires would have helped a great deal.

        Regards,
        Gregg

        Forgot to add, there is also a tuned airband antenna that cant be seen in the pic on that mast with the discone.
        Last edited by fungus; 2013-07-09, 12:53. Reason: additional info and to reflect post being in correct place
        YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

        Comment


        • #5
          Haven't tried a market discone for air band.
          F-LGTS1

          Comment


          • #6
            Judging by the first image, the bottom of the guy wires were anchored too close to the pole?
            Rob, VK6UFO
            F-YPPH3
            o410E


            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by VK6UFO View Post
              Judging by the first image, the bottom of the guy wires were anchored too close to the pole?
              Rob,

              Again the angle of the pic distorts that somewhat but by the same token spot on mate. Very astute piece of observation. Unfortunately (in hindsight) where the mast was located I realised I couldnt get the guy wire anchorage on all sides far enough away from it- a very expensive lesson all round. I assumed (obviously incorrectly) that due to the extra solid mast anchorage and complying with the positioning requirements re the location of the guy wire brackets on the mast that I would overcome that limitation. 3 sets of guy wires may have helped as I noted in the post above but we'll never know. Dont tell anyone either but the distance at the base of the guy wires from each other (that is the 'triangle' formation) wasnt exactly as it should have been either. Obviously maths a physics are not my strong suits.

              I'm just very glad the antenna survived (and that no damage was done to the roof, skylights or other antennas) so that I was able to start again but do it right this time- the pro's mounted the mast on the roof ridge capping- I just bolted the 1090SJ onto the mast. I'll do a post on the new setup soon. It's decidedly better all round.

              Regards,
              Gregg
              Last edited by fungus; 2013-07-10, 08:45.
              YSSY2/T-YSSY4 [SBS-1 Basestation w/- SSE-1090 SJ Mk2 Antenna (Thanks Delcomp) ] [Uniden UBCD996T w/- 16 element Wideband Discone VHF/UHF Antenna, and tuned 108MHz-137MHz Airband Antenna] [Trialing a home-brew 1090MHz collinear antenna]

              Comment


              • #8
                I'm in a similar position with a couple of poles. Putting guys on them would get in the way of people walking around. Another one would only have three sides guyed and of course the prevailing winds come from the side not guyed.
                I replaced all the poles with large diameter aluminium so hopefully there will be a lot of bend and flex but no break and snap :-)
                Rob, VK6UFO
                F-YPPH3
                o410E


                Comment


                • #9
                  I am a newbie here . Can I use the RTL2832U/E4000 or newer RTL2832U/R820T chip/tuner combinations with a mac computer to feed data to flight radar or only with windows.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    You can run off linux - it is what I'm using on the Raspberry Pi (when it's on)

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Oblivian View Post
                      Area to ask posters questions/help about their setups and suggestions from this thread
                      http://forum.flightradar24.com/threa...-FR24-hardware
                      Is anyone using POE USB to Ethernet adapters to power dongles on a mast? I am looking for first hand knowledge not theory.

                      Also

                      Anyone have a bat file to start Feeding automatically when an operating system reboots on power interruption?

                      Has anyone used 3g Cellular for internet for feeding?

                      John

                      T-RPVD1

                      http://fr24.com/9.12,123.45/7

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by paradiselost View Post
                        Is anyone using POE USB to Ethernet adapters to power dongles on a mast? I am looking for first hand knowledge not theory.

                        Also

                        Anyone have a bat file to start Feeding automatically when an operating system reboots on power interruption?

                        Has anyone used 3g Cellular for internet for feeding?

                        John

                        T-RPVD1

                        http://fr24.com/9.12,123.45/7
                        See post 34 in this thread http://forum.flightradar24.com/threa...and-FR24/page4 ... this will work to do the POE (the only thing I've not done is put it in a box on the mast, but POE does certainly run the whole thing and collect data using just the network cable for power in and data out) - this is to power the raspberry pi (doing the whole decoding job), the Pi powers the dongle.

                        The PI starts when power is applied, and the programs to dump1090 and FR24 uploads can certainly be configured to start at boot time - My Pi does this reliably and running POE, so not theory - just not in a box.

                        ----

                        To do it with windows is slightly harder since you have a whole pile of other stuff to get started before you can start doing your decoding
                        - first you need the PC to boot as power is applied - there may be setting in the BIOS for this,
                        - then you can run the decoding & upload programs
                        - - could be done as
                        - - - services with 'auto' start or
                        - - - fix the PC to auto logon and put the programs in the startup program group (start > All Programs > Startup)

                        (Linux on the PI model B really is simpler than windows for something standalone like this - once you have got past the FUD [Fear, Uncertainty & Distrust] about using a non GUI interface ... you could even push software updates to a PI stuck up the mast)

                        POE to just power a dongle doesn't make much sense - the RTL dongle is a USB device not a network device - You might use an active USB extender (I couldn't get the tuner dongle to work with one though)

                        If looking to use 3G to upload - are you talking about using a 3g USB dongle plugged into the same machine that has the tuner dongle - if you are, then the whole thing will just need power (could be solar cells, storage accumulator (car battery) and a voltage regulator)

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          That's right. I've tried today a USB-3G-dongle and the RTL-dongle on a USB-powered (1,5A) Raspberry. No chance! You need a hub. 3G feeding works fine, if you connected. My next task is autoconnecting to 3G on startup. For the feeder-sw I used the dump1090-script for autostart http://www.satsignal.eu/Radio/dump1090.html , but it will works not every time on reboot. Doesn't know why, maybe network isn't established.
                          My goal is a fully operational RPI, that feed and connect automatically to my VPN after power-connect.
                          You can assemble a cable-adapter to feed the hub. 2 pairs in a network-cable are not needed for 100BaseTX.
                          Last edited by From EDDW; 2013-08-18, 21:30.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by peterhr View Post
                            See post 34 in this thread http://forum.flightradar24.com/threa...and-FR24/page4 ... this will work to do the POE (the only thing I've not done is put it in a box on the mast, but POE does certainly run the whole thing and collect data using just the network cable for power in and data out) - this is to power the raspberry pi (doing the whole decoding job), the Pi powers the dongle.
                            Thanks Peter, I was just brainstorming on how to locate unattended Feeders in remote locations with just electricity and 3G cellular internet. In many parts of the world with excellent VIEW, electricity and 3G internet are all that are available. A prototype of an unattended system utilizing inexpensive parts could increase FR24s coverage exponentially even using tall tree limbs or power poles as masts.

                            Certainly there are opportunities to overcome technical obstacles without the need for a PC or Mac.USB is a neat connection method in hubs as well as POE but without drivers they are lost. We need to overcome that.

                            John

                            T-RPVD1

                            http://fr24.com/9.12,123.45/7

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by paradiselost View Post
                              Thanks Peter, I was just brainstorming on how to locate unattended Feeders in remote locations with just electricity and 3G cellular internet. In many parts of the world with excellent VIEW, electricity and 3G internet are all that are available. A prototype of an unattended system utilizing inexpensive parts could increase FR24s coverage exponentially even using tall tree limbs or power poles as masts.

                              Certainly there are opportunities to overcome technical obstacles without the need for a PC or Mac.USB is a neat connection method in hubs as well as POE but without drivers they are lost. We need to overcome that.

                              John

                              T-RPVD1

                              http://fr24.com/9.12,123.45/7
                              Cron job to restart dump1090 and feeder - say - every hour ... but do ensure NTP sets the correct time first
                              does wheezy support cron @restart (@reboot)? - some linux do, some don't

                              The voltage converter is very efficient doesn't get warm at all 1A in at 12 V will probably come out at 2A+ at 5v (if that's within the device rating)

                              Were coming down to the same thought - a standard component list (PI + Tuner + whatever is needed to connect to upload), and a standard software image to run it.

                              Comment

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