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

  1. #11
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    Antenna in-line amp

    Quote 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.

  2. #12
    Passenger K5TED's Avatar
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    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 at 17:14.

  3. #13
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    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?

  4. #14
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    Quote 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

  5. #15
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    A 2m band (144 to 148 Mhz) J-Pole + 1090 Mhz Franklin

    Quote 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.

  6. #16
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    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?

  7. #17
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    Quote 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.

  8. #18
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    Quote 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.

  9. #19
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    Quote 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 :/.

  10. #20
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    Quote 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

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