FlightAware Discussions

Bet ya can't tell which day I moved my antenna to the roof!

Started out like most, with a Pi 3B+ and one of those magnetic antennas that they claim are tuned for 1090. Put it all on the windowsill in my bedroom because I really didn’t have any idea how it might turn out. Before long I had mounted the antenna to a 1 quart paint can. Then I made a cut-down mast. Then I bought the FlightAware antenna and hung it from a piece of string in my window. Then I added the FA light blue filter.

Finally, a little over a week ago, I moved it to the peak of my roof and routed 50 feet of “low loss coax” down to my garage (https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B07RXWHG5X/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o02_s01?ie=UTF8&psc=1).

Range is not only up, but more consistent. Total number of aircraft is up, Messages per aircraft is up, and for the last several days I have been at the top of my “Nearby Sites” stats. The antenna itself is only about 12 feet higher than before, but it has made a massive difference in the results!


And i thought my wife is the one with the highest number of tabs open in her browser at the same time :rofl:


Funny! That was my wife’s computer!

(I usually have at least 50% more than that!)

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@jafrank - right with you. Started out with a modest system and then started making improvements. I moved my antenna, moved the Pi 20’ away, and used good coax to connect. Moved up near the top of the Nearby Sites stats too.

But cell phone service at the house is bad. It doesn’t help that the houses here are wrapped in chicken wire to hold the stucco. So we got a cell phone booster and I just got that install finished a few days ago.

I’m now dropping back down since my positions at a distance are down and everything is down thanks to the now very close Self-inflicted cell phone tower.

Ordered the Pro Plus to get that 1090 SAW filter. Already hung ferrites all over everything but to little effect. I think it’s just my FlightAware antenna picking up the cell signals from the indoor antenna since external cell antenna is a Yagi pointed well away and distant, but also, the roofs don’t have chicken wire so its a much more clear shot from indoor cell antenna to roof-mounted ADSB stick.

It’s a quest!

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Do I Need A Filter?


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Heya @abcd567, yeah, I definitely need a filter. :+1: I can modulate between high and low position counts just by plugging and unplugging the cell phone booster.

Even better, the booster box is mounted about 2 feet from the orange PiAware receiver and current light blue filter and plugged into the same Tripp Lite Isobar surge and noise suppressor (though different isolation banks). I am hoping that the no change from the ferrites eliminate it just being emanations from the cell phone booster box itself but that isn’t a given I don’t think. But the next easiest thing to try is the Pro Plus dark blue receiver with the built-in saw filter or the 1090 dark blue inline filter. So I ordered both since they aren’t that expensive and I plan on setting up either my brother or a grand nephew with a station anyway. I can compare and see which works best. The spares won’t be wasted.

Hopefully the narrow band SAW or dark blue filter fixes me up. If not, I’m probably stuck since there isn’t a good way to shield my installation without making a mess I think. And it still works. Just not as well. Noticeably not as well. And the booster isn’t oscillating or booming. Just enough output to get us good cell signal in the house.


If you are located in Europe, Asia or Africa, you will need both.

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My wife has also a thousand tabs open… I had to upgrade the memory on her laptop because of that.
So it’s a thing? I am the weird one that closes the unused tabs?

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Same here :slight_smile:


I can’t speak for others, but I don’t have any ‘unused tabs’ out of the 20-25 that I usually have open. My job requires a fair amount of research and self-training, and I’m pretty ADHD, so I am constantly bouncing between open tabs with different content & subject matter.


Thanks, @abcd567! I’m in the US so it’s just North American cell frequencies but my “cell tower” (though much lower power) is now in the same house as the ADSB setup. I was trying to decide in advance which would be better but just punted and got both. Had to order from PiHut since the filters aren’t distributed in the US and Amazon shows out of Plus units.

That I might need both makes me glad I got both. I know the discussion about order between receiver, LNA and filter, insertion loss, and such. Hoping it all just magically works and in a perfect world, I get more positions farther out.

Time will tell. I was doing great until my wife asked me if I was happy with our cell phone reception… :rofl:

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No, you’re not the weird one, at least you’re not alone.
I am closing the tabs always right away. And then start complaining to myself why i closed it too early.

Sometimes i need to tell my wife: You have to reboot.
Her answer: “If i am losing all my open tabs, you’re a dead man”

She is following a different strategy. If the tabs are getting more and make the titles hard to read, she simply starts a new browser session filling up with new tabs there. Last time i’ve seen her device was with four different browser sessions, approx. 15-20 open tabs… each…

OK, but i think we are now a bit off topic :slight_smile:


chrome has an add in call one tab lets you save a bunch of tabs for later
i find it very useful

If you use Firefox, TreeStyleTab extension can place the tabs on the left side of Firefox. It also does nesting for subtabs. I use about 60 tabs available, in maybe 15 categories. Subtabs can have more subtabs. It helps to keep things organized and a bit more useful than strung out at the top of the browser windows.

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CRTL - Shift - T in Chrome reopens old tabs.

something something, back on topic.

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Same experience - Edge, Chrome… 20+ tabs on each.

Maybe, maybe not

I am currently using the Pro Plus Stick and have the dark blue filter between Stick and Antenna. Now with increased traffic it’s still not clear if an improvement can be seen. So it really depends on your individual environment

However, the filter does not decrease the performance currently, so i leave it installed even it wasn’t really mandatory…

His enviroment removes him from catgory “maybe not” and places him in category “Maybe”

I need something but am not 100% certain what. Depends on how the interference is getting in but I can modulate the interference. It’s definitely the cell phone booster causing the issue.

The effect is clear but not devastating. I could stop right here and be ok but I want my range back. I used to get quite a few positions over 250nm so suspect it might be tropospheric ducting but with the booster running I can’t see it any more. Just a few reports. I wanted to try to catch it happening.

If the booster signals are getting in through the antenna, it could be either the dark blue 1090 filter or the Pro Plus fixes things up, but depending on how wide the splatter is, I can see needing both to knock it down. But I also realize that there is a trade off either way with insertion losses before the signal gets to the amplifier.

I got both because I couldn’t find either the dark blue 1090 filter or the Pro Plus in my normal haunts. Since that meant buying overseas, I figured get both because the time and money to buy twice is significant compared to the cost of the parts.

No idea which I will use. Whatever works best.

But if the noise is getting in through the unshielded plastic case of the dongles, I may need to build a box to seal out the RF. I won’t know until I block the cell stuff coming in through the antenna how much the lack of shielding matters. Since I now have a transmitter nearby both physically and in terms of frequency, it’s kind of an adventure.