Posts tagged ‘banana pi zero w’

FlightAware/SkyAware/dump1090-fa lighttp does not start after update to version 5

Today I updated my bananapi zero w running raspbian and the dump1090 flightaware software ADS-B monitor. Unfortunality the web server lighttp did not start any more after the update with an error about a line in 89-skyaware.conf. I did not accept the installer/update message to overwrite my custom files. But how can I get the maintainer versions of the conf files?

After some research I found them at So I used these files (89-skyaware.conf and 89-dump1090-fa.conf) instead and the web server started without error.

Finally I added my

server.use-ipv6 = "enable"

to the $SERVER[“socket”] of 89-skyaware.conf and my adsbox was reachable from internet again. I am at a FTTH network with global IPv6 only and use to map ipv4 public IPs to my internal network.

adsbox adsb receiver antenna rtlsdr gain

As adsbox did take too much CPU from my main server I moved adsbox to a banana pi zero w. Running Raspbian adsbox used about 200% of the 4 cores and 10% of the 512 MB headless system. That was OK for me and I wanted to extend the range of my rtlsdr antenne. I moved the antenna out side and was impressed about the exended range but nearby aircrafts did not show any more 🙁

As I want to see the nearby aircrafts, we are near düsseldorf in the landing lines and wanted the data of the aircrafts crossing the small home village 30km away from the DUS airport.

adsbox missed too much data or the rtlsdr dongle received too much signals. First I changed the adsbox call to use 4 threads for adsb decoding. That did not help.

Then I looked for the gain values to lower the reception signal strength. My rtlsdr RTL8232u supports gain values (found with rtl_test):

#Supported gain values (29): 0.0 0.9 1.4 2.7 3.7 7.7 8.7 12.5 14.4 15.7 16.6 19.7 20.7 22.9 25.4 28.0 29.7 32.8 33.8 36.4 37.2 38.6 40.2 42.1 43.4 43.9 44.5 48.0 49.6

I first started with 0.0 and got better nearby results but only a range of about 5km. Using 25.8 gives a range of 120km but too much airplanes (~39) and nearby losts. With the max gain I had more than 59 airplanes at a time. Finally I used 16.6, which still gives a range of 80km and ~5-10 airplanes.

Using the highest gain would give a very large range of ~250km but nearby signals get lost. And we ant to see mainly the nearby airplanes and now use a gain of 16.6.

The cpu usage is now down to 100% (quad core, so that is 25%) and the adsbox decocde threads are down to 15-25%.