RadarBox24 has decided to sell their ADS-B dongles at a loss, pricing them at only US$9.95
Discussion about the sale price in the Facebook “Automatic dependent surveillance broadcast (ADS–B) Group” compared the RadarBox24 dongle to the FlightAware Pro Stick Plus because the RadarBox product page description claims “integrated filter, amplifier and static protection for maximum range”.
At $9.95 from Amazon including 2-day Prime shipping it was an impulse purchase so I ordered one Tuesday and received it this afternoon. I simultaneously compared it against a FlightAware Pro Stick Plus using identical antennas (abcd567 Cantenna) mounted about 60 cm apart and standard PiAware SD card images. The apparent gain of the two dongles as measured by dump1090 “percentage of strong messages” was essentially the same (~6%) so I used the same rtlsdr-gain for both.
The number of aircraft received and the VRS range plots were virtually identical when I ran the RadarBox dongle WITH an external 1090 MHz band-pass filter vs. the FlightAware Pro Stick Plus WITHOUT any external filter. When both dongles were run WITHOUT any external filter the FlightAware Pro Stick Plus received many more aircraft than the RadarBox FlightStick.
Conclusion: either the internal filter in the RadarBox FlightStick is not comparable to the internal SAW band-pass filter in the FlightAware Pro Stick Plus, or else the internal amplifier in the RadarBox FlightStick is more susceptible to overload from strong out-of-band signals. The RadarBox dongle appears to perform more like the orange FlightAware Pro Stick than the dark blue FlightAware Pro Stick Plus.
Note 1: my location is less than 2 km from a major multi-tower cell site; cellphones register 5 bars signal strength here. Note 2: I used a FlightAware external 1090 MHz band-pass filter with the RadarBox dongle to improve its performance in the above test.