What is killing amps?

I went through 2 Perfect Vision amps with same symptoms - when I install a fresh amp I am getting great results, then a couple of weeks later the results start degrade for the next three days (loosing about 3% of position reporting and 10% in range), and after the three days of degraded performance the amp is dead.

Does anybody have an idea what killing the amps?

My setup: FA antenna->N-to-F converter->amp–>30 feet RG6 cable->Direct TV power inserter->F-to-MCX pig tale->Nooelec dongle.

…just guessing here…
-over voltage?,

  • if outside, is moisture getting into it, or the connectors?

Mine has been working fine. My configuration has two differences. I have a DC blocker after the antenna and I power mine with 12 volts DC. You’re powering with a higher voltage.

Edit for iphone problems…

I second this theory. Make sure that you have outdoor/waterproof connectors. I put dielectric grease on all the fittings also after having water get past an “outdoor” fitting. Lost an inline filter after it got completely saturated.


check your cable. maybe a thread of the ground shield shorting to the conductor. And check to be sure the the antenna shield to conductor is open.

Do you have the in and out going the right way on the amp? I’m not saying that is the issue, just a guess

The setup is mounted outside on a mast attached to the side of my house (not easily accessible). All connectors and the amp are wrapped into self-amalgamating tape. When I cut the tape to unscrew the amps I did not noticed any traces of moisture - everything was dry. I do not think this is an issue with a shorted cable - that probably would kill the power inserter first and I would not be getting good signal while amp was running. And yes, the amps were connected the right way.

That leave me with the over-voltage idea to play even thought that the amp is rated for 8V to 29V and the power inserter rated at 21V. Does anyone know if I can modify the PI21 DirectTV power inserter so it will produce 15V?

That leave me with the over-voltage idea to play even thought that the amp is rated for 8V to 29V and the power inserter rated at 21V. Does anyone know if I can modify the PI21 DirectTV power inserter so it will produce 15V?

After the power supply of my first Directv power inserter failed, I took the actual inserter portion (that with the F-connectors) and soldered on a 1 amp 18V wall wart from my collection of thousands (well it seems like that many when all the wires are entangled.) I covered the inserter portion with electrical tape and put it to work. I could have put it back in the original case (sans circuit board) but I was in a hurry get it back in the circuit.

Diagram 1 below shows how I supply 15v dc to my amplifier.
This diagram uses a commercial power inserter, but I am using a DIY power inserter shown in diagram 2

Diagram 1

Diagram 2

Thanks for the suggestions, but I do not have any 12V-15V power supply laying around :frowning: so I decided to go with step down module ( amazon.com/gp/product/B008BH … ge_o00_s00 ). Hopefully I will be able to fit the module within PI21 casing.

On another hand, I was not able to find the Perfect Vision amp in stock anywhere, so I decided to go with the LAVA A-01 amp (lavasat.com/en/product_detail_55.htm ). Does anybody have any experience with this amp (and can anybody confirm if this is 30dB or 18dB gain amp)?

Static build up or lightning near by can also cause issues. I use to use FET based amps but last quite a few. Now I use
bipolar transistor amps and they are more robust. Maybe try a lightning arrestor but make sure it has the correct frequency range.

This is how i drop my voltage using voltage regulator.

google.com/search?q=transis … QXdRd1M%3A

I thought I would share this issue I just ran into. I have a FA antenna and a 8 Legger spider hooked up, both using amps. I had both maps up on the computer and I noticed my message rate was around 200 message per second lower then what I am used to. So looked over some stuff to make sure things was ok. Then i changed the sd card with my other Pi. thats didn’t help. I changed out my dongle and that didn’t help. I just got a new amp in the mail yesterday, so I thought I would changed out the amp and see if that would help.

I would say that fixed my issue. Because my message rate jumped up 200-300 more messages per second once I did. So the amp was working and it seemed like it was putting up the normal amount of planes that I am used to seeing. But my message rate dropped a good bit.

I never had that problem before, but something to keep an eye on. Thought I would share this info.

I sometime wonder about my receiver… But i realized that each day has different aircraft traffic amount and varies on the propagation. Weather, Solar sun spot has sometimes has something to do with propagation. So i dont touch pi receiver unless its not receiving anymore planes.