FlightAware Discussions

Change Antenna?

Hi all,

Do you consider that it is worth getting this antenna? https://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Antenna-ads-b-collinear-1090mhz-white-great-gain-COL1090-5-H-Vinnant-/293077704723
I’ve the flightaware antenna already, just wondering if this antenna will probably pick up a bit more distant aircraft since it has 5dbd gain (7.15dbi) vs the 5.5dbi of the flightaware antenna.

Thank you

It “looks” fine.
The build quality looks good. The sellers comments regarding cables and plugs suggest they know what they are talking about.
The price is competitive and that seller offers a good range of antennas. (even his negative feedback is positive!).
Looks low risk to me.

Gain means nothing location is the key i got 3 adsb verticals and 3 beams at 9 metres high all have lmr400 cable all pick different ditances.I was in a location that i could barely pass 120nm antennas where at least 10 metres high since i moved to a new location few years ago my minimum is around 220nm…

Regards Lino…

True (to a point),
but a higher gain antenna is cheaper than moving house.

2 Likes

I’d probably invest in an external LNA first if you aren’t using one.

But the antenna works well, @keithma is using one of them if i’m not mistaken.
Not sure how much or if it is better compared to the flightaware antenna, the location it is being used in is just very good.

Take all manufacturers gain figures with a pinch of salt!

This feeder is using a FlightAware aerial.

This feeder is using the aerial you linked above.

Both the above feeders are using Airspy Mini receivers, the former has an RTL-SDR LNA and the latter has an Uputronics LNA with ceramic filter.

The two sites are about ten miles apart, the second one probably has a slightly clearer view to the horizon but is actually lower ASL.

For the cost, I think the aerial you’ve linked is excellent but is it better? Without a direct comparison with the two next to each other, I can’t say.

Thank you all for the reply.
At the moment I got around 240nm with the blue flightware pro stick plus. Current gain is set to 28dB.
I haven’t tried an external LNA… Still thinking if it is better to go for a LNA or that antenna…

Do you live in an urban area? What kind of coax are you using and which is the length? From what you say getting a good filter could be a good option.

Yes I live in an urban area but not very far from the city.
I’m using 10m coax cable, RG213.
I guess I really need to play with filters/LNA to achieve a better range…

Very likely placing for example an rtl-sdr LNA at the antenna would help more than another antenna.
Do you know the exact cable loss at 1 GHz?
For 10m even if the cable is good the signal improvement by not having the cable being relevant is likely more than the antenna difference.

If you don’t want to deal with a software bias-t, just get a bias-t which you wire 5V to so the LNA is supplied via the coax.

I would highly recommend this one:
https://rtl-sdr.com/new-product-rtl-sdr-blog-1090-mhz-ads-b-lna/

The uputronics LNA isn’t bad either.
(Seems your current environment isn’t too much noise because in that case i would rather use the rtl-sdr one because it handles strong noise much better)

10m of an average RG213 is about 3dB loss which is around 50% of your signal so adding an LNA at the masthead will help to improve things. You’ll need to reduce the gain because you’ll be adding a lot of additional gain at the far end.

I wouldn’t recommend adding an LNA unless you do put it at the masthead as you seem to have plenty of signal already.

In your situation, I don’t think an aerial change will make a lot of difference.

Thank you for your input @wiedehopf and @keithma , much appreciated.
I just bought the “RTL-SDR BLOG ADS-B TRIPLE FILTERED LNA (BIAS TEE POWERED)”. I’ll place it directly on the antenna through a N male/SMA male adapter.
That’s right @keithma. I just confirmed the loss for my specific RG-213 cable and attenuation is around 31dB/100m which gives 3.1dB for the 10m cable I have.

Make sure to waterproof it in some fashion.

You’ll also need to supply it with power via the coax.

I’ll do it, thanks for pointing it out.
I have already a bias-tee with me which I will connect in the FA pro stick plus and will add an external linear +5V supply.

That will do fine.

You will likely need to set the gain at around 5.
(Lots of amplification going on in the receiver and the LNA combined)

Just thinking in using a good 10m extension usb cable (FA pro stick plus cased near the antenna and LNA) rather than RG213. It is a better option?

More trouble than it’s worth. (Edit: In this case with an amplifier it’s not even worth anything)
After the amplifier the attenuation of the cable doesn’t matter anymore.

Thanks for the information. So I’ll just keep it as it is with the additional LNA at the antenna and bias-tee at the receiver input.

I have this antenna.
I can’t tell if it’s good or bad because I don’t have to compare with.
I use
Antenna: COL1090/5-H Vinnant.
DVB-T, SAT (5-2300 MHz) cable coaxial amplifier 18dB.
20 meter HDF-400 coaxial cable. And
Astrometa DVB-T2 usb tv tuner.

Distance-wise it looks good I’d say, almost 400km.

A few sites close (or not so close, actually) by use a flightfeeder, ie the FA antenna, and your results are at least the same, so at first glance both antennas are comparable