I had a cheapo nooelec DVBT stick with the antenna it comes with... little mag mount 6" antenna. Put it outside on my patio, stuck the antenna to the top of my bbq grill, and set up fr24feed. Didn't modify any settings.

I was seeing 1200-1300 aircraft/day with some of them 70nm away.

Interested in kicking it up a notch, I upgraded - I bought a "Flightaware Pro Stick USB ADS-B receiver dongle which includes an internal 1090 MHZ band pass filter" AND the FlightAware-branded 26" long 1090mhz antenna. Attached it to my patio up higher than the previous antenna's location. Connected to the Pro Stick with a short 16 inch cable.

Booted up the pi and was disappointed to see I was only getting aircraft 40nm away and only ~700/day. I switched over to dump1090-mutability and ran the python script to figure out my ideal gain... ended up being 42.1dB (with 29dB being a close second)... I'm now seeing ~900 aircraft/day and a max distance of 54nm.... still not even close to the cheap stick, let alone better!

Any ideas? Here's my monitor.txt:

Code:
ac_map_size="3072"
build_arch="static_arm"
build_flavour="generic"
build_os="Linux"
build_revision="T201704200925"
build_timetamp="Apr 20 2017 09:25:30"
build_version="1.0.18-9"
cfg_baudrate=""
cfg_bs="no"
cfg_host="127.0.0.1:30005"
cfg_mpx=""
cfg_path=""
cfg_raw="no"
cfg_receiver="beast-tcp"
cfg_windowmode="0"
d11_map_size="18"
feed_alias="T-KSJC45"
feed_configured_mode="UDP"
feed_current_mode="UDP"
feed_current_server="83.140.21.87"
feed_last_ac_sent_num="0"
feed_last_ac_sent_time="1499971100"
feed_last_attempt_time="1499797260"
feed_last_config_attempt="1499797259"
feed_last_config_info=""
feed_last_config_result="success"
feed_last_connected_time="1499797260"
feed_num_ac_tracked="8"
feed_status="connected"
feed_status_message=""
fr24key="XXXXXX"
gps_tods="0"
last_json_utc="1499971026"
last_rx_connect_status="OK"
last_rx_connect_time="1499948865"
last_rx_connect_time_s="2017-07-13 12:27:45"
last_rx_global_timeout="1499948860"
local_tods="67075"
mlat-mode="UDP"
mlat-number-seen="7"
mlat-ok="YES"
mlat-started="YES"
mlat-time-last-ping="1499971090"
mlat-time-last-push="1499971030"
mlat-time-last-push_count="1"
mlat-time-last-seen="1499971105"
mlat-time-stats="1499971105"
mlat-uplink-stats="0"
mlat_problem="no-config"
msg_ring_full="0"
msg_ring_length="0"
num_global_timeouts="12"
num_messages="841760"
num_resyncs="0"
offline-mode="no"
rx_connected="1"
shutdown="no"
time_update_utc="1499971085"
time_update_utc_s="2017-07-13 18:38:05"
timing_is_valid="1"
timing_last_drift="-0.0003"
timing_last_offset="+0.0009"
timing_last_result="success"
timing_source="NTP"
timing_time_last_attempt="1499971081"
timing_time_last_success="1499971081"
timing_time_since_last_success="626"

For what it's worth, here are the dump1090 params I'm using:

Code:
/usr/bin/dump1090-mutability --net --gain 42.1 --ppm 0 --fix --lat xxx --lon -xxxx --max-range 300 --net-ri-port 30001 --net-ro-port 30002 --net-bi-port 30004,30104 --net-bo-port 30005 --net-sbs-port 30003 --net-heartbeat 60 --net-ro-size 500 --net-ro-interval 1 --net-buffer 2 --net-bind-address 127.0.0.1 --stats-every 3600 --write-json /run/dump1090-mutability --write-json-every 1 --json-location-accuracy 2 --quiet


I am located in San Jose, CA about 4 miles from SJC.