FR24 - Stations in Limpopo

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CJW
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:17 pm

FR24 - Stations in Limpopo

Post by CJW » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:04 pm

Hallo everybody, I'm a aviation fanatic, pilot and also enjoy following ac on FR24.

Where to begin . . . I operate an aircraft with a mode s transponder (D2B400) from FAQR, but due to the fact that the terrain is quite mountainous, I struggle to track the aircrafts flight in close proximity to FAQR. Only from an altitude of about 7500ft do the stations start to pick up the signal. This weekend I flew to FATI and only part of the flight was captured and interestingly enough by ?F-FAWB1? whilst I understand that there is a station at FAPI, which is far closer than FAWB. So as to try and expand coverage in this area I am considering hosting a station for FR24, I have already applied and they replied with a questionnaire to complete. I do however have some questions and thought it best to rather trouble you guys with them instead of FR24. So here goes:

1. Does anybody know of any stations in my vicinity eg Warmbad, Nylstroom, Naboomspruit, Vaalwater?

2. What are the chances for me to be considered hosting a station specifically with regards to the mountainous terrain around our town?

3. Realistically how far does the stock standard FR24 system provide coverage? I know line of sight is essential. My aim is to mount the antenna on a mast of about 3 metres.

4. Is the station provided a "plug and play" system? I am worried that I will have to do some stuff on the computer to get it working and being a boertjie, I struggle with the computer and all its quirks.

5. I understand that I simply have to plug in the device at my router and there is no need for a computer to be running as well?

6. How do one mount the GPS device so that half the sky is visible to it without the elements, sun and rain, taking its toll on the device?

7. Finally, for now, how much data is used by the system?

Thank you in advance.
CJW

Great Dane
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Re: FR24 - Stations in Limpopo

Post by Great Dane » Mon Apr 03, 2017 2:53 pm

Welcome

Can't answer many of your questions, but it would be great with a Waterberg receiver. I think you are the first in the area, so don't expect too many light aircraft to show up, as if they often have the simpler Mode-S transponders, and they would need to be contacted by more receivers simultaneously to show position. ZU-FHR should be fine though as ful l ADS-B :ThumbsUp:

If nothing in the way you will easily get 100+ nm coverage but as you say depends much on terrain. I get around 100 nm to the northeast, but can't see aircraft landing at Waterkloof 4 nm away due to a ridge in between. This is all on a older receiver with the supplied antenna from my window. Elevated position gives the best improvement. To my knowledge better antenna or amplifier haven't made to much difference generally.

Think there is a high chance you will be considered, assume you will have pretty good views from east to south, also areas where MLAT coverage could be improved.

/Michael

CJW
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:17 pm

Re: FR24 - Stations in Limpopo

Post by CJW » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:14 pm

Thank you G D.

100nm+ wow, that seems impressive. If I do install the station it would be great for coverage to the S, SE and E of town, N will have limited coverage for ac at lower altitudes. To the E coverage would be very limited due to the close proximity of the Waterberg mountain range.

I don't quite understand the workings of MLAT, but do know that is also for mode s transponders?

Great Dane
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Re: FR24 - Stations in Limpopo

Post by Great Dane » Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:23 pm

CJW wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 3:14 pm
I don't quite understand the workings of MLAT, but do know that is also for mode s transponders?
Not the technical type, so can't give you the details, but where the aircraft transponder doesn't give position, MLAT is used to estimate a position for the aircraft (assuming it is sort of cross reference). The more receivers that can see the aircraft the more precise the estimation.

CJW
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Re: FR24 - Stations in Limpopo

Post by CJW » Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:49 pm

Not the technical type, so can't give you the details, but where the aircraft transponder doesn't give position, MLAT is used to estimate a position for the aircraft (assuming it is sort of cross reference). The more receivers that can see the aircraft the more precise the estimation.
But still only works with mode s transponders?

Great Dane
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Re: FR24 - Stations in Limpopo

Post by Great Dane » Tue Apr 04, 2017 7:22 am

CJW wrote:
Mon Apr 03, 2017 6:49 pm
But still only works with mode s transponders?
Yes, to my knowledge at least :Wink:

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Bell 407
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Re: FR24 - Stations in Limpopo

Post by Bell 407 » Wed Apr 05, 2017 4:04 pm

Hi CJW and welcome,

My take on some of your questions above:

(1) Not that I can determine so you should be considered for hosting a site.

(3) Obviously terrain and other obstructions will affect receivability so the higher the better. Just be careful of lightning strikes.

(4) Yes it is. Quite simple really. They supply you with login details and you access the unit via your browser and away you go.

(5) Yes it plugs directly into your router once setup on your PC.

(6) I think the GPS receiver is built into the antenna unit so wherever you put the antenna, that will ensure good reception.

(7) Probably not much where you are as the amount of flights traversing that region is not high.

Hope this helps.

CJW
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Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2017 12:17 pm

Re: FR24 - Stations in Limpopo

Post by CJW » Fri Apr 07, 2017 9:10 am

Thanks Bell 407.

I have decided to go ahead with the application, but first need to get up on the roof to take the pictures required.

How do you guys mitigate the possibilities for a lightning strike? I want to mount the antenna on a pole of about 3 metres on top of the roof.

Regards

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Bell 407
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FR24 - Stations in Limpopo

Post by Bell 407 » Fri Apr 07, 2017 2:26 pm

From what I hear, hosters usually disconnect the antenna whenever there is serious storm activity around.

At 3m that would be great height for reception but I suspect will be asking for trouble during bad storms. Best you can do is to disconnect whenever serious stuff is around.

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