Lower message rate today


#1

Today my receiver is picking up a significantly lower rate of messages. I say this based in part on comparison to others near me. I’m using an exterior 26" flightaware antenna. I’m thinking that maybe all the recent fog, drizzle, and rain may be compromising things. Should I be doing anything special to protect from the weather?

Note that it’s only the antenna that is exposed. My RPi is located in the attic on the inside side of the wall.

Edit: actually, I have two receivers. One uses a home-made spider antenna, which is located under the roof. It does not have the same lower message rate as the FA antenna exposed to the elements.


#2

I second this! Since a couple of days my rates dropped to 60% compared to last month. I’m using same antenna hopefully it’s only because of bad weather not of a broken antenna.


#3

Did you seal the antenna coupling well?
I used some dialectric grease on the inside and self amalgamating tape on the outside to keep water from getting in.
Early this year, someone had issues because water got into the connector then froze.


#4

I’ll check the next days when weather conditions get better (need to climb on roof top)


#5

No. I have an upgrade planned for the mast, and I was going to do it at that point. I simply have the antenna at the top of the mast, which is hollow. The cable forms a loop just under the antenna before going up and over the entrance to the mast and emerges out the bottom and then into the garage.

The forecast calls for some sun today. We’ll see if that helps. Another thought that crossed my mind is that a good portion of what my receiver sees below 5 degrees is through the trees. Perhaps wet leaves are worse than dry ones. OTOH, if that were the issue, then I would expect to have seen the problem earlier, when the rains started. It does seem like the correlation is closer to relative humidity than to rainfall. The average humidity over the past 4 days is about 97%.


#6

It seems to be back to normal today. I will assume it was related to the humidity and got fixed when the sun came out.