ADS-B DIY Antenna

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giacomo1989

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They are treating me great in the hospital. I'll probably be here til Monday. The food fantastic. I can order anything I want 24/7!

I got the call from the hospital to come in just as I was finishing up moving the VR server to my spare PC and setting up the DNS. No time to set up remote desktop, but I will when I get home. Apparently I didn't get around to setting up the receiver location in VRS because I can't see the range plots. http://virtualradar.ddns.net/virtualradar/desktop.html#
Are you in a Hospital or just a in Restaurant themed like an Hospital? :p
 

jepolch

Active Member
An interesting site HeyWhatsThat.com

Here is plot of my range based on terrain, from "HeyWhatsThat.com".
The blue plot is for 40,000 feet high planes. The yellow plot is for 30,000 feet high planes.

I have superimposed on it my measured maximum range (by adsbScop). It is in thin black color lines.
There are sharp drops in measured range in various directions, which are due to surrounding tall buildings.

The plot by "HeyWhatsThat.com" is almost circular, and does not show any sharp drops in any direction.
This indicates that "HeyWhatsThat.com" site only takes into account the natural geographic terrain, and ignores any man-made tall structures.

View attachment 286
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Still in the hospital. :oops: I'm hoping to get out tomorrow, but I don't know yet. Enjoy your freedom!

How did you overlay the adsbscope measurment on top of the HeyWhatsThat plot? I definitely want to do that.
 

ab cd

Senior Member
Still in the hospital. :oops: I'm hoping to get out tomorrow, but I don't know yet. Enjoy your freedom!

How did you overlay the adsbscope measurment on top of the HeyWhatsThat plot? I definitely want to do that.
Screenshots of adsbScope & heywhststhat overlaid in Photoshop, with opacity (transparency) of upper layer adjusted so that lower layer becomes visible through upper layer. Some trial and error zooming of heywhatsthat screenshot to adjust the size of "heywhatsthat" screenshot image to match the scales of two images, before final overlaying.
 

jepolch

Active Member
Screenshots of adsbScope & heywhststhat overlaid in Photoshop, with opacity (transparency) of upper layer adjusted so that lower layer becomes visible through upper layer. Some trial and error zooming of heywhatsthat screenshot to adjust the size of "heywhatsthat" screenshot image to match the scales of two images, before final overlaying.
Well you certainly did an excellent job of it! Looking at the picture again I just saw the little bit of adsbscope around the border of the picture. I don't have Photoshop, so I'll just have to look at pictures side by side or figure out some other way to overlay them.
 

jepolch

Active Member
I came home from the hospital tonight - and it feels so good!! :D I am feeling a lot better and will continue to get better with follow-up treatment. When I got bored I read this thread again. There are things I understand better now than I did when I first read it! ab cd you are a very good teacher! ;)
 

ab cd

Senior Member
I came home from the hospital tonight - and it feels so good!! :D I am feeling a lot better and will continue to get better with follow-up treatment. When I got bored I read this thread again. There are things I understand better now than I did when I first read it! ab cd you are a very good teacher! ;)
Nice to hear that you are back home and feeling a lot better. Thanks for the compliments.
 

jepolch

Active Member
EXCELLENT! Very neat and crafty!
Did you put it to trial run? How did it perform?
Thanks! No, I haven't tested it yet. I want to put it on the roof and give it a fair comparison with the cantenna. I thought just putting it in a window wouldn't be a real comparison. So I'll be heading up on the roof soon. Maybe today. It's supposed to be warm this afternoon. I'll see how I feel then.

I'm not going to put a cover over the antenna to keep down the wind resistance. I'm going to seal the top with silicone this morning. Ahhhh. It's great to be home again! :)
 

jepolch

Active Member
Yesterday I did a crude "Photoshop" (using Paint Shop Pro), merging my HeyWhatsThat plot with my Virtual Radar range receiver range. As you can see, I'm still not getting all the coverage possible. Hopefully adding some height to the antenna will help.

Coverage merged.png
 

jepolch

Active Member
Well I huffed and I puffed and I ascended the roof and got the antenna installed. The job was kinda quick this time, because the roof mount was already in place. Notice the wooden wedge holding the PVC pipe in place. That worked perfectly. In the long shot of the antenna, look closely and you will see a sheep to the right of the cantenna. Also, a shot of the bamboo forest that's not helping reception to the northeast. I figure I would have to go up at least 40-50 feet over the rooftop to get the antenna over the treetops. Never gonna happen. :rolleyes:
Edit: To get above the bamboo I'd probably "just" have to go another 10-15 feet.
 

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jepolch

Active Member
It's working! Where before I used to see 50-80 planes in Virtual Radar, now I'm seeing about 120. Also, I see my receiver range expanding. I saw planes out to Wilmington, NC and Florence, SC.
 

giacomo1989

Member
It's working! Where before I used to see 50-80 planes in Virtual Radar, now I'm seeing about 120. Also, I see my receiver range expanding. I saw planes out to Wilmington, NC and Florence, SC.
It's working even better than the cantenna? :? :( :( :( Poor cantenna
 

jepolch

Active Member
It's working even better than the cantenna? :? :( :( :( Poor cantenna
Yeah, the ground plane is killing the cantenna. Doesn't mean the design isn't good - maybe it's the placement or my construction technique? Who knows, maybe the amp on my new antenna is stronger? I just saw a plane out over the Atlantic, 185 miles from home! I hope ab cd doesn't have hurt feelings about this. :( Take a look at the coverage.
http://pi2dubya.ddns.net/
 

ab cd

Senior Member
Yeah, the ground plane is killing the cantenna. Doesn't mean the design isn't good - maybe it's the placement or my construction technique? Who knows, maybe the amp on my new antenna is stronger? I just saw a plane out over the Atlantic, 185 miles from home! I hope ab cd doesn't have hurt feelings about this. :( Take a look at the coverage.
http://pi2dubya.ddns.net/
GREAT. CONGRATULATIONS!
I dont have any hert feelings. I never claimed or believed that Cantenna is "The Best" antenna. However it is one of the easy, simple, and good antennas.
 

ab cd

Senior Member
Virtual Radar plot about four hours after installing the ground plane antenna at approximately 21-22 feet above ground level. Range rings are in 25 nm increments.
Just for sake of comparision, swap the two antennas to each other's location (swap only two antennas, nothing else. Dont swap amplifier, coax, and cantenna enclosure). Seeing the results after swap, we can be sure whether it is placement, amplifier, or the antenna which is causing improved results.
 

jepolch

Active Member
Just for sake of comparision, swap the two antennas to each other's location (swap only two antennas, nothing else. Dont swap amplifier, coax, and cantenna enclosure). Seeing the results after swap, we can be sure whether it is placement, amplifier, or the antenna which is causing improved results.
That would be a great test, but too much trouble at this time. I'd have to strip off the self amalgamating tape from the antenna and amp connections on both antennas and also disassemble the cantenna enclosure. Maybe some warm day when I'm feeling great, but not soon. And by the way, did I mention I hate going up on the roof? Getting up is not the issue, it's the first step getting down that I really hate. Swinging my leg over the edge of the roof and blindly searching for the rung on the ladder with my foot. Literally gives me the creeps just thinking about it now. :eek:
Edit: I would only have to strip the self amalgamating tape off the cantenna, because it can't fit through the hole in the bottom of the DVD box.
 

ab cd

Senior Member
That would be a great test, but too much trouble at this time. I'd have to strip off the self amalgamating tape from the antenna and amp connections on both antennas and also disassemble the cantenna enclosure. Maybe some warm day when I'm feeling great, but not soon. And by the way, did I mention I hate going up on the roof? Getting up is not the issue, it's the first step getting down that I really hate. Swinging my leg over the edge of the roof and blindly searching for the rung on the ladder with my foot. Literally gives me the creeps just thinking about it now. :eek:
Edit: I would only have to strip the self amalgamating tape off the cantenna, because it can't fit through the hole in the bottom of the DVD box.
Oh, I did not realize the problems you will have to face in swaping. No, dont do the swap. Your safety and comfort is very important.

I will do the comparision myself from the comfort of totally indoor installation inside my apartment.

Can you please give me the dimensions & construction details of your ground plane antenna? I want to build one, then test, then swap by cantenna, and test again, keeping everything else same (i.e. placement, coax, receiver, laptop). To see the real difference, i will first test both without amplifier, and a very short coax 15 feet. Later with amplifier and 50 feet coax.
 
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