FlightAware Discussions

Hiding Antenna in Fibreglass Chimnea?

Hi All,

Recently installed my PiAware kit with the original antenna and located within my loft (UK, 3 Storey House).

The reception wasn’t brilliant with the supplied whip antenna, so I’ve built a Frankenstein 8-element coco antenna and there is significant improvement, but wondering if it can be improved further still by placement.

Currently, the antenna is exposed (i.e. the coax cable isnt yet housed in any PVC pipe - that’s on the to-do list) and is dangling freely from one of the upper rafters in the loft, but is flanked by the brickwork at either end of the loft area and tiles either side.

On the roof, we have a couple of fake-fibreglass chimney’s and I’m wondering if there is any benefit in cutting a 20mm hole in the underside of the chimney base and then sliding the antenna up “into” the chimney…

Is this likely to make any real difference?


Yes it likely will make a difference.

Self-built colinear antennas are notoriously unreliable in regards to performance.
I’d recommend trying to build this antenna: https://www.mictronics.de/posts/G7RGQ-Antenna-1090MHz/

Then the next question is which SDR you’re using.
The FA Pro+ (blue) is recommended and in some locations requires the additional FA filter.
Alternatively the rtl-sdr v3 with their rlt-sdr triple-filter LNA 1090 Mhz is a good combination.

Even this simple quarter wave antenna should be built as a simple reference design: QUICK SPIDER - No Soldering, No Connector
There is also a slightly better version near the end of the thread.

Thanks Wiedehopf,

Granted, it’s a home-brew, but seems to have been very reliable thus far. I’m receiving ~700 messages/sec with this one:

I’m using the blue SDR with no additional filters.