My Attempt at a $115 ADS-B Receiver Build for Foreflight

Discussion in 'Technical Corner' started by JoseCuervo, Aug 17, 2015.

  1. masloki

    masloki Line Up and Wait

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    Have any issues with both SDRs, wifi and GPS all on USB? Mine couldn't handle it with the GPS coming off the headers and needed an external USB hub which made it even messier.
     
  2. ircphoenix

    ircphoenix En-Route

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    Which raspberry pi do you have? I have the 3. Wifi is integrated. No USB necessary. I have the 2 SDRs and the GPS plugged in. No wifi dongle.
     
  3. Flying_Nun

    Flying_Nun Line Up and Wait

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    My first flight with this setup will be this weekend. It's supposed to be 90F and I'll be in a DA-40. That little fan will get a workout. The stratux admin page has a nifty feature that displays the temp from somewhere on the Pi.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  4. atbroome

    atbroome Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just my built my stratux box this evening from the parts listed on stratux.me. Ordered them from Amazon on Monday. I'm about to get a wifi only iPad Mini 4 and I figured putting this together for $140 in parts was better than $100 GPS box. Took about 30 minutes using a screw driver, needle nose pliers, tweezers, and some tape (temp holding screws only).

    Seems to work; can't test weather on the ground here but I was able to pick up some Jet Blue and AA flights overhead. Being in the FRZ, not too much GA traffic to pick up.
     
  5. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Without reading the whole thread, does this only work with Foreflight? And from what you said it is a GPS also, so no need for a bluetooth GPS. And I assume it hooks up to the iPad through bluetooth. So for the same price as say a Bad Elf GPS, you can have stratux and GPS.
     
  6. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Just went to your link. I see a list of the compatible programs.
     
  7. atbroome

    atbroome Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Foreflight and a number (most of?) the of others. You plug in a USB GPS device; I "splurged" for the $18 external mount Vk-162. It interfaces with the iPad via Wifi.

    Yes, cost wise it seemed worth it to at least try this out.
     
  8. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    One of the early adopters here, with continuing upgrades, 2 SDRs. Took it on a 4 hr flight yesterday. switched between FF and WingX. WingX was showing more aircraft while FF was easier to read the aircraft details. I wasn't flying somhad lots of time to play with both. Center was calling traffic to us. Saw everything on the adsb, only eyeballed half of them. Very easy to get fixated on the box and forget to look out the window.
     
  9. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    So just order the first set of parts under "Dual Band (most common)" and put it together? No special tools, soldering or anything needed?

    How long does the battery last and can you use it to power both the stratux and iPad at the same time?
     
  10. avongil

    avongil Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Brian, its really easy. You just kind of assemble everything. No special skills needed. I have tested with Avare and Foreflight. They both work great. Have yet to fiddle with weather though.
     
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  11. atbroome

    atbroome Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The total tool kit I used:
    • Eyeglass-ish size phillips screw driver
    • Needle nose pliers
    • Tweezers (not needed if you have small/steady hands)
    • 1 cotton swab
    • Rubbing alcohol (last 2 used to clean chips before sticking on heat sinks)

    No other tools needed, no soldering:
    • 2x heat sinks for the Raspberry Pi board have pre-stuck adhesive
    • Raspberry Pi board screws to the case with nuts and spacers
    • Case fan attaches with same screws & nuts
    • 2x radio unit plug into Pi USB ports
    • Radio internal cables plug into radio units (bit of a pain to connect them once the board is in place). I used the bottom 2 ports
    • Radio cables mount to case with nuts
    • Antennas screw onto ends of radio cables mounted to outside of case
    • GPS plugs into the UBS port on the Pi. I used the top port that lines up with the case cutout
    • SD card with software slides into bottom of Pi board - there is a cut-out in the case. traces on the SD card face the board..which is facing up with the board mounted.
    • Plug in battery pack to power jack on Pi board - there is a cut-out for it.

    Once you connect the power, the red light on the board goes on, then the green. Once that is done its running. Go to the Wifi setting on your iPad and select 'stratux'. My Foreflight automatically picked it up - no config. You point your iPad browser the "gateway" IP reported by your wifi settings (mine was 192.168.10.1) to get the status of the unit and to do a safe shutdown.

    This video does a good job of walking you through the steps. The nylon nuts he uses are a good idea, but not needed. Nor are the fancy tools he uses. With them (especially the mini sockets for the nuts) I would probably have been done in 10-15 mins max.



    The battery back should be able to power both: the built-in cable connects to the stratux and there is another port you could plug the iPad into. No idea how long it will last; the author of the video above used a larger capacity battery than the Dual Band (most common) parts list has.

     
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  12. EppyGA

    EppyGA Touchdown! Greaser!

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  13. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    This made me think of something else. The fact I have a second generation iPad, several years old, does this affect anything with the battery? It has the old style apple connector going into the iPad.
     
  14. atbroome

    atbroome Pre-takeoff checklist

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    The recommend battery has a built in (mini?) usb cord that plugs into the Pi. It has another regular USB port where you can plug in any cable - old 40-pin, new lightning,usb-c, etc.
     
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  15. masloki

    masloki Line Up and Wait

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    If your plane has an accessory port (cigarette lighter) you can get a dual USB adapter for that. Just make sure to get one that does 24v if so equipped. It can power an iPad and Pi no sweat. Otherwise, I have gotten more than four hours out my 10k mAHr pack and you can always buy a second and third for about $20 each.
     
  16. BillTIZ

    BillTIZ Final Approach

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    There are no cords between the Stratux and the iPad. So what ever the iPad requires does not impact the Stratux. The Stratux (raspberry Pi) does require a Micro usb cord for battery power, much like most android phones.

    You may find that the several years old iPad may lack battery power for long flights. Make sure all other programs except your flight program are closed. If it has cell phone capability, turn that off but keep the gps on. Turn off Bluetooth unless you need it for something else.

    I use an iPad Air2 wifi only. So I need Bluetooth for my bad elf gps connection and the wifi for Stratux. 4 hrs is about all the iPad battery can handle. I keep a spare battery pack to run the iPad. Make sure it can output at least 2.1 amps for the iPad. A second battery for the Stratux. I am considering adding the gps source to the. Stratux so I will not need the Bluetooth powered on the iPad.
     
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  17. ApacheBob

    ApacheBob Cleared for Takeoff

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  18. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    I think I'm about to pull the trigger on this. So all I need is the dual band list at the top of the page? http://stratux.me
     
  19. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yup....and a pair of tweezers to hold the tiny screws while you use the tiny screwdriver to screw in the tiny screws.
     
  20. EppyGA

    EppyGA Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have zero screws in my Stratux
     
  21. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Depends on the case. I think the one on the stratux.me list has 4 tiny screws to connect the board to the bottom of the case.
     
  22. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Is that why you recommend the other case? And do all the components from that site fit perfectly in it?
     
  23. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Ordered.
     
  24. EppyGA

    EppyGA Touchdown! Greaser!

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  25. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Just came. Let's see if I can put this thing together...
     
  26. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    The first thing while watching the video above is I don't see any heat sinks for the raspberry pi. There aren't any in the package.
     
  27. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Check with the vendor...heat sinks very important unless you have a fan.
     
  28. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    There is a fan in the case, but in the video he also has a fan in his but still has the heat sinks. I ordered it from the link to Amazon from stratux.me. I don't see hate sinks mentioned on the Amazon page.
     
  29. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    One other thing, he's showing hardware that came with the raspberry such as screws, nuts, etc. There's some screws that came with the case but no screws, nuts, or anything else came with the raspberry pi. Just the board, no extras.

    Edit: I looked at a raspberry pi by another vendor, and it shows the heat sinks on their page. None on the page that stratux.me links to.
     
  30. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi Brian.
    See some of the testing I (bluesideup) did a while back: https://www.pilotsofamerica.com/com...iver-with-pi3b-and-nano-2.98749/#post-2164240
    When I built that unit the fan was the best thing, most useful to reduce overheating. If the box / container does not have the proper configuration of the openings / holes a fan may not help either. The problem with the fans is that they are power hungry.
    If you have a box with the proper strategic locations, to give you the ability to convection cool, you may be OK without a fan, under most conditions.
     
  31. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Thanks.

    I did some googling, not specific to stratux but just the raspberry pi and many are saying you don't really need them. One comment says:

    As @AndrewS has stated some of those who believe in using heat sinks are old overclockers that believe every chip has to have a heat sink on it.

    So I'll see. In the video above he also had screws and nuts that came with the RPi, but I didn't get any either. But there are some that came with the case.
     
  32. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    I can't tell in the video above which pins he attaches the fan cable to. You really can't see and his explanation isn't clear Anybody got a good pic or clear instruction?
     
  33. aim54pheonix

    aim54pheonix Filing Flight Plan

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    The fan power plug goes on the 2nd and 3rd pins on the outer row with the first pin being the one on the opposite side of the board from the USB and Ethernet ports.
     
  34. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    The heat sinks are usually in the little white box with the RPi inside the poly bag. Not very big, easy to slip off the table.
     
  35. bluesideup

    bluesideup Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi Brian.
    Here is pic of the pinouts. Typically a Red color goes to +5 (second pin on top row) , dark to Gnd (3rd pin) top row as you see in this pic.
     

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  36. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Thanks!
     
  37. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    Finally got it together. Seems to work fine. Saw the traffic around ATL. No weather though. Do you have to have some altitude for the weather?

    Also, what is the difference in an arrow head symbol for traffic and a diamond. I did see one diamond for a few seconds.
     
  38. BrianNC

    BrianNC En-Route

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    I'm pretty sure I didn't drop them. I didn't see them anywhere. I Googled and a lot of people said they're not really needed with the fan. I mean I'd prefer them, but I'll see how it goes.

    A question for everybody: how do you set it up in the cockpit? Just set it up on the glareshield close to where it comes together with the window where it won't slide?
     
  39. murphey

    murphey Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I have the short antennas, not the original ones that are on a foot long wire. I velcro'd the box to the side of the interior with the antennas sticking up above the window (cherokee). Keeps it out of the direct sun. Power is one of two ways - the power cord to a battery or to the ship power (there's an outlet on the back of the center floor panel with the flap handle).
     
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  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

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    You need to be in range of a 978 MHz tower for weather. Quite often on the ground, you won't be. The traffic you're seeing is also likely Mode-S transponders on the other band and doesn't include rebroadcasted traffic on 978 either if you aren't line of sight to a tower.

    The symbols are different for different EFB applications. You using ForeFlight or WingX or what? Each has their own documentation for what the traffic displays show. You should read through the docs for your specific EFB app.

    Usually the symbols change with differences in altitude to your current GPS altitude.

    You've probably also seen this here, but familiarize yourself with the concept of the "hockey puck". You'll never see ALL traffic and might see NONE without ADS-B out. It's a decision by FAA that makes the system inherently LESS safe, and it's dumb.

    Also make sure you've correctly configured your EFB app for your "ownship" tail number so you're not attacked in flight by your own target. :) (And if flying different aircraft, make sure it configures it correctly to the correct tail number if you switch aircraft by adding it to your EFB "Preflight".