Just got a 5bi antenna


I just got one of these and switched it with the antenna I got with my RTL-SDR and the range has gone right down.
Is there anything I can do/modify to get a better range?

Thanks for any advice.

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colinear coaxial (coco) antenna

use more short cable or LNA

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I bought a couple of those on Amazon and sent them right back for refund.


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I also bought those, and found that they had far worse reception than my home built antennas. I have made and tested quite a few, but two designs have stood out far above the rest.

  1. cantenna: Advice for my Cantenna setup w/ outdoor enclosure
  • easy to build
  • good range (I get over 150nm consistently, and 200+ occasionally with it in a second story window, and many obstructions around. )
  • kind of fragile/hard to mount
  • ugly
  1. J-pole: ADSB J-pole Antenna and the calculator here: Slim Jim / J Pole Antenna Calculator
  • not quite as easy to build (I ordered some semirigid coax off amazon)
  • spectacular range (I now consistently get 200nm+, and my messages per second were double what I got from the cantenna
  • super durable
  • inconspicuous

The cantenna is dead easy to build, and gets about 4x the messages per second that those junk rubber duck ones do. I can’t recommend the J-pole enough though. I was shocked at how well it performed. It gets another 2x messages per second than even the cantenna at my location.

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I get great results from the telescopic antenna included in this bundle. I keep it fully retracted so that it is set at about 5.5" which is 1/2 wavelength for 1090 Mhz.

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One other consideration: I believe that the stratux people claim you need a pretty good ground plane to get the rubber ducky antenna working well. My package included a big strip of copper tape to make the ground plane. you might try using it with yours to see if it improves the situation. I tried the copper tape, and then a 4x4 inch square of copper, and neither seemed to have any effect, but YMMV.

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Just fell for the same trap, ordering directly from Nooelec’s website $6, +$4 for shipping. Reading this lets me know I wasted my money. Disappointing. :frowning: