Building ADS-B receiver, with Pi3B and NANO 2+

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by bluesideup, Oct 13, 2016.

  1. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hello everyone.

    Has anyone built with the above combination, and is there a better combination?
    Heat / dissipation, Power consumption, Receive Signal strength?...
    The main use of the set up is for Aviation.

    I am aware of the build ...$115 ADS-B.. post but this is slightly different combination and I would like to know if any one has tested it and if there are any opinions if there is a better combination?

    Thank you.
     
  2. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Personally I'd play with several of them like the NanoPi/Banana Pi/Orange Pi(FriendlyARM seems to have a really cute little Wifi/H3 based board with 8GB storage for $20 but then you'd need to solder your own USB connectors on) and compare power draws and ease of setup. But if you just want something that works the Pi3 and Nano 2+ should be fine. Admittedly my SDR setup right now involves a fixed location.
     
  3. CMongoose

    CMongoose Pre-takeoff checklist

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    i have one built on a Pi3B, one nano and one normal SDR, both are connected to the frequency tuned antennas that someone sells on ebay and amazon. It sits inside one of the standard 3d printing boxes with plenty of space inside and I have not yet found the need for a fan to cool it. The device usually sits under my rear seat.
     
  4. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ En-Route

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    Mi Stratux is built with the Pi3B and two NooElec Nano receivers. I believe they are Nano 1.0.
    Connected to the case mounted high gain antennas. Runs fine.
     
  5. weirdjim

    weirdjim En-Route

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    i"m just curious. How can you have a high gain antenna when you are trying to receive stuff from every direction?

    THanks,

    Jim
     
  6. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ En-Route

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  7. RotorDude

    RotorDude Pattern Altitude

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  8. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ En-Route

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    I rent mostly Cessna, I set it in top of my Nav bag in the back seat, antennas are vertical, next to a window, works fine.
     
  9. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hello everyone.

    I want to thank CYoung, and the rest of the people that contributed to the Free software, and others on this board that offered help and actual parts. Thank you, George

    I ordered parts from eBay, DVB-T, and Power source, and Micro Center the Pi 3 B.



    I, Personally, do not use the device, I decided to build it to get educated and be able to answer questions and help others that use a specific free software application that I am supporting.



    See the pic. with the final assembly, that includes the Pi 3 B, 50000 ??? mAh Power source and DVB-T NANO 2.



    The actual build, as seen costs around $55.00. Pi3 B, $30, DVB-T $8.00, Power source $15.00, I had an old Micro SD card. I will not get into the Software loading, there is a lot of information on the Forum about it, but if you have specific questions post here.



    The Case was made from the clear CD top cover, that when you cut it in half is the perfect size for both top and bottom.

    I used 1 in. screws x4, and the Spacers made from some stiff plastic tubing that can be easily cut.

    The complete, initial assembly, took about 0.5 hr., the testing of Power consumption, Heat dissipation, Cooling, etc. took many hrs.

    Summary:

    1-The unit consumes about 580 mA under normal conditions, about 390 for the Pi and about 200 for the DVB-T.

    2-Using an enclosed case with small openings, will get the unit very hot in hurry, otherwise, as you see it assembled, it will run at about 44 deg. C.

    3-Having a small Heat sink, without air circulating (no fan) will only slow down the temperature increase, and remain about 2 deg. C below the No heat sink of about 50 deg. C. Using it without should be OK as long as you allow space for convection cooling, many openings. A Heat sink without proper heat transfer, good thermal transfer, is worse than No heat sink. I ended up with an LM323 upside down as heat sink.

    4-DVB-T from the another vendor was compared to the inexpensive and I noticed No difference in parts or performance.

    5-Hi Gain Antenna, vs. the Standard that came with the device, did Not show a significant improvement. Using the Standard, long wire, may prove more flexible if you want to keep the Pi under the seat and just have the Antenna above the Instrument panel.

    6-WiFi communication, Device to Tablet, drop outs seem to be very frequent, especially when close to other WiFi sources.

    7-DVB-T gets very hot in a hurry, 200 mA x 5.1 V, quite a bit of power for that small area, I removed the top cover for better cooling. Most likely to fail

    Conclusion:

    I do not think that ADS-B is at the point where it is reliable, and useful to pilots, as a device to observe traffic, too many aircraft do not yet conform to it and for the ones that do, many cannot be seen on the device.

    For the Wx it may be of some use, but unless you are close to a station, you may not get anything until above 3000 Ft. AGL.

    The power source, rated at 50000 mAh, is Not anywhere close, theoretically you should be able to get 100 Hrs. at 500 mA, the best you may get is about 10 hrs. see pic. Horiz5HrsStrxS1.jpg 5:09 Hr. down to 65%.

    Fun to build and do some testing and analysis.



    Any questions, or comments, please post here.
     

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  10. n9144p

    n9144p Pre-Flight

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    Admittedly I have the older $115 build without any cooling fan. System has been rock solid from May since I started using ship power instead of batteries. And while traffic is evolving, it's getting noticeably more useful. The weather is fantastic to have without paying for XMRadio. Don't know where you are based, but I've always gotten a least one tower immediately after takeoff and at least two at 1000' agl from South Dakota to Nantucket. Usually it's seeing 5 towers.
     
  11. chartbundle

    chartbundle Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I should point out that even the quality USB batteries are usually rated at the battery voltage of 3.6-3.7v and not at the output voltage of 5V(so, best case about 32,400 at 5v assuming a 90% efficient converter). The other thing is if that was really a 50,000mAH, even at 3.6v it would exceed the 100Wh rating which would make it very difficult to ship or carry aboard commercial airliners. So far the highest I've seen from a reputable vendor is 26,800mAh which puts it right at the limit of 100Wh.