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Thread: difference between radarcape vs dvb-t stick

  1. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Speed Daemon View Post
    "Hard" is a relative thing. What might not be hard for you or I might be prohibitively difficult for people with little to no technical ability.

    I'll grant you that it's really nice to be able to buy a SDR for $20 and a couple of free downloads.
    That is why I wrote the guide, step by step how to do it - admitted it does require the person doing the job to know how to download Putty and how to plug the bits together - but this in no more difficult than it would be to erect the antenna and connect the radarcape equipment and to set up a facebook account.

  2. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by peterhr View Post
    That is why I wrote the guide, step by step how to do it - admitted it does require the person doing the job to know how to download Putty and how to plug the bits together - but this in no more difficult than it would be to erect the antenna and connect the radarcape equipment and to set up a facebook account.
    When the tech boom started, I got out of TV and into IT. After 15 years in that field, I noted that customer support is 10% technical and 90% psychological. It's not that it's all that hard (at least through our eyes), but some people just plain don't want to take that leap and try new things. It's like my mom and her computer -- it's not that she can't learn, it's more that her goal isn't necessarily to learn. People are funny that way.

    Anyway, back to the context of the OP's questions, the thing that I think is important for current and future readers to know is that DVB-T products weren't made to be ADS-B receivers. Those who buy them shouldn't call the manufacturer for assistance if they have problems while hacking them. That's my main point.

  3. #13
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    I found this old thread about my exact question but the core issue still remains unanswered.

    What exactly is the specific advantage of a Radarcape vs. a Raspberry Pi (or similar) setup that warrants the massive difference in price? The Radarcape comes with a fancy outdoor antenna (about $80), but it's possible to attach the same antenna to the Raspberry Pi and it would still be a >$500 price difference.

    I found that the Radarcape uses a BeagleBone as a base, but a BeagleBone is in the same price range as a Raspberry Pi, so this still doesn't explain the massive difference in price. What would the difference be between a personal Beaglebone board and a Radarcape (assuming the same antenna is used). Is it just the convenience and the nice, custom case?

  4. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenB View Post
    I found this old thread about my exact question but the core issue still remains unanswered.

    What exactly is the specific advantage of a Radarcape vs. a Raspberry Pi (or similar) setup that warrants the massive difference in price? The Radarcape comes with a fancy outdoor antenna (about $80), but it's possible to attach the same antenna to the Raspberry Pi and it would still be a >$500 price difference.

    I found that the Radarcape uses a BeagleBone as a base, but a BeagleBone is in the same price range as a Raspberry Pi, so this still doesn't explain the massive difference in price. What would the difference be between a personal Beaglebone board and a Radarcape (assuming the same antenna is used). Is it just the convenience and the nice, custom case?
    There is a chip on the board, that runs custom software/firmware developed by Guenter especially to decode the signal to the proper formats on-chip

    Vs 3 layers of software decoding processes on a Rpi to do similar. You can only imagine the speed indifference.

    Speed and signal strength is therefore taken care of at RAM speed vs CPU cycles and software.
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  5. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by BenB View Post
    I found this old thread about my exact question but the core issue still remains unanswered.

    What exactly is the specific advantage of a Radarcape vs. a Raspberry Pi (or similar) setup that warrants the massive difference in price? The Radarcape comes with a fancy outdoor antenna (about $80), but it's possible to attach the same antenna to the Raspberry Pi and it would still be a >$500 price difference.

    I found that the Radarcape uses a BeagleBone as a base, but a BeagleBone is in the same price range as a Raspberry Pi, so this still doesn't explain the massive difference in price. What would the difference be between a personal Beaglebone board and a Radarcape (assuming the same antenna is used). Is it just the convenience and the nice, custom case?
    Get an Airspy (airspy.com) much better hardware, even better software.
    Or go even cheaper and get an Airspy Mini. Which is as good as the same while using ADS-B.

    To answer your question: It's pure marketing.
    Airspy = Airspy + computer (RPI) + software.
    Radacape = Connect and go (Especially the FR24 version.)

    You can connect Virtual Radar Server or similar to both, that says the same.

    I have both, FR24 aims for good coverage but not the max possible.
    Airspy you can fine tune to the outer limit and go ADS-B DXing

  6. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivian View Post
    Vs 3 layers of software decoding processes on a Rpi to do similar. You can only imagine the speed indifference.
    The free PiAware image is just one software download and install. Takes about 5 minutes to be up and running using an RPi and DVB-T SDR receiver, total cost less than GBP £50.

    My Pro Stick DVB-T SDR performs as well as the Radaracape.
    Mike


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    Radarspotting since 2005

  7. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by Anmer View Post
    The free PiAware image is just one software download and install. Takes about 5 minutes to be up and running using an RPi and DVB-T SDR receiver, total cost less than GBP £50.

    My Pro Stick DVB-T SDR performs as well as the Radaracape.
    When I refer to software I don't mean the ease of Installation but the many layers to produce the same results

    1 OS
    2 driver (software) to attach to hardware
    3 software layer to connect to and capture raw data from hardware chipset
    4 another layer to process said data
    5 bundled uploading.

    All of which take precious CPU and ram cycles to do so and can be counter effected by external influence. And as we have seen, so many addition possibilities of issues for those that tinker too much and don't know what they broke

    Where as a FPGA type solution is able do do the first 3 or 4 layers at a much more economic rate without needing to know how.

    Yes,. Big cost difference. But depending on people's confidence a valid alternative

    Sent from my XT1092 using Tapatalk
    Last edited by Oblivian; 2016-12-20 at 08:16.
    Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

  8. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivian View Post
    When I refer to software I don't mean the ease of Installation but the many layers to produce the same results

    1 OS
    2 driver (software) to attach to hardware
    3 software layer to connect to and capture raw data from hardware chipset
    4 another layer to process said data
    5 bundled uploading.
    k
    Surely Guenter has similar layers of software in the Radarcape, just as someone else has built in PiAware?

    As for CPU, I don't see any huge demands from PiAware on my RPi. In fact I have no interest in the CPU being used by my GBP £35 RPi which is doing the same job as the Radarcape, albeit with an external GBP £15 DVB-T SDR. All I know is it performs as well as the Radarcape at tenth of the cost.

    I bought my first dedicated Mode-S receiver, an SBS-1, in 2005. I also have an SBS-1eR, SBS-3, RadarBox, FR24 receiver, FlightFeeder Blue, FlightFeeder Orange, RadarCape, Beast, Transponder Mouse, GNS5890, Aurora and RadarGadget. I tried to buy a PlaneFinder receiver but they wouldn't sell me one.

    Guenter is a highly qualified "engineer" for whom I have the utmost respect. However, 11 years later, I am happy to report that the low-cost DVB-T SDR/RPi combo and PiAware delivers comparable data to that produced by eye-watering, more expensive specialist Mode-S receivers. Compare the cost of today's DVD players and the Philips Video 2000 Video in 1980!

    Given what I now know, I'd start off with an RPi based solution and then think very carefully before investing in an alternative setup. However, I also know there are those who will, just as there are those who buy Breitling and Rolex watches. I no longer wear a watch. I use my mobile phone instead.
    Mike


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    Radarspotting since 2005

  9. #19
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    That is true. But this also one hell of a necro-dig of a thread that's 2 years old. And I was just re-answering why there is a cost difference as asked which have all been outlined on the earlier posts in a bit more detail

    A custom made PCB with FPGA chip thats coded into said chip to do the necessary work faster ready to go out of the box just isn't a cheap process.

    Same reason the MicroADSB - the same size as a USB stick but different technology, yet performs worse is/was a whole lot more expensive.
    Posts not to be taken as official support representation - Just a helpful uploader who tinkers

  10. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oblivian View Post
    But this also one hell of a necro-dig of a thread that's 2 years old.
    Sure. And I was merely offering a different opinion that's valid today.
    Mike


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    Radarspotting since 2005

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