Tagged: coax loss

How coax cable loss affects ADS-B reception

Over on YouTube user Adam Alicajic has uploaded a video showing how coax cable loss affects the frame rate when receiving ADS-B. To do this test Adam uses a precision attenuator in between his ADS-B antenna and RTL-SDR dongle to simulate attenuation from coax cable loss. His results show that for every 1 dB of attenuation the frame rate drops by about 10%.

Coax cable loss for common type of cable can be estimated with calculators available at http://www.net-comber.com/cable-loss.html and http://www.arrg.us/pages/Loss-Calc.htm. RG-6 cable has a low loss at 1090 MHz of about 0.23 – 0.32 dB per meter, whereas RG58 has a loss of about 0.5 – 0.6 dB per meter and RG174 (stock antenna cable on most RTL-SDR units) has a greater loss of about 1.2 dB per meter.

Coax length loss contribution to the bad ADS-B reception