Connecting coax to sma (pro stick plus)


#1

Hi guys,

Brand new around here. Found an old Raspbery Pi A model two weeks ago and ordered a dongle from Jetvision. Now I am tracking aircraft and I am totally addicted.

Last week I ordered a Flightaware pro stick plus, because I hope to get more range and hits. Also I built my first coketenna Still untested, so no idea if it will work. The stick arrived today by mail.

And now my problems start. Apparently I was totally mistaken about how I would connect the stick to the coax cable. The sma connector is smaller then I anticipated. And now I am really confused as to how to connect the cable to the stick. I have some connectors a friend gave me, and I think that those are called f-connectors. They are used to connect a coax cable to a cable modem for internet access…

I am fairly certain the stick has a SMA female connection. Is this correct?
But my the diameter of my coax cable is even larger then sma, so I need some sort of adapter or a way to connect coax directly to sma male.

When I google for f-connector female to sma male I don’t get any hits.

Could you guys tell me how you connected your cantenna’s, coketenna’s to your dongles? I would really appreciate it!


#2

@Bolkie,
You can get SMA connectors that will work with large sizes of coax. I have them working on LMR400(like RG8).
SMA looks like an F connector but is different. Almost all of the RTL-SDR type dongles use SMA or the much smaller MCX connector. The adapter has a female connector as RF specs general state that cables should always have male connectors.

Jon


#3

Thanks Jon!

So if I understand correctly: I should not bother with some sort of adapter, right? I should find and order an SMA male connector that I put directly on the coax cable? Will there be soldering involved?


#4

You can buy pre-made cables.

As for the connector, there are solder and crimp connectors. The choice is yours, some prefer one over the other. Some even solder crimped connectors, just to be sure.

Bear in mind that at these frequencies, the coax loss can be significant for longer runs. The is especially true for smaller coaxes like rg57/58.


#5

Look on eBay. Lots of options there. A straight adapter is ok, but it may/will stress the socket on the dongle, causing problems in the near future.

Look for a pigtail adapter.

Straight adapter:

Pigtail:

Then use good quality F-terminated RG-6 cable. Plentiful and cheap, errrr…affordable.:grin:


#6

(1) FA Antenna >> N-male to F-female adapter >> RG6 coax with F-male twist-on on both ends >> Pigtail RG316 F-female to SMA-male >> FA Filter >> ProStick

(2) Cantenna >> RG6 coax with F-male twist-on on both ends >> Pigtail RG316 F-female to MCX-male >> Generic DVB-T


#7

Thanks to both! Really appreciate it.

I am going to try abcd567 option 2. The RG6 cable with coketenna on one end and the f type on the other. Cable terminted by me :slight_smile: Then after the affirmative from Dxista I started to search for sma male - f female. Ebay had hits indeed, but waiting 24 business days on a package from China sucks.

Then by some weird luck I found this one: https://www.onlinekabelshop.nl/adapter-f-connector-vrouwelijk-sma-mannelijk (sorry for the dutch). Unfortunately no pigtail option.
So I was planning to visit that physical shop. Looking up the adres I found out one of my colleagues lives on that street! So he will get the adapter for me tomorrow morning. Saves me a 2 hour drive. I am really lucky.

I will keep you updated!


#8

My colleague brought the adapter and it works!!

So happy. My range went up, seeing aircraft 250km away sometimes. With my crappy coketenna (of which I am not yet sure it i functioning).

Take a look!


Now I am going to move my old/spare antenna and dongle (that started this addiction) to a northeast facing Window. Couldn’t get the extra feed working in virtual radar server so I am re-imaging the Pi.


#9

I can see the antenna is not working properly, you did not use original ‘parts’, a Classic Coke can. What you built is a Colantenna.:rofl:

Seems to be working fine.

Liked the idea of the clay vase as support.


#10

It’s a wonderfully functioning craptenna!