Can't figure out why Flightaware antenna will not work.

I am not a rookie when it comes to antennas and connectors. But I cannot for the life of me figure out why my Flightaware antenna will not work.
I have the N to F connector at the antenna running through decent coax to a pigtail F to SMA for the flightstick pro. I am comparing it to my homemade groundplane which is using the same run of coax minus the N to F connector. I am not talking about just a reduction in stats and planes I mean nearly dead. It will drop from 75 planes to maybe 10 within a very short range from my location if I change to the flightaware antenna.
This is my second antenna so very doubtful it is bad. Could it be a bad N to F connector? Seems rare.

There two different versions of N connectors, 75 and 50 Ohm, which might cause problems.someone else here, I think @abcd had this type of problem…

If it’s not the antenna, then it could be pretty much anything else in the RF chain.

Try dropping the gain a bit.

Thanks guys, after I posted I did notice my signal level graph shot way up. Looks like noise went from -30dbs to about -11dbs. The mean level went from around -11 to around -2. Does this help?

On the ohm issue. I used that connector early in the path closer to the Flightstick and I am pretty sure I had it going into the opposite end of the same coax run that is being used. But I will double check.

Any chance antenna to get water somehow inside or its connectors?
I observed similar behavior with huge drop and then improvement several days later.

First step, try dropping gain. Try different values between say 28.0 and 42.1 db.
Next step, try adding a Filter.

I faced similar situation (click here). First I thought it is due to connector, but changing connectors did not help. Finally adding a filter did the magic.

This antenna is brand new so no water. I will mess with gain and see what happens.
Im using a pro stick plus so already have a filter.

Think the 75 ohm connector has a smaller pin. The antenna is 50 ohm, so think if you use a 75 ohm connector it fits, but the pin doesn’t make a good (if any) connection with the little hole on the bottom of the antenna.

See pic on right of this page, scroll down a little:

The FA high gain (5.5 dB) 26" Antenna + ProStick Plus, at locations with strong Cell Phone and other RF communication signals (like my location) performs poorly, unless an external filter is added.

Image below shows what happened with my FA 26" Antenna + ProStick Plus.

Please see this post (and few more posts afterwards) for full details: post200619.html#p200619

Gentlemen, thanks so much for the feedback.
I messed with this again today, Here is what I figured out.

When I attach the FA antenna to my mast, which is a 20-25 ft metal pole, I immediately start to see my message rate drop.
Is this a grounding issue? If a just hold my antenna with it connected it seems to do fine.
Keep in mind I confirmed the ohm issue is ok and the coax is ok. The antenna seems to work with everything as far as connections go as
long as it is not attached to the pole. The pole sets on the ground, it is not mounted to the house.


Well all ground is not alike. you may have a difference of potential between the coaxial shield and the earth your metal mast is contacting.

Why not place some dielectric between the antenna and mast?

In my younger days I would have suggested a piece cut from an old inner tube but now you would have to work with a piece of steel belted radial. Not fun. :smiley:

A bike shop may be a source of an old balloon bike tire tube you could slide over the top of the mast.

A short section of PVC atop the mast may be another solution.


Funny you mentioned the tire tube. I searched the garage yesterday in hopes of finding something like that to insulate with.
I’ll give that a shot. Thanks