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Thread: Cheapest way to feed FR24 / Anyone using RTL-2832u-R820t usb dongle ?

  1. #1
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    Cheapest way to feed FR24 / Anyone using RTL-2832u-R820t usb dongle ?

    G'Day All. I'm just beginning an experiment here... Looking for the CHEAPEST way of feeding data to FR24.
    Something like this:
    http://www.irrational.net/2012/08/06...or-20-or-less/

    I'm no good at soldering, and don't want to spend $500+ on a Beast, or any other commercial product (if I can avoid it), only to find my location is no good, and it's all been a waste of time, so this ultra cheap method MIGHT do the trick. I also don't want to anywhere near Linux / Ubuntu either.

    I have just ordered (20 Nov 2012) two of these RTL-2832u-R820t DVB-T tuners from different suppliers (one in the USA for $18, and one from China for $10).
    It will be interesting to see which gets to Australia first!
    There are many of these advertised, but few with the specs covering the 1090Mhz frequency.
    The one that looks the most promising is here:
    http://www.nooelec.com/store/softwar...l#.UKwuWuTql8E

    I'm also ordering a custom made High Gain 1090 antenna from Mobile One (Australia). See:
    http://www.mobileone.com.au/antennas/airband.html (not the cheapest method, but I'd rather a pro build it for me).

    Next step is to use the freeware HDSDR (Hi Def Software Defined Radio) to see (on screen) if I'm actually receiving anything on 1090...

    After that, I need to find appropriate Open Source software that can DECODE the ADS-B, then pump it out of port 30003 to FR24.
    I want to avoid PlanePlotter if possible.

    I've seen some students? in Sydney (on youtube) do something with this kind of setup, but it seems to have shut down.
    There are a few other examples on youtube as well.

    SO... My question to everyone here is:
    Is feeding FR24 like this viable / possible ?
    Any comments / feedback / suggestions welcome.

    Regards, Greg.

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    Noone here has got the tv tuner cars going yet I don't think.

    As for free feeding SW, it depends on how the card talks to the PC. All the SW out there rely on a COM port or ethernet connectivity. So as long as the data received is able to be pointed to a COM port it will be fine to use ADSBscope (free).

    If it is for local viewing only and the SW can't talk to it... you will be stuck.

    Got a link to the SW they use with tuner cards?

    /edit nevermind

    Just realised they are USB devices and not PCI cards.. should be setup as a standard COM device

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    Actually, some more googling seems the cheaproute, may not be the best route.

    Looks like most the programs are made for linux, and you need to put some in-between software to decode the packets int readable AVR format before passing it on (other devices do this onboard with chips/software)

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    I bought a dongle a couple of weeks back just to see how it performed and what was needed to use it to decode and present Mode-S/ADS-B data. It was from a UK supplier with next day delivery and cost Euros 38 (GBP £30).

    Since I run a "Windows PC, the first task was to install Linux so I could use GNURadio (for the radio) and Gr-Air-Modes (to decode the Mode-S/ADS-B data).

    I started off by installing VirtualBox on a Windows PC to create a partition for Linux. Then I installed Ubuntu.

    Not only did this take nearly a day to install, I couldn't have achieved it without a detailed tutotrial prepared by one of the Radarspotting.com forum members. IanH's step-by-step guide was essential reading and I'm sure he'll publish it in due course.

    When Ubuntu was eventually installed, next came GNURadio followed by gr-air-modes. These were quicker and simpler.

    Finally I installed Virtual Radar Server under Windows as that can use port 30003 data from a nominated IP address, in my case the VirtualBox.
    One could also use PlanePlotter.

    The result, using the small supplied antenna, was one aircraft tracked for about a minute. The aircraft was genuine so I was able to determine that the setup worked.

    But my external antenna feed terminates upstairs (next to the router) and the PC is downstairs. All my other Mode-S receivers are upstairs next to the router and I "connect" to them either via Ethernet or using a Silex USB hub.

    The dongle has a PAL connector and I've ordered a BNC/PAL adapter. But the dongle doesn't work with the Silex USB hub so I'm stuck at the moment, unable to compare the dongle against the specialist Mode-S receivers using the external antenna. I also suspect the data may "overload" the dongle.

    Conclusions so far?

    I paid nearly GBP £30 for one of the better dongles, based on the E4000 chip. I'm now told the newer R820T chip dongles are more sensitive than the E4000 at 1090 MHz (Mode-S/ADS-B frequency).

    Setting up Ubuntu is a long and tedious process, made worse by having to install it a second time when it failed to load correctly a few days after the first install.

    There are alternative, specialist Mode-S/ADS-B receivers available for less than Euros 80 (GBP £65) which will be much easier to setup and use.

    If you have plenty of spare time and have an inquisitive mind and some Linux skills, the dongle is an inexpensive challenge. But decoding 1090 MHz data is variable and I suspect not as good as a specialist receiver.

    I will now try an alternative Windows based decoding software and see if I can get better results using a laptop upstairs so I can compare the dongle to other receivers off the same external antenna.

    Others have had more success, particularly when mobile.

    But for the average "radarspotting" enthusiast, the dongle may prove too much of a challenge.

    For more shared experiences, there's an active section on the Radarspotting forum:

    http://radarspotting.com/forum/index...oard,51.0.html
    Mike


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    Radarspotting since 2005

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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivian View Post
    Actually, some more googling seems the cheaproute, may not be the best route.

    Looks like most the programs are made for linux, and you need to put some in-between software to decode the packets int readable AVR format before passing it on (other devices do this onboard with chips/software)
    G'Day Oblivian.
    Installing Ubuntu (again) is exactly what I'm trying to avoid. It failed last time, and I know less than nothing about it (which is probably why it failed to install). However, having said that, it was on a totally blank HD in an Acer Notebook - which might have been the real reason for the failure ;-).
    I want to set this up in a totally Windows environment ALA using the Virtual Radar Server as mentioned above by Anmer.
    Now on to his msg...
    Regards, Greg.
    Last edited by GregHudson; 2012-11-22 at 13:22.

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    G'Day Anmer.
    I have no desire to go thru attempting Unbuntu for a 2nd time - it failed once and I'm not touching it again.
    What does interest me though is your comment ''I will now try an alternative Windows based decoding software''
    Which software are you using to do that - and where can I get it please ? (hopefully open source?)
    Also, what external antenna are you using ? / db Gain ?
    How long is your coax run?
    What impedance / RG# coax are you using ?
    And what connectors ?

    Thanks, Greg.

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    Hi Greg

    Apologies for the delay in replying, been out today.

    The software I'm going to try is this from Junglejet. You need to join his Yahoo Group to get the files:

    http://radarspotting.com/forum/index...3.html#msg6933

    I have an external antenna from Wimo in Germany:

    http://www.wimo.com/framesetp_e.html

    It's the GP-1090 with AS-1090 preamp.

    There is a 10 metres of Ecoflex 10 terminating at the Bias-T with N-Type. From Bias-T short fly lead to RF Systems SP3 splitter.

    But, for the dongle I have only used the supplied antenna with PAL connector.
    Mike


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    Radarspotting since 2005

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    G'Day Anmer.
    I checked out the German WIMO web site (thanks for the link), and the cost of a complete antenna/coax/preamp setup from them seems very reasonable.
    Assuming it will feed into the dongle (when it arrives) I should be well on my way.

    I guess the next logical step is to find a microADSB from somewhere...

    Regards, Greg.

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    One word of caution Greg.

    I have yet to test my dongle using the external antenna (I'm awaiting a connector). I do have concerns that it might overwhelm the receiver.
    Mike


    www.radarspotting.com

    Radarspotting since 2005

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    Quote Originally Posted by Anmer View Post
    One word of caution Greg.

    I have yet to test my dongle using the external antenna (I'm awaiting a connector). I do have concerns that it might overwhelm the receiver.
    G'Day Anmer.
    Do you have any kind of AGC Gain Control or auto attenuator (if these things exist)?
    Also, what type of connector are you going to use ?

    I have 2 dongles on order, one has a female PAL connector, the other is a female MCX (I assume) connector.
    I assume both dongles are going to be 75 ohm, which is not going to match the 50 ohm impedance of the coax (RG58u) or the antenna (SAN-1090) - which from memory, means a loss/reduction of signal.
    Searching, I located this:
    http://forums.qrz.com/showthread.php...ctrum-analyzer

    My new Mobile One SAN-1090 arrived this morning, but I don't yet have a receiver to plug it in to :-(
    I also have to figure out how to mount it - no instructions included.

    Regards, Greg.

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