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Have a laugh at my quality antenna

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 11:44 am
by NGC6543
I noticed a few days ago people talking about ADS-B. I decided to give it a try on my Pi... at 3:00am because I couldn't sleep :lol:

Usually, I don't bother making antennae. Life's too short and it's easier to just buy one that actually works as expected. Not at 3am though... so this is what I came up with. A Nescafe Azera Cantenna, with the help of some blu tack:

Image

It took all of five minutes to make, most of which was trying to punch a hole in the can without waking up my wife. It works amazingly well and gets signals from as far away as 150 miles. Not bad since I'm surrounded by hills too.

Re: Have a laugh at my quality antenna

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 3:21 pm
by AdamStanislav
Fascinating. :D

Re: Have a laugh at my quality antenna

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 5:50 pm
by Heater
Looks great.

Electrons don't care how it looks. You just have to give them the right space to play in.

Re: Have a laugh at my quality antenna

Posted: Thu Apr 11, 2019 10:33 pm
by DougieLawson
viewtopic.php?f=33&t=237304&p=1451491#p1450614

You may want to join forces with that thread where 1090MHz antennae are also being discussed.

BTW I like the coffee can version. Do you know what kind of range you're getting.

My cut down supplied antenna (nothing more than done with side cutters to the antenna that came with the receiver) gets aircraft at 11Km altitude at 150 statute miles.

Re: Have a laugh at my quality antenna

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 10:34 am
by NGC6543
Thanks, I'll take a look at that thread.

I'm getting about 100 miles range; a few contacts beyond that but not much. Altitude is no problem up to 12km+.

It might be a bit poorer because I'm in a valley as well. I'm at 300m above sea level but on the side on one hill, with higher ground all around me as you can see in the photo. It might improve it I put it at the top of the loft. Eventually that's where the Pi is going to live anyway, with my network rack up there. The Pi is also my Pihole and stratum 1 ntp server.

ETA: It was you that mentioned ADS-B in another thread here, that got me started on this.

Re: Have a laugh at my quality antenna

Posted: Fri Apr 12, 2019 11:44 am
by DougieLawson
I've been tracking ADS-B since June.

I started as I'm trying to catch an RAF H47 Chinook at too low an altitude over my house. We're on the RAF flight path between RAF Odiham and RAF Benson.

Re: Have a laugh at my quality antenna

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:16 pm
by XxionxX
This looks great! I love making stuff out of whatever is laying around. I had no idea that I could make a flight tracker with an rpi. What kind of software are you using?

Re: Have a laugh at my quality antenna

Posted: Sat Apr 13, 2019 8:59 pm
by NGC6543
You need a RTL2832U TV reciever/SDR USB dongle. They are really cheap for a basic one (around £10, $10) and the whole installation is quite easy really.

First you install the RTL2832U driver on the Pi. After that, you can use the SDR function itself, by installing free SDR software on either the Pi itself or a PC and doing it over the network.

For the flight tracking stuff, I installed the Piaware software from Flightaware, followed by their version of dump1090-fa. Just follow the instrctions here:

https://uk.flightaware.com/adsb/piaware/install

Once done, you can create a Flightaware account (it's free) and connect your Pi to the service to see various stats and upload your tracking to them (that's why it's all free - they run their business on the data). You can also view a virtual radar website now running locally on the Pi showing your location on a map with live plane tracking.

It's good fun looking out of the window, seeing planes flying over and being able to track them on the radar and look up the plane itself, flight details etc.