PilotAware Classic to Rosetta

Being an I.T. person I like nice new shiny things so when PilotAware announced their Rosetta version needles to say I wanted one! As I already had a classic which I had “improved” on by drilling out a Stratux case and using the Stratux low power SDR (software defined radio – used to receive the ADS-B transmissions on 1090Mhz) I restrained myself from buying one until PilotAware announced an upgrade path for us classic owners, now the lure was just too great to resist. So on the first day of the upgrade becoming available to Joe public I ordered one and sent my classic bridge board back special delivery to speed the exchange up.

Two days later my kit arrived and is pictured below. Essentially it is what I had already achieved: Stratux case, low power SDR which identifies its self as a PilotAware, but then so does my Stratux one when I plug it in, so the main difference for me is the bridge board, which now fits the case and thus gives support to the aerials (technically its one aerial and one antenna, I have known this all along as I hold a G6 amateur radio licence and I’m also a BMAA inspector for avionics, but recently I was corrected, so if anyone is interested an aerial only receives where an antenna transmits and can also receive). So a new bridge board and I also took the opportunity to upgrade the Raspberry PI to a 3B (note the 3B+ is not supported as type this) the advantage of the PI change is more speed, quicker boot times and intergraded WIFI, one less USB dongle.

Official PilotAware build instructions can be found here http://www.pilotaware.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/CLASSIC-UPGRADE.pdf

PilotAware Rosetta DIY kit

a couple of minor changes I made during the build were to cut the label so as to not cover any ventilation holes and I kept my 5dbi 1090 aerial, the kit includes a 3dbi aerial.

A PilotAware forum post states that there are external screen and an attitude and heading reference system (AHRS) on the horizon (pun intended!), I’m assuming, but I don’t know, that the new bridge board may be needed to support the AHRS, although other systems are doing this from GPS data, I guess time will tell.

So its all put together now and I will be test flying it later this week, weather gods and work allowing!

I will report back.

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