Antenna-Filter-Pro Dongle-Cable length to Raspberry Pi

I have connected up and have great results. Currently Antenna direct to filter, filter direct to dongle, then a 6 foot Usb cord to the raspberry pi. I’m trying to move the antenna on the roof. But every time I make a change my signal completely drops off. I tried a longer usb calble, which did not work. THen I tried a longer sma cable and plugged the dongle directly to the raspberry and the filter to the dongle, then the cable up to the antenna. Total loss of signal. What is the best setup for a strong signal so that I may move my antenna onto the roof? I need to have an amplifier? If I have an amp do I put the dongle in the raspberry and the amp before the filter going into the dongle? What is an effective amp to purchase? Or do I need to setup my cables and equipment differently?

Thanks for your help.

Maybe list exactly what equipment you have
An RPI 0/1/2/3
Power supply
Dongle type
Filter type
Antenna type
All the cables (USB and coax) and how they are connected. What works and what does not work.

Ensure that all coax cables that are sma are NOT sma-rp.

Flight Aware Antenna
10 inch N to SMA adapter
directly connected to Flight Aware band pass filter
directly connected to Flight Aware Pro Orange dongle
directly connected to 9 foot USB cable
directly connected to Raspberry Pi

This configuration works great. But I need more that 9 feet to get the antenna on the roof. Any other configuration causes a drop in the signal, hence fewer contacts.
I tried a 25 foot usb cable but the Pi can’t get the signal from that length. I tried moving the dongle and filter directly to the Pi and used a longer SMA cable. This has the same results, low signal.

are you using an active USB cable?

if you were to extend the connection between antenna and filter, what would be the cable length?

Just found the answer.

USB Cable has a normal maximum length of about 5 meters (16.4 feet). Electronic Length.
It contains active electronics which boost the USB signal for maximum reliability

That would be leaving the dongle up next to the antenna. Which seems to work best.

(1) 5 meters (16 ft), RG58 coaxial cable pigtail - SMA male to N male

(2) 10 ft LMR195 coaxial cable - SMA Male to N Male

25 ft low loss LMR240 coax cable - SMA Male to N Male.


I have a 15 footer just like those pictured. Put the dongle and filter at the Pi. Still had the same results. Guess I will try an amp next.
I really need about 30 feet to get up where I want the antenna.
What is the configuration that most people use?

Since your antenna is indoors where signals are weak, it works with a very short length of coax between antenna & coax. Addinga 16 footer coax results in extra attenuation, and performance drops.

When you will install antenna outdoors on roof/mast, the signal will be much stronger than indoors, and may cover loss of 16 footer or even 30 footer cable. First try antenna installed on roof with 30 foot coax. If you feel the performance has dropped over indoor antenna+short coax, then add a Satellite Amplifier.

Best location of Satellite amplifier is just below the antenna, but most satellite amplifiers are not suitable for outdoor use. You will need to provide some type of water protection such as a box or wrap the amplifier & coax connectors on both sides in self-bonding tape.

Alternatively, you may install amplifier indoors, just before the point the coax exits the building into open.

Below is a schematic I prepared 2 years ago for Cantenna. It can apply in your case also, just replace Cantenna by FlightAware antenna.

Please note that dc blocker between antenna &amplifier is not required if antenna does not have a dc short. Check continuity between core wire & shield of coax conneted to the antenna using a multi tester or continuity tester. If there is no continuity (i.e. there is no dc short inside antenna) the dc blocker is not needed, but there is no harm if it is installed.

Filter is not shown in this drawing. The best location of filter is next to the receiver (Pro Stick or dvb-t dongle)

I have tried an 80ft cable… Noticed a few db drop which I compensated by adding gain. Did get the same amount of flights on the 80ft cable than on a 10 ft…