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Flightaware Dongles in RTL-SDR Case

Posted: Thu May 30, 2019 6:09 pm
by K4HLW
So there could be a few places to post this but I figured this one was best. I have purchased some spare RTL-SDR cases from the website and they finally arrived, after doing some research I also bought some 3mm thermal gap pads as is used on the RTL-SDR dongle and now I want to put my Flightaware dongles in the RTL-SDR cases.

My big problem I can't figure out how to get the gap pad to contact both surfaces well but not stick while trying to install it. I tried finding instructions from when RTL-SDR offered an upgrade kit or a how-to from someone else that did it as I know others have but no luck. Any tricks or ideas?

Re: Flightaware Dongles in RTL-SDR Case

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 10:34 am
by rtlsdrblog
You'll just have to force it in, or leave the bottom side with the plastic stick on. We use custom slightly thinner 2.8mm (IIRC) pads to avoid them being too fat, whilst still making decent contact. Flightaware dongles run at 1090 MHz anyway, and this frequency isn't really susceptible to heat problems. Only ~1.4 GHz and above really needs cooling.

Re: Flightaware Dongles in RTL-SDR Case

Posted: Fri May 31, 2019 11:36 am
by K4HLW
Thanks!

I know the normal heat problem is at higher frequencies but these will be either in the attic or possible below the antenna in a weatherproof enclosure and florida heat is brutal so I wanted to do everything I could to cool them for simple longevity purposes, especially since I believe the built in LNA produces additional heat. I’m also considering just mounting them to a large heat sink, maybe getting the fins outside the box. All experimental now.