Over the past year I’ve been successfully using my Flightaware dongle. My antenna is a homebrew spider-type and the feedline was about 3 ft. of 50-ohm coax. I’ve been able to detect most of the planes on final and takeoff from my local airport about 25 nm northeast of my location. The antenna was indoors, informally hanging from one of the spider legs to the top of a lampshade. Permanently/temporary-like.
I had intended to upgrade my system by placing my antenna outside about 10 feet above the peak of the roof, and had ordered 50ft of RG-6 from Amazon, but other things got in the way (like winter) and I was just today able to erect a suitable pole. I’ve raised the spider antenna to well above the roofline, It sits on top of a 6 ft. length of pvc, which is nylon-tied to the mast.
My results are profoundly disappointing. Whereas I could often track transatlantic flights at 35,000 ft out to 150 nm, now I can barely track aircraft directly overhead.
So the only factors that are different are:
- longer feedline (from 3 to 50ft)
- 75-ohm RG-6 (rather than 50-ohm RG-174)
- antenna is much higher and outside
Any ideas why I would be getting what seems to me to be an extreme loss of signal power? Has anyone else ordered RG-6 from Amazon and had success, or not? Should I have not wasted my money on what could be cheap and counterfeit RG-6?