Is FlightAware Hardware protected from Static Damage ?

Hello everyone…hopefully I’ll be able to get your help and guidance on ESD protection please :

I’m planning a new system to receive ADS-B data. Although I have 11 years experience with Kinetic SBS systems this will be my first experience with USB dongles and I plan to use Flightaware hardware : the 26in Aerial, with the Pro Stick Plus and maybe the 1090 Band Pass filter feeding into a RPi 3…and then into the Flightaware community.

This will be a remote system mounted outside and I want to house the hardware in a suitable metal enclosure under the aerial at the top of the mast.

I’m wondering what built-in protection the Flightaware dongle has to Electro Static Discharge damage and Lightning strikes (nearby) ?

I know from experience of my existing system that the electrical fields from snow storms and lightning strikes in the area can kill my mast head pre-amp and I’d like to ensure the new system is protected, especially as its remote and needs to be maintenance free. Of course I’m not talking about direct lightning strikes onto the aerial/mast.

What are your real life experiences with the Flightaware hardware ?

Have you found it necessary to add external components to solve ESD problems ?


Instead of using a saw-based filter, you could go for a cavity filter to obtain a much better galvanic separation between the antenna and the dongle.

For antistatic and protection from lightning impulse it will be a short-circuited antenna, like a coaxial colinear with the center element connected to the ground braid.