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Topics - ianfallon

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General Discussion / Wolverhampton yesterday (Tue 23rd Aug)
« on: August 24, 2016, 11:31:45 am »

Definitely saw one PAW user show up at Wolverhampton yesterday lunchtime when I on the ground. Was it you ? Did you see me on it ? (G-SARV)
Sorry I can't remember the reg. Eurostar ?

General Discussion / Quick Summary Of Pinouts And Connections
« on: November 10, 2015, 08:46:09 pm »
NOTE! ARF and Baro chips are now obsolete and replaced with the new plug in board coming Spring 2016!!

Please someone double check this for me, but here's a quick summary of pin-outs and connections in one place:


With the ARF face up (chips up) with the antenna connection at the top, pin 1 is the topmost pin on the left edge. Pin 2 is below that etc. with pin 10 the bottom-most on the same (left) edge.

PIN 1      3.3v IN - connect to any 3.3v output from Slice of POD / POD or Adafruit Baro chip VOUT, or Digole board 3.3v output.
PIN 2      TX - connect to GPIO pin 10 RX
PIN 3      RX - connect to GPIO pin 8 TX
PIN 10   GND - any GND on POD or GPIO (pins 6,9,14,20,25)


Vin 5v      Connect to any 5v output from Slice of POD board or GPIO pin 2
GND         Connect to any GND from GPIO (pins 6,9,14,20,25) or Slice of POD board etc
SDA         Connect to SDA on GPIO pin 3
SCL         Connect to SCL on GPIO pin 5


Vin 3v      Connect to any 3.3v from Slice of POD or POD or Adafruit Baro chip or Digole board
GND         Connect to any GND from GPIO (pins 6,9,14,20,25) or Slice of POD board etc
SDA         Connect to SDA on GPIO pin 3
SCL         Connect to SCL on GPIO pin 5


- GPIO 3.3v supply (pin 1) is NOT sufficiently powerful to use, hence the use of the POD or Digole boards.
- Take extra care with the GPIO pin numbering. It is not like regular IC numbering (down once side and up the other), instead even numbers are on one side, odd on the other.

General Discussion / New Software Installation Guide
« on: November 09, 2015, 01:12:49 pm »

Lee has created a new top level category on the forum where the documentation will live:,5.0.html

I've created a 1st cut of a software installation and configuration guide. The idea is this covers everything after the hardware build to get the system up and running.

It should be the first port of call for new PilotAware users setting up their units and should be followed in a step-by-step fashion.

Very happy to receive feedback, errata etc on this. Please post any comments on the existing General->Documentation thread here:,5.0.html

So far the navigation software covered in the doc is just SkyDemon. If anyone would like to take the equivalent screen shots on the other navigation software

systems and send them to me I can flesh out the other sections better. Email:

Hopefully it will help with / avoid some of the more basic troubleshooting issues.

General Discussion / PilotAware Map
« on: October 12, 2015, 09:40:02 am »
Hi all,

I've created an open Google Map. Feel free to add yourselves to it (to the existing map layer) using your user name from here.
The idea is really just to see if there are other PilotAware users nearby you can contact (via PM on here) to help with testing units against each other. It's not a list of actively running units.

General Discussion / Known Good Hardware
« on: October 02, 2015, 11:00:57 am »
Build Your Own PilotAware Using The Known Good Hardware List

Purchasing and Building Your Own PilotAware Hardware From individual components.

If you don’t want to purchase a warrantied PilotAware unit that has been fully built and tested, then you can build your own PilotAware Hardware by sourcing the individual components from the internet. If you do this, it is very important that you only use the correct parts for the PilotAware unit to work successfully.

Here is a list of components that have been used successfully. PilotAware Limited gives no recommendation or guarantee as to the fidelity of these components nor the viability or vendors quoted, but supplies the list as a guide. Help will be available from the forum as to how to build this. Caveat emptor.
1.   Raspberry Pi 2B Do not use Raspberry pi 3 it will not work.
Raspberry Pi 2 Model B Desktop (Quad Core CPU 900 MHz, 1 GB RAM, Linux).
2.   Case
3.   ADSB Receiver Dongle
Mini USB DVB-T RTL-SDR Realtek RTL2832U & R820T Tuner Receiver Dongle MCX Input.
4.   Wifi dongle:

Updated August 2021

5.   GPS dongle:
6.   USB -> Micro USB power cable:®-Charger-Android-Tablets-Premium/dp/B00S2WQDO0/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&qid=1468588337&sr=8-5&keywords=juicebitz
7.   4Gb Micro SD card:
8.   869.5 MHz PilotAware Radio Bridge and licence
9.   869.5 MHz Antenna

When you have all of the parts.

•   Connect the PilotAware Bridge item 8 onto the Raspberry Pi (Item 1) ensuring that you do not bend any of the pins on the PIO Pin matrix
•   Line up the combined Pi and Bridge with the case (Item 2) and drill a hole so that the antenna male connector protrudes through the end plate of the bridge.
•   Screw together the case. (Item2)
•   Insert the Wi-Fi dongle (Item 4) into the bottom right hand USB socket
•   Insert the GPS dongle and thin antenna (Item 5) into the upper right hand USB socket
•   Insert the ADSB Receiver Dongle (Item 3) into the lower left hand USB socket
•   Insert the USB Cable (Item6) into the micro USB socket in the raspberry Pi
•   Screw the 869.6MHz Antenna onto the Bridge stub.
•   Format the SD Card (Item 7)
•   Manually Download the Software onto your PC from,540.0.htmland
•   Transfer this to the formatted Micro SD Card
•   Manual software download described in the PilotAware Operating instructions
•   Download the licence key as described in the documentation provided with the PilotAware Bridge item 8.

Or buy a ready built ready tested built with 12 months warranty for virtually the same price from and save yourself the time and effort of procuring and assembling the box of bits.

General Discussion / SkyDemon Traffic Depiction
« on: September 26, 2015, 09:22:54 pm »
Someone's pleased to see Barford St John !!  :o ...

Assume this happens when traffic is close at a similar level ?!

General Discussion / Pi Model B (not B+)
« on: September 14, 2015, 08:35:11 pm »
Hi all,

I think I can confirm that Pi Model B appears to work fine as a PilotAware  :)
Well, I've not tested the ARF side against another PilotAware yet but it looks hopeful (no nasty errors seen so far)

Of course adding a GPS dongle or RS232 cable is not an option with the 2 USB port Model B but the fundamentals seem to work fine.

Thanks Lee for your work and support.

General Discussion / USB - RS232
« on: September 13, 2015, 01:10:40 pm »
Hi - am I right in thinking:

A) This is to provide GPS info into your mode S transponder so it can transmit position info. We have a funkwerk mode S transponder which I think may work with this so is interesting.

B) It's not currently legal to connect this (this is what the NATS ADS-B trial is doing)

C) Without this, only other PilotAware devices will see position info for you.

Also, this is where the model B (rather than B+) stops working as a solution as 3 (or 4 with the GPS dongle) USB ports are required.

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