New antenna + flightaware pro stick, getting close to maximum performance


New Member
I thought I would share my stats and details of my setup to show what adding a proper antenna did to my coverage and I also what improvements the flightaware pro stick has had as well.

I have a raspberry pi 2 situated 5-10m high up on a barn roof, in a home made waterproof box (a tupperware box, covered in foil backed bubble wrap to stop the sun heating it) holes drilled in the bottom for cable access.

It is about 30 metres from the nearest power and internet connection, so I ran a cat 5e cable and I power the pi with Power over Ethernet (PoE) 'hat' that plugs in to the top of the pi GPIO pins.

Here is a link to the POE 'hat'. You will need a PoE injector for the switch/internet side of the cable. I have an old Cisco switch for this but anything that supports 802.11af will do. It uses the maximum 15.4W per port of power on the switch.

I was concerned this would not have enough juice to power the pi+dongle but I have no issues at all with stability, even with approx 60m of cable! However your MMV with the quality/length of cable/poe injectors. Plus the Pi v3 may or may not use even more juice.

The initial installation was the stock whip, which I had trimmed down. However the whip cable was damaged from being shut in the window when I first got it so this meant it was not working at 100% so I bit the bullet and ordered a SCO-1090 mcx antenna from

Positions went from 25,000 to 250,000 per day! Range went from 125nm to over 200nm.

I noticed the availability of the Flightaware pro stick, i thought i'd take a punt. It arrived quickly and I installed it. I initially thought the Pi would no longer boot due to the extra power draw, but it had turned out I had just popped out the memory card, oops!!

The positions have now peaked at over 377,000 per day, which has taken me into the top 100 sharers list. I'm not unhappy with that considering I am not in the busiest part of the world for flights!

I had to drop the gain from max to 20.7 as it was way too high. I am still tweaking this up and down to see what difference it makes. I don't think i need a filter as I am not near any GSM masts.

The only thing more I can do with my setup is to straighten the antenna as it is slightly off-vertical by may be up to 5-10 degrees. Does this make much difference to a co-linear antenna?

I need to rig up a better pole to mount it to (and earth it!!!). I am happy my home made IP 65 box is working okay as it has survived two 60mph+ storms and torrential rain with no issues.


Hey what's that panorama from 10,000 to 30,000 ft.

Planefinder range plot.

:) Hello

How to change the connector antenna to the pro-stick ?
I have idem antenna and pro-stick , but not adaptateur
Best regard
:) Hello

How to change the connector antenna to the pro-stick ?
I have idem antenna and pro-stick , but not adaptateur
Best regard

I used one of these adaptors. (MCX Female to SMA Male)

To be honest if I were buying again I would order the direct SMA antenna and the shortest amount of cable you need to get it back to the dongle.