exterior antenna


Hi everyone! I’m fairly new to this. I’ve looked through the forum but couldn’t find it anywhere. Is there a way I could build an antenna like this: m.ebay.com/itm/ADS-B-omni-antenn … nav=SEARCH ? I’m pretty handy, but I don’t know a whole lot about this subject yet. I have my PiAware up and running, but have an interior antenna and only getting about 25 mile range. I’m looking to mount this to an old antenna on my house. I’m an airline pilot and recently found out about this whole thing. I’m a noob, so go easy on me!



Make it easy on yourself and go with this:


If you don’t have Prime, add something else for 5 bucks and the shipping is free.

(Believe me, you’ll be spending more than that 50 bucks over time because there is always something else to get you out just a little farther!) :laughing:


Keep it simple. My aerial is a cantenna basically a tin can and a paperclip. More details elsewhere on this forum. I got about 50 aircraft/miles indoors and about 200 when I put it on the roof. Ok I’m in a good location as I have now found out (London UK) -but I recommend simplicity until you find your feet. Fortunately I can climb the roof at no cost but I am delighted with my cantenna attached to a broom handle above the TV aerial. I an now hooked and ready to improve on my current setup, and spend a few more pennies.


The antenna is a CoCo antenna (Coaxial Collinear Antenna). These antenna are very easy and fairly cheap to make but tuning can be a problem.

A coworker followed these instructions and made a 8 segmented CoCo antenna using cheap RG coax cable cut to specific lengths.

CoCo antennas use 1/2 wave segments (about 5.4 inches for ADSB * the propagation speed of the coax ) . The ebay listing says it is a 4 segment CoCo.

There are people posting about CoCo antenna on FlightAware all the time. Definitely check out the post below:

The other choice is to make a cheap Cantenna antenna. These are great antenna and which doesn’t require tuning. You will also probably get better range from an cantenna since they work without tuning.

The FlightAware antenna on Amazon is a great antenna if you want a premade, tuned, and weatherproof antenna.


If you use a antenna indoors every antenna will suck…

Bigges issue with diy cocos is the not 100%known vf from the coax and a fragile connection if you dont solder the elements… But it ist very easy to build a better antenna than a 1/4gp…


First the summary:
– If you want a very low cost and easy to make DIY antenna, make a Spider or Cantenna. Both can be used indoors as well as outdoors. Their gain is not high (about 2 dBi), and their performance is substantially enhanced if you use an amplifier. If your coax length is longer than 5 meters / 15ft, an amplifier becomes essential.

– If you want a good quality high gain (5 to 6 dBi), mechanically strong outdoor antenna, purchase Flight Aware 1090 Mhz antenna from Amazon.com. It is good, and very reasonably priced.

Now the detailed explanation…
(1) Any antenna placed outdoors (in yard, on roof or on mast), performs better than same antenna placed indoors (in attic or near a window)

(2) The maximum range is achieved if antenna’s location & height is such that it can “see” the horizon all around or in most directions. Raising antenna above roof lines of surrounding buildings, houses & trees improves range greately.

(3) Under DIY hobbyist conditions, it is very easy to make a collinear antenna (coaxial or wire or strip line), but very hard to get it right. Only a few lucky DIY hobbyists succeed in making a good collinear, and most end up with a poor collinear antenna. The reasons are:

(a) In order to succeed in make a good collinear, proper test equipment & technical know how are required. Most hobbyists dont have these.

(b) The collinears have very low dimensional tolerance. Few mm error in dimensions due to either poor design, or inaccurate construction, throws the collinear from “excellent” to “poor” category. A lot of collinear designs posted on internet are inaccurate or flawed.

(4) Under DIY hobbyist conditions, the 1/4 wavelength groundplane antennas (Spider & Cantenna) are easy to make, and easy to get right. These antennas are:

(a) Naturally tuned, so dont require any test equipment and technical know how.

(b) Have large dimensional tolerance, and perform fairly good even with few mm error in dimensions.



Hi abcd567, Have you tried making a cantenna with a Flight-Aware pro-stick inside the can - the connection to the cantenna just being a USB cable?


No, not yet as only yesterday evening I received my first pro stick.

I planned to make a cantenna using pro stick as the photoshop images I have made. Unfortunately I received pro stick very late. I am pretty busy with something important for next 2 days, and on Saturday will fly to UK for a short visit. I will make this cantenna when I return from UK after a week.

In night I replaced the generic one with the pro stick, and had to set gain of dump1090 to 35 dB to get reasonable results. Gain settings above 35 dB dropped the performance. My satellite amplifier worked great even at “max” gain setting. I dropped it to 44 dB to reduce signals > -3dBFS. It seems the satellite amplifier has built in filter as its rated frequency is 950 Mhz to 2050 MHz, and cuts off lower frequency cellular, TV VHF/UHF, and higher frequency Wifi 2.4 Ghz and other signals. The pro stick pre amp has a very broad bandwidth of 300 Mhz to 2400 Mhz, and in most cases will require a filter to take full advantage of pre amp.


Thanks for the replies!


Typically, it’s never a good idea to mount an antenna near another antenna. You may end up getting strange results from the newer antenna. If the old antenna is no longer in use then remove it first.