Best "USB DOngle" for ADS-B?


#1

Hi All,

Am currently running a “generic USB DVB stick” that I got for about £13 off fleaBay some months ago…

RUnning pretty well, but as I’m upgrading everything (WF100, HabAmp etc) thought it might make sense to upgrade that as well.

(Ad my interest in ADS-B started as a “see what I can do with an RPi and a bit of wire”, I cant really justify getting into the £££’s gear that full on HAM’s use… :wink: ) .
So, perhaps talking tops £50…

I recall the NooElec units were well received, in particular those with the TXCO chip, offering 0.5 PPM (vs my current 55 PPM!) , and the R802T (the “2nd” version, if acronyms fail me).

My birthday’s in a few weeks, might suggest a unit as a pressie from family! :wink:


#2

FlightAware Pro Stick, revolutionary USB ADS-B and MLAT receiver announced


#3

I love my NooElec NESDR Mini+ Al’s own three now.
nooelec.com/store/sdr/sdr-re … -plus.html

Only other one I have been wanting to try is the new one from RTL-SDR.
amazon.com/dp/B0129EBDS2

There is a very nice review of some of the top dongles out right now which can be found at rtlsdr4everyone.blogspot.ie/p/review.html.

TL;DR
The reviewer came to the following conclusions:

Both are great.

The RTL-SDR dongle is a docile labrador bringing back the ball.
The NooElec will rip your head off like a pitbull when you get it right.

RTL-SDR good for casual listeners.
NooElec if your looking for performance.


#4

Cool just ordered one!

Kind of curious how the amp works being it is in the dongle and not at the antenna. I am working on gathering everything, the RPi, filter, amp, antenna into and on to a weather proof box powered by power over ethernet cutting the run from the antenna to the dongle immensely. Thinking this is where this dongle will shine.


#5

[quote=“jprochazka”]

I ordered two. Disappointed that it doesn’t have a metal case but it should be really good value for money.
Longterm I may want to run the airspy on 1090 and the Pro stick on 978UAT.

My setup will be similar except the box will be in the attic and a 20-30ft run on LMR400UF to the DPD 1090 Ant and FA dual band antenna for 978.


#6

Metal enclosure were not a large boost to ADS-B tracking.

If you want to get a metal enclosure you can get one from RTL-SDR dongle since they has a very similar PCB outline to the prostick.
rtl-sdr.com/buy-rtl-sdr-dvb-t-dongles/


#7

Could wrap it up in aluminum foil as well. :laughing:
Honestly such shielding shouldn’t be needed unless you have a lot of RF noise in the area of the dongle.


#8

:imp: :imp: Ordered 2 right away only to learn that they do not ship to Southern Africa ( useless Postal Service) or to the Netherlands where my son lives. I had just this morning ordered 2 Nanos for delivery in the Netherlands and will be collecting those first week in May at a similar price.
At the current exchange rate we haul out over R1100.00 for 2 Nanos from Amazon so that takes care of a pensioner’s spending money :open_mouth:
Why no shipping to the Netherlands ??


#9

I ordered two. Disappointed that it doesn’t have a metal case but it should be really good value for money.
Longterm I may want to run the airspy on 1090 and the Pro stick on 978UAT.

My setup will be similar except the box will be in the attic and a 20-30ft run on LMR400UF to the DPD 1090 Ant and FA dual band antenna for 978.

Amplified systems will still beating almost almost all other non amplified ADS-B systems. The prostick is a very cheap and easy way to get an amplified ADS-B system.

The AirSpy is the same radio chip everyone is using but they are sampling at a much higher rate. This means they will miss fewer messages than other RTL ADS-B system. I don’t have an air spy but you would probably need to add an external amplifier to their system to see the maximum ADS-B range.


#10

Performance of my $21.50usd Noolec 820t2 was identical more or less to a $7.50usd China sourced generic 820t2.
The ppm adjustments were +55 and +50 respectively.
Day after day I swapped them out for each other.
No difference in performance what so ever.
Confused, I decided to open em up

Apart from the branding / printing…Spot the difference ? because I cant !

I not knocking Noolec, the dongles are very good and I hear customer service is very good also.


#11

(1) Built-in RF pre-amplifier is a very good idea.
(2) Is the length of Pro Stick’s Whip Antenna optimized for 1090 MHz?
(3) Not available for shipment to my Toronto address, although Toronto is nearer to Amazon’s USA stores than many cities in USA! :cry:


#12

(1) Thanks!
(2) The Pro Stick does not come with an antenna.
(3) Amazon Canada will have them next week! amazon.ca/FlightAware-Pro-S … entries*=0


#13

Spot the differences here :slight_smile:


#14

[quote=“jprochazka”]

It’s not the theoretically ideal setup, but it’s a cost effective and practical alternative to a stand-alone amp and powering the amp. For those users who want the amp close to the antenna, they can use long (active) USB runs or PoE to put the dongle and optionally RPi close to the antenna.


#15

Hi @mduell, Thanks for posting the peek of the FA Prostick internals :wink:

A close relation perhaps :smiley:

From rtl-sdr.com (with txco but no amp)


#16

This validates what some of us have been doing, i.e., putting a LNA and dongle behind the FA filter, behind a small antenna.

Looks like the “Pro” stick has a 50 ohm SMA connector. Good deal. It will replace one of my old 820 receivers.


#17

[quote=“mduell”]

Kind of what I plan to do with it when I get it except instead of a long USB run I plan to package everything together in a box and power the box via power over ethernet. I have been wanting to get rid of my current long coax run this came at the right time. Only thing missing is TCXO will see how the outside temps effect it as the seasons change. Maybe we will see that added in a future revision?


#18

I can only comment on the difference between the Nooelec DVB-T+DAB+FM and the NESDR mini 2+

Slightly more messages on the mini 2+, less single messages and no spikes.


#19

You are right. Please see examples below:

https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1696/25441809843_3eda064597_z.jpg . https://farm2.staticflickr.com/1679/26048371265_7b8fdbec74.jpg

Notes:
(1) Cantenna: The individual photos of Copper Whip, Pepsi Can and Pro Stick were combined using Photoshop.
(2) Spider: The Spider was NOT built by me. I found this photo on web, and used Photoshop to add to it the individual images of “Pro Stick” & “PL259 to SMA Adapter”.


#20

[quote=“abcd567”]

The ideal setup might actually have the filter in front of the dongle.