FlightAware Discussions

Can I benefit from upgrading my dongle?

Hi! I’m starting to buy the materials to try some DIY antennas, meanwhile i’m checking all the system.
Currently I have a Nooelec 820T NESDR Mini with factory antenna + long USB extension cable to the RPI.
Here I have 2 options, I can invest on a filter or, upgrade the dongle to a newer model/different brand…or neither.
Is this cost/effective? makes sense?
Thanks!

For most people, the answer is yes. But there could be unique circumstances I suppose. For around the same price you could upgrade the dongle to the blue FA Pro +, which includes filter and amplifier. Or if you don’t actually need a filter, the orange Pro Stick has amp, but not filter. Read the “Do I need a filter?” thread in this forum.

Make sure the USB extension cable isn’t too long or it could cause power issues to the dongle which might show up more on a dongle with amp.

You should see improvement with an amped dongle. I did. OTOH, you should consider upgrading your antenna and adding a quality cable as well since something like the FA 1090 antenna could probably give better results than that whip.

I started with that same Nooelec kit but upgraded everything within a couple weeks. Big difference in my case since trees surrounding me attenuate signals.

Thanks! I’ve been looking and apparently Amazon only sends this model to my country at this time:

do you think that will make a difference?

will look to the filter topic
Thanks!

That one has Bias Tee which can help if you also got a compatible LNA/filter (like the RTL-SDR LNA or Uputronics). But then you are investing a lot more in the upgrade vs the FA Pro Stick + which probably has everything that would make you happy for around USD $20 +/-. The FA stick isn’t available at the moment on US Amazon either, so maybe check other options or see if it is ever available in your country.

If you could find a way to get the FA Pro Stick plus, instead of RTL-SDR + LNA (+filter), you would save money which maybe you could use later to also upgrade the antenna/cable…

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The very first thing you need to do is to conduct an RF Scan to determine what RF signals exist at your location. Results of this scan will help to determine if you need Filtering, and if yes, which filter. Please note that RF noise varies from location to location, and what hardware best suits varies from site to site.

The method to conduct RF Scan is given here:

Do I Need A Filter?

 

 

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As long as you are operating it without filter/LNA, there might not be that much improvement.

If you want to keep it cheap and easy you should consider either the blue FlightAware Pro Plus stick or the green one from Radarbox24. There are filter and LNA built in.

Thank you all! will read the “filter” thread and use that to verify the noise and the power loss I could be having on the USB cable (it’s conneted to a powered hub thinking on avoiding loosing power)
Thanks!

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Thanks!!