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Thread: Start of my RPi journey

  1. #1
    Flight attendant
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    Talking Start of my RPi journey

    After using FR24 for many years, time for me to supply data for FR24. I am putting together a shopping list. Looking at this Raspberry Pi https://raspberry.piaustralia.com.au...y-pi-4-model-b , what else do I need to get it working, apart from the obvious additional items...eg,
    Heatsinks for 'hot' parts
    RPi case of some sort.If possible, prefer no fan.
    Good quality power supply, because of 24/7 operation
    4GB MicroSD card for the Pi24 software. Is there any benefit of a larger capacity card?
    ADS-B USB dongle receiver
    Antenna with connection to suit the dongle. Initialy the small internal antenna will do to get everything working. Then it is onto the roof.
    HDMI cable to connect RPi to monitor.
    Do you need a keyboard attachment?
    Ethernet cable to connect RPi to network
    MicroSD Card Reader for connection to computer and download image

    Is it 'better' to get the latest RPi version 4? or will any version do the job? Do the later versions do the job easier and also better for setup?

    What is the benefit of larger RAM, as I see 1, 2 or 4 MB RAM.

    I don't fancy the RPi and power supply in my roof space, and also, temps up there exceed 50C for several months a year, so I will have a few choices:
    (a) Extend my coax to be approx. 20 metres to the RPi. Thoughts on RG58 or RG400 coax, and or preamp?
    (b) Shorten coax to about 10 metres, placing the RPi in a room under the antenna mount and run a cat6 cable from RPi 10 metres to router. Due to wall insulation, wifi terrible.


    Looking forward to my journey.

  2. #2
    Captain
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    You can install an LNA in the roof space, then the losses on the rest of the coax run are less of an issue.

    https://www.rtl-sdr.com/new-product-...mhz-ads-b-lna/

    It's supplied with power via the coax, for that you can either get an external bias-t or use a dongle which has the bias-t built in
    (bias-t always on: https://www.amazon.com/NooElec-NESDR.../dp/B079C3FHPG
    bias-t to be enabled in software: https://www.rtl-sdr.com/buy-rtl-sdr-dvb-t-dongles/ )

    Just look up the attenuation from the cable at 1 GHz. For best reception you don't want more than maybe 3 dB from the antenna to the LNA.

    You can also choose a dongle with builtin LNA, but with such a long cable run, that wouldn't be my first choice.
    I've listed some stuff here: https://github.com/wiedehopf/adsb-wi...s-for-purchase


    Larger capacity cards can be higher quality. So you might get a larger card just to get the current generation.

    You don't need the RPi4 unless you go for more expensive receivers like the Airspy Mini (requires more CPU when run at 20 MHz, but even that runs fine at 12 MHz on the RPi 3B+)
    But i personally wouldn't run the RPi4 without a fan, gets quite hot. (https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/fan-shim)

    More RAM (it's GB not MB by the way) is not necessary.

    You don't need to connect a monitor, better to just connect with Putty.
    Otherwise you will need a keyboard as well but will have to type all commands you might wish to use instead of copy pasting them
    (Installing graphs or other things: https://github.com/wiedehopf/graphs1090#graphs1090)

    With the RPi4 you will need to use Raspbian Buster Lite and install fr24 via the script. The pi24 sd-card image provided won't work.
    But i would recommend going that route anyway and using dump1090-fa, it's basically the current and improved version of what the pi24 image uses.
    (https://github.com/wiedehopf/adsb-sc...for-dump1090fa)

    In regards to the power supply, the "official" Raspberry power supply is recommended.

  3. #3
    Flight attendant
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    Thanks wiedehopf for a very detailed reply. I will look at all the links you provide and put it all together in my mind before I reply too much. It seems that the RPi 4 is too much for what I need, being FR24 feed. So, will look at the RPi3. Loved the 'putty' info...solves the interface between RPi and desktop.

  4. #4
    Captain
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    I wouldn't discourage the RPi4, it's probably even faster when being throttled due to heat.
    Just me personally i wouldn't run it without a fan. If you use a case that allows some air circulation and maybe even has some heatsinks included it should be fine.
    For example a case like this (doesn't have to be the exact one), just don't connect the fan.
    https://www.amazon.de/Bruphny-Raspbe.../dp/B07V9Q95RX

    The included heatsinks will help even without a fan.

    Or just get a cheap case and saw or drill holes into it
    Would still recommend installing some of those heatsinks.

    No matter, even a heat throttled RPi 3B+ is fast enough for feeding
    Last edited by wiedehopf; 2019-09-08 at 07:25.

  5. #5
    Flight attendant magnum's Avatar
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    I started feeding two months ago.
    Bought a basic "set" from a local dealer. He offered a RPi 3B with a 16 GB card, a genuine power supply, a case and the blue Flightradar pro plus stick together with a simple antenna. This stick does have a built in filter and amplifier as far as i know.
    But it does not matter, you can get all part seperately

    I started with the PiaWare Image to learn a bit how it works. Meanwhile i replaced the card with a 64 GB one (not for space but reliability) and use Buster as RPI OS with the different feeders as addon. You can feed several sites at the same time, not limited to FR24 only

    After replacing the antenna with a better one, i am satisfied with the performance, even if i cannot mount the antenna outdoor. It's in my home office under the roof.
    The message rate could be higher, but i am already at the maximum range i can get based on my location.

    You should also check on http://www.heywhatsthat.com/ which max range you can get from geographical perspective for not beeing disappointed afterwards

  6. #6
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    RasPi doesn't really matter(as much), what matter most is your receiver and antenna. I would say that You rather spent more money on good dongle or/and antenna than on RasPi.
    RasPi 4 getting hot very easily due to its powerful CPU. RasPi 3 is good balance between performance and price, also the official operating temperature limit is 85°C, and as a result, the Raspberry Pi should start to thermally throttle performance around 82°C. So instaling simple heatsink on RasPi's CPU probably will let you run it even in hot roof space.

  7. #7
    Flight attendant
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    It would seem, the cost for the RPi 4 and the RPi3+ are similar pricing. That said, I am going to get a RPi 3B+ local here in Aussie (AUD$61) as I do not need the power of the Rpi4, and they do run hotter than the 3+. In Australia, heat is a problem. I will also get the genuine power supply and heat sinks.

    A case will be needed to keep the local lizards away. They kill many air con boards here unless I secure the board inside some containment. Here in Brisbane summer, we always in the high 30's to mid 40's, and in my garage, more so. As the device will be running 24/7 a fan will be needed otherwise the little thing will be roasted. I see plenty of cases with fans, but I do not want to run the fan 24/7...only when needed. Maybe the link (https://shop.pimoroni.com/products/fan-shim) from wiedehopf is the answer?

  8. #8
    Flight attendant magnum's Avatar
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    As far as i have read recently, the fan can be kept running 24/7 on a lower speed. It depends how it's connected to the board.

    Here's a guy thought already about fan speed on CPU temperature:

    https://www.instructables.com/id/PWM...ature-for-Ras/

    I am using a RPi 3B without fan, only passive heat sinks.
    During summer the temperature beneath the roof went up to 30°, but the CPU temperature never went over 58°
    I am feeding four sites and have a traffic of up to 150 aircraft at the same time. CPU load was always below 20%
    Last edited by magnum; 2019-09-17 at 09:10.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by magnum View Post
    I am feeding four sites and have a traffic of up to 150 aircraft at the same time. CPU load was always below 20%
    That's a really good point. It depends on how much traffic you expect to have. More traffic, more messages then more CPU usage and higher temperatures.

    dump1090-localhost-cpu-24h.png

    CPU usage and messages related to each other.

    dump1090-localhost-local_trailing_rate-24h.png

    I'm going to show CPU temps but my RasPi is next to the window with direct sunlight from 12 pm to 4 pm, therefore, CPU temps not really related to the traffic.

    system-localhost-temperature-24h.png

    Readings from RasPi 2 B v1.1

  10. #10
    Flight attendant magnum's Avatar
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    At the end the CPU itself is still in low frequency mode. These are my charts. I am living in the middle of germany with a certain amount of traffic over the day.

    These are my graphs over the last days, the small spikes are coming from reboots or upgrades.

    Messages and Aircraft:
    Messages-14days.jpg

    and the utilization of ADS-B, overall and temperature. The Raspi is located on 2nd floor under the roof in my home office.
    utilization-14days.jpg

    I am wondering why you have a much higher CPU utlization with less messages. Which Pi are you using and did you adjust gain level?
    Last edited by magnum; 2019-09-17 at 11:44.

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