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Author Topic: FR24 experience  (Read 3821 times)

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Offline IanH

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FR24 experience
« on: September 06, 2014, 12:25:39 AM »
I'm running an FR24 box as a result of winning a RadarSpotting competition.

Recently it died and the usual "FR24 receiver off air" e-mails arrived. Up t the loft and on checking the status, no lights were on the front panel. I suggested the PSU was dead and where could I get a new one? Thought that would be a quick fix via eBay.

Instead I received a new FR24 box but since (as I suspected) the PSU was dead, that didn't help.

When a new PSU did arrive, I thought I would check the relative performance of the two FR24 boxes to make sure the dead PSU had not affected the FR24 box.

Initially I thought the old FR24 box was faulty since after about 30 minutes there was no reception. But this also happened with the new FR24 box.

Eventually the penny dropped - I was using these boxes offline so it it clear that they "phone home" every 30 minutes. If not connected to the internet, they stop receiving. Once I connected each one to the internet, everything worked ok. In the end I sent back the dead PSU and new FR24 box - FR24 were prompt in refunding the postage.

Since not many people will ever try running the FR24 box offline, I just thought I would post this information. So don't try taking the FR24 box away on vacation. Without an internet connection it will need restarting every 30 minutes!

Ian

Offline mezoo

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Re: FR24 experience
« Reply #1 on: September 07, 2014, 09:14:46 AM »
The PSU of my RadarCape died after about 2-3 months. 
I contacted the web shop and Gunther (the developer of these receivers) quickly sent me a replacement.

About the same time the GPS reception on my FR24 box died.
After many eMails and a Teamviewer session with the FR24 support I asked Gunther about this.
During this time I repeatedly swapped the GPS antennas to see if it was a problem with the antenna

He asked me to check the antenna connector on the box, in particularly the centre pin.
After looking (very closely) I could see that the centre pin was too short and was no longer connecting to the plug on the antenna cable.
Presumably it had become slightly off centre and was later pushed back when inserting the plug.

Gunther then generoulsy sent my a new pig-tail cable.
With the approval of the FR24 staff, I opened the FR24 box and replaced the cable connecting the antenna socket  to the the circuit. (just plug and play, no soldering)

Now I'm double careful when connecting and disconnecting these mini plugs.
Maybe something to check if your reception goes down !

 mezoo

Offline Anmer

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Re: FR24 experience
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2014, 09:20:51 AM »
He asked me to check the antenna connector on the box, in particularly the centre pin.

Was this the GPS or Mode-S antenna connector?
Here to Help.

Offline mezoo

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Re: FR24 experience
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2014, 05:14:56 PM »
The GPS antenna socket.

Offline Anmer

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Re: FR24 experience
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2014, 05:28:35 PM »
The GPS antenna socket.
Thanks.

The GPS antenna won't affect the data reception.
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Offline mezoo

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Re: FR24 experience
« Reply #5 on: September 08, 2014, 08:27:25 PM »
True. Aircraft Reception is not effected by the GPS reception and was as good as ever

But as GPS is used for accurate timing the receiver is no longer useful for MLAT (for FR24 in this case).
This seens to be monitored by FR24 and you get a nice eMail notice from the support staff.

My point was more to keep an eye on these small center connecting pins of the sockets.
Not easy to see that they are not making contact - which caused a lot of head scratching in this case.