FlightAware Discussions

Pro Stick X - USB3 and hmm... what else?

I see in today’s FA ADS-B Network News email a tease:

Later in the year we’re going to be selling fully assembled ADS-B receiver kits and debuting our latest SDR dongle the Pro Stick X which will feature USB3 support for use with the Raspberry Pi 4.

I want to see speculation on what other spec changes and improvements this new dongle could bring. Thoughts? Message, range, other improvements possible?

Based on feedback I saw to FA in another thread awhile back, hopefully also this new dongle has a short USB cable lead or other physical redesign so the device doesn’t need to consume/block multiple USB ports. I use short USB extension cables, but such a change would be welcome.

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When will the Pro Stick X be available?

Later in the year…

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Double Filtered - two SAW filter chips, one before LNA, other after LNA :wink:


Don’t forget “for half the current Pro Stick Plus price”. :grin:

Dont day-dream :wink:


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I have an FA dark blue filter before an LNA and ProStick Plus. I do not think an improved ProStick X will improve things.

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Ha! Sorry, but that isn’t in the cards.

One of the design parameters for the Pro Stick X is that its performance is significantly better than the Pro Stick Plus.


With the dark blue filter inserted (and light blue filter removed) between the antenna and triple filtered LNA the signal noise level dropped from -30 dBFS to -36 dBFS. I do not see a significant change in other reception categories. More than a day is needed for a good comparison. That being said, I will certainly get at least one ProStick X for evaluation. Along with filter changes I’m contemplating eliminating SMArTee bias-t powered LNAs in favor of USB powered LNAs.

When there is already “Triple Filtering”, what is the sense of adding 4th i.e. the dark blue filter? Obviously no significant improvement is expected.

This is like adding one more spoon of sugar to a cup of coffee which already has 3 spoons of sugar.

Only 1 filter is before the first LNA and it’s a high pass if i’m not mistaken. If you have ridiculously strong interference or strong interference > 1.15 GHz adding a filter can help.

But i wouldn’t use the noise level as given by dump1090 as the only reference.
I’d ask myself if the weakest signal received also was weaker.
It would have to be a difference bigger than 1.5 dB because roughly the attenuation of the dark blue filter i believe.

That’s fine with me, especially if a performance improvement comes along with it!

The RTL-SDR LNAs are letting a lot of signals/noise through from 900 MHz to 1050 MHz and above 1100 MHz. I’m not sure how big of an actual change there is between -30 dBFS and -36 dBFS but I think it is significant. (Is dBFS a logarithmic scale?) The dark blue filters are doing a so much better job that the triple filtered LNAs will probably be replaced with unfiltered USB powered LNAs.

Signal spread is now -1.2 dBFS to -33.0 dBFS. Before it was -1.2 dBFS to -29.0 dBFS. I adjust gain to maximize the signal spread rather than the % of strong signals.

Once I get a final configuration running, I can do a frequency scan.

Yes - dB-anything is logarithmic. dBFS is 10*log10(measured power / full scale power)

-36dBFS is approx 25% of the power of -30dBFS


Typical! Only recently purchased the PS+ to see if it performs better than the AirNav FS but haven’t gotten round to using it yet so its not too late to send it back…although I’m still curious to compare the two.

Would also be interested in seeing some specs to see what extra it brings to the party.

Roll on the PSX…take my money!


Depending on the area this setup is not required.
I bought the dark blue filter as well and attached it to my setup with the ProStick Plus.
The only change is the requirement to increase gain. But the values coming from reception were the same.

So filters or LNAs does not necessarily improve something if you have already the max performance.

After running for a few days, performance has improved most likely due to reduced noise. I haven’t swapped out the triple filtered LNA for an unfiltered LNA. I’ve actually decreased gain a notch that improved the strong to weak signal spread.