Amplifier question

Hi all,

New to this whole ADS-B thing. I’ve got myself up and running with PiAware and a DVB-T dongle. I’m looking at building a Cantenna or Spider Antenna (Posted in the DIY post with some questions). However, what sort of amplifiers do people use to increase range and how does one go about hooking these up?

Thanks for all the help :slight_smile:

Would something like this be of benefit: … SwA4dWJUFG

If so, which end does the antenna get plugged into?

Thanks … 912&sr=1-2 … fligh01-20 … 923&sr=1-3

Bought myself the stick and filter, going to try and make a cantenna as the DIY part interests me.

I’m using an LNA4ALL fed by a bias-t enabled dongle. It has noticeably better performance than the satellite amplifier that I was using previously, although that was still perfectly reasonable. One caveat is that the Flightaware filter won’t pass DC through it, so you would have to use a separate bias-t if you want to use that.

I agree. I was using the satellite amplifier and a saw filter and was very pleased with my results. Switched to the LNA4ALL with the matching ceramic filter and my regular range is now 450kms with ‘weather-influenced’ exceptions to 650kms. (Tropospheric-ducting, bouncing off very high storm clouds, call it what you might, but from here at CYXE, I have no other rational explanation for receiving multiple flights approaching CYYC between 13000-11000 feet over a period of several hours.)


My “Primary” radar uses the FA Pro Stick, the FA Filter and the FA antenna (which is placed outside on top of the roof, 10m above ground level).
My “Secondary” (Backup) radar consists of an dongle with a LNA4ALL Low Noise Amplifier and an LNA4ALL 1090MHz filter, attached to a home brewed 8-legged spider.

The 8-legged minimonster is placed indoors, in the top of the attic, just below the outside antenna (9m AGL). The LNA used in my secondary setup is fed (through the fliter) by the Bias-T option of the dongle. The Bias-T function can be enabled on the dongle by soldering a jumper wire on the Dongle PCB. This adds 5 volts on the antenna input of the Dongle and provides power for the LNA. Remark: Both the LNA and my Filter are equipped with the Bias-T function (optionally when purchasing the LNA and Filter)

The 8-legged spider is as easy and cheap as it can be. I used a < $1 SMA female bulkhead connector with 8 (68mm) radials and a whip, made from 1mm2 silver plated copper wire (some leftovers of a previous project). A bit of soldering, and a pre-fabricated 1m Male-Male SMA RG-174 coax cable to attach the antenna to the LNA. (components are placed in the following order: RPi → Dongle → Filter → Coax line → spider antenna)

HERE you can see the results of “Venz Primary”


HERE you can find the results of “Venz Secondary”

Conclusion: It’s not very fair to compare an professionally build antenna, placed outside with an indoor placed homebrew antenna, but I’m very happy with the results of both. The secondary setup is performing very well.

So, the LNA4All amp is performing very well in combination with an RTL-SDR dongle and LNA4All filter. The Bias-T function is working fine, so no external power supply needed to feed the LNA. The dongle has a aluminium housing which works as a heatsink to cool down the dongle. It also contains better components than the standard RTL dongles found on eBay. My experience with this is that it’s more stable on it’s receiving frequency, while my old RTL dongle wasn’t. This all makes that I can recommend this combination as a nice alternative setup.