FlightAware Discussions

Questions on ADS-B tracking Hardware

I’m new to RF equipment, so I’d like some guidance on antennas and SDRs.

I’ve got an SDR doing ADS-B tracking using the RTL-SDR dongle, with it’s included dipole antenna and the ADS-B LNA. I’m considering getting the FlightAware 1090MHz antenna. Is this just an antenna? As in, does it have any electronics in it that will need DC bias voltage?

Second, would getting the Flight Aware Pro Stick Plus yield any improvement over the RTL-SDR + LNA? From what I’m seeing, it might be a degradation, as the RTL-SDR’s LNA has a 27dB gain, while the Pro Stick Plus’ gain is 19dB. However, I’m not sure if there are other factors to consider.

Thanks in advance for any advice.

Yes, it’s just an antenna and doesn’t need powering.

The gain isn’t that relevant.

But the rtl-sdr LNA has much better filtering, so yes it would likely be a downgrade.

Getting the antenna outdoors with a clear view of the horizon is probably the most important thing.
If that can’t be accomplished, the FA antenna should still be quite an improvement over the dipole.
You’ll need some coax, be sure to consider the coax loss at 1 GHz.
Try to keep it less than let’s say 3 dB :slight_smile: