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Antenna for ACARS and listening to ATC with DVB-T dongle

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  • rueckwaertsflieger
    replied
    Originally posted by WeKnowMC View Post
    If only it was that easy...
    Things go easy if you simply search yourself. ACARS frequencies lie within the general air communication band 118 - 137 MHz.
    http://www.acarsd.org/ACARS_frequencies.html
    Any air communication radio antenna will do the job.



    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Sirio-GPA-10...IAAOxyf~hRyUkc

    Leave a comment:


  • WeKnowMC
    replied
    Originally posted by K5TED View Post
    If only it was that easy... I had my eyes on the VHF Air Vertical Outdoor Base Antenna but sadly it cant be shipped to the UK. The only that can is the Air Omni UHF/VHF Base Antenna which I'm not sure if I want to spend that much money on :/.

    Leave a comment:


  • K5TED
    replied
    Originally posted by WeKnowMC View Post
    I could only dream to afford one of those antennas . I'm still not too keen in building my own antenna. Are there any decent antennas that are within 100 that will work well with ACARS?
    http://www.dpdproductions.com/page_vhf_air.html#airomni

    Take your pick.

    Leave a comment:


  • rueckwaertsflieger
    replied
    Originally posted by WeKnowMC View Post
    ...Are there any decent antennas that are within 100 that will work well with ACARS?
    Try this one:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Base-antenna...EAAOSwd0BV5EO-
    or this one:
    http://www.ebay.com/itm/Base-antenna...4AAOSwHjNV7oZO
    from seller stanislavpalo130
    Recently I bought an ADS-B antenna from him. Looking somehow cheap, but mechanically decent design, electrically good.
    In any case, take care for the cable connector. Ask the seller, if not specified. Having stated not being keen in building antenna, I suppose you won't assemble cable connectors? So buy the right one.

    For further investigation: Any aviation communictaion band antenna should work, as ACARS uses normal VHF communication frequencies. The aviation band is 118-137 MHZ.

    Leave a comment:


  • WeKnowMC
    replied
    I could only dream to afford one of those antennas . I'm still not too keen in building my own antenna. Are there any decent antennas that are within 100 that will work well with ACARS?

    Leave a comment:


  • abcd567
    replied
    .
    A 2m band (144 to 148 Mhz) J-Pole + 1090 Mhz Franklin

    Originally posted by lutorm View Post
    I finally got my antenna up on the roof:


    I'm now getting 500+ km tracks out over the ocean and wider coverage compared to having it in the window.

    Leave a comment:


  • K5TED
    replied
    Originally posted by WeKnowMC View Post
    If we just forget about the cost for a minute, what would be the best antenna for ACARS? Also, I'm still debating whether to actually build an antenna or buy a pre-built one. Are there any decent pre-built antennas for ACARS out there?
    Sure: http://www.antennaexperts.in/product-detail.asp?id=18

    Leave a comment:


  • WeKnowMC
    replied
    If we just forget about the cost for a minute, what would be the best antenna for ACARS? Also, I'm still debating whether to actually build an antenna or buy a pre-built one. Are there any decent pre-built antennas for ACARS out there?

    Leave a comment:


  • K5TED
    replied
    This all got me to cogitating.. :-)

    This is something I've been wanting to try for while...

    On a recent hobby store excursion I saw some brass tubing stock, all different diameters. It's not particularly expensive. I believe, using a high quality SO-239 connector, that it would be possible to build a nice groundplane antenna from this.

    Ground radials could be soldered on in 'pinwheel fashion', and the vertical radiator would be a size that can be solder tinned on the inside, then tin the SO-239, slip the radiator over, then reheat and 'sweat' together. Let cool. Enjoy.

    This wouldn't likely be a performance improvement over the tried and true brazing rod approach, but simply an exercise in, "will it work?"

    An even fancier approach might be to use a SO-239 bulkhead type connector, and a brass fender washer drilled out to the connector size, then solder the ground radials to the fender washer. 4, 8 10, whatever. Once that is all put together, use a small, say, 1/2" PCV cap with a element sized hole in the middle, slide over the vertical element to cover the center pin solder point, maybe glue it on there with some RTV, polish the whole thing off then spraypaint with suitable outdoor Krylon. The pole mount could then be integrated with the fender washer easily enough.

    It'd be easy to build a jig for the element placement and bulk soldering, and also to give the final 'bend' to the elements. For mass production.


    Brass antennas are common in military and commercial applications, and most of the PL-259/SO-239 connectors we buy today are made of brass with a nickel or silver plating.
    Last edited by K5TED; 2016-01-31, 17:14.

    Leave a comment:


  • rueckwaertsflieger
    replied
    Antenna in-line amp

    Originally posted by K5TED View Post
    Suggestions:

    ...amplifier...point you in the right direction on that point.
    I doubt, the amp wil give you any true advantage, except 18dB gain under discussion if you will succeed feeding this device. The product description points out severe contradictions: "SATELLITE DVB-T Dur-line INLINE amplifier" / "Not suitable for cable TV" / "Frequency range: 5 to 2400 MHz". Aha! If it was not suitable for cable TV, it hardly would amplify 130MHz ACARS. With a frequency range of 5 - 2400 MHz it was suitable for all consumer frequencies up to W-LAN including FM radio, marine, and aviation VHF. To be honest: Try without amplifier. As K5TED said "the key to VHF is height", antenna height. If you manufacture a proper VHF antenna there is a big chance, you won't need an amplifier, because the antenna will give you 10 dB or even more gain compared to the little stock antenna stick.

    Leave a comment:


  • WeKnowMC
    replied
    Originally posted by K5TED View Post
    Suggestions:


    1. larger diameter wire. For 21" elements, the 1mm stuff will be very floppy. The center pin will take probably up to around a 2.5mm wire, depending on manufacturer. Find the spec sheet and drawing for that specific SO-239 to find out.

    2. You need something to power the amplifier, i.e., a power injector. These types of inline amps are designed to be powered from a satellite box. Operating voltage: 5 - 18 V max. 30 V DC / 40 mA.

    I don't use these, but there are several members here who can point you in the right direction on that point.
    Hi, will this 2mm copper wire do?http://ebay.co.uk/itm/2mm-ENAMELLED-...-/111734897320

    I have decided that I will leave out the amplifier for now.
    Other than that, I assume everything is good.

    Leave a comment:


  • K5TED
    replied
    Originally posted by WeKnowMC View Post
    I have been looking at parts for the antenna. Before I buy them I would like to make sure that everything will work together.

    Firstly, to connect the DVB-T dongle to the coax cable, I am looking at this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/F-Jack-Fem...hQAAOSwo6lWMIx
    Secondly, for the RG6 coax cable: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10m-Satell...MAAOSw-7RVCZ~d
    Next, I will have the amp connected: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SATELLITE-...gAAOxyTjNSdhHQ
    Then I will plug have this amp connected to this connector: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SMA-female...MAAOSw~gRVqS6d
    After that, it will be connected to the SO-239: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UHF-SO-239...25.m3641.l6368
    Finally, the wire for the elements will be this copper wire: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1mm-ENAMEL...IAAOSwjVVVweD~

    Will these parts all work together without any problems? I would just like to confirm before I buy the parts.

    Thanks
    - WeKnowMC

    Suggestions:


    1. larger diameter wire. For 21" elements, the 1mm stuff will be very floppy. The center pin will take probably up to around a 2.5mm wire, depending on manufacturer. Find the spec sheet and drawing for that specific SO-239 to find out.

    2. You need something to power the amplifier, i.e., a power injector. These types of inline amps are designed to be powered from a satellite box. Operating voltage: 5 - 18 V max. 30 V DC / 40 mA.

    I don't use these, but there are several members here who can point you in the right direction on that point.

    Leave a comment:


  • WeKnowMC
    replied
    Originally posted by K5TED View Post
    I would recommend using the welding rod approach. It's sturdy enough for this size element, and can be soldered with a gun. If you are going to go with buying a soldering iron, keep in mind that for anything over 12g wire, a typical small pencil iron will only create madness. Get a 150w or better soldering gun for these sort of projects and keep the pencil for electronics work. The gun gets things hot quick, which is what you need, dab on the solder and let it go. Make sure you use solder with flux core or buy a tin of flux or a flux pen.

    You shouldn't have to spend more than about 8 for this antenna.

    As for the amplifier, you certainly could benefit from one, but the key to VHF is height. A decent amp is probably going to set you back a little more than 15. Don't try to use a typical home cable tv distribution amp.

    Might as well build the antenna, and see how it performs, then consider what improvements are needed.
    I have been looking at parts for the antenna. Before I buy them I would like to make sure that everything will work together.

    Firstly, to connect the DVB-T dongle to the coax cable, I am looking at this: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/F-Jack-Fem...hQAAOSwo6lWMIx
    Secondly, for the RG6 coax cable: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/10m-Satell...MAAOSw-7RVCZ~d
    Next, I will have the amp connected: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SATELLITE-...gAAOxyTjNSdhHQ
    Then I will plug have this amp connected to this connector: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/SMA-female...MAAOSw~gRVqS6d
    After that, it will be connected to the SO-239: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/UHF-SO-239...25.m3641.l6368
    Finally, the wire for the elements will be this copper wire: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/1mm-ENAMEL...IAAOSwjVVVweD~

    Will these parts all work together without any problems? I would just like to confirm before I buy the parts.

    Thanks
    - WeKnowMC
    Last edited by WeKnowMC; 2016-01-31, 00:21.

    Leave a comment:


  • WeKnowMC
    replied
    I have decided on parts for the antenna. See my next post...

    Leave a comment:


  • K5TED
    replied
    Originally posted by WeKnowMC View Post
    Hi, first of all, I have decided that I will get the SO-239 and solder the discone/spider antenna together (meaning that I will have to get a soldering iron). I was looking at this design: www(dot)atouk(dot)com/wordpress/?wpdmpro=your-first-adsb-antenna&wpdmdl=397 (sorry, I cant post links until I have over 4 posts)
    Obviously, I would need to make the elements 21.435".

    I would like to try to get the best performance for ACARS as I can with this antenna within a reasonable price (I wouldn't really want to spend more than 30 on it). Now that I think of it, I'm probably going to keep the antenna inside until I've tested it. The only thing now is that I need to find out what kind of wire I could use to try to get best performance. Do you have any suggestions. Also, as I said, would some kind of amplifier help with performance?

    Thanks
    - WeKnowMC
    I would recommend using the welding rod approach. It's sturdy enough for this size element, and can be soldered with a gun. If you are going to go with buying a soldering iron, keep in mind that for anything over 12g wire, a typical small pencil iron will only create madness. Get a 150w or better soldering gun for these sort of projects and keep the pencil for electronics work. The gun gets things hot quick, which is what you need, dab on the solder and let it go. Make sure you use solder with flux core or buy a tin of flux or a flux pen.

    You shouldn't have to spend more than about 8 for this antenna.

    As for the amplifier, you certainly could benefit from one, but the key to VHF is height. A decent amp is probably going to set you back a little more than 15. Don't try to use a typical home cable tv distribution amp.

    Might as well build the antenna, and see how it performs, then consider what improvements are needed.

    Leave a comment:

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