FlightAware Discussions

CoCo Antenna - Static discharge and other risks?

Hi Guys,…

I cleaned my basement and discovered an old Raspberry Pi 2 - Model B and decided to start feeding ADS-B Data to the world… :smiley:

I started with the stock antenna of the DVB-T Stick - after one day i cut the antenna to 67 mm - next day i started to assamble a CoCo Antenna (8 Elements - open end - inner conductor and outer shield are not shorted) and got everything set up in my attic… My Attic is surrounded by trees and other buildings with the same height as my house - not quite ideal conditions but it is working okay.

Now i am worried about static charge and stuff like that… The Antenna is not grounded anywhere… So is it possible that it would charge up or pick any charge out of the air and will fry my DVB-T Stick at some day?? Do i have to install any protection to avoid damages? :smiley:

Here are my stats with my CoCo Antenna… (There is not much traffic due to Corona at the moment :frowning:)
I started with only feeding FR24… Then a few days later started FA … And another day later Radarbox… :wink:

Kind regards,

I think you are safe inside your house attic. If there is a discharge in there, you have bigger problems than a fried Pi.

I have installed my antenna outside and I have run a #10 ground wire from it’s connector ground to a 5’ ground rod. No loops or sharp turns are allowed on that kind of connection.
That was done not to protect the receiver, but the house. I don’t want to “attract” any electricity inside.

Also I have added a gas protector on the incoming coax cable. That was to protect the receiver input.

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All (most?) RTL dongles have a pair of protection diodes on the RF input to protect against static buildup.
A ground rod and GDT (gas discharge tube) provide additional protection in case of anything arcing to your antenna or coax. Probably not necessary, but won’t hurt either.

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That’s true, see pic, part labeled A7W (dual diode, anti-parallel connected to GND).
Severe discharges can short-out those diodes.

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