FlightAware Discussions

Messing around with Antenna Ideas

I been messing around trying new ideas. Plus a little help from others on here.

Very nice work! I really do like that 12-legged ground plane. I ordered a pop riveter a couple of days ago. Your antenna looks very clean without all the messy solder. It’s also better for the insulator, which gets deformed from the heat when soldering.

Agree. I tried the solder - disaster. I make up my 8+1 legger with aluminum pop rivets. Clean, easy.

Pic to follow.

Thanks. The solder goes make a mess or melt the middle part of the connector. The pop rivet is a nice clean way to go.

I got server not-so-gently used SO-239 with solder iron damage before going with the pop-rivet. It look like you doubled with wires on the corner holes on the So-239, is that right? Does that improve the signal over the 8 wire spider?

I have the wires wrapped around the pop rivets. Its kind of hard to see in the picture. I’ll take a closer picture.

For all ground plane builders an advice i got from a friend:
Copper wire will loose it’s flexibility when twisted around it’s axis by a hand drill. Doing so not only yields a stiff copper wire (able to support birds) but also nice straight.


Good point. I am using 12 Gauge wire. Where I live we do have birds but we have very few trees, so that helps with the birds. But if I do have problems I could aways cut a 2 liter bottle in half and use it to cover up the hole antenna.

I did’t really test this 12 wire antenna out yet. I did hook it up for a few minutes in the attic and it was showing planes on the map. I want to put it up the roof where my 8 wire one is and see how it does.

I may try the copper twist method. I’m using center core wire from RG6 that is very stiff so I’m wondering again if it’s 100% copper or copper clad steel. Investigating. 100% copper is best (actually 100% silver is best) for antenna elements. Very likely not making a silver version of this antenna. :confused:

The 12 Ga wire I’m using is just 12/2 wire they use for wiring up houses. These 1/4 wave ground plane is the best antennas so far that I tried. My stats doubled when I went to using the ground plane.

Whoops. Spoke too soon.


$18 for 5 ft…this might be interesting.

You do really nice work! :smiley:

Wow, I never would have thought of that! I’ll have to give it a try. My 14 gauge copper wire is very soft and easy to bend.


Thanks Jepolch

Not sure if they sell in the US, but here in Canada I buy length(s) of brass rods from Home Depot when I am building antenna’s.
Not as cheap as copper wire, but very stiff yet easy to cut, plus you can solder to it.

I haven’t built a discone for my ADS-B, but I do plan on building one for my scanner, for mil-air band.

EDITED TO ADD: I should point out, you can’t bend the brass rod into a nice circle at the end, it will snap.

i made my GP from highgrade SAT Cable.

the radial i pressed in the grounding cable, well, pic say 4, but its 8.

works great, other end is sticked in a SAT LNA, works good for me.
(dont look at the mess xD)

Had some ideas over the weekend too. Sealed my 4 legger up with liquid electrical tape and put a pie tin under it.


Liquid electrical tape?? Where have you been all my life? :laughing: I just ordered some from Amazon. You never know what you’ll learn here and it’s all good!

Your antenna looks very good. Did you try it before adding the pie plate/ground plane? I would test it with and without it to see which way is best. Nice work!