Best option for outdoors ?....

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USAFE501
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:11 pm

Best option for outdoors ?....

Post by USAFE501 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:16 am

Good Morning,
Quick question , now using my RTL-SDR with L band patch antenna for monitoring Aircraft ACARS data.
The antenna comes with RG 174 coax - now I will be mounting the antenna outside so what is best in terms of signal loss etc
1. Mount the antenna using the RG 174 coax for the entire distance back to the computer on the 1st floor or
2. Mount the antenna using very short length of RG 174 coax into the RTL-SDR dongle and then a long USB extension lead back to the computer on the 1st floor ?

Obviously all connections will be water tight , sdr dongle inside waterproof but breathable housing.

Basically which is preferable ? The RG 174 coax or USB extension cable ?
Can you even get a USB extension lead that is suitable for use outdoors ? The distance from antenna mount back to roomin the house is about 5 metres.

Thanks in advance
USAFE501 :)
Last edited by USAFE501 on Fri Jan 24, 2020 4:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.

VE3EAR
Posts: 25
Joined: Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:13 pm

Re: Best option for outdoors ?....

Post by VE3EAR » Fri Jan 24, 2020 2:39 pm

You definitely don't want a long run of RG-174, as it is VERY lossy! If it were me, I'd go with the second option and put the dongle at the antenna. Keep in mind that you will have wild temperature excursions along with moisture concerns to deal with. Locate in the shade if possible, and keep the USB cable as short as you can.

73, Bruce, VE3EAR

USAFE501
Posts: 12
Joined: Fri Mar 29, 2019 11:11 pm

Re: Best option for outdoors ?....

Post by USAFE501 » Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:05 pm

Bruce,
Really appreciate the reply - wasn't sure about the RG 174 but you've confirmed that , thanks. :D
Need to make sure everything water tight and sealed and thanks for advice on temperature spikes.

Was having second thoughts about having "permanent" set up outside - need to weigh up the typical British weather (whatever that is now !!!) against having my patch antenna , sdr dongle with a sat dish on tripod mount and having to set parameters and fine tune each time I want to use it ....... :?: :?: :?: :?:

Thanks for the response and advise...

USAFE501 :D :D

carlsbl
Posts: 1
Joined: Wed Jan 15, 2020 12:20 pm

Re: Best option for outdoors ?....

Post by carlsbl » Fri Jan 24, 2020 8:20 pm

Hello....

I am getting ready to do something similar here. I want to place an omni-directional discone antenna at the opposite end of the house away from much of the electrical noise in the garage attic. Then I'm going to plug the dongle into a Raspberry Pi 4 at the antenna base with just a couple feet of coax. I’ll run SpyServer on the Pi 4 and connect it wirelessly to my home network and then use SDRSharp to connect to the Pi 4 from a laptop anywhere in the house that I am connected to the wifi. I have already connected to SpyServer on the laptop from the Internet using SDRSharp from work after I opened port 5555 on my home router. This weekend I am going to replace the laptop with a pi 4 instance of SpyServer. (It's my big excitement for tonight and the weekend! Woohoo!) I'm new to all this SDR stuff but I've read a lot, experimented a lot, and this seems to work in theory, I am able to do it on Windows, so now if I can run Linux on the Pi 4 and SpyServer on it, it should be pretty fun. :lol:

SDRSharp connected to SpyServer on a laptop:
Capture1.PNG
Capture1.PNG (38.83 KiB) Viewed 1180 times
SpyServer instance on laptop soon to be replaced with a Raspberry Pi 4.
Capture.PNG
Capture.PNG (15.2 KiB) Viewed 1180 times

Brian

rtlsdrblog
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Posts: 2563
Joined: Mon Nov 19, 2012 11:54 pm

Re: Best option for outdoors ?....

Post by rtlsdrblog » Tue Jan 28, 2020 3:50 am

USAFE501 wrote:
Fri Jan 24, 2020 5:16 am
Good Morning,
Quick question , now using my RTL-SDR with L band patch antenna for monitoring Aircraft ACARS data.
The antenna comes with RG 174 coax - now I will be mounting the antenna outside so what is best in terms of signal loss etc
1. Mount the antenna using the RG 174 coax for the entire distance back to the computer on the 1st floor or
2. Mount the antenna using very short length of RG 174 coax into the RTL-SDR dongle and then a long USB extension lead back to the computer on the 1st floor ?

Obviously all connections will be water tight , sdr dongle inside waterproof but breathable housing.

Basically which is preferable ? The RG 174 coax or USB extension cable ?
Can you even get a USB extension lead that is suitable for use outdoors ? The distance from antenna mount back to roomin the house is about 5 metres.

Thanks in advance
USAFE501 :)
The RG41 provided with the kit is about the longest you should use to avoid SNR dropping. Ideally, use a USB extension cable - look for active cables if you need length. Combine it with low loss coax like RG6 if you need length longer than what the USB cable can provide.

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