FlightAware Discussions

Benefits of height?

Hi All, I’ve just moved my antenna from the loft to outside. I’m getting much better coverage and distance, but I’m sure it could be better. At the moment I’ve got a 10m cable, with the antenna on a 2m pole but its not quite clearing the roof line. I was thinking of putting it up another 2 meters so it does. As I see it I have 3 options :

  1. Buy a 2 or 3 meter extension coaxial cable as current cable doesn’t have enough slack for another 2m height.
  2. Keep with just the current 10m cable and place my pi in a waterproof box outside
  3. Don’t bother because both the above are bad idea’s ?

The equipment I have is a FA antenna on the end of a 10m cable plugged into a FA pro plus stick and raspberry pi 4. No external filter as it decreased coverage.

Any suggestions, comments or ideas most welcome!

I don’t think that this 2-3 Meter will have a large impact on reception range in general as long as your range is limited by geography only. For this i would check my max reception via heywhatsthat.com first.

But it can improve the reception if this 2-3 meter can remove obstacles which are direclty in it’s way, these can be trees, roofs and other things close to your location.

Thank you for the reply,

I’ve just checked heywhatsthat.com and the the geography looks good. The extra 2m would put the antenna above my roofline and some trees 20 meters away.

I’m not sure what the consequences of extending the cable by 2 or 3 meters.

3 meters of good cable means nothing in relation to the signal.

Thank you for the reply. What cable would you recommend?

I will vote for this if your antenna is already clear of surroundind obstructions (other houses,tall trees etc) and can see the horizon in almost all directions. In this situation raising few meters wont bring any advantage. On the other hand, increasing length of an already long (10m) coax is going to reduce performance, so will the additional adaptors. Moving Pi up involves weather/water proofing,and for acces,you beed to climb uo the roof. The udeal place of Pi is inside where it ia accessable at arm’s reach, without need of a ladder.

Adding an amplifier (LNA) may help due to already long (10m) coax.

What cable do you currently use?

There is no advantage of raising antainna few meters if it is already clear of surrounding obstructions and can “see” horizon in all directions. Why to di something which does not bring any benefit, and involves extra cost & effort.

Raising antenna 30 meters, and not 3 meters, will bring some noticeable improvement in range.

He is not clearing the roof line, that’s why I think the extra height will help:


Any pointers on the best cable to use and available in the UK? I have some F type connectors and crimper if appropriate, along with some F type to SMA adapters. I could always buy one made up if anyone can recommend one and thinks its a better than a DIY cable.

LMR-400 can be obtained from RS components and Farnell in the UK.
Clamp connectors with push fit centre pins are available, if you are not happy soldering.

F-Type connectors are 75 Ohm the dongle is 50 Ohm.

In this case i would give it a try.
But also think about a possibly required lightning protection.

Something like this is considerably better than RG58 but it is a lot larger diameter.

Any chance you could reduce your 10 metre run by rerouting the cable somehow?
That way you might be able to stick with a shorter smaller diameter cable.

I could put the pi into one of the boys bedrooms, its not ideal as they are very territorial (like most teenagers).

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Bribe them with something :rofl:

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Mine is in the attic.
Out of site but still accessible when needed.

Just sell the kids to invest in better kit?


Your boy is in the attic? :upside_down_face: :joy: :upside_down_face:


I tried that, eBay cancelled the auction.