ADS-B DIY Antenna

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ab cd

Senior Member
@jepolch:
From where you purchased the platform on which you mounted your 100DVD case? Did it come with the roof mount you purchased from Amazon.com?
 

jepolch

Active Member
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. :(
Sorry. I threw the package away, too. It was the same type as yours, so I just bought it. http://www.ebay.com/itm/RCA-DSS-Amplifies-incoming-signal-In-Line-Amp-D903/301431302375

By the way, that amp must be discontinued because I don't see any new ones for sale. They are now selling for about $8.99 and up. There is still a need for that amp. I wonder what replaced it?
 
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jepolch

Active Member
@jepolch:
From where you purchased the platform on which you mounted your 100DVD case? Did it come with the roof mount you purchased from Amazon.com?
I made the platform out of 1/4 inch birch plywood I had lying around. I traced the bottom of the DVD case and then added some extra space for the shelf bracket. I sprayed the platform with white paint to protect it from the rain. I don't have a pattern but I don't think it's too critical. Just trace the bottom of the case and the rest will work itself out. You could even just cut out the circle you traced and mount it directly to the shelf bracket. If it was down on the ground I would trace it for you, but I think you get the idea.
 

jepolch

Active Member
This is my biggest day ever. Over 37,000 positions reported and over 1,000 aircraft so far. Quite a few hits over 100nm. New antenna is working! Still not getting complete 360 degree coverage, though. Still weak to the east. When you look at my range rings, Charlotte on on the 100nm arc.
 

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ab cd

Senior Member
This is my biggest day ever. Over 37,000 positions reported and over 1,000 aircraft so far. Quite a few hits over 100nm. New antenna is working! Still not getting complete 360 degree coverage, though. Still weak to the east. When you look at my range rings, Charlotte on on the 100nm arc.
Wow! So many planes. CONGRATULATIONS.
When you have appetite to go to the roof again, consider raising antenna height by a metal or wooden or bamboo pole. You may not be able to raise it very high, but every foot counts. First try something manageable, say 10 feet, and see if there is any noticeable difference.
 

ab cd

Senior Member
I made the platform out of 1/4 inch birch plywood I had lying around. I traced the bottom of the DVD case and then added some extra space for the shelf bracket. I sprayed the platform with white paint to protect it from the rain. I don't have a pattern but I don't think it's too critical. Just trace the bottom of the case and the rest will work itself out. You could even just cut out the circle you traced and mount it directly to the shelf bracket. If it was down on the ground I would trace it for you, but I think you get the idea.
Thanks a lot for such a detailed description. I got it! Thanks again.
 

ab cd

Senior Member
I also bought one of these. Again I threw the box out, but it was a plain white box with no useful information on it: http://www.ebay.com/itm/281500624570
It is so unthoughtful of me. My packing had all the detailed specs & information at it's back. I saw it, then thinking the vital specs are one label of the amplifier itself, discarded both. Now I came to know good gain amplifier are available at cheap price, but these are not low noise, and have noise figure something like 7 dB. I vaugly remember my RCA D903 had noise figure much less.
I will visit the local store this weekend, and if they still have this amplifier in stock, will take a picture of specifications printed at the back of the packing with my cell phone's camera.
 

jepolch

Active Member
It is so unthoughtful of me. My packing had all the detailed specs & information at it's back. I saw it, then thinking the vital specs are one label of the amplifier itself, discarded both. Now I came to know good gain amplifier are available at cheap price, but these are not low noise, and have noise figure something like 7 dB. I vaugly remember my RCA D903 had noise figure much less.
I will visit the local store this weekend, and if they still have this amplifier in stock, will take a picture of specifications printed at the back of the packing with my cell phone's camera.
That first amplifierI bought, the Terk, had all the specs on it. But of course, that was the wrong one for 1090Mhz. I'll keep looking online for an RCA D903 and if I can, I'll take a screen shot of the specs. By the way, when I was at the nearby Radio Shack I asked if they had the D903, but they didn't have it.
 
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jepolch

Active Member
Wow! So many planes. CONGRATULATIONS.
When you have appetite to go to the roof again, consider raising antenna height by a metal or wooden or bamboo pole. You may not be able to raise it very high, but every foot counts. First try something manageable, say 10 feet, and see if there is any noticeable difference.
I will be looking for a lightweight pole. Today I thought of the fiberglass poles that chimney cleaners use. They come in three sections that screw together to make a very long pole. I wouldn't need the whole length, but maybe one section. I would rather not use bamboo because it's too flexible and I'm afraid of using steel, because I'm thinking "really big lightning rod"! I do have a section of heavy black PVC pipe maybe 5 feet long. It doesn't flex at all. I almost used it as an extension, but I thought just clearing the roof would give me all the coverage I could get. I'll take another look at that PVC pipe and think about how I could put the whole thing together.
 

ab cd

Senior Member
Pictures courtesy of eBay. Not much information on the back.
Thanks for the pictures. I tried to search internet for specifications of RCA D903 in line amplifier, but did not get noise figure. I think a visit to my local electronics & hobby store may solve this problem. If I find they are still selling it (I purchased it about 2 yrs ago from them), I will purchase one more as spare, they sell it cheap, Canadian $3.98 = US $3.50, and no shipping or handling charges, as it is in-store purchase (they dont sell on line).

Of course this time I will keep the packing safely. :D
 

jepolch

Active Member
Nice. ;) You see how tall those trees are? I'll never get the antenna over the top of them! I wonder if my reception will get worse when the leaves come out again? I had a friend who had DirecTV installed in the Winter and - you guessed it - when the leaves came out in Spring he totally lost his reception! The installer either didn't think ahead or didn't care. He aimed the dish right through the bare trees!
 

ab cd

Senior Member
Nice. ;) You see how tall those trees are? I'll never get the antenna over the top of them! I wonder if my reception will get worse when the leaves come out again? I had a friend who had DirecTV installed in the Winter and - you guessed it - when the leaves came out in Spring he totally lost his reception! The installer either didn't think ahead or didn't care. He aimed the dish right through the bare trees!
Even if you cannot get your antenna over top of the trees (the perfect solution), every feet of increase counts, till you reach tree top. After that advantage is almost nil, unless you increase the height by thousands of feet (the baloon :D )
 

ab cd

Senior Member
......You see how tall those trees are? I'll never get the antenna over the top of them!
Why not use one of these trees as antenna mast?
Tie the antenna to top of a fiberglass rod, and tie the fiberglass rod to a high vertical branch/trunk.


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jepolch

Active Member
Why not use one of these trees as antenna mast?
Tie the antenna to top of a fiberglass rod, and tie the fiberglass rod to a high vertical branch/trunk.


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Believe me, I think about it every time I go outside! I'm not sure how I'd get the antenna up to the top of the tree, though. I don't have a ladder tall enough and my tree climbing days are over. I think my best bet is to add some height to the mount on the roof. Either fiberglass or PVC pipe.
 

ab cd

Senior Member
Believe me, I think about it every time I go outside! I'm not sure how I'd get the antenna up to the top of the tree, though. I don't have a ladder tall enough and my tree climbing days are over. I think my best bet is to add some height to the mount on the roof. Either fiberglass or PVC pipe.
Adding some height to roof mount by fiberglass/PVC pipe is a good idea.
Any addition to height will improve the range. Each foot of height counts.
Good luck.
 
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