ADS-B DIY Antenna

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ab cd

Senior Member
Put my cantenna on the roof today! Three hours worth of work and - nothing! Nada. Look at these pictures and you'll see why. abcd, you will catch it. Now I have to go back on the roof again soon. :oops:

Hint: The cantenna without tape was the test fit.
jplolch_MG_20141207_150030.JPG
 

jepolch

Active Member
Very neat and decent arrangement. Well done. Congratulations.

View attachment 671
Thank you.

I knew you would spot my error. You even drew me a diagram of the amp placement and said which end to point to the antenna. You can see I got it right when I was test fitting the parts. I guess I was in a hurry and got careless and put it on wrong after the antenna was mounted on the stand. Oh well, at least it's an easy fix - except for the going up on the roof part! :rolleyes: I'll let you know the results of the reception after I go back up and make the adjustment. I don't know if I'll be able to do it tomorrow, but soon! Nice thing about that self amalgamating tape - no adhesive. Just cut it apart and it falls off. :)
 

ab cd

Senior Member
Thank you.

I knew you would spot my error. You even drew me a diagram of the amp placement and said which end to point to the antenna. You can see I got it right when I was test fitting the parts. I guess I was in a hurry and got careless and put it on wrong after the antenna was mounted on the stand. Oh well, at least it's an easy fix - except for the going up on the roof part! :rolleyes: I'll let you know the results of the reception after I go back up and make the adjustment. I don't know if I'll be able to do it tomorrow, but soon! Nice thing about that self amalgamating tape - no adhesive. Just cut it apart and it falls off. :)
"To err is human". Hope tomorrow's roof top visit solves the problem, and you will not have to climb again. Good luck.

Today I visited the Wallmart outlet in my neighbourhood. I found Vinyle Electrical tape, but no self amalgamating. What brand or product name Wallmart uses for self amalgamating tape? I will search it on wallmart.ca - no, it is not a typing mistake, Canadian business use .ca, not .com
 
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AndrewR

New Member
Giacomo how did you plot that antenna pattern?
The program is called adsbScope. Great program. I run it connected to the Pi any time my computer is powered up. If you're savvy enough, you can play with the plot files and draw the lines to match your needs. I have the SIDs and STARs for Seattle plotted in brown on mine and can see the which arrival/departure a given plane is flying. The max range rings can show either your true max or max for 10,000ft increments.
 

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ab cd

Senior Member
The program is called adsbScope. Great program. I run it connected to the Pi any time my computer is powered up. If you're savvy enough, you can play with the plot files and draw the lines to match your needs. I have the SIDs and STARs for Seattle plotted in brown on mine and can see the which arrival/departure a given plane is flying. The max range rings can show either your true max or max for 10,000ft increments.
I agree with Andrew. I have been using RTL1090+adsbScope on my windows PC since I started using DVB-T USB (almost 2 years now). It is a great program, and free of cost.
 

jepolch

Active Member
"To err is human". Hope tomorrow's roof top visit solves the problem, and you will not have to climb again. Good luck.

Today I visited the Wallmart outlet in my neighbourhood. I found Vinyle Electrical tape, but no self amalgamating. What brand or product name Wallmart uses for self amalgamating tape? I will search it on wallmart.ca - no, it is not a typing mistake, Canadian business use .ca, not .com
I'm trying to psyche myself up for the trip to the roof. I know the job will take 15 minutes, but it's cold out there, overcast and a little breezy. Not Canada cold, North Carolina cold. ;) It's 40 F, feels like 33 F, wind 12 mph from the NNE.

A picture is worth 1000 words, so here's a shot of the tape I bought at Walmart. It was about $5 a roll. I got two rolls. This stuff is great.
Tape.jpg
 

jepolch

Active Member
The program is called adsbScope. Great program. I run it connected to the Pi any time my computer is powered up. If you're savvy enough, you can play with the plot files and draw the lines to match your needs. I have the SIDs and STARs for Seattle plotted in brown on mine and can see the which arrival/departure a given plane is flying. The max range rings can show either your true max or max for 10,000ft increments.
Thanks for the info. I know others have recommended adsbScope here, but you're the first one who said it can gather data from the Pi. I have a spare PC running Windows 7 that I was thinking of using to install Virtual Radar Server. Would you guys recommend adsbScope over Virtual Radar or are they about equal? Virtual Radar can also get data from the Pi and plot it.
 

jepolch

Active Member
OK, the antenna is up and running with two d903 amps - one at each end of the RG6 feed line. I'll run it this way and tomorrow take off the amp on "my" end of the coax. I've seen a big increase in the number of ICAO numbers and a good increase in the number of identified aircraft (call signs), but I'm still not seeing anything beyond about 100nm. Guess I will have to deploy the balloons! :D
 

ab cd

Senior Member
Thanks for the info. I know others have recommended adsbScope here, but you're the first one who said it can gather data from the Pi. I have a spare PC running Windows 7 that I was thinking of using to install Virtual Radar Server. Would you guys recommend adsbScope over Virtual Radar or are they about equal? Virtual Radar can also get data from the Pi and plot it.
The main disadvantage of Virtual Radar Server is that if you exit it or shutdown your computer/R-Pi, all the data will be lost.

The adsbScope saves all data, so when you restart it, it will again show the plot you have already done, and start adding data to it.

If you want to start a fresh plot, you have to delete two files in "save" folder of the adsbScope program:
(1) lastpos.rri
(2) lastpos.rrj

The location of "save" folder depends where you have placed the adsbScope folder. I have placed it in "C:\Program Files", so the full address of save folder is:
C:\Program Files\adsbScope\adsb_all_RTL1090\pc_software\adsbscope\26\save
 

jepolch

Active Member
The main disadvantage of Virtual Radar Server is that if you exit it or shutdown your computer/R-Pi, all the data will be lost.

The adsbScope saves all data, so when you restart it, it will again show the plot you have already done, and start adding data to it.

If you want to start a fresh plot, you have to delete two files in "save" folder of the adsbScope program:
(1) lastpos.rri
(2) lastpos.rrj

The location of "save" folder depends where you have placed the adsbScope folder. I have placed it in "C:\Program Files", so the full address of save folder is:
C:\Program Files\adsbScope\adsb_all_RTL1090\pc_software\adsbscope\26\save
Thanks. I'll play with it the first chance I get. Sounds good. By the way, I just read this on the FlightAware forum (about Virtual Radar):
V2.1.0 is out. I'm running it already and so far, it looks like they did quite a bit of work prettying it up and now the range plots will survive a reboot (which I'm happy about)

http://www.virtualradarserver.co.uk/Download.aspx
 

ab cd

Senior Member
OK, the antenna is up and running with two d903 amps - one at each end of the RG6 feed line. I'll run it this way and tomorrow take off the amp on "my" end of the coax. I've seen a big increase in the number of ICAO numbers and a good increase in the number of identified aircraft (call signs), but I'm still not seeing anything beyond about 100nm. Guess I will have to deploy the balloons! :D
(1) Are you using the DC Blocker (it is optional as Cantenna does not have a short). Where have you placed the DC Blocker? It should be between the rooftop amplifier & antenna. If you have placed it after the "my end" amplifier, the roof amplifier will not get DC power.

(2) I have tried 1 amplifier & 2 amplifier configurations with 50 feet RG6 commercial coax between antenna & receiver. I did not find any noticeable advantage. Too much amplification carries a risk of overloading the receiver, particularly from signals of nearby aircrafts as these are strong. This may cause performance to go down instead of increase. But all depends on individual situation. When you will remove the "your end" amplifier and compare results, you will know.
 
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ab cd

Senior Member
I'm trying to psyche myself up for the trip to the roof. I know the job will take 15 minutes, but it's cold out there, overcast and a little breezy. Not Canada cold, North Carolina cold. ;) It's 40 F, feels like 33 F, wind 12 mph from the NNE.

A picture is worth 1000 words, so here's a shot of the tape I bought at Walmart. It was about $5 a roll. I got two rolls. This stuff is great.View attachment 677
Ohhhhhhh. They call it "Self-Fusing" while I was searching their site for self amalgamating!
They did not have it in the their outlet in my neighborhood.

Thanks a lot for posting the "1000 words" :). It helped a lot
 

jepolch

Active Member
(1) Are you using the DC Blocker (it is optional as Cantenna does not have a short). Where have you placed the DC Blocker? It should be between the rooftop amplifier & antenna. If you have placed it after the "my end" amplifier, the roof amplifier will not get DC power.

(2) I have tried 1 amplifier & 2 amplifier configurations with 50 feet RG6 commercial coax between antenna & receiver. I did not find any noticeable advantage. Too much amplification carries a risk of overloading the receiver, particularly from signals of nearby aircrafts as these are strong. This may cause performance to go down instead of increase. But all depends on individual situation. When you will remove the "your end" amplifier and compare results, you will know.
Not using the DC blocker. By the way, I'm using 50 ft of RG6. I may take the "inboard" amp off and see how things look. I didn't think about overloading the receiver. Thanks.
 

ab cd

Senior Member
.......By the way, I just read this on the FlightAware forum (about Virtual Radar):
V2.1.0 is out. I'm running it already and so far, it looks like they did quite a bit of work prettying it up and now the range plots will survive a reboot (which I'm happy about)

http://www.virtualradarserver.co.uk/Download.aspx
Thanks for the information about Virtual Radar Server.
By the way, if you have not thrown away the Packing box/card of your RCA amplifier, please read the specs on it's front & back and let me know how many dB it says for "noise figure" or "noise level". Thanks. I made a mistake to discard packing of my both amplifiers. :(
 
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