New antenna for 1090, Dump1090 running on Raspberry Pi Zero

delta_charlie

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Hi all decided to re-configure my ADS-B station. It is now running on a Raspberry Pi Zero mounted remote at the new FlightAware 1090 antenna.

I have a FTA Ku band dish mounted up above roof level on a mast that is the perfect spot for a small light antenna. Only problem was the dish was in the way so I came up with a simple light duty offset bracket to hold a section of 3/4 inch conduit parallel to the main mast. When I first tried the bracket it could not hold any weight without dropping down so I came up with a quick fix - use a piece of tile hanging wire as a cross brace. Worked great and is now stiff enough to do it's job.

Below are some pictures and a screen shot of the output of htop on the little zero. It's working hard but is able to keep up.

The new antenna is really pulling in the transponders now.
 

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Jim S.

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What's that antenna? I never thought a Pi Zero would be fast enough for any kind of SDR application, I'm tempted to give it a try!
 

delta_charlie

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What's that antenna? I never thought a Pi Zero would be fast enough for any kind of SDR application, I'm tempted to give it a try!
It's the FlightAware collinear 26 inch for 1090 MHz. It's been working great. 6700 from 100 > 150 and 203 150 > 200 miles on my last stats check.

BTW - I'm using a standard Nooelec mini 2+ (no built in amp for 1090)

If you want to give it a go try the lite version of Raspberry OS (no window manager/display)

GQRX can be setup to run on the desktop and use TCP to connect to the Raspberry. If you want to play around with general scanning and SDR stuff. This is a great way to go on the UHF and up frequencies as the Raspberry can be mounted close to the antenna with a short section of coax with much lower loss.

If you want to setup a FlightAware station be aware that during the install it will be set to run automatically at boot and this grabs the rtl-sdr preventing GQRX from using it.

My current setup is a Zero W for the FlightAware station and a Pi 3 B for the general GQRX scanner.

I can watch the aircraft on the map while I listen to the local airport tower and traffic.
 
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delta_charlie

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I use that antenna on a Pi4. My range is 250 mile northeast and southeast But mountains block my Nw ans SW view. I can track until the are aproaching on the other of the mountain range.
That's excellent range. I'm not seeing that far, not sure if it's the dongle - no built in amp for 1090MHz or the tall oaks all around. Still getting more then enough as I'm directly under the ILS for KMCO. The other day during a hard rain storm I was still tracking the big boys coming in during IFR conditions.
 

Comptech

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I think the range comes from my antenna location. It's mounted 5 feet above my chimney witch on my house would be about 50 foot up.
Ran the RG6 Quad shield about 20 feet to a upstairs bedroom. The Pi sits up there by itself and works away.
 

Comptech

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And of course I just went to take a screenshot, but as far as I can see right now with the rements of hurricane sally and tons of rain is Roanoke Va and Raleigh NC with Raleigh just shy of 200 miles.
Will take one this weekend with clear weather.
 
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