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I'd like some recommendations to buy an antenna, not build one

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  • Imaduffus
    replied
    I am looking for the flightaware stick plus in our second hand online stores in Germany and have a "searching agent" running. No success so far.

    Maybe I will get the radarbox stick without the antenna, catch up the signal with the SK antenna mentioned here with the good cable, until FlightAware Stick is available again.

    Leave a comment:


  • f14driver
    replied
    Alternative might be a airspy mini but that needs an addtional LNA and the cost is twice as high as the prostick plus.
    Availabilty is an issue in all of europe at the moment, maybe look for a 2nd hand dongle ?
    Other SDR's like Radarbox or RTL-SDR v3 can give good results (I have them both as a back-up and have tested them) but in my opinion they are not as good as the Flightaware pro stick.

    Leave a comment:


  • Imaduffus
    replied
    Hi again, software ist running nicely. I have good results so far, I'd say. I tried to get my fingers on Flightaware Plus Stick, but availability in Germany is very bad right now. Is there any alternative for this stick, that I can purchase with amazon prime? There are some options, but the ad text always provide informations, which might not be realistic or even wrong. Maybe someone has good experience with other sticks? Thanks alot!

    Leave a comment:


  • f14driver
    replied
    Dump1090-FA has the autogain option indeed. The set gain of 60 indicates that this is the top of the scanning range.
    It is not the actual set value for your system.

    As indicated by Graphs1090 you are at 49.6 indeed which a normal value.
    The modification isn't in the config file since it measures every hour to see what your best gain setting is starting from 60 downward or if needed upward from a lower value.

    Check your graphs over time to see what the percentage of strong messages does. 5% or lower is usually the best option depending on your location. Living close to an airport it might be higher and still ok.
    Have fun analyzing to see how your can tune and/or tweak

    Leave a comment:


  • Imaduffus
    replied
    hi f14drive, thanks again. Concerning to optimize gain, I was able to update my dump1090 to latest 1090-fa (Skyaware 9.0) and since 6.0 autogain seems to be enabled.
    grafik.png

    So over time, I will see, what gain will be set up (or not).


    based on graphs, it seems that he already modified it from 60 to 49.6, but i cannot see this modification in the config file.

    grafik.png
    Last edited by Imaduffus; 2024-01-21, 13:54.

    Leave a comment:


  • f14driver
    replied
    I never said that the Radarbox equipment is bad, I do think there are better alternatives in regards to hardware

    FR24 image uses dump1090-mutabilty and that one isn't maintained anymore.

    I don't use images from FR24 or Flightaware but I use a package installation on top on an operating system.
    I have a lot of different OS's running depending on the hardware.
    I use Raspberry Pi's, Orange Pi's ( different hardware) and Thin Clients to get my feeders ( I have 15) up and running.
    OS's used are Raspberry Pi OS, Armbian (Orange Pi's) and DietPi Linux for the Thin clients.

    On top of that I install the FR24 and Flightaware software.
    I always start with Flightaware and add FR24 later.
    That way I have the maintained dump1090-FA and then I don't need the dump from FR24 next to it.

    I use FA SDR dongles and filters, I have 2 Radarbox SDR's an also a ADSB Exchange SDR.
    I have also a wide range of antennas connected to the SDR's ranging from 3 dB up to 9 dB enhancement.
    Some are located indoor, others are placed outdoor.

    In order to have a better understanding of your gain settings and the effects of them you should download Graphs1090.


    This will tell you how your setup is performing.
    One important graph is the percentage of strong messages. Ideally your percentage will be 5% or less depending on your location.
    After 24 hrs you get a view on how your site is doing.
    Then you might want to adjust the gain.

    With the setting in your screenshot your site is on maximum gain (-10 is the maximum gain setting) and that might lead to losing longer range signals.
    For example I have one Radarbox SDR configured with 40.2 dB gain and the other one is ate 58.6 dB (AGC or -10).
    It all depends on the location

    Supported gain vaules are:
    Supported gain values (29):
    0.0 0.9 1.4 2.7 3.7 7.7 8.7 12.5 14.4 15.7 16.6 19.7 20.7 22.9 25.4 28.0 29.7 32.8 33.8 36.4 37.2 38.6 40.2 42.1 43.4 43.9 44.5 48.0 49.6​ 58.6

    Leave a comment:


  • Imaduffus
    replied
    Hi again, and thanks alot for your fast replies. I really appreciate that. I need to correct myself about my post https://forum.flightradar24.com/foru...one#post223283 here. Installation was at a place of my friend (https://www.flightradar24.com/accoun...tats/?id=50520). He is close to Darmstadt, where some hills blocks directions.


    On my station (https://www.flightradar24.com/accoun...tats/?id=36560) I had installed this cute testing setup: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B0B1B3V96B before yesterday midday I installed https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07TZG3KMQ RadarBox Setup on my roof. Same setup as my friend 25nm to the south from me.

    So far it looks pretty well but yea, we have clear weather over entire Germany right now.Windy 20012024-0935.jpg

    and so even with the "bad" cables of RadarBox I have nice data yesterday after installation around 1pm until now.
    T-ETID289 20012024-0934.jpg

    Range boosted over 200nm and I got tons of more messages compared to my previous setup and the same setup to my friend.

    So basicaly, as written in so many posts: Is mostly to all about location.

    What I have not tested yet is, how to modify gain values. I am pretty new to pi and linux and have basically no idea. I found some instructions how to setup range circles and the "maximum theoretic ranges" of my radar at FL400 by simply copy/paste stuff and yea, reading the inputs. But it seems that FR24 basic image has a discontinued dump1090 (EB version?) file and as far as I understand its not recommended to simply "paste" dump1090-fa" over it to get more modification options.

    But right now I does not seem necessary to get another dump1090 version, right? Playing around with gain in this setting option:
    FR24 feeder settings.jpg


    I wonder if my "messages per seconds" are okay and if I should modify anything in the software, like gain. I am still interested in getting better results with the hardware you recommended.


    Leave a comment:


  • f14driver
    replied
    Hi, that cable is fine.

    The cable loss becomes a factor when you are running cables longer then 10 meters. So a decent SMA tot SMA cable (Male to Female) between SDR and filter should be fine. You could connect the filter directly to the SDR receiver so that you don't need a cable between them.

    So you need a LMR 400 SMA male to N male cable between the filter and the antenna
    Second you can either connect the filter directly to the SDR or use a short SMA male to SMA female cable between the SDR and the filter.
    Last edited by f14driver; 2024-01-19, 08:04.

    Leave a comment:


  • Imaduffus
    replied
    Hey again and thanks alot,

    do I understand right, that I need a good isolated cable only between the antenna and the SMA filter? Distance 2-3m.
    I would take this one for the isolated part:

    which comes in different length.db loss/m is indicated at 900MHz->0.128 1800MHz->0.198. I don't know if those numbers are good, but there does not seem to be big differences between KMR and (S)LMR​.


    From SMA filter to ADS-B receiver range is very short, below 1m, so I would get a versy short cable. There I dont need a good isolation? Actually I cannot find 400 (KMR/SLRM) isolated cables shorter than 1m. I guess its not necessary then?
    If isolation is not that important between filter and receiver I woult take a very short cable like those:
    https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08X23FJ4F (15cm)

    If isolation is needed, I would maybe take this one but it has no KMR/SLMR declaration:
    https://www.amazon.de/dp/B08KXWTPBB (50cm)
    or better this one?
    https://www.amazon.de/Stecker-Koaxia...dp/B0BQGR5C8X/ which has 5D-FB Isolation?



    For both cables I definitly need N connection to SMA connection, both male connectors. Berrybase proposes this one: https://www.berrybase.de/adapterkabe...n-stecker-rg58 but I guess its not highly isolated. rg58 is worse in isolation than LRM/KMR 400 and 5D-FB
    Last edited by Imaduffus; 2024-01-18, 13:38.

    Leave a comment:


  • f14driver
    replied
    All components are fine except for the cable. This has the RP SMA option and that won't work. You will need a SMA to N cable but not with the RP option since this doesn't have a center pin that you do need in order to get signals from the antenna.
    this one should be ok

    Leave a comment:


  • Imaduffus
    replied
    Hey f14driver, sounds very good to me, thanks alot.

    What do you think of this setup:
    https://www.berrybase.de/flightaware...ass-sma-filter 20€
    https://www.berrybase.de/flightaware...ads-b-receiver 29€
    https://www.berrybase.de/flightaware...enne-26-5.5dbi 54€

    And since my pi is directy under the rooftop, I wont need a cable this long, but I would maybe get this cable 2-3m
    https://www.amazon.de/Koaxial-LMR-40.../dp/B09SDF1FZ3 20€

    So budget needed for this would be 123€ total, which I would afford.
    Thanks alot


    Leave a comment:


  • f14driver
    replied
    In terms of the receiver you might want to opt for the Flightaware Prostick Plus combined with the Flightaware filter. In my expierence they perform better then the Radarbox setup. Additionally you might want to get LMR 400 cabling from the antenna to the receiver, depending on the distance between them. This isn't possible with the Airnav antenna since the cable is molded into the housing.
    There are other options as well and they are all different in price and performance. It al comes down to your budget and also the location. If you have strong signals nearby from mobile cell towers or other transmitters near your frequency that might impact your reception as well. Hence the filter advice.

    Leave a comment:


  • Imaduffus
    replied
    Originally posted by dir View Post
    Thanks for that advice. I bought the EU one since it's a newer model. I wasn't sure what you meant by problems shipping to the US but since I live in Canada I figured I'd try. Shipping cost CA$25 and the antenna arrived today, so it only took 7 days from order to door. I also ordered the low-loss 10m cable they recommend.

    I've installed it on my roof attached to a 2" PVC pipe and I now have the cable dangling off my roof approximately where I want it. I'm now searching online for a guide on what else needs to be done. While there seem to be plenty of guides for DIY cantennas and a few for DIY co-linear builds, nobody seems to have written much about what needs to be done for installing one.

    Apart from the obvious "attach it to the top of something sticking up, on your roof", I get the impression that there's quite a bit more involved. I'll make another post in here to see if anyone can point me to existing guides. I've spent an hour seaching online and I'm now an expert in installing TV antennas or cutting coke cans, but alas still ignorant of what I seek.
    Hey dir,

    I am also new to this and I installed my Pi so far, everything is fine. I tested small room antennas and this bundle: https://www.amazon.de/dp/B07TZG3KMQ but I could not crack the 130miles altough I am high on the ground and I checked the max possible range.

    Which receiver should I attach to your recommended antenna and could I simply plug it into the pi via USB? Thanks alot!
    You do not have permission to view this gallery.
    This gallery has 1 photos.

    Leave a comment:


  • gw3wcv
    replied
    Hi, did you receive any helpful advice on mounting this antenna? Like using stainless steel mounting hardware; self amalgamating tape for weatherproofing connectors; securing feeder cable to prevent excess movement in wind; being careful not to exceed the bending radius of the cable, mounting height?? Forget the alarmists about lightning protection, it is has a glass fibre radome and need only be mounted at a height where it can "see" down to the horizon at 0degrees. Any higher is pointless for your location.
    Hope it is all working well for you.

    Leave a comment:


  • dir
    replied
    Thanks for that advice. I bought the EU one since it's a newer model. I wasn't sure what you meant by problems shipping to the US but since I live in Canada I figured I'd try. Shipping cost CA$25 and the antenna arrived today, so it only took 7 days from order to door. I also ordered the low-loss 10m cable they recommend.

    I've installed it on my roof attached to a 2" PVC pipe and I now have the cable dangling off my roof approximately where I want it. I'm now searching online for a guide on what else needs to be done. While there seem to be plenty of guides for DIY cantennas and a few for DIY co-linear builds, nobody seems to have written much about what needs to be done for installing one.

    Apart from the obvious "attach it to the top of something sticking up, on your roof", I get the impression that there's quite a bit more involved. I'll make another post in here to see if anyone can point me to existing guides. I've spent an hour seaching online and I'm now an expert in installing TV antennas or cutting coke cans, but alas still ignorant of what I seek.

    Leave a comment:

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