FlightAware Discussions

Pro Stick Plus Availability

Finally got around installing a somewhat proper setup for my ADS-B receiver over the week-end with an outdoor antenna. I’m getting decent performance with 617 aircraft reported yesterday but most of them were within 50 miles (I’m close to CYYZ).

Now I want to push the performance of this system further and already setup a plan to raise the antenna elevation from 3 meters (actual) to 6 meters which should give me much better 360 degrees coverage. I wanted to upgrade my RTL-SDR to the FlightAware Pro Stick Plus but I can’t seem to find it in stock on Amazon or the RTL-SDR store. It seems that it has been out of stock on Amazon pretty much since May.

When can we expect to see these back in stock?

The three meter will make a difference, for the stick it depends if you already use a filter/LNA with your RTL-SDR

If not, you can consider getting this addon instead of the blue stick.

How Adding/Removing a FA Light Blue Filter Affects my reception by ProStick Plus.

I am located about 15 km from CYYZ.

I see almost negligible aircraft when I remove filter and connect antenna directly to the ProStick Plus:

NOTE:
Every time I removed and inserted the Filter, I made sure that all connectors are fully tightened, so the drastic drop is not due to loose connection.

Actually I have several Cell/Mobile phone companies antennas on my building as well as adjuscent buildings, which causes overload of the LNA of ProStick Plus, and its SAW chip being located after the LNA, cannot protect the LNA from overload.

I hope in next version of Pro Stick Plus which is due to be released shortly, they will either relocate the SAW filter between LNA and input SMA connector, or may be add one more SAW between SMA connector and LNA. Let us wait and see.

  1. Up to 21:20 EDT > Antenna connected to Pro Stick PLUS through FA Light Blue Filter
  2. From 21:20 to 21:50 EDT > Antenna connected to Pro Stick PLUS directly (Filter removed).
  3. From 21:50 to 22:00 EDT > Antenna connected to Pro Stick PLUS through FA Light Blue Filter
  4. From 22:00 to 22:25 EDT > Antenna connected to Pro Stick PLUS directly (Filter removed).
  5. From 22:25 EDT to end of graph > Antenna connected to Pro Stick PLUS through FA Light Blue Filter

He does not have a Pro Plus stick so far, he’s looking for it :wink:

What I am trying to emphesize is that depending on how strong Cell phone signal interference is at his location, ProStick Plus alone may not help much. He may need an external filter as well.

yepp, but i was not sure you read it.
As he did not give us more details about the location, it’s hard to identify if a filter is required or not.

He mentioned the RTL-SDR, so alternatively he could get a filter/LNA combination instead of a new stick.

Actually, I’m using the Radarbox ADS-B Flightstick. I was more interested in comparing the performance with the FlightAware Pro Stick Plus than anything else. I’m in Etobicoke around Lawrence and Scarlett so about 8 km from CYYZ.

I tried comparing my graphs with @abcd567 and it seems I’m a little lower than when you have the FA filter but not as bad as when you remove it but I just deployed it yesterday so it’s limited in data points.

Adding the extra 3 meters in height would likely make a huge difference and allow me better coverage on the NW (towards the airport) as I currently have the house in line of sight and also South were I’m hitting massive trees.

So I guess I’ll relocate the existing RadarBox flight stick to a higher point, possibly add a band pass filter and see how it goes while waiting for v.2 of the FA Pro Stick Plus

So what now? The Radarbox-Stick and RTL-SDR are different devices, or do you mean RTL-SDR in general? The green RB-Stick already contain filter/LNA

If you have the Radarbox stick, it’s almost as good as the blue pro plus stick.
Friend of mine is using both on two different locations and swapped them recently. Almost no change identified

Before you think about graphs from different users simply apply the planned change regarding the three meter improvement and check the results.

And also don’t forget to check your max range from geographical location. There are areas where you can’t go further, independent of your efforts

I am in an apartment in Mississauga about 15 km south-west of CYYZ. All my equipment, including the Antennas are indoor, placed near windows.

Here you can see my max range:

Note:
(1) The comparison is not precise due to difference in hardware. However it is good for general comparison.

(2) Both antennas are located in same window at 25 cm horizontal spacing.

Stn 6236
FA antenna >> 30cm RG316 pigtail >> FA Filter >> ProStick Plus >> 1m USB extender cable >> OrangePi

https://www.radarbox.com/stations/EXTRPI000035

https://opensky-network.org/receiver-profile?s=11

 

Stn 76000
V-Stub whip antenna on mag-mount base >> 3 meters RG174 coax >> Radarbox FlightStick (green) >> RPi model 4

https://www.radarbox.com/stations/EXTRPI000036

https://opensky-network.org/receiver-profile?s=100

 

Sorry, I meant the RTL-SDR. It’s really the green stick that I have coupled with the radarbox antenna.

That is impressive, really didn’t expect you could get that far out.

I’ll get a UAT/1090 filter just to see if it helps with the performance and will relocate the antenna as a first step. If I ever get the pro stick plus, I can re-use it for a future UAT setup.

Filter may or may not help, depending upon severity of Cell phone signal strength at your location. You can find this only by actually inserting/removing filter and observing change on performance.

Meanwhile you can easily conduct an RF scan using your Pi, dongle, and anten a by method given in this thread:

Do I Need A Filter?

You can also determine what maximum range you can get by method given in this thread:

What is the Maximum Range I can Get?

 

 

Unfortunately Amazon has been a limiting factor for us during COVID-19. For a couple months we simply weren’t permitted to send any of our products as they were deemed “nonessential”. That ended around a month ago, but we were limited in the numbers we could send to around 90 per week.

On the 1st of July we were allowed to send “unlimited” amounts of our gear, which we did. We’ve had over a hundred of each of our products marked as “Inbound” with them for a couple weeks.

The buyer and seller experience with Amazon is hilariously different under the best of circumstances. The pandemic’s effect on FlightAware’s supply chain is the latest reason my hair is grey.

5 Likes

Thanks for the info. In regards to the UK aware the build guide highlights other distributors such as ‘The PI Hut’ etc. Again, it looks like they haven’t had some stock for a while and I’ve been monitoring this closely.

Hoping to now further improve my setup, considering it has been the same for 5 years!

Same happened here where i was searching what’s best.

I bought the stick in an german online store, two days later they went out of stock with unknown date.
during the following months they had periodically some available but were sold out then a few days later.

Seem to be very popular

Moonraker have the FlightAware ProStick+ in stock