I have gotten everything working by reading all the great info here. There are quite a few very helpful people here who’s knowledge is off the charts.

I ended up going with the FA antenna and it filled in some of the dead spots I had with the ones I built. Now I’m looking into amps to get some more messages and distance out of it. Below is my setup to give an idea of what I am currently running. The FA antenna is about 15 feet off the ground give or take a foot.

I am currently running a Pi with the NooElec Mini2+ USB stick, MCX to F adaptor, about 6 feet of RG-6 triShield, ground block, 6 more feet of RG-6 triShield, F to N adaptor, and then the FA antenna.

The problem I am running into is the volume of amps out there to look at. There are a ton of the SAT ones and quite a few LNA ones. I enjoy soldering and building stuff, so if someone has a nice schematic of one, I’d love that even more.

Thanks ahead of time for any and all help.

First thing you want to do is establish the max range you can get. Use the sticky post on max range to determine.

You already have a near perfect setup. 12 ft of cable will have minimal loss and the ff antenna has a 5.5-6 dB gain. You could easily over amplify and loose close in reception.

Im right about where the max range says I should get. Figured with the amp I might pick up a few more positions on some of the planes I notice. DFW airport is about 50 miles away, so I pick up most of my planes going to or from there,

you did not write what dump1090 you are running and what settings you have there. anyway - nothing to solder - but often brings measurable more data:
→ give dump1090-mutability dev 1.15 a try
→ play a little with gain settings (built-in amp) there e.g. ‘agc’ instead ‘max’ and/or --enable-agc

to install dump1090 mutability it easy with mgunthers howto:


p.s. my finding was when i went from 15 feet to just 1 feet (both very good low loss) cable - the difference was nearly unmeasurable. that’s why i never tried an amplifier …

I’m running dump1090-mut 1.15dev now, but just had it set as max. Thanks for the info on AGC, I’m going to look into it.


see ads-b-flight-tracking-f21/low-noise-amplifier-t35949.html for a schematic of a nice bias tee powered LNA.

Thanks for the info on AGC TomMuc. According to the Collectd graphs, my signal level is quite a bit more stable and a tad higher and the tracks seen has risen as well.

Thanks for the link mck1nney. I have some reading to do there.