FlightAware Discussions

More noise and less MSG/s with a Flightstick Pro Plus than My Nooelec NESDR SMARt

Top is the Pro Stick Plus Botton is the Nooelec.

No external filters on either of them and the same antenna. Is my Pro Stick Plus defective?

The LNA in the prostick seems to be oversaturated by mobile phone tower signals for some users.
Then a filter in front of the prostick usually helps.

But if you recorded both scans at the same gain then the prostick is kinda expected to be noisier as the signal is amplified before the receiver.

Anyway if you get less range with the prostick then a filter might help.

Or you could use a standalone LNA, those usually handle strong signals better.
(https://www.rtl-sdr.com/new-product-rtl-sdr-blog-1090-mhz-ads-b-lna/)
( https://store.uputronics.com/index.php?route=product/product&path=59&product_id=50)

I don’t know if it also could have a defect, i guess it’s possible but if it is receiving aircraft unlikely.

Thanks for the reply Would you suggest another lna even thought it has a lna built in? or a filter?

It’s really up to you, i’m not sure how much the FA filter is, maybe try that first if it’s still relatively cheap.

My recommendation would be the rtlv3 dongle combined with their LNA.
(The LNA needs a bias-t to supply it with power)

Other have used the Prostick with an external LNA and it works.

I haven’t tried the LNA with the Prostick. (don’t have an external bias-t)
And compared to the Prostick alone the rtl-sdr v3 with LNA gave quite a bit better reception for me. (No matter if i used a filter in front of the prostick or not)
(Depending on the mobile signals in your area the US version of the FA filter won’t work for you. Can you make a wider scan from 700 to 1200?)

You should also check what your range is terrain-wise:
What is the Maximum Range I can Get?

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Ive attached the full scans for both sticks. I dont know what that heat in the 800mhz range is but i know the 900mhz is the local radio stations dual uplinks at 955MHZ and 958MHZ They are a block away.

Yeah the US version of the FA filter is not going to help you too much.
Getting the EU version is kind of a hassle i guess.

So i would recommend getting the v3 dongle with their LNA.
There is a guide how to activate the bias-t of the v3 dongle, it should be easy to follow.

800 MHz is a GSM band. (mobile phones)

Here is a scan that i made at my location with a not very frequency specific quarter wave antenna:

1: ProStick Plus without external filter
2: ProStick Plus with added FA filter (light blue US version)
3: RTL-SDR BLOG V.3. with RTL-SDR BLOG LNA

The weaker signal at 1090 MHz for the ProStick Plus is not a shortcoming of that dongle, just different gain.
But even with higher gain at 1090 MHz the LNA combination shows its strength at eliminating virtually all out of band noise!

I could switch to my NooElect NESDR SMartTEE dongle and get the rtl blogs filter/lna i suppose. Kinda a shame i feel liek i wasted my money on this Pro Plust stick lol

I live in Canada so we use the same Cellular frequencies as the USA just as a side note.

It really doesn’t matter with that 950 MHz noise the light blue filter won’t do a good job.
Might be enough to get OK performance, but to get really good performance the filter probably won’t cut it in my opinion.

I got the prostick plus and the filter.
Still moved on to the rtl-sdr LNA, but i already had the v3 dongle which was the first dongle i used.

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Thanks for your help man. I’ll grab the blog filter/lna since i already have a Nooelec with a bias-tee. try that first if not ill get the blog sdr as well.

I’m not sure if activating the bias-t is the same procedure, but i would assume it is:

https://www.rtl-sdr.com/rtl-sdr-blog-v-3-dongles-user-guide/

To always have it enabled there is also a description how to make dump1090-fa automatically activate it.

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Its always on so it wont be an issue. :slight_smile:

@GhostlyCrowd

The above, in my opinion, is the best combination available, at a reasonable cost, for those trying to maximize performance.

To avoid the bias-T issue, purchase a power inserter on eBay, it’s only around $6 shipped.

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Hit up the RTL-SDR’s block store on ebay and grabbed a V3 and the LNA/Filter. Got to wait for it to float over from china. I would have bought from them in the first place if they had reasonable methods to get it in Canada.

Ebay? You can buy directly on their webpage.

I guess you could order with amazon.com and get it shipped to Canada?
But getting it from China is probably cheaper.

It’s not THAT complicated to activate it :slight_smile:

For a do it once and forget setup, yes. But if you are re-imaging SD cards frequently, the hardware inserter is nice.

Hopefully the price was the same. I always order from their own webpage, never a problem, and reasonable delivery times.

It was the same price it was their official ebay store. Their webpage just uses their ebay store to ship world wide so i figured i already had a ebay account set up and i can one click buy.

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Ive got a Injector like that already so thanks for the tip, i forgot i had it.

For those of you who replied i solved my problem, I started ot think about what i did when i changed adapters and i Changed the location of my Pi a bit closer to the UPS battery backup. i moved it back away from it about 6 feet back and im now getting all the coverage i used to and substantially more.

I’m getting about above 200KM range just with a home made antenna sitting in a windows sill facing east.

That will do it. UPSes, light dimmers, and motion detectors are our worst ‘enemies’.

Mini spiral and LED light bulbs can also cause havoc.

And the most ubiquitous of them all, switching ac power adapters.

Increased separation, and a couple of ferrite clamps on cables, can help as well.

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