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  • DVB-T USB Stick Advice

    Hey there guys, I've been using FR24 for a while now but have only recently had premium and decided that I'd like to start sharing myself.
    I live in Macclesfield, right near Manchester Airport and aircraft usually fly over or at least very nearby to my house.
    So I ordered a dvb-t stick from amazon and it works fine, I'm currently sharing as T-EGCC53 however I am yet to see my number on any aircraft on the map. I've read a few posts on here and I'm assuming that fr24 usually only displays data from the strongest source, especially if there are a lot of feeders in a certain area. As I am only using the piddly little antenna (15cm? ish?) that came with the stick, I do not get the best of signals. I have absolutely no hope of using the stick for its intended purpose of watching TV, however I would like to get an antenna to give me a lot more coverage, I'm not fussed as much about not seeing my radar id on fr24 but I would like to increase my coverage as at the moment I only get up to 15 flights at a time, with even less having location info available.

    I have no knowledge of antennas but from what I understand I need one designed for 1090MHz ideally for best 'reception' however I also would like to get one that I can use with my handheld scanner because while at night I can pick up the tower and ground at MAN, during the day I usually only hear aircraft. So really I would like to get an antenna which can be used (with adapters) for both my dvb-t stick AND my handheld scanner. Now that might not be possible, in which case please enlighten me as to how stupid I am.

    Very sorry if this is in the wrong place by the way, I figured it involves hardware so forgive me if I made a mistake.

    Thanks!

    I should mention that I live on a slight hill so my antenna, if placed on the roof or fixed to an outer wall, would be pretty high up. I will upload a picture at some point, if need be.
    Last edited by OllieJolly; 2013-08-20, 17:38.

  • #2
    Originally posted by OllieJolly View Post
    Hey there guys, I've been using FR24 for a while now but have only recently had premium and decided that I'd like to start sharing myself.
    I live in Macclesfield, right near Manchester Airport and aircraft usually fly over or at least very nearby to my house.
    So I ordered a dvb-t stick from amazon and it works fine, I'm currently sharing as T-EGCC53 however I am yet to see my number on any aircraft on the map. I've read a few posts on here and I'm assuming that fr24 usually only displays data from the strongest source, especially if there are a lot of feeders in a certain area. As I am only using the piddly little antenna (15cm? ish?) that came with the stick, I do not get the best of signals.
    1. That piddly little antenna will have pretty good range if placed high enough. I had about a 150 NM range placing it on a stick 20 ft in the air. Location, height and line of sight are the important things. Nothing is going to increase your signals from your bedroom window.

    2. In your RTL1090 program TURN OFF the RTL AGC. The reported signal strength and messages received will increase for the tracked flights. If you are not using the Beta 102 get it here. http://www.jetvision.de/download/rtl1090.beta2.zip

    3. You might have to rethink where your computer is located in the house to be closer to the dongle. Theoretically, it should be within 25 meters from your dongle. USB powered extensions connected to other USB powered extensions to make up the 25 meter maximum will not work with your dongle.

    4. Dirty Harry said, "A man must know his own limitations". Folks with a new dongle don't have any idea what their potential and limitations are because they plug it in, run the software and put the antenna in the bedroom window and flights start appearing. There are only 53 of your neighbors doing the same thing. How will FR24 give you credit?

    At the precipice, I looked before leaping. I found a website that let me find my house and create a what if from my surroundings and showed me the theoretical maximum range I could achieve with a antenna. My maximum range at different flight levels with a certain antenna height is here. http://www.heywhatsthat.com/main-090...?view=ML2O2PSQ

    On the map, select Satellite and In the Air at the top of the map. zoom out until you see the blue and yellowish squiggly lines. In practice the maximum range graphic in my basestation program is spot on what the website predicted. Find airports on the map and click on them and the graphic at the top of the page will show the locations of obstacles between you and that airport. 1090 mhz is line of sight. You will lose signal if a target moves behind an obstacle. LOS can either mean Loss of Signal or Line of Sight. Even at max range there can be dropout if the target moves behind an obstacle.
    If you are lucky enough to be at a vector intersection without significant obstructions it is possible to track from max range in+max range out, increasing the duration of tracking a particular flight without LOS. The rest of us are not so lucky but with the proper antenna selection can optimize those you can track.

    I use an Outdoor omnidirectional antenna 1090 MHz ADS-B 5 dBi From Bulgaria. It is about 50 GBP that comes with 10 meters of coax with an S connector.

    There are two others listed on Ebay in about the same price range. For the same antenna height they increase you max range about 50 NM and increase your received message rate.

    The only additional connectors needed to connect to your dongle are a SMA-Female to MCX male adapter. DO NOT order RP-SMA adapters they are reverse polarity and will not mate to regular SMA.

    John

    T-RPVD1

    http://fr24.com/9.08,124.39/7

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    • #3
      1: RTLSDR mini R820T (look for a MINI! http://x264.nl/dump/rtlsdr_big-mini.jpg) > ebay.com "r820t" ( http://www.ebay.com/sch/i.html?_trks...at=0&_from=R40 )
      2: Antenna, a very cheap and easy to make groundplane: http://x264.nl/dump/ads-b-antenna-gr...ane-proper.jpg (search on this forum for more info, vertical and radials 6.54cm) Edit: searched for you: http://forum.flightradar24.com/threa...ll=1#post28006
      3: use ADSB#! ( http://sdrsharp.com/index.php/downloads ) with ADS-B# you get much much better range and much better sensitivity. Other programs "borrow" code from this program, but still cannot compare, test for yourself! Use with http://www.virtualradarserver.co.uk

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