FlightAware Discussions

Home made interdigital filter

I’ve already share some picture of my filter in another topic “Do I Need A Filter?” but I think this project deserve is own topic.


After some internet search and following some advises from this forum I’ve decided to build my interdigital filter. The filter was built using double clad PCB and some brass tubing. Tuning was done using the POOR MANS SPECTRUM ANALYZER WITH AN RTL-SDR AND NOISE SOURCE.

Finally I had the opportunity to test the 3 settings (no filter, FA filter and home made filter) and here is what I’ve found:

  • I believe the Home Made Filter has a high insertion loss and that’s the reason the messages >-3dBFS are kept low while gain isn’t at MAX, but still is better than not having a filter.

  • I did compared my FlightAware statistics with the nearest 3 sites (one of the sites is a FlightFeeder). Not a very accurate method since the receivers don’t cover the exact same area, but it was the close I could get. Compared with the other sites the number of flight doesn’t change that much with all combinations (filter/gain), however the number of positions does.

Besides those big antennas in line-of-sight I also have 8 cell towers in less than 1km radius, making the use of a filter mandatory.

You can download the file that contains information about gain, signal level and the comparison with the other sites from this link ADSB_Gain.xlsx

I’ve already plans to build a second filter, this time I will do it with more precise measurements and extra care to keep everything aligned. Hope that the next filter together with the “refurbished” Jetvision antenna will increase the number of positions.


If you have a LNA in front of that filter it cancels the insertion loss and cable loss. The modern LNA have <1dB noise in the first stage.
The first stage in a normal R820T tuner (without amplifier) has a noise of about 3.5 dB per datasheet. R820T2 tuner supposedly offers lower noise, but I cannot find a datasheet for it.

I’m using a Pro Stick Plus and 1.5m of coax cable. If I decide to install a LNA in front of the filter do I have to change the dongle or multiple LNA will not have a negative effect?

I used that combo, with a 25dB gain LNA, and had to reduce the gain on the dongle at about 12dB (from 40dB previously). I have added a longer cable too and a surge suppressor.

Not sure what gain are you using now… It depends of how much attenuation the filer and cable adds.

There are LNAs with lower gain. Mine have two stages and two SAW filters. One stage LNA will add less gain and can compensate for the insertion loss alone, because your cable is very short (no significant loss there).

PS: There are hairpin filter PCBs with an amp chip for sale on eBay:

Downloaded “Spektrum” on Win 10 (spektrum-win64.zip), plugged ProStick (Orange) in Desktop, No internal or external filter, connected FlightAware Antenna and ran the scan from 24 MHz to 1800 MHz.

Wow, how much interference on frequencies below 800 MHz !


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That link does not take to any of your posts, it takes to opening post of the thread. Following are the links to two of your several posts:



@abcd567 thank you for bringing to my attention the error. Correction done.

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