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Thread: What's the best way to setup

  1. #1
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    What's the best way to setup

    Hey, I'm very new to the technical part of aviation and I just wanted to know what's the best receiver-antenna set up: which ones most people have, which ones are the best today, and why?

    Can anyone give me their own experiences with these things and talk about their own setup?

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    Captain abcd567's Avatar
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    1) Can you install an antenna outdoors on roof or mast, or you are restricted to an indoor antenna installation?
    2) how long wil be cable run from proposed antenna location to your receiver (DVB-T usb dongle)/ Computer or Raspberry Pi?

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    Passenger Lincolnshire Poacher's Avatar
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    What sort of budget do you have?
    T-EGNJ48 Raspberry Pi3, Flightaware yellow stick/filter and Radar-Rama antenna
    Based in North Lincolnshire England

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    I planned on having the antenna by my window if possible because I live in an apartment and my cord is about 3 or 4 feet? I can get a new one if need be. And what's the advantage of a pi over a DVB dongle or vise versa?

    And I haven't thought too much about it. I planned on any range from $50 -$200 but I don't want to end up buying something that costs much more when the difference in results are minuscule.

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    Captain abcd567's Avatar
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    The Pi and DVB-T usb dongle are NOT replacement of each other.

    The DVB-T is a receiver, which plugs into a computer, while Pi is a Computer in which DVB-T plugs in.

    If you dont want to use Pi, you can plug in the DVB-T into your Desktop or Laptop.

    The advantage of using Pi is that it consumes very little power compared to a Desktop or Laptop, costs much less than a desktop or laptop, and takes very little space. This makes Pi sutable for running 24hrs a day/7 days a week/52 weeks a year with very little cost. Because of these advantages, most hobbyists plug in the DVB-T into Pi rather than into their Desktop or Laptop.

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    Captain abcd567's Avatar
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    My indoor setup near a window
    Using Pi, DVB-T usb dongle pluged into Pi, and the Whip antenna which came with DVB-T.

    Two tweaks to improve performance substantially:

    1) Whip's length was too big for 1090 MHz, so I optimized it by cutting removeable part to 52mm length (photo 2 of 2).

    2) The 1 inch (25mm) dia base of mag mount whip antenna does not provide enough groundplane. I enlarged the groundplane by placing mag mount whip on a metallic food can. The steel food can has added advantage that the magnet in antenna's base clings to it, and prevents antenna from frequent falling.

    Photo 1 of 2



    Photo 2 of 2

    Last edited by abcd567; 2016-07-14 at 00:10.

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    what's the advantage of the coiled vs straight?

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    Captain abcd567's Avatar
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    Coiled whip, if accurately designed, AND accurately built & tuned, has higher gain and will pick weak signals from distant planes. Unfortunately for cheap antennas (and even for some costly ones also) either the design is flawed, or the construction is not accurate, or both. As a result these perform worst than a simple 1/4 wavelength whip.

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    are there any good receiver or antenna models or types I should be on the lookout for? do you have pictures of any other set ups you've have in the past, even if it's old?

  10. #10
    Captain abcd567's Avatar
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    Dont rush, one step at a time. First purchase DVB-T dongle only. The whip antenna comes as part of the DVB-T package and you dont have to purchase it separetely. You dont have to purchase a Pi initially. Simply plug in the DVB-T dongle into your desktop or laptop.

    Once your system is up and running, you may go ahead for variations & improvements.

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