Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

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Me109
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: KORH

Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

Post by Me109 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 2:23 pm

This isn't strictly a VRS discussion, but thinking we're all VRS enthusiasts I thought it related.

What are folks using for ADS-B receivers to feed VRS? The low cost RTL820T based SDR got me into the hobby a couple of years ago, but I'm thinking of upgrading the receiver to increase performance. I've noticed recently at low traffic periods ground traffic can be tracked at the airport ~30 miles away. I think this illustrates the low dynamic range and ADC performance in the DVB-T dongle. Does anyone have first hand experience with this against a higher performance "mid-range" receiver such as Radarcape, Airspy, or SDRPlay?

Bryan

Falcon_viper55
Posts: 25
Joined: Sun Nov 01, 2015 6:55 pm

Re: Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

Post by Falcon_viper55 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 3:25 pm

Hi,

For higher performance first look at antenna the antenna in key
Please us the newer version r820T2 more stable and more performace than the old version.

For higher performace of R820T you can look at (LNA) low noise amplifier or 1090mhz filter.
With Two LNA and filter i got 50 km+ more in almost all directions.

The R820T2 i the best bang of the buck and with and filter and Lna you got you get good performance.
You can also look at high end receiver but to buy receiver is much more interesting for RAW Data of (MLAT)or Mode A/C.

PM if you want good filter and LNA

Me109
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: KORH

Re: Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

Post by Me109 » Sat Mar 05, 2016 5:53 pm

Falcon_viper55 wrote:Hi,

For higher performance first look at antenna the antenna in key
Please us the newer version r820T2 more stable and more performace than the old version.

For higher performace of R820T you can look at (LNA) low noise amplifier or 1090mhz filter.
With Two LNA and filter i got 50 km+ more in almost all directions.

The R820T2 i the best bang of the buck and with and filter and Lna you got you get good performance.
You can also look at high end receiver but to buy receiver is much more interesting for RAW Data of (MLAT)or Mode A/C.

PM if you want good filter and LNA
All great points, and definitely the way to go before upgrading receiver!

I should have clarified, I think I've got the RF chain well tuned. The RF path is: 5dBi omni-directional antenna > 1090MHz BPF > broadband 30dB amplifier > low-loss LMR400 feedline > receiver. Through data analysis for msgs/aircraft and range tracks over a period of several months I've dialed in the dongle gain with margin remaining, and running a SISEX scan via RTL1090 shows minimal noise so that adds confidence. I have debated picking up an LNA to replace the broadband amplifier, or inserting another BPF ahead of the receiver, but after seeing the SISEX display I don't think there is much noise and the receiver isn't being over-driven. That's the rationale leading me to look at receivers.

Bryan

k5ted
Posts: 10
Joined: Fri Dec 25, 2015 2:53 am

Re: Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

Post by k5ted » Wed Apr 06, 2016 9:47 pm

Unscientific comparison, but here goes:

Tale of two systems-

1. Nooelec 820T2, FA filter, 15dB 5v LNA, RPi B, Dump1090, 1/4 wave ground plane (MaxRad ARDIS antenna trimmed to 1090) at 55'. (receiver is on rooftop, using about 5' RG-174 jumper to FA filter input)

2. FR24 latest receiver, supplied 5dB ADS-B antenna, 15' LMR400, gas discharge surge arrestor (N connectors) also at 55'.

The lighter gray pattern is system #1, the darker is system #2. Antennas are on same rooftop, 145' apart, same height.

Looks like homebrew system is giving the commercial box a run for its money.

Image

Me109
Posts: 37
Joined: Sat Nov 01, 2014 4:54 pm
Location: KORH

Re: Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

Post by Me109 » Mon Apr 25, 2016 12:52 pm

Definitely some longer range from the home-brew to the ESE.

Within the home-brew realm, I did "upgrade" from the Nooelec R802T2 to an Airspy a few weeks ago. Message count is way up, and a/c count is slightly higher, but range is unchanged (R802T2 is the lighter shade below). It proves what I earlier thought, there's no more margin and between antenna location and terrain, this is the best I can do. The Airspy does pick up some lower altitude a/c at the fringes (say 15k-19k altitude where previously I'd see only >20k), but IMO it wasn't worth the $200.

Image

Caboosey
Posts: 3
Joined: Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:47 am
Location: California, US

Re: Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

Post by Caboosey » Sun May 29, 2016 3:32 am

I'm using a Raspberry Pi 3 using the adsbreceiver.net image using:
2 NooElec NESDR Mini 2 SDR & DVB-T USB Stick (RTL2832 + R820T2)
AmazonBasics 4 Port USB 3.0 Hub with 5V/2.5A power adapter
MCX to Coax adapter
RG6 Coax
Antennacraft ST2

Currently both the dongles are connected to same antenna and receiving both 1090MHz and 978MHz. I plan to get 2 dedicated ADS-B antennas, but for now using what I got.

Currently get about 100 nmi range.

Radio Active
Posts: 31
Joined: Wed Mar 30, 2016 7:14 am
Contact:

Re: Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

Post by Radio Active » Sun May 29, 2016 5:26 am

I use a no name generic 820T dongle.
A home made 1/4 wave aerial with 4 ground radials bent down to about 65 degree angle mounted on top of an 18 meter tower.
26 meters of LDF 450 coax cable and 30cm RG58 patch cable to connect to receiver.
A modified second hand 950 to 980 mhz 3/4 wave hi Q cavity filter tuned up to 1090 mhz "required due to a high power broad band data transmitter at 1085.250 to 1085.500 mhz"
Depending on direction "I have a low mountain range to my East" I can get just over 250 nmi range.

Gary.

skaw
Posts: 16
Joined: Sun Jun 05, 2016 9:57 am

Re: Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

Post by skaw » Sun Jun 05, 2016 10:09 am

Hi,

i am new here after i heard from this fine piece of software.

At the Moment i am using a Mode-S Beast with a rooftop mounted 55cm A3 ADS-B Antenna. The Receiver is connected to a Win7 Tablet which runs 24/7. VRS grabs the datastream directly and rebroadcasts the data locally to Planeplotter and a live-military-mode-s logger. It also rebroadcasts the data to adsbexchange.com. Looking at the picture below you can see the range going up to ~350km.

Image

Skibox
Posts: 135
Joined: Mon Apr 07, 2014 7:06 pm
Location: ESGG

Re: Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

Post by Skibox » Mon Jun 20, 2016 11:28 pm

Hi,

I have many different receivers and locations running, including

5 FR24/Radarcapes
2 Mode-S-Beasts
4 Rpi dump1090-mutability with RTL-dongles

and several other systems including an SBS-1 and a SBS-3 connected to my VRS.

Most interesting fact;

If you provide an 820T2-dongle with a good antenna, and a good bandpass filter, it has the same range as a Radarcape...

Here is an example of a comparison between a FA Prostick and a Radarcape, sharing the same antenna with a professional splitter, and a 0.8dB 9-cavity bandpass filter in front of the ProStick. Guess which one has the slightly better range... ?

http://adsb.marcusaa.fastmail.fm/Pictur ... -06-19.jpg

Image

/M

brotherphil
Posts: 4
Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:34 am

Re: Receivers - What's Everyone Using?

Post by brotherphil » Tue Jan 31, 2017 1:46 am

I'm using one of the slightly posher RTL283U units - it's in a can, with separate sockets for uhf/vhf and hf; the latter presumably feeds straight to the sampler for ds mode.

I've got that sat in my window, with a homebrew QFH, which has a bazooka choke running up the support to act as a balun.

The building does nasty things to my reception at many frequecies, but at the front, which faces east, I can pick stuff up coming in over East Anglia, and on the west side I can get them at East Midlands Airport. I'm in Sleaford, so i guess I'm getting a range of 100 miles or so with that.

Having said that, i can do almost as well hooked up to the supplied whip, or to my vhf QFH designed for weather satellites (but not quite good enough), so go figure.

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