Next steps? Can't go higher, other options?


#1

So Santa was generous are got me the FA Pro Stick Plus, the 26in FA antenna, and a N-Male to SMA-Male to connect it all together - to add to my Pi3. I’ve set this up as high as I can - picture below, which unfortunately is not outside, but in a loft room in the attic against the outside gable wall (you can clearly see from the FA coverage distribution graph the signal being reduced by the attached condos and roof) - the down side of renting. However, I’m still getting over 1400 planes and 400k positions per day (FA stats), which is great, but I want more :slight_smile:

I did play with the gain settings, thanks to the easy to use scripts from the gain post. I did three different runs (morning, afternoon, early evening) of 10 loops with each loop covering all settings, and then summed up. I see a 2.1% different in plane count, 3.3% difference in messages, and almost 5% difference in positions. What gets me the best result for plane count 29.7, is different from messages 36.4, and different from positions 20.7, but all agree that 48 is the worst, and that staying under 40 is generally but not always better. For now I’ve left it at the default automatic setting of -10. I’ve post the gain script output below in case anyone want to analyse it.

So, what changes or additions can I make to this environment to increase my stats further? As much as I’d like to get my antenna outside and up on the roof - this is not going to happen in rented housing :frowning: maybe in the future in a different house. I’ll add the graphs, and some screenshots to this post tonight.

Gain, Messages, Positions, Aircraft
20.7 193269 12087 293
22.9 188503 11613 292
25.4 186469 11207 301
28 187103 11117 294
29.7 194252 11689 293
32.8 190969 11724 286
33.8 192007 11606 289
36.4 195576 11917 281
37.2 192884 11619 285
38.6 190923 11731 287
40.2 191826 11755 288
42.1 191531 11424 282
43.4 191719 11580 288
43.9 186880 11219 289
44.5 190611 11623 291
48 187350 11613 285
49.6 189457 11577 295

Gain, Messages, Positions, Aircraft
20.7 223787 14625 365
22.9 230297 14758 370
25.4 228801 14626 375
28 234638 14875 382
29.7 231547 14724 386
32.8 235959 15121 386
33.8 236515 15413 380
36.4 234710 15049 372
37.2 231571 14580 371
38.6 228923 14249 370
40.2 226741 14643 375
42.1 224785 14672 374
43.4 227079 14635 374
43.9 228321 14807 371
44.5 228799 14878 372
48 224775 14527 370
49.6 227743 14407 373

Gain, Messages, Positions, Aircraft
20.7 294114 19112 435
22.9 290907 18971 436
25.4 293940 19128 437
28 294212 18835 431
29.7 293983 18596 436
32.8 292704 18891 434
33.8 292228 18721 443
36.4 291295 18642 452
37.2 291059 18506 450
38.6 290575 18635 446
40.2 292330 18472 442
42.1 294754 18318 444
43.4 295908 17777 435
43.9 296293 17889 433
44.5 289742 17556 434
48 286140 17508 437
49.6 285977 18195 436


#2

I face similar situation as I live in an apartment building in which HOA does not allow an antenna on roof or wall. I have only two options:

  1. Be content with whatever maximum reception of adsb I get from strictly indoor installation.
  2. Move to a house where I can install antenna on roof or mast.

Since option (2) is not feasible currently, I have reconciled with option (1)


#3

My antenna is on the chimney and I get 500k positions and 1800 planes. Lots of thought about how to improve but location probably defines that is my maximum. Perhaps a Pro Plus instead of a Pro dongle?

But on another testing setup with a new Pro Plus, the range improvement compared to an RTL-SDR.com dongle is amazing, the FA stats not so much. Basically I’m just seeing the same planes for longer which does not improve the FA stats.

So I’ll just accept that there are fixed number of planes I can see from my location. I slowly drop down the FA stats page (from about 1000 6 months ago to about 1500 now) as people in more abundant locations overtake me. Nothing I can do without moving house which is NOT going to happen - so I just accept the situation. C’est la vie


#4

Can you string it up in a window to take advantage of BOS and PVD? I am in an apartment so that is my only choice and it stays hidden behind the curtain so I don’t have to see it when the curtains are open. I used a coaxial cable to connect to the Pi as I didn’t want to bake the Pi direct sunlight. I have a southern facing window so the antenna eats up the ORD traffic and I am by MKE. 8) I get hits a far as 225 nm south and mange to still get a decent local reception to the north too without gain adjustment.

flightaware.com/adsb/stats/user/mkeflyer


#5

I hung it in front of large windows. Signal is good as it has to penetrate only glass and blinds, thinner than a wall, and have much less attenuation than the wall.

1Ghz Signal Attenuation by Glass 2 x 6mm thick = 2x0.75 = 1.5 dB

1Ghz Signal Attenuation by masonary wall 20 cm thick = 12 dB

For details, please see this post:
Attenuation of RF Signal by Glass, Masonry, Wood & Concrete


#6

True abcd567 & idh I should be content with results I’m getting, they are decent out to 150 miles facing south-ish, so it is clearly the asphalt roof that is killing my range on the northern half.

I think my concern is about my noise, and maybe I’m reading the graph wrong, but most others I’ve seen the green Mean Level and purple Max Noise are noticable lower. How does this compares to yours, do I have a noise issue? Would the FA filter help, even though I have the Pro Plus? My understanding is that the build in filter not on the antenna side.

Hey mkeflyer, I see planes heading into BOS down to under 2000, but I’ve not noticed significant activity into PVD but looking at the active section in the FA pie chart the dark-orange in the second ring would cover that area. The light-yellow a ring out and slightly west would be New Your area. I notice the BOS ones more because they sometimes fly overhead at 10k feet. Thanks for directing my towards your stats and how much ORD features. It made me look at mine more and see the impact of particular sections.

There is a nearby window I could more to, but then it would be more exposed to kids, and would not last long!

edit Looking at abcd567 and idh’s FA pie-charts I can clearly see which way their windows face - thanks guys