Just Built a Stratux -- Some Questions

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by RBBailey, Aug 14, 2022.

  1. RBBailey

    RBBailey Filing Flight Plan

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    I realized that I already had a few of the parts at home, so I went ahead and built a Stratux from a Raspberry Pi 2B that I had sitting around, a WiFi dongle that I already had, and then I bought the remote USB GPS, and the antennas from Amazon. I'll upgrade with an AHRS when they get the supply chain problems fixed....

    Everything seems to be working with an early version of Stratux on the SD card. But I do have a few questions while using it with FltPlan Go (I'm cheap, it works, but it's clunky).

    Mainly about traffic. I understand that this is not a total traffic solution, there's always going to be someone without ADS-B out, or even without transponder, depending on what type of airspace I'm in. However, I am a bit surprised that I'm not seeing some of the traffic that I can currently see when I'm looking at ADS-B Exchange as a comparison.

    For instance, right at this moment, I can see an aircraft that I fly that I know has ADS-B out, it is just a few miles away from me right now, showing on ADS-B Exhange, but not showing on my Stratux.

    Is this because that aircraft has not climbed high enough to get within range of a ground tower?
     
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  2. murphey

    murphey Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Might be the version of the Pi….the original software was for the 3B, and on the website, still the only supported hardware.

    https://github.com/cyoung/stratux
     
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  3. DaleB

    DaleB Final Approach

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    Can your Stratux hear any towers while on the ground? Mine can’t. When I had a Stratux, while on the ground it would only see aircraft that were close enough to receive directly.
     
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  4. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Same here. Only has full visibility in the air.
     
  5. GeorgeC

    GeorgeC Administrator Management Council Member

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    You basically have to be line of sight for it to pick up anything. I ended up driving to a local tower to test out my receiver.
     
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  6. A1Topgun

    A1Topgun Cleared for Takeoff

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    How do you receive ADS-B in? On an iPad? Go to the Stratux web interface and check you are receiving 1090 & 978 UAT targets.
     
  7. skyking3286

    skyking3286 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The only problem I have had with my Stratux is the antennas are pretty flimsy. Easy to break off at the connector to the screw in part.
     
  8. MstngLX50

    MstngLX50 Filing Flight Plan

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    If you only have one SDR I think it defaults to 978, so you'd have to be within a few miles of a tower when on the ground to receive anything, or grab an occasional military aircraft. If you toggle the developer mode you can change to 1090 which should receive the line of sight 1090 from the visible aircraft. From my porch in the Texas hill country I can see 1090 signals from commercial traffic hundreds of miles away.

    If there's a way to see both simultaneously with only one radio I'm not aware of it. My experience is limited to setting up two units that worked as expected with no deviation from the online tutorials using two radios per stratux.
     
  9. aggie06

    aggie06 Line Up and Wait

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    To add to what others are saying, aircraft transmit either data at either 978 or 1090 mhz. The FAA also sends out TIS-B data on 978 from ground stations. This is just a rebroadcast of the data they have in their system. If you aren’t within line of sight to the transmission, you won’t see anything - in the air, you get it all but on the ground you only get aircraft you can see and not the TIS-B rebroadcast when not next to one of the government towers.
     
  10. Ed Haywood

    Ed Haywood Pattern Altitude

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    I think it is because YOU are not high enough.

    I don't fully understand the technology, but have never gotten good ADS-B IN reception on the ground. Usually the display "blooms" with hits when you get to about 1000 feet AGL.
     
  11. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    I hate clutter so I bought a remote GPS antenna and two 3 ft coax extenders then mounted the box under the instrument panel. The antennas are mounted on a small bracket on what I guess you'd call the A-pillar. The only problem was I couldn't see the LED's to determine that the unit was up and working so I bought some fiber optic stuff from a hobby shop and glued them to the Stratux then ran them up to a couple of small holes in the panel so I get a tiny red and green indicator.
     
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  12. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    Older versions work fine on the Pi 2, but they removed support for it a few versions ago.
     
  13. L J Donelson

    L J Donelson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Concur with others that it's altitude deficit syndrome. Climb a few feet, and suddenly all the other planes with pingers show on screen. Otherwise, it's LOS on the ground.

    My Stratux works great with traffic and weather via Bluetooth to a $79 lenovo tablet with iFlyGPS. Worked the first time I turned it on and every time since. Great tool to have.
     
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  14. RBBailey

    RBBailey Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks for the info and confirmation on what I'm thinking. It does seem to be working correctly, and I just need to get in the air with it to really nail down how to work it correctly.
    I'm currently using FltPln Go for FREE simply because I'm just now getting back into flying after 22 years off... so I'm on a very low budget till I really get established in a pattern of how often and where I'm flying, then I'll upgrade to a Pi3 with ARHS. But for now, I know the GPS works really well, and traffic does work when in range, so I'm looking for better traffic picture and weather reports once I get into the air.
     
  15. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff

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    Via Bluetooth?? Or did you mean wifi?

    I didn't think either Stratux *or* iFly supported Bluetooth.
     
  16. pfarber

    pfarber Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The European fork of stratux is active and getting commits. The US only version died years ago.

    The EU version works in the US with some config tweaks. One of the better additiona is that with a second wifi dongle it can be an AP/station and use your phone as a hotspot
     
  17. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    M2C - If you got it working, don't touch it.

    I was gifted an older version of a STRATUX by a very generous club member. I dutifully updated/ flashed a new version of the software. It was a mess, and as I planned it I flashed a new card, and thus had the old card with the original/older software on it. Put it back in and got it working again.

    Lesson learned - if it's working, don't change anything with this thing.
     
  18. L J Donelson

    L J Donelson Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Haha, yes, sorry - I had been dealing with pairing headphones just before I responded... yes it is WiFi for Stratux to iFlyGPS.
     
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  19. Jim_R

    Jim_R Cleared for Takeoff

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    YMMV. Of course it's always a good idea not to burn bridges so you can get back to a known-good config if you mess something up, but I've got two Stratuxes now (one I built myself and one recently acquired from another member on this forum) and between them have updated the software numerous times with no issues. (I'm no Linux or electronics guru, either...but it does help if you're not scared of a soldering iron or a command line prompt, and it REALLY helps to have good Google skills.)
     
  20. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    The new software doesn't work on older Raspberry Pis. There's a warning about that in the small print. But other than that they're pretty trouble free unless you have bad hardware.
     
  21. kingjamez

    kingjamez Filing Flight Plan

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    I'm late to this thread, but antennas are very important. Can you post photos of your antennas and SDR setup? With ADS-B being so close to cellular frequencies, its important to get the antennas right for good performance on the ground.

    Once you get up in the air, cell towers are much less of a problem and your signal to noise ratio from better line of site and less interference increases dramatically.

    As others have said, the default is getting you weather at 978MHz...but most transponders are on 1090MHz. So make sure you have 2 SDR's or the single SDR set to 1090 if you want traffic.
    -Jim