ADS-B DIY Antenna

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jepolch

Active Member
Hey everyone! Hope you're doing well and having fun.

@Lee Armstrong: What's wrong with this picture, e.g., positionless reports? I'm assuming it's a result of MLAT? I'm running the latest pfclient - also latest Piaware and fr24feed. Running dump1090-mutability v1.15~dev with (hopefully) all the right ports open. (I guess I should have been paying better attention to my stats page.) Log looks OK though:
Code:
2015-11-04 19:55:42.594656 Successfully sent 588 aircraft updates over the past minute (15.00kb)
2015-11-04 19:54:31.419701 Successfully sent 599 aircraft updates over the past minute (15.00kb)
2015-11-04 19:53:19.917848 Successfully sent 450 aircraft updates over the past minute (11.00kb)
2015-11-04 19:52:38.70892  User location has been verified.
2015-11-04 19:52:20.872724 Echo port is now listening on: 192.168.1.11:30054
2015-11-04 19:52:20.871155 Web server is now listening on: http://192.168.1.11:30053
2015-11-04 19:52:20.866932 TCP connection established: 127.0.0.1:30005
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859717     user_longitude = -79.144153
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859630     user_latitude = 36.176799
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859537     web_server_port = 30053
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859470     select_timeout = 10
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859403     aircraft_timeout = 30
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859330     data_format = 1
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859261     tcp_port = 30005
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859179     tcp_address = 127.0.0.1
 

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Lee Armstrong

Administrator
Staff member
Hey everyone! Hope you're doing well and having fun.

@Lee Armstrong: What's wrong with this picture, e.g., positionless reports? I'm assuming it's a result of MLAT? I'm running the latest pfclient - also latest Piaware and fr24feed. Running dump1090-mutability v1.15~dev with (hopefully) all the right ports open. (I guess I should have been paying better attention to my stats page.) Log looks OK though:
Code:
2015-11-04 19:55:42.594656 Successfully sent 588 aircraft updates over the past minute (15.00kb)
2015-11-04 19:54:31.419701 Successfully sent 599 aircraft updates over the past minute (15.00kb)
2015-11-04 19:53:19.917848 Successfully sent 450 aircraft updates over the past minute (11.00kb)
2015-11-04 19:52:38.70892  User location has been verified.
2015-11-04 19:52:20.872724 Echo port is now listening on: 192.168.1.11:30054
2015-11-04 19:52:20.871155 Web server is now listening on: http://192.168.1.11:30053
2015-11-04 19:52:20.866932 TCP connection established: 127.0.0.1:30005
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859717     user_longitude = -79.144153
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859630     user_latitude = 36.176799
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859537     web_server_port = 30053
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859470     select_timeout = 10
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859403     aircraft_timeout = 30
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859330     data_format = 1
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859261     tcp_port = 30005
2015-11-04 19:52:20.859179     tcp_address = 127.0.0.1
Hi Joe,

Seems everyone just posts in this long thread then? ;-)

I wonder if it's because you stopped feeding the MLAT data? That might explain why it flipped over.

It is ok to feed it as long as you are using raw data ports and the latest client which it looks like you are.

Lee
 

jepolch

Active Member
Hi Joe,

Seems everyone just posts in this long thread then? ;-)

I wonder if it's because you stopped feeding the MLAT data? That might explain why it flipped over.

It is ok to feed it as long as you are using raw data ports and the latest client which it looks like you are.

Lee
@lee I did look for a thread specific to the latest version of pfclient, but didn't see one. I suggest you a have thread that always shows the latest plclient version - the title would be generic - but people could always know where to go to see the latest version, rather than starting a new thread (or not) when a new version is released. And if there is such a thing I apologize for not locating it! ;)

As for the positionless reports, I guess you could be right as that would coincide with when FlightAware changed their feeder to use a different port for MLAT. But it still seems strange to me that I would be sending a majority of positionless reports. By the way, would you please pass on to your programmer that the stats page would be a lot more useful if they were to add some metrics to the graph. Looking at it, I have no idea the number of reports from day to day. Thanks!
 

Lee Armstrong

Administrator
Staff member
I would have started a new thread. ;-)

In the US all our stations that don't feed FlightAware MLAT have more position less reports. In Europe the graph looks the other way around, much like when you were feeding MLAT positions.

Not sure what you mean on the graph...have you tried hovering over the points with the mouse?
 

Lee Armstrong

Administrator
Staff member
Ah, OK. No, I hadn't hovered the mouse over the position. That works. :) What I meant by metrics is a graph type display, like this.
Ah ok, what exactly are you after from that graph as we have the position less and the position traffic? It's obviously not the style! ;-)
 

jepolch

Active Member
Ah ok, what exactly are you after from that graph as we have the position less and the position traffic? It's obviously not the style! ;-)
I thought some horizontal lines would be useful for reference, with the value along the Y axis. Easy to see at a glance. But hey, I'm sure you have more important things to do! :)
 
Thanks Mr. Crow!
View attachment 2349 View attachment 2350

We have a family of crows, numbering about 7 living nearby. Every morning, just after dark o'clock, they're up and about doing the "Get orf my land!" business with other crow families.
I don't normally care, but now it's got personal.
The basket aerial wasn't very efficient, getting just over half the "hits" of the whip, but now I've got to go up and retrieve it and straighten the whip on the other one.

I feel your pain Oz.
Another "Crow Experience" further back in this thread..a bit of action over my garden from "Grimreaper" and "Spadger".
There is a population of crows about 200 yards away in some large trees, they have been there for as long as I can remember.
When there is an altercation, its loud !
On the get orf my land...
I suppose its not them being in my back yard but vice versa !
 

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Oz Wald

New Member
I feel your pain Oz.
Another "Crow Experience" further back in this thread..a bit of action over my garden from "Grimreaper" and "Spadger".
There is a population of crows about 200 yards away in some large trees, they have been there for as long as I can remember.
When there is an altercation, its loud !
On the get orf my land...
I suppose its not them being in my back yard but vice versa !

They've been and gone and done it again!
I've just put the ladders away from fixing their latest hooliganism. My best spider had a 1.0mm whip, strengthened with a piece of WD40 applicator tube epoxy'd to the connector.
This was obviously not strong enough to withstand a kamikaze crow at 7.30 am on Friday (when the logs went from 1400 reports/min to 400). It also bent 2 x 2.5mm copper radials, so I'm guessing not a planned landing.
It now has a 1.6mm brazing rod whip, so a repeat performance may gift me a crow weather-vane.

I've got to put together a dopey question about RTL1090 Tuner AGC settings using planefinder client through a win pc, but at the moment I'm damp, cold, fed-up and in need of a shower.
 
Hi, first post, so why not start with what is probably a dumb question; they says there's no such thing, but hey!
I've only recently started looking into ADS-B and have now built and tested a few antennas.
3 have been of the monopole +gp design put on the web by atouk, the other a design by my next door neighbour, that is a basket on the Yagi principle.
I'll explain now that although I studied engineering in the early '70s, mechanical was my forte, electrical, I had a basic understanding, but electronics went way over my head and other than as a keen user, still pretty much does.
So, basically (I hate that), give me a drawing or a concept and I'll make it out of pretty much nothing. Ask me to understand it to any depth and you'll get a 1000 yard stare and a bit of dribble.
Here's my dumb question:
Nearly all the designs for 1090Mhz, 1/4 wave, 75ohm Cantennas and Platennas, I've seen on here, plus the length of the elements, my next door antenna guru (I'll call him Kang for a groan) came up with are around the 69mm mark. The lengths that atouk quotes are 2.575in (65.4mm).
I have built 2x 1/4 wave and 1x 1/2 wave monopoles using the 65.4mm length and they work; indeed the latest 1/4 has a general range of 240nm, reasonably circular without spikes; no amplification is used.
Why the differences? Kang couldn't answer me, not knowing enough about ADS-B, bandwidth, sidebands etc (I'm quoting here), so I thought I'd ask.
Please don't hurt my brain.

View attachment 2325 View attachment 2327
Hi Oz,
Welcome, nice mast setup there.;)
I would presume that the difference in lengths are down to the different connector interfaces used to construct a given antenna.
For example, my humble spider (photo attached) required trimming from the rough 69mm to around 64/65mm for optimum on my site as I used an so-239 50 ohm socket.
The distance between the outer edge of the connector and the outer edge of the centre element white delrin insulator is around 4mm at he 90 degree corner.
If I were to make one from a chassis flange f type socket connector or bnc I would probably have legs of 67mm or so as the connector body is much smaller. Its an exact science, but in reality antenna surroundings, different construction metals & feeder coaxes all play a part in variation hence the need for trimming to your bespoke station conditions.

I would be very happy with 200 miles with no amp Oz, well done indeed !

A background in engineering, great stuff Oz ! :)

You say Kang is a 69mm antenna guru.. firstly congratulate him on having google..second, why not ask him to drop in here, if he is a guru..even a "sideband guru" perhaps he could teach us more of the dark art of antenna construction. Many of us here have been experimenting for far too long, decades in some cases, we need the real deal !

"Kang" We are all ears, whos here ?

There are a few members in the antenna section for a start
@ab cd ( resident pf antenna theory officionado/builder/tester)
@xforce30164 and @caius ( antenna builders /testers and they have been known to fiddle with computer programming thingys also)
@TomW (experimenter/builder)
@trigger (experimenter/builder)
@jepolch (builder/tester) psst..hes been known to do a bit of constructing..
https://plus.google.com/photos/107730019413900891611/albums/5303520088039189057
@radiostationx , me (fettler, fiddler)
 

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pgjp6910

New Member
Hi everybody,

I'm playing with ads-b since a few months, and in meanwhile, I made some progress with my gear, what means improvements on antenna(s) and its elevation, feed-line (i.e. amplifier addition) and with dump1090 --> replaced by mutability as well. All those improvements lets me increase the number of tracked planes from poor ~150/day and a range around 100nm to ~600-700 planes/day and range ~180-190 nm. It's not so much impressed obviously, but in my particular location there are some limitations such as buildings, trees and generally - terrain, and other ones - such as air traffic which is bypassing Ukrainian territory... you know. Anyway, I am very glad to my results, but as everybody knows, there is still need to go forward, thus I am looking for the next solution :)
So, currently, I use my own home-made franklin antenna (I made some mistakes building it), but had an attempt to coco (but not so impressed due to some reasons, my faults also). Anyway, I am looking for something more advanced, which could give me quite better results, but there are some constraints which limits the choice - my antenna mast is made by 4 pieces of 1m long thin aluminium pipes, mounted to L-type satellite mount, fixed to the wall on the last floor of block of flats (please see picture).

Well so, the main constraint is that the antenna can't be too heavy and to big, due to wind mainly. Other one is to not focus people's attention - they always are interfering...

And there is a question - could someone advice me some light and relatively thin antenna, with nice gain, to place it on this mast, instead of my first franklin?

Any ideas, suggestions and hints are welcome!

Thanks in advance,
best regards
Piotr
 

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Hi everybody,

I'm playing with ads-b since a few months, and in meanwhile, I made some progress with my gear, what means improvements on antenna(s) and its elevation, feed-line (i.e. amplifier addition) and with dump1090 --> replaced by mutability as well. All those improvements lets me increase the number of tracked planes from poor ~150/day and a range around 100nm to ~600-700 planes/day and range ~180-190 nm. It's not so much impressed obviously, but in my particular location there are some limitations such as buildings, trees and generally - terrain, and other ones - such as air traffic which is bypassing Ukrainian territory... you know. Anyway, I am very glad to my results, but as everybody knows, there is still need to go forward, thus I am looking for the next solution :)
So, currently, I use my own home-made franklin antenna (I made some mistakes building it), but had an attempt to coco (but not so impressed due to some reasons, my faults also). Anyway, I am looking for something more advanced, which could give me quite better results, but there are some constraints which limits the choice - my antenna mast is made by 4 pieces of 1m long thin aluminium pipes, mounted to L-type satellite mount, fixed to the wall on the last floor of block of flats (please see picture).

Well so, the main constraint is that the antenna can't be too heavy and to big, due to wind mainly. Other one is to not focus people's attention - they always are interfering...

And there is a question - could someone advice me some light and relatively thin antenna, with nice gain, to place it on this mast, instead of my first franklin?

Any ideas, suggestions and hints are welcome!

Thanks in advance,
best regards
Piotr
Hello Piotr,
Well done on the mast and fanklin, looks good..
Do you have Rhomboid antenna for VHF shown also in the photo
Looks like you enjoy experimenting;)

Franklin has good gain but is also directional.
With traffic being diverted , why not try a standard 1/4 wave spider antenna with low cost sat tv amplifier.
This would be less gain than your current franklin but is true omni directional by design.
This method may get you more planes/msgs received from directions/positions the franklin is not receiving signals from.

Sometimes the way forward is to take a step back and go for less gain and less "blind spots".

Just a suggestion Piotr, nice to see you are experimenting with adsb and radio in general.:)


" Other one is to not focus people's attention - they always are interfering..."
I know all about this problem, it is a problem worldwide.

Regards,

Mike.
 
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pgjp6910

New Member
Hello Piotr,
Well done on the mast and fanklin, looks good..
Do you have Rhomboid antenna for VHF shown also in the photo
Looks like you enjoy experimenting;)
Hello Mike,
nice to see such quick response. Yes, you are right, this is biQuad, or in fact - 2xBiQuad and it's for DVB-T :) but yes, I love to experimenting with antennas!
Franklin has good gain but is also directional.
With traffic being diverted , why not try a standard 1/4 wave spider antenna with low cost sat tv amplifier.
This would be less gain than your current franklin but is true omni directional by design.
This method may get you more planes/msgs received from directions/positions the franklin is not receiving signals from.

Sometimes the way forward is to take a step back.
I agree, I am wide open for some experiments, but as I can see, the coverage provided by my franklin seems to be more or less omnidirectional, please see attached screen from pfinder.I marked blocks around (symbolic). Red one is mine and antenna is located almost on the left top corner. Gaps on diagram are by buildings around and by the vent chimneys on the roof on my block.
Truly saying, I read whole 188 pages of this topic and consider "spider-like" antenna, "super-j-pole-franklin" (or similar) antenna (my tip for now) and coco with shorted top (but coco could be a challenge to fit it on the mast and do not worry that wind blew it away so far)...
I also use amplifier with my franklin (I hadn't put it just behind antenna in this moment, but it's outdoor, just around 2 meters under antenna, just on the bottom of the mast). It gave me significant increase in range for sure. Message ratio is also better.
Anyway, if I find a good candidate I will try to replace my franklin just before the winter. If not, I have to wait until spring, but it means that I will have a lot more time to experimenting!

Thanks for reply once again, best regards,
Piotr
 

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ab cd

Senior Member
My antenna for PF.... The coverage for this...





(1) Your pan holding anttenna is in a position good for frying eggs :) . Lower part of the whip is shielded by rim of the pan. Try the pan upside down. There is a chance your range may somewhat improve.

(2) Your range is limited to 54 nm which is low, most probably due to antenna being indoor (attenuation of signal by building walls & roof as well as blockage of signal by neighbor's houses). The best antenna location is outdoors, above roof. If you are not able to go outdoors, then try different antenna locations indoor, including near a window. You may find an indoor location which gives better range than other indoor locations.

(3) Find what maximum possible range you can get using the thread linked below:

What is the Maximum Range I Can Get?

.
 
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