Attic or window

Hi Guys and gals,

I have the basic Piaware setup, using the Nooelec USB stick with the supplied antenna

I am only reaching 160km (100 miles) approx. from my bedroom window (second floor). I am surrounded to my East and West by mountains, as a result I get better coverage too my North and South.

So, from the second floor, bedroom window, I reach about 200 more flights per day than the ground floor window (same day comparison)

I am an amateur enthusiast so I want to know your advice… would I get better coverage the next level up in the property (attic, surrounded by roof tiles but higher) than my current position on the second floor right in the window?

Thanks in advance for your advice


Hi Shaun,
I have two antennas in my attic and one in the 2nd floor bedroom.
The attic setups get a lot more traffic than the bedroom. Height is usually the best improvement you can make.
I power my attic units via POE if you don’t have power up there.


Thanks for the answer Jon,

Do you know off the top of the head, for the same day, what is the difference in total plane count compared between the levels?

Only so I can have a hint whether the work to get it set up in the attic will be one that will have a noticeable return.

Thanks :smiley:


Look at my first two sites. … tats-20974
The first is in the bedroom with a mode s beats
The second is in the attic with an airspy
Same antenna type and located within 12 feet of each other.

My range is limited due to ground being 20ft amsl. I can watch cruise ships go past from my front lawn. We are two blocks from the Hudson River.

The best thing to do is to test both options for at least a few days each and compare, if you can. At my house I preferred the window setup over the attic. You may notice some trade-off between range and pattern of coverage as well that you’ll want to consider.

Please also see this post:


Thanks for the responses guys, I think my best option is trial and error so I will stick it in the attic for a week and compare the results.

Shaun :slight_smile:

I have a new single story brick house with a metal roof surrounded by trees. I tried several rooms with and without windows and in the attic. The best place before getting my tower was outside on a stick about 4 feet off the ground. My avatar pic is that setup. I positioned the stick 45 degrees from one corner so it could “see” around the house in all directions except SE.

Clever, you have effectively waterproofed your antenna… what about condensation in there?

I wonder if I could get something like that on my roof… thanks


I have a few small holes drilled in the bottom(lid) around the edge to drain what gets through the threads and let it breathe.  I screw through the lid from the inside to the top of the stick and then screw the jar part on last.  Once it is set up and you are happy, you could silicone the lid to the jar to keep it from catching rain.  I didn't since it was not a permanent setup.  I even mounted it at the top of my 30 ft tower when it was built to get a baseline before switching to the FA 49" antenna.

I am currently scheming to get this mounted to my parents roof for an additional receiver site. LOL

Thank you zeek for above enhancements which I have missed out in the original design.

Also thanks for testing it under actual weather conditions. I could not test it outdoors as I live in an apartment with strictly indoor installations.

The Original Design:

August 2014

June 2014

August 2014

I was originally going to put it in a window but figured that would limit my range as I’d basically only be getting a rather small angle/direction. So opted to put it in the attic since I already had some existing wiring going there and the holes and conduit was in place already. Getting over 100 miles or so of range with the odd ball hit 200+ out. I will want to mount it outside in summer. I might build a mast, or just put it on a roof edge. (I don’t really feel comfortable drilling at the top of the roof) With having it in the attic, as the snow accumulates on the roof I might lose range. If I end up building a mast, I may as well get into ham radio while I’m at it. :stuck_out_tongue: