A microscopic description of Hawking radiation in sonic black holes has been recently presented (Giovanazzi S 2005 Phys. Rev. Lett. 94 061302). This exactly solvable model is formulated in terms of one-dimensional scattering of a Fermi gas. In this paper, the model is extended to account possible finite size effects of a realistic geometry. The flow of particles is maintained by a piston (i.e. an impenetrable barrier) moving slowly towards the sonic horizon. Using existing technologies the Hawking temperature can be of order of a few microkelvin in a realistic experiment.