Author Topic: Data consumption  (Read 2213 times)

Wadoadi

Data consumption
« on: September 23, 2019, 12:02:48 am »
Hi
   Potentially looking at setting up a a ground station at our airfield, however we only have a 4G router and limited data allowance.

While I know the data usage will be variable, does anyone have some idea of the amount consumed per day?

Also is it permissible and possible to schedule the system to work during a given time period per day?

Thanks

Ian Melville

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #1 on: September 23, 2019, 06:37:35 am »
I think someone asked and was given data usage figure awhile back. Don't have any figures myself.

I use a plug top mains timer to turn mine at home off each night and back on a few hours later. In effect doing a reboot each night. Mine is mechanical, but you would want a battery-powered or backed up one. if your electricity goes off at any time.

Admin

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #2 on: September 23, 2019, 07:48:50 am »
Hi Adrian, Ian
I added an internal feature to throttle the amount of data transfer, I could probably make this user configurable
What kind of allowance are we talking, rate or data over a period?
Thx
Lee

exfirepro

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #3 on: September 23, 2019, 08:11:53 am »
Hi Adi,

There is some info re 4G data usage from Vince in this thread... http://forum.pilotaware.com/index.php/topic,980.msg16470.html#msg16470 which may be useful, though this will of course vary with location and traffic.

Edit. Just saw Lee’s post above.

The ‘traditional’ setup for OGN-R Stations is to switch them off via a timer (originally mechanical) between about 11pm and 4am as the glider traffic they were originally designed to rebroadcast wouldn’t (normally) be flying during these hours. This daily shutdown performed two main functions. It ‘rested’ the units - potentially prolonging the life of components and more importantly, it forced a reboot in the early hours, as part of which the software checked for and installed any new updates which had been introduced since the last restart. In the case of 4G linked units of course, it also limits data use by preventing the transmission of data when it’s not required.

Things have moved on somewhat, however, with checks for software updates now taking place automatically throughout the day and not requiring a daily hard reboot to instigate their install. This spreads the load and means that stations update automatically almost as soon as updates become available. The addition of Mode-S/3D Rebroadcast also extends the likely operating hours for VFR Traffic, though this is still unlikely to be required (by VFR Users) outwith the 4am to 11pm operating window except perhaps at the height of Summer in the far north. I now run my stations on electronic timers, which I find much more reliable as they have built in battery backup, and so maintain ‘real time’ through any short term power cut or shut down (whereas the mechanical timers need resetting after every power-out) and I now try to run the stations as near as possible to normal daylight hours, though you could of course still use timing to help control data usage.

Hope this helps.

Regards

Peter
« Last Edit: September 23, 2019, 08:14:43 am by exfirepro »

Wadoadi

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #4 on: September 23, 2019, 10:55:36 pm »
Thanks All,
Lee, currently we have 15gb but we are getting through most of that! We are looking at getting a new sim and allowance which will give us either 45Gb or 100gb or 200gb depending on the option and costs we go for.

Our current speeds are around 10mbps up and 16mbps down but we do get higher sometimes!

I have not checked the latency.

We would like to re broadcast cast the ADSB/3D info also

PaulSS

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2021, 09:03:40 am »
Yes, a bit of a Lazarus moment for this thread  ;D

Given the passage of time, has anyone got any updated information on the data used by an ATOM station? I see from the link in this thread that Vince's unit was using approximately 150MB per month but just wanted to check if this is likely to be higher as an ATOM station linked to 360Radar, as opposed to just an OGNR station. Mine is normally on 24/7 but I do have an electronic timer if necessary.

Our (potential) new house is going to require a 4G router and sim card, as the Internet down the pipes is appalling, so I just need to check what sort of data allowance I'm going to need in the future.

Admin

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2021, 10:07:17 am »
Hi all

I am interested to know if concerns are related to data rate, or data consumption

I think when the thread began it was consumption, after a few weeks quick google I see you can now obtain unlimited data SIM cards for £16

I would be happy to try to thoroughly examine and optimise data consumption, but what are the goals and expectations?

Thx
Lee

PaulSS

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2021, 11:45:46 am »
Hi Lee,

I'm just interested to see if it would really eat into a limited plan (Vodaphone is going to have to be our 'choice', whether we like it or not). If it's in the order of 300-400MB per month then I wouldn't even sneeze at it. If it's going to consume 100GB then I might have something more to say  ;D

exfirepro

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2021, 12:35:03 pm »
Lee,

I've had quite a few discussions about this recently from existing site owners and in connection with trying to persuade 'remote' sites to install an Atom Station. Most of these sites are very small clubs, sometimes only 3 or 4 members or even single operator, and are therefore concerned at the potential cost implications.

Obviously it's difficult to be precise as data usage will be dependent on traffic, but one site for example (aware of the relatively high frequency of recent ATOM updates) has asked whether the system can be configured to 'advise' when updates are available but only install them when the maintainer has a chance to temporarily relocate the unit to a 'Home Base' with unlimited data access. (I said we wouldn't be keen on this as it impinges on our ability to make rapid changes and would inevitable lead to stations running different versions on an ad-hoc basis).

A better appreciation of potential data usage from say a more remote and a busy site would be extremely useful (not least when looking at potential '4/5G only' sites and trying to persuade the site owners to install them).

Best Regards

Peter

steveu

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #9 on: February 21, 2021, 02:21:03 pm »
I'm just interested to see if it would really eat into a limited plan (Vodaphone is going to have to be our 'choice', whether we like it or not).

At the risk of being a nosy parker and therefore being ignored as is justified, may I venture the following?

I assume you have to take Vodafone for reasons of coverage? Have you done a full survey? Assuming yes. If so, would there be a better deal on an MVNO (Mobile Virtual Network Operator) using the Vodafone backbone?

Like this?

https://www.4g.co.uk/sim-only/voxi/


PaulSS

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #10 on: February 21, 2021, 04:08:05 pm »
Hi Steve,

Thank you for your interest and ideas. Yes, I'll need to use Vodaphone because all the others don't necessarily provide decent coverage and the current owners of the house have done the same research and come to the same conclusions. There is a Vodaphone mast that seems to give pretty good coverage of the area and my idea is to stick an external antenna on one of the chimneys and point it at the mast. I should achieve line of sight by doing this and, with the Poynting 11dB gain antenna, I'm hoping this will ensure I get a decent signal to the router.

There is no 5G coverage at the moment but my thinking is to at least future-proof a bit by (a)buying the antenna mentioned above, which will be 5G capable and (b)buying a 5G capable router (hopefully). Until this point I didn't think it was worth paying the extra for a 5G data plan when I can only get 4G as a maximum but the plans you've suggested have an unlimited data 5G plan which is basically the same price as the Vodaphone unlimited 4G plan.

Having done more digging I am much, much less concerned (tending towards zero) about the ATOM station data use, as the unlimited plans are on a par with what I'm paying for Sky broadband at the moment, so I have no compunction in transferring to one of those. If the VOXI 5G plan only gives me 4G but a bit of future proofing then I think it's worth going for that, so thank you for your suggestion.
« Last Edit: February 21, 2021, 04:09:37 pm by PaulSS »

AlanG

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2021, 04:14:57 pm »
Hi Guys
Looks like a positive result Paul but, even taking Lee's comments into consideration, the cynic in me says that not all areas, especially the more remote, are blessed with the best deals, so it would be good to hear from any station operator who is currently running an Atom station on a purely 4G router and can give a fairly accurate estimate of monthly data usage.  I realise that this may vary by situation depending on traffic volumes and running periods etc. but some indication could be extremely useful when trying to persuade potential operators for more remote sites.  Nobody wants the effort of setting up a site only to fall by the wayside because the running costs are unacceptable.

If anyone owns, or is aware of, a station operating on 4G perhaps they could point them in this direction.

Regards
Alan

« Last Edit: February 23, 2021, 08:52:52 pm by AlanG »

steveu

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2021, 10:34:36 pm »
Looks like a positive result Paul but, even taking Lee's comments into consideration, the cynic in me says that not all areas, especially the more remote, are blessed with the best deals

I don't understand this. I'm not aware of mobile phone or mobile broadband/data deals being post code or location limited so it's just a question of coverage, and if there is only one network at that location on 4G, then you either find a deal on that network or on an MVNO. If there's no or poor coverage, then cost doesn't come into it.

MVNOs don't have the same bells and whistles as the premium packages on physical networks, and tend to offer very good SIM only, 30 day notice to quit packages. You already have a router, so you don't want a long contract with new phone cost being recovered to tear you a new one. Picks - GiffGaff, an O2 MVNO, 9GB for £10/month, 20GB for £15, or 100GB for £20.

There's a good list of MVNOs here:

https://www.uswitch.com/mobiles/guides/mvnos-a-guide-to-coverage-and-pros-and-cons-of-virtual-networks/

Paul mentioned external antennas, and they can make all the difference in poor coverage areas, sometimes meaning a jump from 3G to 4G. AS a result of the signal gains from external, optional antennas with my little wireless Huawei box, I bought a proper 4G mobile broadband router next time round with Ethernet connectors and sensible antennas.


Vince

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #13 on: February 24, 2021, 01:35:56 am »
I originally had OGN-R at the airfield using a 4G router and Three prepaid 24GB SIM. This was originally just receiving PAW & FLARM so it only really uploaded and downloaded very little. As upload does not count towards the data allowance the pre-purchased 24GB was never consumed.

When the changes to OGN-R came in and it started to download traffic for rebroadcast this changed, the data started to be consumed quickly. This coincided with power issues at the airfield so the OGN-R was shutdown until we could sort the lack of power & lack of data. We have sorted the power out at the airfield now but my monitoring of the data used by ATOM at home has not been promising with large amounts download data.

I currently have a spare 4G router and access to a SIM with substantial data allowance so happy to run up my station off this for a few months. I can then post daily data usages that Vodafone record, which will be more accurate than my firewall provides.

Vince   

 
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AlanG

Re: Data consumption
« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2021, 03:28:26 pm »
Steve

I think you are missing the point of my post.
Despite the claims of the mobile network providers that they cover 99% of the country, I'm sure we've all experienced visiting places that get poor or no signal on one or more networks.   So Lee's comment about £16.00 for unlimited data is not always going to be correct, as PaulSS has experienced.  I was not referring to regional (or post code) differences in pricing by any particular network provider but that the best priced provider may not be available in some areas, due to cr@ppy signal.

Vince

Nice offer but would not want to put you to any extra effort for something that is mainly academic at the moment.
I believe some home routers are capable of reporting data usage of individual devices on the network but unfortunately my Virgin router is not that sophisticated.  I thought there may be some smaller strips that currently used, or had tried this method and found the costs prohibitive or otherwise.  :-\

Regards
Alan