Coax choices for PiAware station upgrade

I intend to upgrade my initial, thrown-together-from-whatever trial PiAware station with parts soured online specifically suited for purpose. Based on your own individual and collective experience, I was hoping to gather information about equipment before I order anything.

I intend to build and compare several antennas based on designs shared here and elsewhere, primarily with F-type and N-type connectors. My receiver (FlightAware dongle, naturally) has an SMA connector.

What types of coaxial cable are most appropriate for use indoors (or outdoors, on my patio) given that I am most likely to be connecting to an antenna with an N-type connector outdoors (or an F-type connector indoors over moderate (< 10 m) cable runs?

I am getting into amateur radio as a hobby, so types of cable that are likely to be useful down the line for other projects (especially small antenna building) would be ideal, but I don’t have a lot of storage space to hang on to giant spools… I am relatively new to the wide range of coax options and would prefer to avoid ordering multiple spools for trial-and-error experimentation if I can benefit from your collective experience.

I have a variety of low-end but serviceable coax stripping, cutting, and crimping tools already, for what it’s worth.

Gonna give this a shot.

Good reviews.

I’m doing something a little different though. I’m going to put a box up on my tower by the standoff with the raspberry pi up there. I’m going to get POE addon for the PI something like this so all I need to run is ethernet up the tower.

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For both amateur radio and ADS-B, I use RG-6. Good quality RG-6 cable is easily sourced and cheap. The impedance difference, from 50 to 75 Ohms, is not a ‘deal breaker’.

As for connectors, I keep the F already installed on the RG-6, and use adapters to convert to other types as needed. Yes…there are losses (signal) by doing it this way, but again, not a ‘deal breaker’.

If you keep the F connectors on, then go with the quad shield RG-6. Re-terminating quad shield may be problematic.

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Interesting - I’m hoping to put my Pi in a box outdoors, power it from the patio outlet, and talk to it via WiFi (it’s just a few metres from the patio to my router).


You can extend your USB to just the dongle if you want as well if you can keep it enclosed.

This is the best setup then.


PI outside the best, eliminate the coax issue and cost, POE or power locally if possible. I have done this on my main unit, best thing I ever did!!

The best cable is a short cable.
ADS-B FlightAware Enclosure Build - Album on Imgur

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Example of Short Coax


Another example: No Coax


^ I did that.
My problem is the lack of height, works if you are at a higher floor, with no obstructions.
Not so much at ground level.

Is your patio covered? If not - is the power outlet weather proof while in use with the 5V power supply? Raining on that power supply might make fireworks.

A GFI protected receptacle is also a smart thing to have outdoors (required by the new electrical code).

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Have you had any issues with heat inside your enclosure? I have been wondering if I can get away without doing anything special to dissipate heat, given that I should be able to keep my plastic box in at least partial shade.

My patio is sheltered by the patio of the unit immediately above (just as mine shelters the patio below); rain does reach the front of the patio where the antenna would be placed, but the back of the patio where the power outlet is located is reasonably dry. The power outlet is weatherproof while in use (covered by a latching lid) but a PSU would occupy both outlets, which is not preferable, so I am more likely to run a weatherproof mains power cable from the outlet into a weatherproof box containing the electronics.

This station build by @canopycages in Florida ADS-B DIY PiAware enclosure I build yesterday

I use a much larger box like this -

I have no problems so far. But I think that just in case a fan is needed like this -


as it is positioned it will barely work. the laptop fans direct airflow towards the rectangular opening where the heatsink normally is located. so you must re-position/re-orient for best results. since you have the space why not use a bigger pc-chassis type fan ? also why nort power it from the net cable instead of a usb port ?

I think it’s best to ask this question to @aldoir
Perhaps this fan is needed to maintain the humidity level

I use this coaxial with adaptor sma

I used the fan to remove hot air inside the case and it’s enough

And bring in it’s place humid air from outside?

Humidity, dust and everything else. I tried to keep the box sealed to avoid dust and insects, but under direct sun the Pi reached 70oC. Using a fabric as air filter I kept the box free of insects, but had to clean it periodically from dust.