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Dying FR24 receiver / support limitation / Requesting advice

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  • Dying FR24 receiver / support limitation / Requesting advice


    I host a FR24 receiver (Flight Radar provided) for a little more than 2 years now.
    Until last year everything was fine, but I can now see that my receiver performance is going down month after month and I'm not able to fix this.

    I build some stats for a long time now and a picture would tell more than words:

    As you can see, this is not a good trend at all...

    More annoying, the receiver behaviour is very erratic, with sudden drops and recovery of tracked planes (From 15 to zero in less than 1 minute, and back).

    When comparing to a small DVB stick / small antenna running on a Raspberry, the FR24 receiver is BEHIND in terms of number and quality of tracked planes. Which is insane.

    Nothing has change in my environment, I still have a very good view, way above the roofline. I went to my roof 4 times in 3 months, I've check the antenna, coax, cable, self-amalgamating tape, ... and everything looks fine.I did the same on the receiver side, of course.

    FYI, I'm a former avionics engineer and I think I know about antennas and receivers. Which does not mean I did not miss something obvious at some point, especially because I lack test instruments and spare parts ...

    I now receive automated emails from FlightRadar24 to inform me that my "coverage range has decreased substantially" but, when explaining what my issue is and asking for help, the support replies "The receiver is sending both ADS-B and Mode-S. If there was any problem with the receiver then it wouldn't send any thing at all". Which does not help, I'm afraid

    So, I'm really running out of options here. The receiver is sending some tracks (10 times less than before), but unless it's totally dead, the support can not help. Is there something I should do to improve or fix things? I would love to try a spare antenna but I don't have any and don't want to buy one just for that and the support seems reluctant (not to say more) to provide one.

    Perhaps someone has already encountered such a situation before me and can provide direction?



  • #2
    I have exactly the same problem and my gut feeling is that the cable has been damaged - probably by white cockatoos who will eat anything - and allowed water to get into the cable. I can measure a resistance of about 10M across the SMA connector.

    I will have to disassemble the antenna and try to dry out the cable.


    • #3
      Your chart does show that things are better in the summer months, so it certainly could be corrosion by rain in the antenna or cable?
      Surely you could knock up a coat hanger special just as a test straight in at the back?
      James Lazzari BSc (Hons)