FlightAware Discussions

SMA Connector Spec from Antenna to Filter


#1

Hello,

I need help in locating a supplier for a connector between a “cheap indoor” antenna (“std” cable TV coax male end) and the FlightAware 1090 MHz Mode S Filter (SMA.F end) PCT-BPF-980-1150 (shiny azure paper wrapped). Is there an over-the-counter connector for this purpose - “RG6?” female to SMA-M presumably?

As an ex-Houstonian I cannot stop by EPO any more for this purpose and the local Fry’s store could not help. The other “indoor” antenna has a similar issue but it does not have the RG6 interface. One of these antennae was in the FA bundle that I purchased several years ago but I never put these to use since I had alternate solutions. The FA outdoor antenna has been working flawlessly for me all these years though (although I wish I could raise the pole slighter higher for uniform radial data acquisition)!

Any help would be appreciated? I’ve read "RG6" N Connector Warning

Thanks.


#2

The antenna probably has an MCX connector and yes there are MCX to SMA adapters.

Anyway buying yourself 3 or 5 meters of coax and building a quick spider antenna is probably a better idea.

The small whip antennas just aren’t that great.

RG-6 is a cable type not a type of connector.


#3

Thanks for the quick response. Yeah, my knowledge in these matters is fairly elementary as you may have guessed (referring to the connector as “RG6”).

I have located MCX Male to SMA-F but not the other way around that I need. I guess I will have to continue looking.

Regards.


#4

When you say “std” cable TV coax male end, I think you may be referring to an ‘F’ connector.
If that is the case then you can get F female to sma male adaptors such as these:



#5

Thanks a bunch, Lawrence. That is exactly what I need. Much appreciated.

Regards.


#6

Kinda confused which cheap indoor antenna comes with an F connector :slight_smile:

Do you have a picture?


#7

Attached per your request. Thanks again for your due diligence in ensuring that I have the correct specs.

Regards.
Connector%201%20of%202


#8

Definitely not an MCX :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

I’m confused that you didn’t notice on the pictures it wouldn’t fit :slight_smile:
The F adapter looks just fine.

Anyway i meant a picture of the actual antenna. Curious where you got it from as well.


#9

This particular indoor antenna (photo attached) I believe was in the original FA package that was subsequently revised. Sorry, about my senility hindering my ability to be more accurate. I obtained the FA outdoor antenna separately and attached it to an existing NooELEC dvb-t USB dongle via a pigtail.

I did not worry about the indoor antenna for years (and, of course, the NooELEC indoor antenna too became redundant). The FA dvb-t and filter was stashed away without even an initial eval. I would like to explore the usefulness of band filters in a suburban setting and hence the interest in evaluating the unused FA bundle where I have the connectivity issue.

Regards.


#10

The FA dongles are in most cases superiour to the NooElec dongles because the FA ones have an internal LNA (low noise amplifier) and the blue FA dongle even has a very good filter built in (better than the one sold separately).

Good luck with your tests but you might consider using the FA dongle with the FA outdoor antenna (and you can test the filter with that as well), it might just improve reception significantly.


#11

Thanks again. I have a custom LNA + band filter (eCommerce, Croatia) with excellent specs (but uses a non-standard connection for 5V aux supply) and I’ve seen references for others (where the primary business is “filters” and amps). I am aware of the 2nd generation FA dongle (a tad bit pricey but saves space in an outdoor box, I guess!).

Sorry to stretch this thread with a personal note: having seen so many designs for the 1090 antenna, I went to my custom cable shop (primarily networking and related comm cables) with a basic design. He didn’t want to touch it on account of his unfamiliarity with the solution. :grin: So I’ve stuck with the FA outdoor antenna and only hope that I not missing out on anything significant.

Regards.


#12

Ah i see, then the FA dongle might not be better because with the LNA the signal is already amplified. (Might still be worth a try, would need reducing the gain though)

The FA antenna is a very good one, i’m a bit surprised by your limited range though.
FA antenna + LNA should be quite a good range unless you are surrounded by trees or buildings, but even then i would expect at least one good direction.

Anyway if you only want to look at local airplanes range doesn’t really matter :slight_smile:

(If i had to recommend a dongle/LNA the rtl-sdr blog has a great LNA and dongle.)


#13

I want to increase the detection range because right now I get data at the 150-200 mile range only occasionally. Obviously, elevating the antenna is the basic solution but I don’t want HOA inspectors bugging me. They are inflexible here as my neighbors who fell afoul can attest.

I’ll check out the blog you mentioned shortly. Thanks.

Regards.


#14

Where do you have it now?
Have you tried under the roof in the attic? (Doesn’t work if you have aluminized insulation obviously.)

Really have to wonder how a little antenna on a house can be a problem but hey that’s HOA for you i guess.
Maybe you can build a fake chimney an put the antenna up there :cowboy_hat_face:

I’m a little curious about that custom LNA, can you access your stats.json file under http://YOUR_PI/dump1090-fa/data/stats.json ? (The last block starting with total is the most interesting part)


#15

Hello Lawrence,

The adapter (#2 in your list) was delivered yesterday. I have been up and running since then. Thanks again for your pointers.

Regards.