A quick blog about a short flight testing PilotAware with SkyDemon

So a great day to fly on Saturday, however our microlight was booked out for the whole day, well actually it wasn’t, it was just that a booking failed to be cancel that a member of our group said they had cancelled, man vs machine! Not to worry Sunday was looking promising, but as it turned out it was not so good, rain and low cloud was the order of the day. I did get a 10 min flight in and my friend Simon and I went up for another 20 mins later too.


Hardly worth blogging about really, but I had built my PilotAware into a single case and wanted to ensure it worked so 10mins and a further 20mins was indeed worth it, well for me any time spent aloft is worth it!

So this is what PilotAware looked like before I rebuilt it:

 

And now it’s more robust in a single case:

 

 

I have also removed the casing from Both the GPS and DVB-T TV tuner dongle RTL2832U that is used for the ADS-B receiver. The ADS-B receiver runs quite hot so I have ordered some SMD heatsinks for it, but they have yet to arrive.

So on the first flight I had it wide open to all traffic and wow with the change of aerial to the “Rubber Duck” meant I could see traffic everywhere, all way out or way high! It could have also been that I had enabled the feature “Mode-CS (Beta)”.

The first thing to note was I was seeing myself as a target on my Skydemon, When back on the ground I added the Hex of our aircraft and rebooted the PilotAware, this resolved the issue of seeing myself. Next I downed the range from long to medium and the height in Skydemon from 50,000ft to 10,000.

So on our next flight and with Simon at the controls I had time to play with it and we were picking up traffic, but with the new settings the screen was a lot less crowded, however we did not see a Mode S equipped aircraft below us and landing and I’m unsure why that was, it was showing in the Traffic screens so I will be asking that question to see if it is my configuration.

Overall I would say this is a great supplement to your own lookout, which remains the primary way to observe in VFR.

Next up I have ordered a plug to connect my headset to the audio out so I get any warnings without needing to watch the screen. I will let you know how I get on with that soon.

One Reply to “A quick blog about a short flight testing PilotAware with SkyDemon”

  1. Very interesting article Adrian .I had a long chat with the PilotAware team at the Telford show today – very helpful and looks to be a very good product. How do you plan to add the audio feed to your head set?

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