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Takes one second to plug in. I use this for a FlightAware PiWare receiver at my condo. The magnetic bottom attaches to my balcony railing. Range is approx 300nm (I’m on the 10th floor) within line of sight.
A nice portable antenna for ADSB reception. I used this with a FlightAware ProStick and routinely got signals from over 100 miles away.
Even though this 'can' be used freestanding, you should attach the magnetic base to a ferrous object such as a can of chili (Hormels seems to taste best and give the greatest reception) or soup or a car rooftop. This will help improve reception and is part of its design. The magnet is fairly strong and being such a small antenna it should stay attached even outdoors.
Its portability is great as you can easily carry this in a vehicle or hiking and set up an Android device for the ultimate in portability!
BTW, choosing an antenna isn't as important as location. Height is important as ADS-B has a line of sight reception. You can compute your range with the website heywhatsthat.com and enter your height above ground to get a good representation of what area you will cover. An antenna with a stronger gain may 'fill in the gaps' a bit better than the smaller antennas but wont increase your range too dramatically.
For the price, this thing rocks. I was hooked with some alligator clips to some metal roof/gutter flashing to bring in ADS-B 1090 to my SDR DUO and was getting some planes around SEA-tac. I stuck this to an old 14" metal pizza pan for a great ground plane, tossed it on the pretty flat roof of my house, unscrewed the old antenna and screwed this in while I was dumping 1090 with Virtual Radar on and the number of planes just about tripled and a few very far out showed up on the radar. Very good bang for the buck antenna with a nice adapter. The magnetic base is not super strong but enough not to complain in my opinion. Buy this. Matt / KF4ULD
I bought this antenna because it was listed on the piaware/build page. After reading through the discussions pages on FlightAware, I unscrewed the antenna from the base, and put on a 67mm piece of steel wire, instead. I added six "spider legs" of steel wire at a 45° angle as a ground plane. The range is dramatically improved over this stock antenna. I tried adding the spider legs to this antenna, but the 67mm aerial works better than this 170mm aerial.
This is a cheap way to get a piece of cable, though. Mine arrived with a three meter cable instead of one meter.
Able to get up to a 120 mile range. Solid performance up to 80 miles. My use is about 8 feet above the terrain on a metal plate angle mounted to a metal pole. It says it's an indoor antenna, but it was cheap enough and I didn't have the ability to mount anything bigger. I am using it outside and it works good. I have it taped to the metal plate it is magnetically attached to based on wind/snow load and to date it is working better than expected. For a low cost antenna it is working better than expected.
I have a SDR Play RSP1 receiver that I have been using with a pair of TV rabbit ears. The receiver and antenna are sitting on top of my PC in my office. Height of the extended rabbit ear antenna is about 6 feet. With the TV antenna, I am able to receive 6 to 18 aircraft at distances ranging from 1 to 65 miles 24/7.
With this mag mount antenna, which is cut for resonance for ADSB reception, I can receive out to a distance of 10 miles or so and have never been able to track more than 2 aircraft. Without any antenna, I can receive aircraft at 5 miles or so.
I mounted mine to the window sill using 3M command strips that have the velcro-like surface on one side. Works well to keep the antenna from falling off the window sill and shouldn't damage the paint when removing it in the future.
The antenna seems to be fairly well tuned for 1090MHz and I am able to receive a good number of ADS-B transmissions with my Raspberry Pi set up to do Piaware duty.
I feed a number of ADS-B monitoring sites. When I replaced the standard, short RTL-SDR antenna with this one, I was amazed to find that it was capturing signals from almost twice as many aircraft, including some just inside the 200 NM ring. And my antenna location is less than optimum - it is sitting on a window sill indoors.
This was surprising because this antenna is considerably longer than the original, and some suggest that the length of the original antenna should actually be shortened for optimum frequency response. It could be that this longer antenna presents more cross-sectional area to capture 1090 MHz signals. Regardless of the theory behind it, this antenna “just works good” for ADS-B.
To be honest, I bought this antenna to experiment with, thinking I would have an extra base and connector. After installing it, I see no need for further experimentation.
YMMV, of course, but just swapping this antenna quintupled the number of position reports I'm able to capture, at least based on about 24 hours of data. I'm seeing about double the number of aircraft as well.
It's in a rather bad location, just in the window in my office, but I'm pleased with the performance over the stock antenna that came with my SDR.
The antenna works pretty good for me. I don't really know what people are complaining about. Honestly, its an inexpensive antenna what do you expect. Using it for a PiAware I easily get over 100 messages/sec and at times over 300 messages/sec. To those not getting better coverage I'd recommend raising it as high as possible. I know from my experience raising it from a height of 4 feet to 6 feet (so +2 feet) increased my messages 300%. I've gotten positions up to 200 miles away fairly consistent as well.
At $8 or so its 5 stars. You can't make a receiver that cheap. Ignoring price though I give it 3 stars. It works good not great. Im sure a more expensive antenna would get me better reception.