Antenna question


I do not understand anything about antennas so I’m sorry if this is a stupid question.

I am using a DVB-T dongle with the standard antenna which I did cut to a shorter length after reading it on this forum.

Is it possible to use my houses digital antenna? or is it possible to use a UHF, CB or VHF antenna?


UHF may be

It is possible it will work, but most likely not very well. There is a physical dimension associated with the wavelength of the radio waves transmitted at any specific frequency. Although radio waves are electromagnetic energy, they actually have a physical size associated with them that can be measured. Essentially, you are trying to match the length of your antenna to the length of the radio waves you are trying to receive. The higher the frequency, the shorter the antenna. The antenna you have was manufactured for a frequency lower than 1090 MHz. I imagine you cut it to around 68mm, which I believe is the appropriate length for 1090 MHz.

In summary, bigger is not always better with antennas. At high frequencies, tiny antennas often work bette than much larger ones. (Higher is always better than lower though.)

*** Just because someone will correct me if I don’t complicate things now–The actual wavelength of a radio wave at 1090 MHz is around 275mm. 68mm is 1/4 of 275mm. You don’t actually cut the antenna to the length of the wave, you cut it to the length of a specific fraction of the wavelength. (1/4 is one of those fractions that magically works with antennas.) The style of antenna typically used for simple ADS-B is a “quarter wave antenna”.

Thanks for the information. I did cut it to around 68mm and it did extend the range quite a bit but it’s still not very high. I think its the location so I will play with that for a few days and then consider getting the flightaware antenna.

Place the DVB-T dongle’s antenna over a metallic food can or metallic plate. This will further improve reception.

Trial Run Results for Four Sizes of Ground Planes

for the money the FA antenna is the one to buy you cant really go wrong with it.

It certainly does give very good results.

I second what the others wrote, plus, add an FA filter if you live in an urban area. it will greatly improve range and message rate. :slight_smile: