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Topics - Robski

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Technical Support / Low power SDR
« on: February 24, 2019, 07:27:48 am »
I have a very early home-brewed PAW, subsequently 'bridged' and 'pi2b'ed'.

Works well but the dvb / ADSB dongle has always run hot. I would guess the new low power ones don't. Can I swap to one of these, or is there an alternative (commercial sdr dongle) option?
My PAW is installed with some external antennas so I don't think I need to do a wholesale rosetta upgrade.

General Discussion / Transponders and ADSB beacons.
« on: February 23, 2019, 09:26:29 am »
Is it still the case that an aircraft can legally only have one 1090Mhz device operating at a time?

Does that mean that you cannot have an ADSB-out device (like the SkyEcho2) and a transponder on at the same time?

With the new rule that if you have a serviceable transponder fitted you are obliged to turn it on, does this mean you cannot legally use a SkyEcho2 (or similar) in a transponder equipped aircraft?

Where does that leave Ian Fraser's testing in his recent LAA article (advertainment?) seeing as he said he has a mode S transponder in his aircraft? Presumably he applied for and was granted an exception as he states “Transponders not the subject of our test were switched off“.

General Discussion / Pi 3B+
« on: February 14, 2019, 08:44:16 am »
Any news on whether the Pi3B+ is usable for pilotaware yet?

Is it just untested for PAW so cannot be recommended  ;) , or will it definitely not work  :(?

I have an original home-brewed setup,  subsequently 'bridged' and then 'Pi2B'ed etc.  I have recently been suffering the dreaded PAW / SD disconnects as have a number of chums so I am looking for a solution. A full image reinstall has been done as a first step but not tested yet. Just lining up other options, to whit: replacing the wifi dongle or 'Pi3B'ing the setup (which has the wifi built in).
The latter option was suggested at a PAW presentation, but I am skeptical as PAW ran faultlessly on the latest software from may to september and only then started playing up, which to me suggests an OS or hardware issue.

General Discussion / Feb 2018 Light Aviation mag EC article
« on: February 07, 2018, 10:31:40 pm »
Anybody else read the article?

The author comes across as a bit odd - doing lots of 'research' to justify doing nothing.

His gripe about installing a mode S transponder but not really knowing why seems telling....

He seemed to keep harping on about his RV-6 as well. PAW works surprisingly well in mine for such a low powered device inside a partial Faraday cage. The fact that the PAW unit costs less than filling his RV up with Avgas didn't get a mention but he kept mentioning the 250 quid for the ADS-B out / CAP1391 unit.

Keep up the good work, Lee & co - we appreciate your efforts  ;D

General Discussion / Recommended Power supply?
« on: February 03, 2018, 07:19:01 am »
I have tried searching but not had much success (probably asking the wrong question) sooooo.....

I power all my USB devices (PAW and 2 tablets) in the aircraft from an Anker Powerdrive 5 as originally recommended for PAW. I chopped the plug off and wired it into a dedicated circuit breaker in the RV. Works brilliantly.
I have a number of chums who also use these successfully, often as a 'fix' for PAW reliability (brown-out) issues.

All hunky dory so far.

Trouble is I now have a new plane to plumb another PAW into and the Powerdrive 5 is no longer available. What is the new recommended alternative?

I would like one with a lead (I can cut off) as fag lighter connections are so unreliable, and I don't want to fit such a socket in the new plane.

Apologies if this is covered elsewhere and I haven't found it. If so please point me there.

Technical Support / Max Temperature (and issues) for a PAW
« on: May 09, 2017, 03:36:00 pm »
I have a chum who has, and loves, a PAW Classic.
He has it installed in 'plain sight' under a bubble canopy.
We were all out in Scotland last weekend with barely a cloud in the sky.

I'll let him explain further:

Yesterday I took off on our way up to Plockton (Janet was trying out Geoff’s spare ANR headset) and I was getting a terrible white noise in standby mode, so I got Janet to swap back to her own headset, still had the white noise, so I tried resetting settings on the (Trig TY91) radio, still got white noise! Janet then said the Pilot Aware box was red hot (suppose it had been baking in the sun whilst parked out at Oban). So I removed the power to PA, and suddenly the radio became absolutely perfect again!
PA obviously does not like getting hot! I covered up the PA box with a white shirt whilst parked up at Plockton, and it worked perfectly with no radio interference on our way home to Sleap.
Worth mentioning I think!
Is this an expected 'failure mode'?

Obviously a black box of electronics in a greenhouse is going to have issues, as my chum realises.

Just thought I'd pass this on.

I have a 'white and raspberry' standard Pi case on my home-brewed PAW and have never had such issues, but since I've put it under the dash, and in light of the above, I am now considering putting a fan in the case: should be easy with that case's removable lid!

From a technical point of view would it be better to set the fan to blow cold air into the case, or suck the warm air out?

Technical Support / Size of PAW SD card.
« on: May 03, 2017, 01:32:58 pm »
Quick one - what is the size of the SD card in a bought PAW Classic?

I have a home-brewed PAW from the shield days and just use a spare 8Gb SD card I had lying around at the time.

Just wondering whether there is anything to be gained (more log space?) from a larger capacity card.

Technical Support / Licensey stuff
« on: February 11, 2017, 05:02:06 am »
Hi all.

I am upgrading a friend's PAW. He has an originally home built one (R Pi B+) that has been updated to a shield.
He now wants ModeC/S options so we'll fit his kit onto a R Pi 2.

I can't remember if it is the Pis mac address, or the wireless one that is 'licensed'.

Also, which option on the license generator webpage should we use, if necessary?


General Discussion / Flyer Live
« on: November 22, 2016, 03:05:17 pm »
I understand you will be displaying PAW at Flyer Live at Telford in December.

Will all the bits and pieces be for sale there?
Just debating whether to order a dipole for delivery or get one there and save the postage.

General Discussion / P3I Antenna Location in metal aircraft
« on: October 10, 2016, 04:28:26 pm »
Hi all.

I have an RV-6. I have put the PAW with the P3I antenna on the coaming as suggested to get it as high as possible with as clear a view as possible. However I get screening from the rear fuselage so my flying chums, also with PAW units, cannot see me and I cannot see them when we are all on the same track. This is precisely the sort of scenario when we need to be able to see each other (1-5 miles apart, not close formation, all heading to the same destination).

An external antenna would seem to be the solution.
The offered one is this

However the info on it is a tad scant, aside from it needing a ground plane (not an issue on an aly airframe).
Is it definitely weatherproof?
Does it include all mounting hardware?
Will it put up with high airspeeds (210mph for the RV-6's VNE, more for RV7s, 8s and 10s).
How long can the lead be?
What is the end connector?

Next question is whether to mount the above monopole on the topside or underside of the aircraft?
Has anyone tried either, and with what results?
Is both, diplexed, an option?

Anybody have experience/solutions for any of this?
I am reluctant to drill holes in the plane without any kind of idea as to whether it is a good position or not.
Presumably other RV's, Sport Cruisers, Zenairs and other low wing, highish turtledeck metal aircraft have similar issues.

General Discussion / Is LPAT actually available?
« on: February 18, 2016, 01:58:23 pm »
I know this is probably not the best place to ask, but I also know how well informed the readership here is so I'll take a punt.

LPAT : Low Powered ADS-B Transceiver.
This has allegedly been developed by NATS.
As I understand things it is basically the ADS-B out bit of a mode S transponder, and the ADS-B in bit of a PAW.
All the in/out goodness of ADS-B without all the power hungry mode S stuff that makes a mode S transponder a non-starter for gliders and a lot of microlights, permit, vintage and SSDR aircraft.

Has anybody actually produced the LPAT for sale in the UK?
I know the FAA in the US are mandating ADS-B from 2020 using such devices, but their implementation has some differences from our situation, like weather broadcasts etc.

From a purely logical point of view (leaving out the CAA, NATS, OFCOM and all that) aren't both PAW's P3i side, and FLARM just trying to fill a niche that ADS-B / LPAT should be filling?

This is not a rant against PAW - far from it! Conceivably LPAT would be complimentary to PAW, or even integrated with it.
I accept that "we are where we are". I'm just waiting on the new P3i shield for my PAW!

General Discussion / Why a Barometric Pressure Sensor?
« on: September 23, 2015, 03:31:08 pm »
Excuse my latest dimness, but...

There is a development of PilotAware to add a barometric pressure sensor.

I'm just wondering why?

For altitude purposes surely GPS can provide that.

Or is this for a gross error check against GPS?
Or to sense current atmospheric pressure to compare with GPS altitude to calculate a correction to allow transmission of altitude data at 1013Mb / hPa?
Or something I haven't thought of? (The most likely situation!)

Keep up the good work. I'll build one of these little beasties once my engine is installed and the plane flying again.

General Discussion / ICAO Code
« on: September 03, 2015, 04:15:32 pm »
Hi Lee,

In a previous posting you suggest setting the the ICAO code as follows (abridged):
If you do not have a transponder, I suggest setting this to the last 6 digits of the WiFi name, I will automate this at some point in the future. So if the WiFi is:-

set the ICAO to:-
I guess this makes sense for people who will be using the PilotAware in a number of aircraft.

If one always flies the same aircraft, or the kit will be permanently located on one aircraft, then wouldn't it be more suitable to use the transponder code allocated to the aircraft?
Regardless of whether a mode S transponder has been fitted all G reg aircraft have a code allocated, including microlights and even scrapped aircraft. It can be found on G-INFO as:
ICAO 24 bit aircraft address:Binary: 0100_00_000_011_11_1111001100
Hex: 403FCC
Octal: 20037714

Presumably the Hex is the one to use!

Or am I missing something here? (A not uncommon occurrence)


General Discussion / Question prompted by LAA Mag article
« on: September 03, 2015, 10:59:40 am »
Firstly, thanks for the work you are putting into this, Lee. I'm interested in building a PilotAware as my next project.

I am uncertain as to where PilotAware gets its current position GPS co-ordinates from.
For iThings mention is made of Garmin external GPS receivers, but what if one is using an iThing with internal GPS, or better yet, an Android tablet with internal GPS? (I'm specifically thinking of a Nexus 7 with SkyDemon here).

Sorry if this seems obvious - I may be just being dense!

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