FlightAware Discussions

Repair external antenna after water

Any advice is appreciated. What should I needed pay attention to when cleaning and tinning contacts.



I’ve bought a used antenna and after cleaning it and removing some components :slight_smile: , I’m not using the GPS, it is working.

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I wonder how the water got inside. This antenna was installed on this receiver. Gennadyi ADS-B Feeder Statistics - FlightAware

And I saw this antenna - from above and below it was wrapped with an insulating tape. To ensure tightness.

He will not repair this antenna because he has no competence in this. Therefore, this receiver will no longer work the Flightaware network.

For this reason, I suspect, the network is losing receivers in large numbers due to a defect in the antenna design.

For FlightFeeder hardware problems like this please contact adsbsupport@flightaware.com - we like to keep track of this sort of problem (there’s been at least one manufacturing problem, though I think we’ve replaced most/all of the problem antennas now) and we can send out replacement antennas where needed.

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A couple of weeks ago, I noticed a decline in my feeder’s performance and I solved it by getting a new Jetvision A3 antenna. As the ‘old’ one was only 3 years old I decided to take it apart and have a look inside.


Judging by the dimensions it looks like a collinear design made up of a 1/4 wave followed by 2 half waves on a very thin (0.7mm) substrate made by Sirio Italy (same as the one from the topic starter).
The contacts around the N-connector were still in good condition but I found some traces of oxidation underneath the corners of the 3 pieces of sticky foam that are there to centre the pcb in the middle of the fiberglass tube. Especially the first pad seems to have lost quite a bit of conductive material, this is bound to have some negative influence on its high frequency properties.

I hope that my new Jetvision A3 will last somewhat longer as it looks they changed the design a bit…

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Flux. Lots of flux!
The flux used for SMA soldering is mildly activated rosin (eg. RMA223) and is quite good at removing oxide when heated.
And lead solder if you can get it. The ROHS tin solder is awful unless you are running a production line - then it’s slightly less awful.

Scrubbing with dishwashing liquid and a toothbrush (someone else’s for preference) works well for prep.