ADS-B DIY Antenna

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ab cd

Senior Member
OK great to know. I'll keep that in mind.

The forecast is for rain tomorrow, so I will probably not get up on the roof to swap the D903 to the ground plane antenna, but if it turns out to be nice I might make another dreaded trip up to the roof. :eek:
Since your enviroment is nearly free of electromagnetic noise, bringing your amplifiers to the comfort of the room where pi/computer & power injector are located, should not cause any degradation in performance of your system.
 
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ab cd

Senior Member
@jepolch: When you will remove your burnt amplifier, one of your two antennas will be withou amplufier. Dont leave that antenna's coax unconnected. Connect that antenna difectly to coax. When you get a replacement amplifier, you can first install it near power inserter in your room to give this arrangement a try, without hasstle to go up the roof. If amplifier near power inserter does not prove satisfactory, then you can move it midway on wall, or just below the antenna.
 
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jepolch

Active Member
@jepolch: When you will remove your burnt amplifier, one of your two antennas will be withou amplufier. Dont leave that antenna's coax unconnected. Connect that antenna difectly to coax. When you get a replacement amplifier, you can first install it near power inserter in your room to give this arrangement a try, without hasstle to go up the roof. If amplifier near power inserter does not prove satisfactory, then you can move it midway on wall, or just below the antenna.
Well, I made TWO trips to the roof this morning. I took the D903 off the cantenna and connected its coax directly. Then I put the D903 on the ground plane. I climbed down from the roof and looked at my reception with the ground plane and it was nil. I thought I must have stupidly put the amp in backwards, so I went back to the roof. I cut off the self amalgamating tape and saw that the amp in installed properly. I then removed the amp from the ground plane and connected its coax directly. Now I'm back in the house with both amps. I want to test them. Should I just check for voltage coming out of the amp, or is there any other test I can do?

At least I'm getting less terrified of climbing off the roof because I'm getting so much practice! :p
 

jepolch

Active Member
@ab cd: Wow! I'm so confused. I tested both amps and they are putting out 16.5 VDC after 25 feet of RG6 coax. I installed the D903 amp inside the house to the power supply and the ground plane antenna and no reception. I took out the power and amp and connected the ground plane directly to the receiver and my reception is poor. Seeing only a tiny number of planes. It could be a slow time in the air. The antenna is working, but not well. Later on I'll connect the cantenna directly to the receiver and do a test. But right now I'm going to eat lunch.

Any idea what could be the problem with my amps?
 

ab cd

Senior Member
@jepolch:
(1) Connect cantenna to usb receiver.
(2) Check VRS to make sure it is picking some planes.
(3) insert the RCA amplifier just after power inserter in you room. VRS should show more planes & more range.
(4) Now replace RCA amplifier by PanaVision amplifier. If number of planes & range increases compared to no-amplifier test in (2) above, your PanaVision amplifuer is ok, otherwise burnt.

If both amplifier show improvement when connected to cantenna, the problem is either ground plane, or its coax connectors.
 

jepolch

Active Member
@jepolch:
(1) Connect canttena to usb receiver.
(2) Check VRS to make sure it is picking some planes.
(3) insert the RCA amplifier just after power inserter in you room. VRS should show more planes & more range.
(4) Now replace RCA amplifier by PanaVision amplifier. If number of planes & range increases compared to no-amplifier test in (2) above, your PanaVision amplifuer is ok, otherwise burnt.
OK, I'll try that in a while. Time to rest and then pick up the dog from the groomer. I'll let you know what happens.
 

jepolch

Active Member
I'm still testing, but it looks like there's a problem with the ground plane. When I do a continuity test, the meter shows "0" when both probes are touching = dead short. When I put the probes on the ground plane coax, one probe to the connector and one probe to the center wire, the meter shows "-0". On the other hand, when I test the cantenna with probes on connector and center wire, the meter shows "1". I wonder what went wrong. It was working fine for a day.
 

ab cd

Senior Member
I'm still testing, but it looks like there's a problem with the ground plane. When I do a continuity test, the meter shows "0" when both probes are touching = dead short. When I put the probes on the ground plane coax, one probe to the connector and one probe to the center wire, the meter shows "-0". On the other hand, when I test the cantenna with probes on connector and center wire, the meter shows "1". I wonder what went wrong. It was working fine for a day.
I added the Perfect Vision amp to the cantenna and number of planes increased almost double. It's working.
The probllem is most probably in damaged SO239. Remember your previous post? See below:

"I used solder, and it was a pain. Also, the center insulating material was labeled as Teflon, but it started to melt while I was soldering. I injehcted hot glue into the center, then screwed the PL-259 connector to the bottom to hold things together while the hot glue melted. It came out OK. I would recommend using screws and that's what I'll do next time."
 

jepolch

Active Member
The probllem is most probably in damaged SO239. Remember your previous post? See below:

"I used solder, and it was a pain. Also, the center insulating material was labeled as Teflon, but it started to melt while I was soldering. I injehcted hot glue into the center, then screwed the PL-259 connector to the bottom to hold things together while the hot glue melted. It came out OK. I would recommend using screws and that's what I'll do next time."
Probably right.
 

jepolch

Active Member
At what point you added PerfectVision amplifier, on roof just below cantenna, or next to power inserter down at ground floor?
Next to the power inserter. I'm now testing the D903 next to the power inserter and it's working fine, too. So both amps are good.
 
@ab cd: Do you know how to clear the receiver range in Virtual Radar? I'd like to clear it out and start from scratch.
Hi Jepolch, I've been following your trials and tribulations with interest. Good on you for persevering, it will be worth it.
To clear the Receiver Range go to Tools, Reset Receiver Range plot. This is found on the application NOT on the webpage (if that makes sense?)
 

jepolch

Active Member
Hi Jepolch, I've been following your trials and tribulations with interest. Good on you for persevering, it will be worth it.
To clear the Receiver Range go to Tools, Reset Receiver Range plot. This is found on the application NOT on the webpage (if that makes sense?)
Thanks for the good words and the help. I just reset the range plot. We'll start again with a clean slate.
 

ab cd

Senior Member
Oh look! It's a brand new baby 1/4 wave ground plane with screws instead of solder! I will test this one in the house first, before ascending the roof yet again! :p
Good luck. Hope this time groundplane will not fail, looks neat. This is good chance to compare amplifiers from your room. Did you notice any improvement in performancs of Cantenna when you changed from RCA to PerfectVision?
 

ab cd

Senior Member
Today's shopping #2 - RCA D903 amplifier Canadian $ 4.46 (including tax) = US $3.93 - No shipping/handling charges, in-store purchase.
No Noise figure given on the packing.

DSC03462-R.JPG . DSC03463-R.JPG
 
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