I am a pilot using a Pi 3 as an ADS-B receiver for a gyroplane. It works really well provided I don't try to have the Pi mounted to the aircraft anywhere. As soon as I do, the vibration seems to cause an intermittent power problem and the Pi keeps failing.

I suspect the issue is the micro-USB connection. Because there are two SDR receivers plugged into the Pi 3's USB connections and they consume a fair bit of power, the power consumption of the unit is between 1 and 2A. I had thought of using TTL connectors to the header to power the Pi instead of the micro-USB but I gather this may not work for that level of current.

Any suggestions how to provide reliable, vibration-immune power?

  • What method are you currently using for mounting the Pi to the aircraft? I'm sure there is a way of making a simple anti-vibration mount. A quick fix would be to fix any electrical connectors in place with some electrical tape. But, that might put to much stress on the connectors. – Darth Vader Jun 5 '17 at 7:34
  • I was using velcro, to provide some damping. That didn't work so I tried just using foam rubber, but even that had the problem. – chipchap42 Jun 6 '17 at 7:10
  • There's no such thing as TTL connectors. TTL is a logic IC family from the eighties which essentially interprets a voltage below 0.5V as "LOW" and above 2.4V as "HIGH". – Dmitry Grigoryev Feb 11 at 9:04

I've heard that the SD card can also have problems with vibration, and that one solution is to use a little hot glue. Connecting power at the header bypasses the fuse and other protections, so if you're going to solder on your own power connector, then it's ideal to connect it at the micro USB point. More info here: How do I supply power through the GPIO?

  • Thx - I'll try that. I did notice that the way the Pi3 holds the SD card doesn't seem nearly as robust as the Pi2. – chipchap42 Jun 6 '17 at 7:11
  • While on a plane, you absolutely need short circuit protection on power supply level, not on Pi level, so the polyfuse inside the Pi has little purpose. It won't hurt of course, but relying on it for actual protection is a bad idea. – Dmitry Grigoryev Feb 11 at 9:12

If anyone's interested in this still, the answer was to solder the power connections directly to the header inside the RPi. This solved it completely and I just stopped using the micro-USB.

  • Please accept your own answer with a click on the tick on its left side. Only this will finish the question and it will not pop up again year for year. – Ingo Feb 11 at 12:04

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