Tracking planes and starting a new wood project!

Hello world wide web!

Since it’s been a couple of months since I had posted anything, I thought it’d be fun to share some updates on where I’m at with the project I mentioned last post, along with a new project I started this fall!

With the flight data project, I ordered the flightaware USB stick, along with an ADS-B antenna from Amazon, and installed the packages from Flightaware onto my Raspberry Pi! The site said you needed at least a Raspberry Pi model 2b, but I was able to get it working on my 1b, as long as I had a wifi dongle connected!

A few more minutes of tinkering later, I had my PiAware online and picking up plane signals! Currently, because of where I have the pi setup, along with the limitations of my antenna (I bought a cheap one…), my range is only about 50 miles for flight data. Thankfully, I live close enough to our local airfield, to where I’m still able to see tons of planes taking off and landing!

I still have to figure out the connection from Flightaware to other node-red for grabbing flight data and sending it off either in a text format or email. There’s a node-red node out there for Flightaware (node here), but I haven’t been able to get any relavent data from the node yet, so it’s still a working progress.

In other project related news, I picked up some old bowling alley wood off of someone on craigslist, and I’m itching to make this thing into a new coffee table!

Piece of Bowling alley wood I picked up off of Craigslist.

This is my first time working with bowling alley wood, and man is this tough! Sanding wasn’t too big an issue, but because of how thick the wood is, combined with how many nails are in each piece, it makes this really hard to cut and shape the way I want! Here are a couple of pictures of me trying to pry off one of the outer pieces of wood that has a chunk taken out of it.

My current work environment (having power problems in my garage)

Prying this piece of wood off has been the bane of my existence!

My jigsaw blade after trying (unsuccessfully) to cut through one of the nails holding this thing together. Note the blade teeth that were completely flattened out!












I think this will definitely be worth the struggle though, once I finished sanding the original finish off, this was already starting to look great! I just bought some polyurethane/stain to darken up the wood a little bit and put a protective coating on the wood. I also picked up a miter box and miter saw to cut some miter corners for some wood panels I want to put on the unfinished sides of the table. Then, all it takes is a few metal hairpin table legs, and this thing is good to go!

I’ll keep you updated as I make more progress both on the airplane receiver, and the coffee table. In the meantime, have a happy holiday season!



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