Radarcape:Faq

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Q: Will you provide solutions of all the application ideas?

A: This is far outside my capabilities and it is left to some skilled people in the community. However, I will provide some basic services like 1) or some code libraries that will make Mode-S decoding easier. I most probably will also enforce the idea of peer-to-peer multilateration.

Q: How does the Radarcape perform compared to the Mode-S Beast?

A: The Radarcape got all the improvements implemented that I've learned with the Mode-S Beast, so it's performance generally is a little bit better than the Mode-S Beast, however there are influences that can let the other one look better in some cases. The main focus on the development is versatiltiy in the use cases and not performance.

Q: Will the final user still need to solder difficulty components?

A: The Radarcape will only be available as ready made unit, so no end user completion tasks are necessary.

Q: What if I am not familiar with Linux at all?

A: It much looks as if it as easy as handling of a USB stick, not more, so copying software to it and handling it from there should be easy. Updates easily can be done with a SCP tool, as described in this wiki, as another way the Radarcape while it is connected to the internet can download SW automatically. Otherwise it might be possible to supply ready preinstalled SD cards that only need to be plugged into the Beaglebone's slot.

Q: Why did you select the Beaglebone and not the Raspberry Board?

A: The Beaglebone is a device that is made for expandability while the R-Pi is a nice gadget but unfortunately does not provide some major features like a power connector or enougth signals on the extension port. Finally it cannot easily become integrated into a case, since the connectors extend to all 4 sides and are not aligned. All these are items which solution would easily eat up the cheaper price.

Q: Can I replace Radarcape Beaglebone-White with a Beaglebone-Black?

A: Older Radarcape devices use a Beaglebone-White while newers use a Beaglebone-Black. Unfortunately the Radarcape main board also use a different pinout between both versions, so swapping is not possible.

Q: Can I operate the Radarcape without GPS?

A: Yes. As long as you don't want to use the absolute GPS timestamp, the Radarcape can operate without GPS.

Q: Can the Radarcape, equal to the Mode-S Beast, decode 2 independant antenna signals?

A: Only the special Radarcape Version with diversity receiver can decode 2 channels. 4 channels however are not possible.

Q: Do I need special tools in order to operate the Radarcape?

A: No. Unlike the Mode-S Beast, which required a FPGA programming adapter in its first version, the Radarcape can be managed with software only. All you may need are some basic software tools like WinSCP or Putty.
Just for rewriting a SD card a 4GB SDHC micro SD card writer is useful, which is in many cases already part of modern computers.

Q: Will the Radarcape work without an ethernet connection?

A: Yes. You can use it like a Mode-S Beast connected over USB.

Q: Is it possilbe to power the Radarcape from USB only?

A: No. Power consuption of the whole device is about twice as much as USB can supply, so in any way of operation an external 5V supply is required.

Q: I do not see Linux help on the Radarcape?

A: The Radarcape comes with the reduced embedded root file system which does not have this feature.

Q: How can I downgrade to a old Radarcape software version?

A: Yes. You can enter a earlier version number on the Radarcape update menu to downgrade.

Q: wget does not work when trying to maintain databases

A: Try to send these commands in the command shell:

chattr -i /usr/bin/wget.wget
chmod u+rwx /usr/bin/wget.wget

Q: What are the default credentials for the web interface?

A: The default user name is Administrator and the default password is radarcape. We strongly recommend you to change the password after the first login!

Q: What are the default credentials for the SSH login?

A: This depends on which Linux Distribution you have installed. Check Advanced Linux Tasks.