The Re-Learning Curve, Remote GPS

Byssokol

The Re-Learning Curve, Remote GPS

Re-Learning Curve

This isn’t my first entrepreneurial rodeo, but it’s been a while. I’ve spent the past several weeks re-learning several lessons. The first of these is that platform changes are never as easy as you expect. We recently switched from using the Raspberry Pi 2 to the new Raspberry Pi 3. In theory the change should have been quite simple and a small net positive for both users and Open Flight. I ordered two of them the day they were released and put more than 25 flight hours on them before we made the switch. But – as anyone in the IT field knows – just because something works perfectly on one system (or two) is no guarantee that it will do the same on all systems – even theoretically identical semi-embedded devices like the Raspberry Pi. I re-learned the hard way that a larger sample is mandatory.

At the end of April we sent out the first 75 kits based on the Pi 3. We had approximately 25 of them mysteriously fail – no wifi. After a weekend of research it turned out to be an incredibly subtle change in the shell script command interpreter on the new Linux operating system. A script that had been working fine for months on the Pi 2 failed to work correctly on some of the new Pi 3s. A somewhat longer power cable that we shipped with the Pi 3 kits exacerbated the problem significantly. I spent the next several days writing and testing a new script. We tested it on 10 different Pi 3s from two lots. We re-imaged 250 SD cards, built up over 50 “recovery packs”, and shipped them out to anyone who had problems Pi 3. A week later we had almost everyone up and running. (If you’re not, please contact me ASAP.)

The lesson is to never, ever take for granted that something works. If we make another platform change in the future, I will round up as many beta testers as I did for the original FlightBox launch early in the year. We had close to a dozen people test-flying the first build, and we had very little in the way of trouble with it. Lesson learned. Sincere apologies to anyone who was bit by this bug.

Remote GPS

remote_gpsFor everyone who’s been waiting for a remote GPS option, the wait is over. We have 100 remote GPS units in stock and more on order. You can order them here. The list price is $35, but I am offering a one-time $10 discount to all existing FlightBox owners (anyone who has completed an order prior to to today). Please email me for your personal discount code. Before you order, please note that we’re working on a complete “remote kit” that includes the GPS as well as cables and a suction cup window mount for the ADS-B antennas. If you want the full remote solution, wait another few weeks you can save yourself a bit on shipping. The $10 discount will apply to that as well.

The remote GPS will require a bit of minor surgery on your FlightBox case. You may have noticed the U-shaped partial cut at the end of the box near the USB risers. To use the remote GPS you will need to cut out the “U” to make room for the USB plug from the GPS. I hope to publish a video showing how this is done in the next few days. The plastic is thin and it is quite simple to make the cut with an Xacto knife.

Product Changes

We’ve made the decision to phase out the VK-172 GPS module that we’ve been shipping since we launched. When they work, the VK-172s are great little GPSs, but we’ve had enough marginal performers that it makes more sense to remove it and instead offer an optional product that has top-notch quality, stateside technical support, and an RMA program. (Sending products back to China is… problematic.) We’re dropping the price of the dual band kit from $250 to $240. The remote GPS will be available as a $35 add-on, which makes it a bit more expensive than it is today – but only if you want or need the GPS feature.

(Note that any outstanding orders placed prior to today will go out with the internal VK-172. Anyone with an outstanding order qualifies for the $10 discount on the remote GPS.)

At the same time we are adding an option for high gain antennas. These are 978 MHz and 1090 MHz tuned antennas that are 1/2 wave, rather than the 1/4 wave of the stock antennas. They significantly increase the receiving power (gain) of the system, which can be useful in areas with limited ADS-B coverage. They’re rather large (about twice the size of the stock antennas) but well worth it if you’re a long way from towers and need to boost the signal. They will add $10 to the cost of a kit.

The arrangement I’ve worked out with the manufacturer only allows us to sell them as part of a kit, but they are available on Amazon. (As of this moment they are out of stock. The seller assures me that more are on the way.)

AHRS Update

I probably get five emails a week asking about the state of the AHRS project, so here’s an update. We’re making good progress. We have the initial hardware design complete and hope to get our first round of prototypes later this month. We are still working towards Oshkosh as a launch target. I will have a blog post dedicated exclusively to AHRS next week, so please check back.

 

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69 Comments so far

Jim HalcombPosted on  9:38 pm - May 10, 2016

Can I get the discount code for the remote GPS please?
Thanks
Mine seems to work fine so far (limited use in automobile!)
thanks

    Mike StirewaltPosted on  11:44 pm - May 10, 2016

    Something’s fishy here. I bought two of the little VK-172 USB GPS units off of eBay. I only needed one but bought two since they were only $13 and change. I plugged it into my laptop, opened MS Streets & Trips (2013), did the quick config routine to help the program identify the GPS, clicked on “Use GPS” and there I was. Instantly.

    Then . . . the reason I bought it . . . I plugged it into the dongle on a DELL Venue 8 Pro which runs Flight Cheetah. Instantly, in a room with a solid roof and no windows nearby, I had GPS with the program indicating I was receiving between 9 and 13 satellites. It varied between 9 and 13 in that room, I assume because the various sat arrays are always moving, some coming over the norizon, others leaving. This little thing picks up the U.S. array of GPS satellites, also Europe’s., also Russia’s, also Japan’s, and the u-Blox website mentions a couple others. I didn’t know there were so many.

    I’ve since taken this thing, plugged into the DELL tablet, in the basement, in parking garages, below the dashboard of my old Oldsmobile, into parking garages . . . everywhere I go the little green light blinks and it always shows a bunch of satellites.

    I don’t know much about electronics but I’ve had several GPS’s over the years and I’ve never seen anything like this. It doesn’t matter where you turn it off, it knows instantly where it is when you turn it on.

    If you’ve got a problem with your Flightbox, I sure wouldn’t blame it on this little VK-172. I’ve never bought anything for $14 that is as amazing as this little marvel and as for trading it for one of those clunky obsolete mag-mount puck-type GPS things in the picture – never in a million years.

    This USB GPS doesn’t need remote mounting.or to be “taken outside for 20 minutes” or the other things I’ve read. This thing works anywhere and everywhere, no matter what the obstructions. I find it quite unbelievable. I thought GPS signals were rather fragile. If so, this little USB unit senses them wherever they are, no matter what is between it and the satellites. It’s frankly mind boggling.

    I don’t have a Flightbox yet but I can tell you for sure you can take that piece of crap GPS with the cord on it and toss it in the lake.

    Mike

      ssokolPosted on  1:55 pm - May 20, 2016

      Mike,

      All of the devices you tested it with are standard computers with an unlimited supply of power flowing from the grid. The FlightBox system – and any Stratux system – operates with additional constraints. I’ve done a lot of testing and it appears that the VK-172 is, as you say, a great GPS if it has a perfectly controlled 5v power supply. The Raspberry Pi’s USB bus isn’t a perfectly controlled 5v supply. I’ve had some Pi 3s running as low as 4.7 volts with the Stratux app running. This makes it difficult for the VK-172 to get and keep a lock.

      You’re also working with a sample size of one. I’ve purchased nearly 1000 VK-172s and I’ve had to toss out nearly 100. The unit you received is one of the “good” ones. Good VK-172s can lock in quickly and hold a lock in all kinds of situations. Some of the units I’ve received never been able to get a lock when powered by my test rig with perfect voltage. A failure rate that’s measured in percent rather than PPM is unacceptable in the electronics industry. Double-digit percentages are REALLY unacceptable. Every failure, be it the fault of the VK or the Pi, is a disappointment to a customer and a mark on my reputation. I would rather avoid that.

      In an effort to avoid unhappy customers I’ve decided to go with a “clunky obsolete mag-mount puck” that can operate on a wider voltage range, locks in instantly, and has a failure rate that is (thus far) 0 PPM. If I can find an internal USB GPS that is reliable and cost effective, I will offer it.

      You should also keep in mind that the remote GPS is also desirable as it allows you to get the FlightBox off the glare shield.

      Thanks,

      Steve

ThomasPosted on  10:08 pm - May 10, 2016

Re “At the same time we are adding an option for high gain antennas. These are 978 MHz and 1090 MHz tuned antennas that are 1/2 wave, rather than the 1/4 wave of the stock antennas.”
Overseas customers can’t order these from Amazon as hey will not ship them (“This item does not ship to ……..”).
Can yo advise an other source for them that are international friendly?

Gerald LowryPosted on  10:11 pm - May 10, 2016

I have a Dual xgps150 that connects to my I pad and Foreflight via blue tooth. Can that GPS connect to this ADS-B system?

    ssokolPosted on  10:15 pm - May 10, 2016

    Gerald,

    That won’t connect directly to the FlightBox, but that really doesn’t make any difference. It sends position data to your EFB app, which what you really need. The onboard or remote GPS is a nice backup, but not required if you have another solid position source.

    Thanks,

    Steve

AMPosted on  10:24 pm - May 10, 2016

Are you going to replace the VK-172 GPS module with another internal model or will the external GPS be the only replacement for it?

    ssokolPosted on  10:28 pm - May 10, 2016

    For the moment, the remote GPS is the only option. I am looking for another internal GPS as an alternate option, but I don’t have a solution at the moment. The remote is not as elegant, but it avoids all sorts of wifi-vs-GPS issues that make it difficult to get and keep an optimal fix. Obviously it’s not impossible – cell phones and tablets have GPS + Wifi + LTE + bluetooth, but the RF engineering that goes into them is incredibly costly.

Phil cogenPosted on  10:47 pm - May 10, 2016

Has anyone been able to get the nexrad to animate on foreflight? Even when I have 5 or more frames (according to foreflight’s status page) all I get is the spinning wheel when I hit the play button. (I am fairly sure this works with a stratus). Also, I am unable to get winds aloft via ads-b, even though I see wind data messages populating in the stratus app. Has anyone else been able to get either animated radar or winds aloft?

Phil CohenPosted on  10:48 pm - May 10, 2016

I meant Stratux app. Not stratus.

Bob HathawayPosted on  10:57 pm - May 10, 2016

Is the pi3 from pi2 change something that we should do for better performance?

    ssokolPosted on  11:06 pm - May 10, 2016

    No. The Pi 2 is more than powerful enough to run the software. If you want to improve performance I would recommend the high gain antennas.

Robert MorrisonPosted on  11:47 pm - May 10, 2016

Hello SSokol: I am an original subscriber to the dual Flight Box. I am having to use my Bad-Elf to have GPS, for some reason the Flightbox stop with signal on my foreflight but does pickup all aircraft. I check to ensure the GPS is on ( using the web interface 198-xxxx etc) all is on, but no GPS out of Flightbox?

Matt PoffPosted on  12:02 am - May 11, 2016

Steve, I have one of your newer Pi 3 versions and I too would like to get the coupon code for the remote GPS although I may wait to order the kit. My Wifi appears to function fine so can I presume that it will continue to function without an issue?

Scott KelleyPosted on  12:22 am - May 11, 2016

Are you anticipating that the AHRS wil fit in the current housing?

Gary SublettePosted on  12:37 am - May 11, 2016

I would like to have the coupon for the external gps . It would be nice to locate the unit on the side panel and not on the glare shield

dave whitelawPosted on  4:29 am - May 11, 2016

I noticed that when I receive traffic on Foreflight, I lose radar coverage. When traffic is off, radar comes in as normal. Any solution? I have one of the original dual band units as an original subscriber.
Thanks
dave

mike redmonPosted on  6:13 am - May 11, 2016

Will my stratux need an update if I elect to use the remote gps? Usually, USB devices need drivers to work properly…I’m currently using v0.8r2

Mario TarverPosted on  12:35 pm - May 11, 2016

Can you send me a link so i can order these new antennas? I cant wait until you have the AHRS system ready for sell.

Steve ShephardPosted on  3:09 pm - May 11, 2016

I would also like to get the discount code for the remote GPS.

Scott WallacePosted on  4:25 pm - May 11, 2016

I would like to be a beta tester for the AHRS version once its ready…

John SchreiberPosted on  4:52 pm - May 11, 2016

Can you expound a bit regarding the longer power cable causing an issue with the wifi in combination with the shell script command interpreter? ( I get the software thing, but were you having some kind of interference with the longer cable?)

    ssokolPosted on  5:51 pm - May 11, 2016

    Sure! It’s a bit dry and geeky, but here is the full story:

    We ordered a batch of cables from our supplier. Either I or they (not sure which) accidentally selected a 6′ cable rather than the 3′ cable we had been using. The longer and smaller (i.e. the gauge of the conductors) a cable is, the greater the resistance to the flow of power. The 6′ cable had 24 gauge conductors, which are better than the standard 28 gauge conductors in most USB cables, but not quite good enough to deliver a full 5 volts to the Pi under some circumstances. Under-volting the Pi results in nondeterministic (aka “flaky”) behavior – reboots, drop outs of various USB peripherals, and occasionally (apparently) some sort of discontinuity in the way file writes are performed.

    The original version of the shell script pulled the MAC address of the Ethernet port on the Pi and used that as the unique ID in the wifi SSID. The script checked for the existence and/or validity of the hostapd.conf file, which controls hostapd – the small daemon that creates the wifi access point. The script used a series of “echo” commands with output redirection to write the hostapd.conf file. This worked perfectly well under the Pi 2 and the older version of Linux. The individual lines of text were concatenated to the file in order, without any problem.

    On the Pi 3, we found that under some circumstances – especially circumstances which involved the under-volt scenario – the file would not be properly written. The series of open / write / close operations were not “atomic” (all carried out as a single transaction) which resulted in a corrupt file. In many cases the file contained part of the data (i.e. some of the lines of configuration information). This was enough for the hostapd process to run without returning an error, but not enough to actually get the access point up and running. The result was no access point being created.

    We remedied the problem by making two critical changes. First, we moved the hostapd.conf file back to its default location on the normally read-only root partition (/etc/hostapd/hostapd.conf). It had been symbolically linked to a read/write partition, which allowed for a greater likelihood of corruption. We also revised the script to use a single echo command to open / write / close the file, rather than a series of individual echo commands. This results in a truly atomic operation.

    Once we had the fix in hand, we tested it on 10 different Raspberry Pi 3s and also on several Raspberry Pi 2s. We intentionally under-volted the devices to see if we could cause corruption to the file. We did a total of 10 reboots of each of the 10 Pi 3s and had no recurrence of the issue. I then test flew two units pulled from production stock with the new image. I used a number of different power supplies – an Anker E3, an E5, a PowerDrive 2, and a small LimeFuel battery that charges at only 1 amp. The 1 amp battery resulted in flaky behavior (wifi going up and down, no GPS lock, no or poor ADS-B reception) but the units returned to normal operation when I swapped in an adequate power supply.

    Once all of that was done, we re-imaged the 250+ MicroSD cards we had in stock and began sending out “recovery kits” to anyone who responded to the email asking about the long cable. To date, everyone who has received the recovery kit has reported successful operation after swapping cards and cables.

    At the end of the day the primary cause of the issue appears to be the non-atomic file access. The long cable simply made what would have otherwise been a latent issue into a prominent issue. We made several mistakes, all of which cascaded into the error – we didn’t catch the long cables when our contract assembler started in on the batch; we didn’t test under-volt scenarios; we didn’t run tests on a large enough sample of systems to catch the error. It doesn’t happen 100% of the time, even with an under-volt. The prescription for future releases: Do more “negative” testing. Expand the portfolio of test scenarios to include a suite of tests with under and over voltage. (Hint: over voltage by much more than 1 cooks the Pi – don’t try it at home.)

    I hope that all makes sense.

    Thanks,

    Steve

Mike RedmonPosted on  5:51 pm - May 11, 2016

If I buy my own Pi3 can I swap everything I have on the Pi2 Stratux with not problems?

    ssokolPosted on  5:56 pm - May 11, 2016

    You could, but you would need to re-image the SD card with the latest image (see the support section of the web site). To be honest, I don’t you wouldn’t see any improvement in performance – the Pi 2 is more than fast enough to do ADS-B processing. The advantage of the Pi 3 is a lower part count and an extra USB port – no separate wifi module needed.

      Mike RedmonPosted on  6:30 pm - May 11, 2016

      Yes, I’m dedicating the Stratux to aviation duty only so, no sense in having the extra features of the Pi3. I would then have to find something else for the Pi2 to do around the house or it would wind up onto the electronics junk pile!

      I’m looking at making some sort of custom mount for the hi-gain antennas & external gps to suction cup to a side window. I want to remote mount my Stratux and get it off the glareshield!

Mike RedmonPosted on  6:18 pm - May 11, 2016

If anyone is looking for just the hi-gain antennas without the SMA jumpers, they are available from the same source as pointed out in Steve’s blog above but directly and not through Amazon. They are found here for $12.50 vs. the $19.99 Amazon kit

http://stratux.danmurray.net/product/standard-antennas-2/

    Alcides DiazPosted on  1:15 pm - May 13, 2016

    I you buy it from this web-site, is it as simple as just removing the old atten and replacing it the the high gain ones? – or is there something else that is involved? What is the copper strip for?
    Sorry for all the questions.

      ssokolPosted on  5:41 pm - May 13, 2016

      The copper strip creates a “ground plane” which significantly increases the reception for this type of antenna. While it is not absolutely required, your results will be better if you install it. It simply wraps around the inside of the case (I suppose you could put it outside, but it would look funny). You pop the bulkhead connectors through and they use the tape as extra grounding surface area.

      The installation is pretty simple:
      0) Remove the top.
      1) Take off the old antennas
      2) Remove the nuts on the bulkhead connectors and remove them, being careful not to catch them on the Pi.
      3) Remove the screws in the Pi.
      4) Remove the Pi assembly from the case.
      5) Carefully remove the backing from the metal tape and adhere it to the inside of the case, making sure that you don’t cover the power, HDMI, or audio ports or the vents. Be sure to get the tape as tight as possible into the corners so you don’t have problems re-inserting the Pi assembly.
      6) Poke holes through the tape for the bulkhead connectors and any case screw holes that were covered.
      7) Re-insert the Pi assembly and secure with the screws.
      8) Route the bulkhead connectors through the holes and secure with the nuts.
      9) Replace the top
      10) Attach the new antennas. They are labeled as 1090 and 978. Remember that the 978 should go on the bulkhead connector closest to the power port.

      That’s it.

Richard SmithPosted on  3:00 am - May 12, 2016

I live in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan, Canada. Although we do not have ADS-B one does fly south on occasion and it would be convenient to a an affordable ADS-B in receiver.

I am very much interested in the AHRS feature. Will be flying to Oshkosh this year and I wonder if you plan to have some units for sale? Assuming you meet the launch target

Larry CharneskiPosted on  4:46 pm - May 12, 2016

Thanks a mil for all your efforts, I’m spreading the word! I have a dual-band on order, how do I get a remote GPS, and the remote hi-gain antennae options?

    ssokolPosted on  5:00 pm - May 12, 2016

    Hi Larry,

    Thanks for the order (which shipped out yesterday, BTW). I’ll have the full remote / high-gain kit in a few weeks. I’m waiting on the fab for a prototype of the antenna mount. If that works out as planned, it should be available in quantity a couple of weeks later.

    Cheers,

    Steve

Alcides DiazPosted on  1:11 pm - May 13, 2016

Hey steve! If I elect to purchase the external GPS unit, can I still leave the gps chip in the unit?
Will the external unit override the internal one or does the internal one have to be removed?

    ssokolPosted on  5:33 pm - May 13, 2016

    You will need to remove the existing GPS module. The Stratux software does not support multiple GPS modules, and the cut in the case that you will use to route the cable is located at the port the old module is using.

LARRY DEEMPosted on  3:38 pm - May 13, 2016

Steve I have a GPS in my flight box and in my IPAD. What benefit would I get with the remote GPS?

Also I want the longer antennas! let me know when they are available. Does it matter if the antennas are mounted vertical or horizontal?
Thanks LARRY DEEM
.

    ssokolPosted on  5:43 pm - May 13, 2016

    If you have a recent model iPad, you already have a great GPS. Get the remote GPS only if you need it – because your tablet does not have a GPS or because your tablet’s GPS gets poor reception.

    You can get the high-gain antennas from dmurray14 on Amazon now. I will offer them as part of an overall “Remote Kit” in a few weeks, but if you don’t need to remote things then go ahead and get them on Amazon.

    They really will need to be vertical. ADS-B signals are vertically polarized, and the signal drop off for an out-of-polarity antenna is quite large.

John WilsonPosted on  4:39 pm - May 14, 2016

Steve,
On my first trial flight with the (now working, thanks!) box I discovered it generates a pretty significant level of VHF “hash”, enough to intermittently break squelch on both my radios. I’ve made a couple of experimental stabs at reducing it – ferrite cores on the power cable, briefly wrapping the whole box in foil – but without significant success. Have you had any comments on this?

    ssokolPosted on  7:31 pm - May 15, 2016

    Hi John,

    I’ve had a few other users report this, and in every case the cause turned out to be the power supply rather than the FlightBox. What are you using to power your system?

    Thanks,

    Steve

      John WilsonPosted on  2:56 pm - May 16, 2016

      I have a couple of different 2-amp cigarette lighter units, both have been used previously in the plane without apparent problem, but perhaps the heavier loading is a factor. I’ll cobble up a linear 5-volt regulator and try that.

        John WilsonPosted on  9:59 pm - May 16, 2016

        Follow-up on the RF noise: You were correct, it was the plug in 5-volt regulator(s) making all the hash, it drops below the problem level with a linear regulator. That dissipates a lot of power though, so I ordered a couple of modular switching regulators to try out, higher capacity units that won’t be loaded near capacity – as well as maybe having a little filtering designed in.

JackPosted on  7:00 pm - May 14, 2016

I noticed altitude on my unit seems to be off when above 32k feet. Foreflight presents a negative altitude and flight plan go appears to go out of range. Is this a known problem? Is it the GPS unit or stratux software?

    ssokolPosted on  7:27 pm - May 15, 2016

    Hi Jack,

    I think there may be an issue in the Stratux software that causes that. I hope to have a fix in the next software update.

    Thanks,

    Steve

DavePosted on  10:34 pm - May 14, 2016

Ref the 5-13, copper strip ground plane copper strip. Could a picture be posted
showing the the metal tape laid-in after install and before re-assembly?

Antennas are available on Amazon today.

Thanks!

    ssokolPosted on  7:25 pm - May 15, 2016

    Hi Dave,

    I will post a picture of the install in a FlightBox case, hopefully tomorrow (Monday). I’ll also be putting together a video.

    Thanks,

    Steve

Robert MorrisonPosted on  7:44 pm - May 16, 2016

Steve, would like to get discount code for remote GPS.

Pete JohannesPosted on  11:07 pm - May 16, 2016

Hi Steve,
Got the Pi3 unit, and all works well, but every time I have to move anything, the fan connector slips off the pins. Is there any way to snag the connector a bit, so it doesn’t slip off when replacing the cover, etc?
Pete Johannes

    ssokolPosted on  12:56 pm - May 17, 2016

    Hi Peter,

    I’ve not had any problems with the cable coming loose – the friction of the pins usually does a good job of holding it on. You might need to rotate the fan so that the cable exit is on the side nearest the pins. Be sure that the plastic housing is pushed down all the way to the plastic base on the pin header.

    Thanks,

    Steve

John BoldingPosted on  11:38 pm - May 16, 2016

I have been told that the GPS in the Apple Pro is not WAAS capable, true or not?

    ssokolPosted on  12:58 pm - May 17, 2016

    I’m afraid I don’t know the answer to that – I don’t have an iPad Pro. To be honest, I don’t know if my iPad mini is WAAS capable, but it regularly gets down to 5 meters accuracy on ForeFlight, which is more than accurate enough for situational awareness purposes. (Please don’t try to fly an IFR approach with only a non-certified GPS.)

AndrewPosted on  3:22 am - May 17, 2016

Added hi gain antennas and internal gps won’t lock. Only 3 sat found. Good thing I have a external on order. Guess the ground plane reflects rf interfering with gps.

Pete JohannesPosted on  7:18 pm - May 17, 2016

Thanks Steve!
I ordered the hi gain antennas, and see the comment. Before they arrive, is it imperative that the Cu ground plane be installed? Has anyone else had problems with GPS and ground plane? I ordered the remote GPS antenna, but so far have had good success with the internal GPS.
Thanks again,
Pete Johannes

    ssokolPosted on  8:25 pm - May 17, 2016

    To be honest, I don’t know that the ground plane is absolutely required. Testing by several users seems to indicate that it makes a big difference, but my own tests have been rather inconclusive. With or without the metal tape, they makes a pretty good increase over the stock antennas.

Pete JohannesPosted on  8:46 pm - May 17, 2016

Thanks Steve,
I’ll give them a try when they arrive, and just skip the Cu ground plane for now. I’m in a bit of a rural area, a bit away from the nearest towers, yet get some signal on the ground in some areas. Maybe the Hi Gain antennas will be all I need.
Pete

Matt PoffPosted on  2:00 am - May 18, 2016

Hello Steve, I purchased the dual frequency unit with the early Pi 3 and later purchased the 1/2 wave antennas from Amazon. My Archer is configured with a Garmin 430W and a GTX 330ES transponder and is now ADS-b out compliant. Over the last weekend I flew along the Gulf Coast between Destin FL and Mobile AL at 2500 feet. Here is what I found: Lots of FAA stations (up to 6 at once), constant weather updates, good GPS, good WiFi, plenty of traffic. However, there were many aircraft that ATC called out, and I saw visually, but were not displayed on my iPad mini running FlyQ. I’m trying to figure out why? My understanding is I should be getting all traffic (within my puck of airspace) from the FAA stations along with the air-to-air ADS-b out traffic. It is acting like I’m only receiving air-to-air traffic. Do you or anyone else have any ideas or suggestions? An issue with the FAA stations? Does FlyQ know the difference?
Thank you for your product, Matt

    ssokolPosted on  1:22 pm - May 18, 2016

    Hi Matt,

    I wish I had a solid answer for this, but unfortunately there are many factors that impact what is available from the traffic system. Let me check with Chris Young (the Stratux project founder and lead) and see if we can come up with some answers.

    Thanks,

    Steve

Robert MorrisonPosted on  11:30 am - May 19, 2016

Hello Steve,

I would like to get the discount for remote GPS.

Thanks, Bob

Mike RedmonPosted on  6:07 am - May 21, 2016

Steve,
I like the looks of the remote antenna mount…when can we expect some units to be available? Also, since a lot of us are already investing in the hi-gain antennas, will there be a kit available for just the mount and sma extension cables and, what do you expect the prices to be for the full kit and possibly a partial kit without antennas?

    ssokolPosted on  2:30 pm - May 21, 2016

    Yes, we will offer the Remote Kit with optional upgrades including the Remote GPS and the High Gain Antennas. If you already have either or both, simply ignore the upgrade check-boxes and you’ll only get the mount and the cables.

    I expect it will be 3 weeks or so before the kits are available. Roughly mid June.

    Thanks,

    Steve

Mario TarverPosted on  4:16 pm - May 22, 2016

Any issues with the wifi not working after installing the hi-gain antennas? My wifi shows up on my ipad but doesn’t display anything and Foreflight doesnt see 0 towers. Any update I can to fix this issue?

    ssokolPosted on  5:23 pm - May 23, 2016

    I’ve never had any issue with the high-gain antennas. It sounds like your wifi is working – it shows up on the iPad. Please check the FlightBox web interface to see if you’re getting any UAT or 1090-ES messages.

    Even with the high-gain antennas you usually won’t get UAT (towers) on the ground unless you’re very near a tower.

John DonkusPosted on  11:34 am - May 30, 2016

Steve, I recently received the new replacement unit with the P3. On initial test, it fired up almost instantly. Since I had already done the interface configuration with the previous P2 unit, I did not reconnect to the 192.168.10.1. I noticed that my Ipad was draining my battery at about 1% per minute and the Ipad was getting really warm. In about 15 minutes, it shut down on high temp. When it cooled down, I turned it on and had lost GPS position. Had to shut down and re-boot. I then went into Safari and re-entered the web site info. Is this going to solve my battery drain/heat problem or do I have some type of major conflict between the flightbox and Foreflight software? Also using a 50K battery velcroed to the bottom of the flightbox which will power the box longer than my bladder will last.

    ssokolPosted on  1:35 pm - May 30, 2016

    John,

    I’ve not heard of anyone else having that problem with their iPad. I regularly get three hours out of my iPad Mini when using it with FlightBox. We (FlightBox) just send a stream of data to the iPad – nothing that would have an impact on the battery life. It sounds like there was some sort of runaway app taking up way too much power. I would kill all the apps and reboot, then start up only the things you need (typically just your EFB app).

    Thanks,

    Steve

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