FlightAware Discussions

Best equipment upgrade for a LiveATC air traffic control Vol

Good morning, I am looking to volunteer as a LiveATC air traffic control feeder site. I am in the process of Upgrading my old equip. What is the best radio/antenna? I am looking for maximum range and I live on the North-shore of MA.



Not sure if this is the best or not, but it does work well and it was cheap.

I use a NooElec RTL-SDR (RTL2832U with R820T). You can get this at Amazon for $20.

I built a collinear coax antenna and it worked well enough, I was getting about 50 miles of range, but I wasn’t happy. I then built a 1/4 wave ground plane antenna (easier to build than the collinear actually) and my range more than doubled. Unfortunately I have a long cable run from my computer to the antenna (about 100 feet), and I used 75 ohm impedance coax instead of 50 ohm, so that is probably hurting my range as well. Fixing that is a project for another day. I run RTL1090 and Plane Plotter (I paid $30 because I didn’t know that FlightAware would pay for it :cry: ).

This page has lots of info on receivers and antennas: http://www.rtl-sdr.com/adsb-aircraft-radar-with-rtl-sdr/

Erie, CO


The RTL1090 is good but far beyond (at least -20dB) the FunCube SDR Dongle (see the web). This one is a very, very good receiver with a stabilized main clock.

J-Luc ham radio F1JEK