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Thread: Installing Flightradar24 on the latest Raspberry Pi

  1. #1
    Flight attendant
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    Installing Flightradar24 on the latest Raspberry Pi

    My Raspberry set up of three days ago.
    I downloaded NOOB s from the Raspberry pi site and unzipped it into a new folder.
    I had a used a 16 Gig Kingston SD card which I did a quick format on and loaded the NOOBs folder onto the SD card.
    After putting this into the Raspberry and using a HDMI to DVI cable for video, I powered up and got nothing but a single red led (not blinking.) It was completely dead. (I have since found out if the leds on either side of the Ethernet port are alight, then the Raspberry Pi is working.)
    Back to Raspberry site and realised that almost I had done so far was wrong.
    You MUST format the SD card properly (unless you have bought an SD card professionally pre -installed). Download SD Formatter V4.0 and install it. Load your SD card and format it their way. Do not select “quick format”. The correct formatting took 50 minutes!!.
    Now my second mistake was to the drag the NOOBs folder over to the SD card. Do not do this. Open NOOBs from your computer that has the card reader and drag and drop every file within NOOBs on to the SD card. Shove it in the Raspberry and fire it up. I selected the Raspian OS. I have the RP3 B but it was still a slow load.
    I had to wait two weeks for my RP and Dongle to arrive from Ebay and spent that time learning off You Tube and others how to handle the menu within Raspian. This was a total waste of time. Nothing was what Utube taught me when Raspian started up. There is no choice to install SSH , no passwords… nothing. That caused me problems because to load the fr24 programme onto your Pi and Dongle you need this DOS command. (By the way DO NOT run the install disc that came with the Dongle.)
    Fast forward three hours of total frustration trying to find this DOS command feature…… turns out it’s on the top menu called “terminal”. I wrote down precisely the sudo command that is on the Flightradar24 Raspberry site to load the Dongle and very carefully entered this twice. Nothing happened. I then decided to cut and paste the command and it worked.
    Incidentally the Raspberry HDMI output did not work on my 32” Sony TV.

  2. #2
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    As a newbie to Fr24 with the RPi, I can sympathize with your frustrations. I guess the instructions on this Forum assume a greater level of knowledge of the workings of the Pi than many of us actually have. The RPi site has useful basic information on getting started but does not warn you just how long a NOOBS install can take.
    I found it easier to connect a monitor to the Pi for the installation of the Fr24 software. It avoided the SSH issue which requires you to download Putty on to the host machine but does require you to have a spare monitor that you can place close to where you've sited your Pi. Balancing it on a window sill in my case! The HDMI output wasn't brilliant; yellow text on red background for some reason but just about legible.
    It took me two attempts to set up the software but since then it has worked perfectly. A couple of outages but they were due to the WiFi going down.
    I am now playing with the position of the antenna. Originally it was on the window sill of a second storey room looking due west and gave me a range of 140nm. Yesterday I put it outside on the window ledge and the range is now around 180nm with a corresponding increase in hits. I can't easily put an antenna on the roof so unless I try putting it at the end of the garden (issues of power source and wifi range) I may have to live with what I've got.

  3. #3
    Flight attendant
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    We are in very similar phases. I have my antenna on the upstairs window sill as well. I can get on the roof and I am awaiting the outdoor antenna from ebay. My max range however is only 31 nm (facing north) so I need to improve this. Got a great picture on my monitor, but you only use it once really. Fascinating hobby eh. I am in Napier New Zealand 2.5 nm south of centre of runway.

  4. #4
    Captain abcd567's Avatar
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    See this thread to improve your range/plane count:

    Optimize the Whip Antenna Which Is Supplied With DVB-T Dongle

    .

  5. #5
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    I agree about the fascination of it all. I am in Birmingham UK about 12nm west of BHX and about 80nm NW of Heathrow. My antenna on the outside sill continues to be successful but I'm not sure how permanent it can be. The lead has to go out through a slightly open window! I am currently building a Cantenna and it'll be interesting to see what improvement that makes.

  6. #6
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    You would not like the window open in the winter...very chilly here 17 degrees but we are in winter.

  7. #7
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    Have soldered a copper rod onto a computer motherboard spacer (same thread) at 68mm. Not keen on cutting my new antenna at this stage. Looking OK

  8. #8
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    Fortunately the window isn't open very far!

    I agree about not wanting to cut the antenna to size. Anyway mine is telescopic, part of a NOOELEC package I got from Amazon, which makes cutting it difficult. My Cantenna is ready apart from the connection to the dongle. I need one further adaptor. Hopefully I'll get it sorted next week. I'll keep you posted.

  9. #9
    Captain abcd567's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewfield View Post
    Fortunately the window isn't open very far!

    I agree about not wanting to cut the antenna to size. Anyway mine is telescopic, part of a NOOELEC package I got from Amazon, which makes cutting it difficult. My Cantenna is ready apart from the connection to the dongle. I need one further adaptor. Hopefully I'll get it sorted next week. I'll keep you posted.
    Do not use an adaptor, use pigtail.
    The weight & pull of heavy RG6 or similar cable can damage delicate connector on the dongle, if connected through an adaptor.

    Adaptor F-female to MCX-male
    s-l225.jpg


    Pigtail F-female to MCX-male
    RG174s-l225.jpg ... RG316s-l225.jpg

    Pigtails come with two types of cables: RG174 and RG316.
    RG174 cable is softer and more flexible compared to RG316 cable.
    Both types are commonly used, depending on personal preference.
    Last edited by abcd567; 2016-08-21 at 19:33.

  10. #10
    Flight attendant
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    Thanks again. Be putting a aerial on the roof within a fortnight

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