FlightAware Discussions

Choosing my indoor antenna

Hi all,

I am looking for buy a new set of antenna and dongle.

Rightnow I have a raspberry Zero + https://shop.jetvision.de/epages/64807909.sf/en_GB/?ObjectPath=/Shops/64807909/Products/53200

Now I am thinking to set another indoor antenna in the opposite direction in my house.

I think in a raspberry pi 3A+ plus…any antenna and dongle but I do not have an idea of which one choose.

I saw these ones in amazon UK

I have no tools or related stuff because I moved recently and I will move again in 1 year…So buy tools just to make things maybe it is going to be expensive than buy one new.

I live in the top floor in the attic

What do you guys think is the best option?

Antenna…none of the above. Even indoors, the FA antenna is a best buy. I have two.

As for the dongle, the Pro + is a winner for simplicity, performance, and cost.

If you can afford a bit more, the RTL-SDR Blog dongle and filtered LNA.


If the FA antennas are too expensive for you, try one of the DIY quarter-wave ground plane antennas - I’ve used one in my attic and picked up planes 100nm away.

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This antenna is on par with the DIY antennas:


All the ones you linked are really crappy.
They just seem to sell 886 MHz antennas as 1090 MHz antennas for no good reason.
No idea why.

With that antenna i linked above you’ll need some coax, 2-3m is reasonable so you can place the antenna.
For example this one would work: https://www.amazon.co.uk/DeLOCK-SMA-Stecker-Male-LMR195-low/dp/B00MGRGU1S

Don’t buy RP-SMA, that’s the wrong connectors.

You can also get an SMA male to SMA female cable and male-male SMA adapter.
The cable i linked is male to male SMA so no need for the adapter.
(the linked antenna and the dongle both are female SMA)

Depending on the noise in your area you will need a dark blue FA filter for the FA pro stick plus to work well.
(The more expensive antennas reduce the need for a filter as they are more frequency specific, but with the simple antennas a filter can be necessary)
But it might work fine without a filter.


The FA antenna is this one?: https://www.amazon.co.uk/FlightAware-1090MHz-ADS-B-N-Type-Antenna/dp/B06VWPTLY2/ref=sr_1_2?keywords=flightaware+antenna&qid=1559833929&s=gateway&sr=8-2

About the dongle I guess that is this one https://www.amazon.co.uk/RTL-SDR-Blog-RTL2832U-Software-Defined/dp/B0129EBDS2/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=RTL-SDR+Blog+dongle&qid=1559833997&s=gateway&sr=8-1 but I can not find the filter that you say

This is where you can find the rtl-sdr blog gear:


It’s a very nice combination. (Best to buy it there to avoid fakes/ high prices)

I live in a pretty green zone…the only problem is that the BBC building is close to my home so perhaps it could be a problem…but I think that if with the crappy jetvision dongle I see a few planes…with something a bit better the changes will be notorious… And also my idea is set one antenna in each side of the hose.

I am going to order this antenna is pretty cheap and looks fine


For the UK try shopping here, i believe it’s a little cheaper than amazon:


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Thank you, by the way…is there a big difference between FA dongles and those rtl-sdr dongles?

OMG it is way more cheaper O_O thx a lot

The FA dongles have a builtin LNA (low noise amplifier) and filter in case of the blue stick.

Otherwise they are both good quality.
I’d go with the rtl-sdr combo because the filtering concept is better.
If you get the external LNA you will need the rtl-sdr dongle anyway to provide it with power.

Make one setup first and if you are satisified or want to do something different you can still get a second setup.

The rtl-sdr stuff ships from overseas and shouldn’t be too expensive.
(not like the amazon link you gave on uk amazon, way overpriced)

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I would highly suggest the FA stick, even if you use it indoors. I tried it that way in different locations indoors as I was setting up and it was highly effective, even away from windows. Putting it in a window did improve its reception. I had originally purchased a dongle that was packed with a cheap adjustable antennae and it was not good at all. I eventually attached the FA stick to 5 feet of half inch conduit, raised it 25 feet above the ground to a high point on the roof and attached the conduit using small pieces of something called channel. Unistrut, Powerstrut, B-Line are makes of this channel. There are half inch pipe clamps that go into the channel. I also highly recommend the 1090 Mhz band-pass filter by FA. The improvement in reception by blocking out the local radio noise was amazing. https://www.amazon.com/PiAware-MicroSD-Receiver-Band-pass-FlightAware/dp/B01F8EZK7A/ref=sr_1_21_sspa?hvadid=77721779955035&hvbmt=be&hvdev=c&hvqmt=e&keywords=flightaware+filter&qid=1559836364&s=gateway&sr=8-21-spons&psc=1


My FA Antenna Indoors, near a window. Hanging by a string. Performs very well.


My cat would be very happy with this toy hahaha

I will buy all things next month (salaryyy) but I was thinking between use a string like you and set close to the windows or use a tape and set in the top of my wardrobe (because my room is attic so has elevation in the roof

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An observation about indoor antennas. Antenna location is always important, but when indoors, it’s even more important, if not critical. A couple of inches to the left, to the righ, up, etc. can make a world of difference.

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I have seen a lot of pictures of area coverage with virtual radar ( http://www.qsl.net/g0isw/VirtualRadar%20Range%20Plot%2004.12.2015.jpg ) I have tried to do the same but I have not been able to do the same… do you have any guide? I think it could be the best way to choose a place indoor.

I have ordered the antenna and the cable that you recommended… Also a Raspberry pi 3 A+ (I guess that for home radar that could make the different instead of a raspberry zero)

So for now just wait for the parcel… I will move the old crappy antenna + raspberry pi zero to a other room which have windows looking to the opposite direction . So that I hope that the combination of crappy antenna and the new one improve a lot my sky view!

Thanks again for all the tips, I will let ya’ll know the evolution!