Now being so so close to putting the antenna outside, I was installing cooling on the FA ProStick Plus. Hoping to get a little extra performance with that.
I applied 1mm of thermal pad. See photo below.
The capacitors are cut out of course and some other components too. Reason: Those components did not feel hot so I thought that attaching them to the thermal pad and heatsink might actually attract heat towards them.
The area in the bottom center of the stick had been hollowed out from the heatsink. No contact possible between heatsink and those 2 components. The chip on the left bottom has been filled up with thermal pad to allow contact with heatsink. The component above is still cut out. The component in the right bottom is cut out because it is tall, it has direct contact with the heatsink sticker.
Result: signal -75%.
Then I covered all of the cut outs with paper tape, making direct contact more than impossible. Result: Little bit improvement. But still -50% from original.
The further the heatsink is moved away from the pcb, the better the performance.
So what is up here? There are users running the FlightAware ProStick Plus with cooling. Did they actually not test before and after and run degraded now? Did they apply a big thermal pad to move the heatsink up?