FlightAware Discussions

Adjusting the gain?


I see some questions about adjusting the gain ? Is this adjusting the gain of antenna or ?
If so is this done with the software or the antenna itself ??

Still new at all of this…

Steve / N7DPX / Lakeside,Az.


Done in Software, The gain is related to the Amp within the Dongle.
See @abcd567 posts.

Depending on the noise level at any location, you may get better results by lowering the gain.

Systems like the Airspy and radarcape have very wide dynamic ranges, so are so critical with their gain settings,


The gain optimization method describe in the post quoted by @jonhawkes2030 is ok.

However in this post, the .docx files from Dropbox are in MS Word format, and fail on some Linux computers.

For this reason, I have subsequently posted these scripts as code within the post I am linking below.

Copy-paste code from the post linked below does not give any formatting problem.


hello N7DPX. i set up my site and joined on 1 july 2018. for the past 5 months adjusting the gain (of the dongle in software) has been a very difficult task and many hours have been spent trying to figure out the best approach. it would be easy if the input (ie aircraft traffic) were constant. many of the routines written to help folks optimize gain are tough in as much as they attempt to average message rates of aircraft or aircraft counts, over some time increment. the tough part is that there is no accepted time increment and, as noted, the input is not constant. you will see that if you set the gain too high you will “overload” the dongle and get poor (intermittent) data for some aircraft. if you set the gain too low you will miss many aircraft. this is a classic trade off. if you look at posting from abcd567, wiedehopf, and others you will get lots of information. you will also spend a few hours reading about gain and all of the ways to go about setting it. one of the things i have found on this discussion group is that folks are very happy to help and always very patient. abcd567 has written some great posts called “For Beginners” that are worth reading.


Thanks for your reply. I think I will just leave it bas bis for now !!
My system has been running just fine for nover 255 days now non stop.
I don’t want to take a chance on messing it up .

Steve / N7DPX