Best ADS-B Receiver?

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thaywood
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Joined: Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:15 pm

Best ADS-B Receiver?

Post by thaywood » Mon Jun 14, 2021 11:26 pm

Hi All,

I have a FlightAware Pro Stick Plus, but looking at alterntatives to improve my setup. Mainly to improve messages and range, and get a high-end setup. I have just ordered a ADS-B Filtered Pre-Amp from Uputronics. I found the AirSpy mini, but not sure if thats the "best", so what receiver outperforms/stands out from all the rest? Also anything else that I could add would be greatly apreshated.

Note: Attenna is staying the same. (FlightAware 1090MHz Anttenna)

Tom

rtlsdrblog
Site Admin
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Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:54 pm

Re: Best ADS-B Receiver?

Post by rtlsdrblog » Mon Jun 28, 2021 5:27 am

Most important thing is the antenna, and getting it up high and unobstructed.

Second is to use a low NF LNA like the one you bought, and most importantly mount it as close to the antenna side as possible. Mounting it close to the SDR will severely limit it's effectiveness.

After you have that setup, the receiver itself is the least critical component, but the Airspy is probably the top choice for best performance.

VonEmber
Posts: 2
Joined: Thu Jul 15, 2021 10:24 am

Re: Best ADS-B Receiver?

Post by VonEmber » Thu Jul 15, 2021 10:32 am

Apologies for the ignorant question here, but I wanted to touch on your comment of:
...most importantly mount it as close to the antenna side as possible. Mounting it close to the SDR will severely limit it's effectiveness.
I just moved into a new location this past week which has a nice roof peak for me to mount my antenna (completely unobstructed 360 views). That being said, the cable to mount this is ~100ft long. I was going to get an amp similar to OP but reading your statement (as someone that's new to this) has me thinking if 1) an amp is worth it, and 2) where to put the amp.

Regarding #2 above, are you suggesting I mount the amp using a smaller cable from the antenna to my attic space, then use the 100ft. antenna to go to my SDR setup? Every picture of an amp (again, might just be my ignorance here) shows the SDR right up against the amp. This could obviously be for marketing/pictures for selling, etc.

Thanks.

Stromeko
Posts: 43
Joined: Wed May 01, 2019 6:32 pm

Re: Best ADS-B Receiver?

Post by Stromeko » Thu Jul 15, 2021 8:00 pm

VonEmber wrote:
Thu Jul 15, 2021 10:32 am
Apologies for the ignorant question here, but I wanted to touch on your comment of:

I just moved into a new location this past week which has a nice roof peak for me to mount my antenna (completely unobstructed 360 views). That being said, the cable to mount this is ~100ft long. I was going to get an amp similar to OP but reading your statement (as someone that's new to this) has me thinking if 1) an amp is worth it, and 2) where to put the amp.

Regarding #2 above, are you suggesting I mount the amp using a smaller cable from the antenna to my attic space, then use the 100ft. antenna to go to my SDR setup? Every picture of an amp (again, might just be my ignorance here) shows the SDR right up against the amp. This could obviously be for marketing/pictures for selling, etc.
First off, do not put an antenna out and up on the roof unless you know how to and actually do protect it against lightning properly. An ADS-B antenna should have their full active length above the pole it's sitting on, so getting it mounted stably can be a bit tricky as well.

In the situation you're describing an LNA is going to make a lot of difference unless your location is really unusual. The (filtered) LNA should be as close as possible to the antenna (#1 rule for RF: amplify before any losses can occur), but you will probably want to run a short cable inside like you said (and maybe use a more expensive low-loss cable for that part), then place the amp there, as most of the ADS-B LNA are not really wheatherproof. If the attic gets really hot when the sun is shining, then I'd put the LNA someplace cooler if you can do that without making the cable much longer (you'll probably not notice a difference between 10ft and 30ft of good quality cable though). The cable run between the LNA and the SDR can then be quite long and/or use slightly cheaper cable without impacting the performance too much, 100ft should certainly pose no real problems.

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