I had some Raspberry Pi’s (version 1, model B) laying around when I found out you could build a cheap ADS-B receiver with it.
So I bought some cheapo DVB-T from Ebay in March this year and since then this project is a constant process.
But this is pretty much the end setup.
Inside on the window sill:
ADS-B RPi3 PiAware 3 by Iemand91, on Flickr
This window is in the outside wall seen on the bottom right of this photo. About 17 meters of Hirschmann KOKA 9 TS coaxial cable goes up the roof, between the tiles and the isolation.
The cable goes right up and then to the right towards the antenna.
According to Hirschmann’s specifications this length would give me a loss of about 1.25 dB (correct me if I’m wrong )
This loss is without the flat piece of coax of course.
I’ve mounted the FA-antenna on a piece of PVC pipe we had laying around. That pipe is bolted to this piece of metal that’s normally used to mounting solar panels. I bent the part with hole so the antenna is vertical.
This metal thing is screwed to the laths. The bottom of the antenna is at about 7 meters above ground.
FlightAware antenna by Iemand91, on Flickr
Then some stats.
Before I used the current white piece of flat coax I used this piece of flat coax from China. The results from that are under ‘copper’ flat coax. Since I got the new piece of white flat coax I use the white coax.
Just to test what results I would get without either piece of flat coax; I placed an F-F adapter instead so I wouldn’t have the loss of the flat coax.
(So setup would be: Raspberry 3 -> DVB-T stick -> MCX-F pigtail -> F(female)-F(female) adapter - KOKA 9 TS - F-N adapter - antenna)
I did that test twice; once on September 28 and at this very moment. As you would expect; results are much better without the flat coax.
You can see those results in the graphs below. (in the graphs below it’s called ‘no flat coax’)
But as there is no way of getting the KOKA 9 TS cable directly to the Raspberry; I will have to use a flat coax anyway.
When I first connected the white piece of flat coax; results where much better than the old ‘copper’ flat coax.
But when I connected it again (afther the first test with the F-F adapter) results were worse; about equal to the ‘copper’ flat coax.
Really disappointed now…
EDIT: well, weirdly enough; when I reconnected the flat coax this afternoon (to close the window for the night) results are better then before.
It’s now at about the level of the first time I connected it.
FlightAware stats by Iemand91, on Flickr
ADS-B stats aantekeningen by Iemand91, on Flickr
Range with the F-F adapter. Personally I hoped it would be a bit better reading other people’s stories about their setup.
I’ve read stories of people in the Netherlands reaching Denmark for example.
But then again; The Netherlands is filled to the brim with feeders so a better range wouldn’t make much of a difference for the community, just for personal fun.
FA antenna Planefinder range directly by Iemand91, on Flickr
ADS-B range rings directly by Iemand91, on Flickr
Range with the white flat coax (my normal setup):
FA antenna Planefinder range through flat coax by Iemand91, on Flickr
ADS-B range rings through flat coax by Iemand91, on Flickr
I really want to get the FA Pro Stick but it’s out of stock in Europe. I could order it from Ebay or so, but shipping costs make it quite expensive. So I have the patience to wait for it to become in stock in Europe again.
I’m currently feeding to FlightAware, Flightradar24 and Planefinder.