FlightAware Discussions

Antenna and plug confusion

Hello. I’m wanting to upgrade to an outdoor antenna for my feeder but all these connector types are confusing.

I have piaware running and all is working good but I’m using the supplied indoor antenna for my SDR dongle that I am using. The little antenna that it uses has a tiny connector that pushes on to the dongle not screw on so I’m not sure what type it is to get an adapter. I see there are MSX, N, BNC, And others but not sure what I have now. Could someone shed some light on this. I Think I have an MSX type but not sure.
Thanks in advance.

If you have the dongle shown in photo below, then antenna has MCX-male and is compatible to MCX-female socket on the DVB-T Dongle. There is no need for an adapter.

If you have adifferent dongle and antenna, please post their photo

A very common connector type for such antennas is SMA and it looks like this:

It looks similar to MCX, but there are differencies:

Many outdoor antennas are connected through a type N connector, best option would be a cable with that connector on one end. Any additional adapter can reduce the reception.

Thanks for all the info guys. I found the right adapter and made a diy antenna.
Doubled my range just sticking it on my 3D printers z rail.

Just out of curiocity, can you please take a snapshot of your dongle with cable connected to it, and post it here. I am interested to see what adapter and connectors you are using at dongle side of the cable.

MCX female to N type male

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Thank you.

Above description is not correct. The correct description of your pigtail is:

MCX-male to F-Female

Your oigtail is ok as the socket on the DVB-T dongle is MCX-female, and the black coaxial cable has F- male at the dongle side.

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Thanks for the correction. I was just so excited at the increase in my range I guess I didn’t pay close attention to the connector descriptions.

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No problem, important thing is your DIY Quick Spider antenna has doubled your range compared to whip antenna supplied with the DVB-T dongle. Congratulations.

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That whip looks a tad long from here :slight_smile:

You have graphs1090 installed?
Or tar1090 and have a screenshot of /?pTracks?
Both will help checking for range improvements.

So you could bend the top 3 or 4 mm of whip in on itself so it touches and check if that improves reception.

G7RGQ Antenna 1090MHz
This is a nice homebuilt as well .

Or this one:
QUICK SPIDER - No Soldering, No Connector - #111 by abcd567

Made some changes to my set up. I’m running 2 ads-d receivers each with a homemade spider antenna. Placed one inside in the window and the other on the roof soffit outside. Big change to my aircraft count immediately. Will see tomorrow how it does with my range. Total plane count for past 24 hours at 6:00pm was 1200+.
I have ordered a “real” outdoor antenna and FA filter that will be here this week so hope to install it this weekend on one of my feeders and see how it does.

I have found my new obsession and my wife thinks I’m crazy lol.

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Mate, you’re not alone…

I have one of the feeders outside on my balcony (well covered) with a Jetvision antenna. This is on the same pod as my weather station, so it looks like something secret is going on here.