FlightAware Discussions

Beginner Antenna Upgrade

Hello!

I’ve been running my little setup for a little while, but have recently been wondering if I can improve it by upgrading my antenna.

My current antenna is this

It’s just sitting by a window, and I don’t have a filter since I’m not near a large city or anything.

Does anyone have a suggested route of upgrade(s) I can possibly look into either via antenna, or elsewhere to pickup more planes?

Thanks!

  1. Any antenna placed outdoor gives better results than the same antenna placed indoors.

  2. An antenna gets farthest planes in those direction in which it can “see” horizon. Surrounding buildings and tall trees obstruct antenna’s view of horizon. Raising antenna above the height of these obstructions enables it to see horizon, and pick far away planes.

  3. Your current antenna’s performance may increase if you place it on a food can or metallic plate.

Also while this antenna says it is optimized for 1090 MHz, that is not necessarily the case.

I had a similar one and just replacing the coiled whip with a 6.6 cm piece of wire like shown in the last picture of the previous post helped a lot.

And yes get a food can like the one pictured and place the antenna upon it it helps a ton.

If you don’t have FA ProStick Plus, then that is always a good upgrade.

Buying some good coax and building a Quick Spider is probably the next thing you can try: QUICK SPIDER - No Soldering, No Connector

That is assuming you don’t want to spend the money for an FA antenna?
And yes placing any antenna outdoors as high as possible is always good for reception.

You might want to check your terrain around you, so you know your limits: What is the Maximum Range I can Get?

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gsm

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The center wire from RG6 coax would be OK?

It doesn’t matter as long as it is metal and stays on where the original whip was.
RG6 center wire might not be as easy to bend around or affix to where the whip sits.
If you have coax lying around i would highly recommend getting some adapters and just making a quick spider though :slight_smile:

You can also cut the orignal whip if the first 6.6 cm don’t have that coil.

For Quick Spider, one of following two pigtails will be required to connect RG6 to the dongle:

.

For Generic DVB-T (mcx connector)

Pigtail%20F-female%20to%20MCX-male%20Rightangle-500x500px

.

For Pro Stick (sma connector)

Pigtail%20F-female%20to%20SMA-male%2020%20inch%2050%20cm%20long

I started out with a similar antenna, possibly the same.

antenna efficiency

is a discussion about my antenna, and the simple spider I made.
I tried different ground planes, with and without the original antenna with the coil.

I already had a pi 3, and i bought the following:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07BMYSW29 Case, fan, PS.
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B013S8B234 Antenna with cable (says 1, but it’s 3 meters)
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07J2RJQ9Z FlightAware Pro Stick Plus