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Weatherproof antenna?

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  • Weatherproof antenna?

    I have a Raspi and tought it would be great to feed data to Flightradar24. Now, if i click on the required items i saw that i need this dongle and antenna. The antenna is described as an indoor antenna, does this matter? I`d like to put the antenna on top of the roof so it should be weatherproof Also, do i have to buy an adapter for antenna and dongle?

    Thanks for your help

  • #2
    This is an antenna that is rather low price and is weatherproof with a bit of UV resistant tape at the bottom to prevent water ingressing into the connection:
    (needs an SMA male to male adapter)
    You'll also need coax cable, CFD200 or LMR195 works well.
    Don't bend it or squeeze it to sharply.
    Get SMA terminated cable, anything that says RP-SMA is incompatible.

    There is also the Flightaware antenna which is popular, radarbox also have an outdoor antenna in their store.

    For those antennas you need appropriate cables and an dongle with SMA connection.
    (flightaware antenna needs N to SMA cable)

    You can also make an antenna yourself:

    The indoor whip antennas are very fragile and wouldn't last outside.
    The cable is prone to getting detached.
    Also they have rather poor reception.

    But whip antennas are a start and they can be modified to be quite a bit better:

    Also consider getting the green radarbox dongle, it's low priced and has good reception.
    (in tregards to reliability the rtl-sdr v3 dongle or the flightaware pro stick plus might be better)

    There are quite a few more options regarding dongles.
    Last edited by wiedehopf; 2019-06-24, 19:48.


    • #3
      I was wondering the same as I placed the antenna on my balcony. Range is ok, 140 NM depending on the direction, so I'm not really keen on replacing it as I like the fact that the small black antenna is more or less invisible.

      I'll probably just risk it, or can a short circuit brought upon by water destroy the USB dongle?


      • #4
        The antenna is not powered, it's a passive element.
        Dongles don't normally have a voltage on their output.

        You can enable it for some but you only do that with an external LNA.
        And the LNA then uses the voltage and the antenna has no voltage yet again.

        You can probably shorten the antenna as described here:


        • #5
          Originally posted by wiedehopf View Post
          The antenna is not powered, it's a passive element.
          Of course, I forgot.... It's a closed circuit anyway.

          I read about the shortening but am a bit wary to do it as some wrote it is hollow inside which would make rain a bigger problem.

          Are there any better antennas that are still relatively unobtrusive?


          • #6
            What's wrong with the white tube i linked?
            It's not very big.

            Every other antenna will be bigger.

            This is a very good antenna:

            But it's 60 cm long.

            This one is a bit shorter, 30cm:

            But it's not that much better than the rather small tube i linked a few posts before.

            The whip antennas with magnetic base are not hollow inside, it's just a wire.
            You can unscrew the top part and attach a shorter wire if you want instead of cutting the original.
            It's all explained in the thread.

            And no most ADS-B antennas are not a short circuit, they are open.