That’s a nice looking setup with the weatherproof box and rooftop pole mount up above trees. I’ve enjoyed making my own antennas, including my first and only failed CoCo, but if I had your setup I’d consider buying a FlightAware antenna. It would probably do great up there.
Brought the Pro Stick down and did some tests on my window using my reference ground plane
Ground plane: ~60nm
I’m doing something really stupid with my coco designs, but I really can’t find what.
The coax cables I’ve used on my “production” are 82% VF, so 275/2*0,82 ~= 113mm
Interestingly, the more elements I put on it, worst are the results
About buying a ready to go antenna, the whole goal of this project is achieving something DIY. I already bought the Pro Stick because I tought the bad results I was getting could be releated to my RTL dongle/sat amplifier. And it would be extremelly expensive to ship it overseas.
Just a couple of things that may help the “team” help you. What results are you getting? What results are you expecting? Where on the planet are you located?
(Your stats page could answer most of these questions.)
You have a very nice installation with the advantage that the tip of the antenna element is within meter lead reach of the input to the dongle. Do you have continuity there? As another asked, have you insured that the center element is not shorted to the shield?
I get almost no result at all. Using the antenna in the first post (8 elements) or a 1/4 whip is the same (< 40km).
I managed to get some decent results some weeks ago (excelent at < 80km, good at < 150km and poor > 150km) with a very rudimentary antenna. Then I decided to make an “improved” permanent one. Now I even can’t reproduce those good results anymore.
Continuity is checked from the SMA connector to the tip of the antenna, no shorts.
The only thing that I haven’t fully explored was the options for the last element. Currently I’m using half element + 1/4 wave (5,7cm + 6,9cm). Might test another options (shorted, full element + 1/4 whip)
Can you experiment by joining the antenna directly to the short link cable at the pro-stick ?
(test without the long coaxial lead)
Do you have another short lead for prostick ? If so , I would check this as it seems to have tight bend and may be shorted.
Try simple spider using this method whilst watching the map screen/message rate.
You do not have to shut down each time you swap antenna or leads, you can have map screen running while you make some tests.
Observe message rate and map for activity when making changes.
CoCo antenna is very difficult to make correctly and is frustrating to obtain perfect results.
Cantenna or spider are extremely good and its very easy to get good station results .
It also depends very much on where you are. I was getting reports over 200nm on my spider indoors but there’s a lot of traffic in this area. Although at the moment (it’s 23:17 here) I only have 39 aircraft on my map. During peak times, that’s 200+.
Francois (F5ANN) is an expert class adsb antenna constructor.
To try to copy this design looks easy, but it is not.
I would suspect you have station problem with antenna connectors or cables not the antenna itself.
Perhaps go back to basics and use 1/4 wave spider (first checking for shorts on the antenna itself)
1 make a new or swap the short pigtail cable near the prostick
this has crimp/compression bnc connectors i think.
2 check sma pin connector male /female arrangement for faults or non-contact points, specifically with the centre pin, check this with care.The prostick has different sma connector than you may think.
You may have RP-SMA male (Reverse Pin-SMA male connector)
DIY CoCo’s can be a fickle beast, especially at 1090 MHz!
I also did a DIY one and the results were less than pleasing. Having worked in the RF industry (broadcast & telecoms) I know to get the phasing lengths spot on at 1090 Mhz you really need some test equipment.
I have built many CoCos and my success rate is about 10% Your build looks great.
The design I ended up with was just several lengths of coax cut to the appropriate length and pushed together like you have done. My VF is 0.66 so the lengths were 91mm. Double check the Velocity factor of the coax you have. How did you work out 113mm?
I don’t have the half wave length top end and I found that shorting the top made it worse. The bottom segment by the BNC connector is also 91mm.
I check continuity after the addition of each segment as it is too easy to get a stray piece of shield shorting somewhere. Once the antenna is complete I also give the whole antenna a bit of a shake and check continuity again just in case there is a bad connection somewhere. I also have about a 1mm gap between each segment.
Keep trying as the COCo is a great antenna
If you do try the shorted top, make sure you put a DC blocker in place or you will burn out the stick.