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Thread: Question from a newb about switching USB dongle

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    Question from a newb about switching USB dongle

    I just started feeding a few days ago, but I'm already looking at getting better performance.
    I used a generic USB dongle with the supplied antenna, which I cut down to 52mm (67mm total) and used a metal can about 70mm high as a ground plane and my range and received aircrafts went up a bit, but we're talking from 25 to maybe 40nm here lol. I just bought the FA antenna and some lmr400 to get the antenna outside and higher.
    Now, we have a large Verizon cell tower about 1/2 mile from here and I was thinking of getting the FA prostick plus with the built in filter to replace my other one.
    Will it be as simple as switching the dongles or will I have to recode something? I just installed the fr24 package on a micro SD and installed it in a Raspberry Pi 3, nothing else really. I also have the basic dump1090 that's included in the fr24 package visible on port 8080, any way to add distance rings on that?
    Thanks from a newbie

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    Captain abcd567's Avatar
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    You dont have to do any changes to software if you switch from generic dvb-t to FA ProStick or ProStick Plus. Simply plug-out generic dvb-t and plug-in ProStick Plus, and reboot.

    However you may require to reduce gain of prostick in settings at

    http://<IP of Pi>:8754/settings.html

    On the settings page, in the field "Process Arguments", add --gain xx, where xx is the desired value of gain you want to set. Then hit the "Save" button, and after saving hit the "Restart" button. Both these buttons are located at bottom right of settings page.

    If you have a Cell phone tower 1/2 miles away, most likely you will need an external FA Filter. The built-in Filter of ProStick Plus is located after the rf amplifier, and does not prevent overloading of rf amplifier from strong rf signals.

    Pro Stick Plus - With & Without Filter at my location.

    My location has lot of Cell Phone & other interfering signals.

    Last edited by abcd567; 2017-07-04 at 13:17.

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    Thank you very much for the info and graph!
    Would it be better then in my case to buy the prostick (not plus) and the external filter? Or will the prostick plus with external filter work well? I'm not sure if the built in filter on the plus already creates some loss

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    Captain abcd567's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 71sbeetle View Post
    Thank you very much for the info and graph!
    Would it be better then in my case to buy the prostick (not plus) and the external filter? Or will the prostick plus with external filter work well? I'm not sure if the built in filter on the plus already creates some loss
    Both options work equally good. ProStickPlus and Filter will cost a little more than ProStick and Filter.

    Dont worry about loss by internal filter. This loss is of the order of 2 dB and is easily overcome by the built-in rf amplifier which has a gain of 18 dB.

    Generally, the full gain is never utilized as it causes overload of tuner and demodulator chips. With generic dvb-t without amplifier, the default gain setting of max or 49.6 dB is used. With ProStick and ProStickPlus, reduced gain settings are required, generally 42 dB to as low as 28 dB.
    Last edited by abcd567; 2017-07-04 at 22:08.

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    Quote Originally Posted by abcd567 View Post
    Both options work equally good. ProStickPlus and Filter will cost a little more than ProStick and Filter.

    Dont worry about loss by internal filter. This loss is of the order of 2 dB and is easily overcome by the built-in rf amplifier which has a gain of 18 dB.

    Generally, the full gain is never utilized as it causes overload of tuner and demodulator chips. With generic dvb-t without amplifier, the default gain setting of max or 49.6 dB is used. With ProStick and ProStickPlus, reduced gain settings are required, generally 42 dB to as low as 28 dB.
    Ah ok good to know thank you!
    I ordered the prostick plus and filter can't wait to try it out.
    Now I need to go search and read about adjusting the gain, how do you know if it's too much or not enough?
    For some reason I had mine set at 30 dB but cleared that so it's running at max

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    My setup will be Raspberry Pi 3 B with fr24 package on a 32gb micro SD I had laying around, prostick plus, FA filter, SMA to N adapter, 35ft of LMR400 to FA 26" antenna and will have the antenna about 18ft off the ground (I'll have it as high as I can but can't go above the roof line for HOA reasons)
    Right now I have my setup indoors near a North facing window and best range today was 57nm to the South lol

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