Hi all, I've tried Googling for this and searching the forum but can't find anything on this topic, so thought I'd post the question! Here goes...

I've been using the SBS-3 since about 2016, so three years at least. I have an externally mounted co-linear type antenna, a mast-head pre-amp, a run of coax that runs to a bias-T and then into the SBS-3. I've had this installed since in 2016. When I initially installed this the SBS-3 could get contacts over 100 NM away, happy days. Now, with the same hardware and setup etc (nothing has changed, just time) I'm only able to see contacts around 50-60 NM away.

A week or so ago I decided to buy an SDR and connect it to a Raspberry Pi, to feed FR24 (which is up and running). So I could run both FR24 and the SBS-3 side-by-side I built a home-made antenna, just to see if I could get it working. Dump1090 on the Raspberry Pi registers over 200 messages/second using the home made antenna, so happy days with that little set up, and I'm quite happy with what it can see.

Now for the bit that's niggling at me!

Out of curiosity, I took the external antenna connection that's normally connected to the SBS-3 (so the external antenna, pre-amp etc) and connected it into the SDR connected to the Raspberry Pi, Dump1090 shows over 600 messages a second and that gets contacts over 80NM miles away. If I take the connection and plug it back into the SBS-3, it can't see the contact at 80NM miles away, when it used to be able to see contacts at this distance when it was first installed.

I know that the SBS-3 and the SDR are entirely different pieces of equipment, and no the antenna is NOT being shared between two devices simultaneously. I've checked all plugs, loose connections etc and everything is fine. SBS-3 is on the latest version I can see on the Kinetic website and Basestation is the latest version (I upgraded them when I got them and Kinetic haven't released a new version since - Kinetic seem to have gone quiet).

The bit that's niggling at me is that it "seems" that the SBS-3 could see contacts over 100NM away when it was first installed, but seems like it's gone a bit "deaf" and lost sensitivity over time, and now can't see a contact 80NM away when another device can using the same antenna setup, and it used to be able to see to this range when it was first installed.

My question is: has anyone else had a similar experience to this at all, with an SBS-3 losing sensitivity after a while, or going a bit deaf? If so, is there anything that can be done to rectify this or restore the original sensitivity?


P.S. Does anyone know what happened to Kinetic as they don't seem to be updating the firmware/software? The website still has a story from 2016 on the homepage...