Ground Plane for FA Antenna?


I suggest FA ask Amazon to include with antenna sale, the option to purchase various different connectors (to be chosen by the buyer) and ship it along with the antenna in the same box. This will help the buyer a lot and avoid mistakes in ordering connectors / pigtails / patch cables, and will save time in procuring these after the buyer receives the antenna.


There is nothing you can measure with a multimeter that will tell you the characteristic impedance of a connector / coax / antenna.

If you can get a capiper into the plug, you may be able to measure the diameter of the pin, then lookup what it should be.

The best way to ‘know’ you have the right thing is to buy a brand name part from a reputable supplier


I attempted to find the dimensions for the N connectors in both 50 ohm and 75 ohm. This is one document I found from a supplier that does detail the 50 ohm version center pin and female receptacle sizes.

Link to a supplier data sheet page

Based on this the center pin is .064-.066 and the female receptacle is sized to interface with a .0630-.0660 pin.

Also of interest is what is marked as the reference plane on the drawing ( where the fully mated connectors index) and that is something I want to check on the connector I have that appears to be correct but does not mate.

I have not yet been able to find a comparable drawing that shows the 75 ohm version in the same detail.
There is a standard by the IEC numbered 16-9 pertaining to N connectors but it is behind a paywall and requires a fee to access.


The best I could find


This is the one I am using since March 2016.

N-male to F-female ADAPTOR (for connecting RG6 to FA Antenna)

N-male to MCX-male PIGTAIL (for generic DVB-t)


A caveat here…
While that may be a pasable DC ground, it’s definitely not an RF ground.
At 1 GHz, the two are very different animals.


This is internal of Flightradar24 antenna. No ground plane.


This is internal of FlightAware antenna.
No ground plane.


Wonder which one comes out on top?


Ok so I went to Altronics and found a 50 Ohm N type, it is a N to sma, so a few adapters later it is now to Ftype.

I have fitted to my Antenna and the range etc is identical to the previous N to Ftype plug. So I am assuming my previous adapter was the same 50ohm.

Currently getting a max of 200NM so one would imagine if I had the wrong N type connector I wouldn’t be geting that type of distance?


My next step is to get LMR400 (to replace RG6) to get rid of two of three adapters and have less cable loss (only 35 ft tho…). After that I’m maxed out. FA blue dongle, Rasp Pi 3 B+, FA antenna at 30’ AGL. Still only getting 200 nm.


Before going to the expense and trouble of LMR400, reduce the number of adapters. Play with the gain, try to increase the SNR.

Depending on what is at play, reducing losses may make the situation worse. Crazy but true.


Still have some filters to try yet haha


Yep. Looking for RG6 to N-type and SMA connectors now…



BOTH connections shown above performed equally good/bad.
Connector-less hack was done to find out if the N-male to F-female connector is causing poor performance.

Finally I discovered that poor performance was not caused by connector. It was due to RF noise (Cell phone signals). Adding a Filter remedied the situation.


This is not meant as disrespect at all. Is that a twist on F-connector? Just a question I only ask this as the cable guy that came to the house had a hissy fit that I had one of these on a cable run to the garage. Was janky old RG-58U as well. He said these are the worst leakers of signal of anything in the system. Insisted he check all the rest in the house.

Worked fine for me. Was from 1975 or something. I actually now have cable company quality cutters/crimper/connectors for all of the house and work cable that I did in the past 10 years.

Props to abcd567 - has helped me many many times…


You have asked this question while quoted a post in which Flightradar24 Antenna’s photo was posted. Your question is irrelevant for that post.

I think you are referring to my post showing photos of my FlightAware antenna showing (1) a connector-less hack and (2) with a N-male to F-female connector.

In this case yes, all the F connectors I use on RG6 cable are twist-on type. As my entire installation is indoors, these have not given me any trouble even after several years of service. These are cheap also ($0.25 each) and very easy to install without any special crimping tools - just a knife and a cutter.

You are absolutely right if installations are outdoors. The cheap twist-on F connectors fail after some period due to rain and humidity.


ok…I suspected. :slight_smile:


I have no idea about what connector FlightRadar24 antenna uses. I don’t have it. I found this photo on FR24 forum where someone has opened his FR24 antenna, took photos and posted in forum. I was mainly interested in the PCB design of the Antenna itself. I did not pay any attention to the type of connector till you asked the question :slightly_smiling_face:

Thanks for cautioning for F twist-on connectors. This will benefit majority members who have outdoor installations.


The main problem with twist-on connectors is not the weather. Any decent installation should seal the connector from the elements anyways. The problem is the weight of the cable. It must be supported as to relieve the connector. Don’t ask me how I know this.:grin: