AirNav Systems Forum

AirNav RadarBox and RadarBox24.com => AirNav RadarBox and RadarBox24.com Discussion => Topic started by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 07:40:23 AM

Title: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 07:40:23 AM
Hi,

I live in the Heathrow area and I seem to have lost a lot of my range, and was wondering if others had noticed the same thing recently? (ie trying to see if its an atmospheric issue).

I seem unable to pick up anything much to the North of me, which didnt use to be a problem - for example the Biggin hold is totally out of range for me at the moment, where as before it was always visible.

Likewise STN and LTN in and outs are gone, always had them to some extent before.

Coverage to the South of me seems down too, but not so much.

Any comments / ideas??

Gulfstream
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: viking9 on February 09, 2009, 09:21:06 AM
Hi Gulfstream,

It sounds more like an antenna problem. I suggest you go into 'Preferences' and select 'clear/reset polar diagram'. Then click on the polar diagram and allow it a day or so to develop. I'd also ensure that your antenna connection on the RB is tight, beware of overtightening though.

Tom
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 09:44:48 AM
Hi,

I tend to agree.

Perhaps I should explain more... my antenna is screwed into place in my loft (and hasnt moved).

I have been away to the States for the past week, and took the RDB with me.

So, the change in range has happened during that time.

All I have done is unscrewed the down lead from the fixed antenna when I left and reconnected it on Sunday when I got back.... I have since tried unconnecting and reconnecting a couple of times, but the range is still basically hopeless.

What else could have gone wrong?? Starting to worry that the unit itself has been damaged in some way....
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Allocator on February 09, 2009, 09:46:08 AM
I put my RB on this morning (location 5 nm north of Heathrow) and it seemed really quiet.  Maybe there isn't a great deal of traffic this morning?
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 09:50:01 AM
Hi,

Dont think it is that... yesterday I was looking for YR-BQP and it must have been in the hold to the NE of LHR (forgotten which that is) but I didnt get anything on the screen until it was on finals.

Same this morning, I sat and watched a Ryanair plot North over LHR for STN and its plot was dropped about 10miles North of LHR,, before my trip I would have seen it all the way to about 2000 feet
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Allocator on February 09, 2009, 11:14:57 AM
OK, check the centre pin of your antenna plug and make sure that it hasn't "retracted" into the body of the plug.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 11:37:36 AM
Will do... more soon
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Tramline on February 09, 2009, 12:14:40 PM
Hi Gulfstream,

Whereabouts are you located?  I live 2 miles south of 27R and I've noticed a general 'quietness' around LHR as Allocator alluded to.

I did pick up 98-0002 Air Force 2 - I assume out of the 'Hall as it was at FL250 but no idea of routing. 

Be interested to hear your findings with your RB.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: viking9 on February 09, 2009, 12:26:46 PM
Airforce 2 departed the Hall at 16:30 yesterday and routed via Barkway. Pic on my website front page.

Tom
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 12:30:02 PM
Ashford Middx, I am 100percent not seeing things to the North which before I went away I was getting.

The 'view' north for my set up is through a brick wall in the loft,, but I did use to get data. I guess that something is causing the signal to be even weaker still (hopefully it is something within the set up I can fix).

At the moment I have just 30 aircraft on screen, normally I would expect to be over a hundred.

Just worried that I have damaged the unit itself whilst traveling (maybe I blew it up in Atlanta!!! - it was rather busy)

Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Tramline on February 09, 2009, 01:11:26 PM
Ashford Middx, I am 100percent not seeing things to the North which before I went away I was getting.

The 'view' north for my set up is through a brick wall in the loft,, but I did use to get data. I guess that something is causing the signal to be even weaker still (hopefully it is something within the set up I can fix).

At the moment I have just 30 aircraft on screen, normally I would expect to be over a hundred.

Just worried that I have damaged the unit itself whilst traveling (maybe I blew it up in Atlanta!!! - it was rather busy)



We can only be a few miles apart as I live in Staines.  I use my antenna inside, on a window cill either upstairs or as yesterday downstairs.  Let me boor it up downstairs and see what numbers I get - probably pretty low, but I'll report back.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Tramline on February 09, 2009, 01:11:57 PM
Ashford Middx, I am 100percent not seeing things to the North which before I went away I was getting.

The 'view' north for my set up is through a brick wall in the loft,, but I did use to get data. I guess that something is causing the signal to be even weaker still (hopefully it is something within the set up I can fix).

At the moment I have just 30 aircraft on screen, normally I would expect to be over a hundred.

Just worried that I have damaged the unit itself whilst traveling (maybe I blew it up in Atlanta!!! - it was rather busy)



We can only be a few miles apart as I live in Staines.  I use my antenna inside, on a window cill either upstairs or as yesterday downstairs.  Let me boot it up downstairs and see what numbers I get - probably pretty low, but I'll report back.

Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Tramline on February 09, 2009, 01:25:51 PM
Ok, 'm sitting in my living room and the antenna is facing North thru a window but only 4 foot off the ground.

I have 12 a/c in My Flights, the furthest North a/c is G-OZBK about 30 miles N of LHR and EI-DVB over Nth Weald about 35 miles away  My Polar diagram gives an average of 40 miles coverage to the N with spikes upto between 60 and 80 miles.

This may not be of any use, but who knows
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 01:36:12 PM
Yeah, I think it confirms that something is wrong with my set up.

Hopefully it is the aieral and not the unit itself.

Thanks for your help

Gulfstream

 
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Tramline on February 09, 2009, 01:46:06 PM
Ok Gulfstream, I'm now upto 26 a/c having raised the antenna by only 1 foot!  Furthest North is SWR40 over STN.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: bratters on February 09, 2009, 01:47:32 PM
Sounds like aerial problems 9M. Suffered myself - identical symptoms - and you'll find other instances in the forum. Either the connector on the lead or the input connector on the box. Best way to test is to try another aerial if you can. No improvement then it's the box.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: southernsteve on February 09, 2009, 04:15:01 PM
Hi I am new here. Just to put my two penneth in, I am about 5 miles south of LGW and my current range with the supplied aerial on my porch roof is Stansted to the north, Swinden to the west and mid channel to the south. Got a big black hole to the east thanks to the house and a hill behind. Did follow something out over to the south west of France yesterday and anotHer up to Humberside the other day. Generally getting between 40 and 75 a/c depending on time of day. If anything this number is on the rise.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 04:25:23 PM
Sounds like aerial problems 9M. Suffered myself - identical symptoms - and you'll find other instances in the forum. Either the connector on the lead or the input connector on the box. Best way to test is to try another aerial if you can. No improvement then it's the box.


Hi,

I am 99.9percent sure you are right (and I 99.9 percent knew this before I started posting!!)

I shall have a fiddle about this evening when I get home and see what I can do.

Fingers crossed that I can firstly find the problem and secondly then fix it!
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: bratters on February 09, 2009, 04:49:45 PM
9M I don't know your warranty situation but be reassured that my local dealer was excellent when handling my faulty box claim.
I now regard the aerial connector with great suspicion but I can't fault Airnav for their back-up.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 05:00:55 PM
Hi,

It is still under warranty, however I bought it second hand (from a forum member here) so I am hoping it doesnt come to that!
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: AirNav Support on February 09, 2009, 05:21:25 PM
If it does, its usally a quick turnaround if the device does not have serious fault.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 05:26:06 PM
OK, and I hope that things can be driven off the sieral number alone?

As I say I wasnt the original purchaser of the unit, so I dont have the original sales receipt (or even the knowledge of where it was purchased from)
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: AirNav Support on February 09, 2009, 05:32:53 PM
Yes thats not a problem.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 05:34:32 PM
OK,

If needs be, and I pray that they dont, who do I take the unit to? Anybody that sells them?? (I would probably pick Transair at Fairoaks)
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: jgrloit on February 09, 2009, 06:24:13 PM
I had a similar problem, and it turned out that while the centre cable was OK, once I had carefully cut off the heatshrink the braid was completely broken.

I have it working inside now, but could do with a source for a spare cable and aerial for the unit.  All those seen in shops are BNC not SMA - AirNav and source for aerial spares please?
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: viking9 on February 09, 2009, 06:37:50 PM
This chap will make up a cable with connectors for you.

http://whwestlake.110mb.com/#01

Tom
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: ACW367 on February 09, 2009, 07:04:15 PM
ISJ

I tend to agree with you. I live in High Wycombe and I have been experiencing serious degredation with range of my supplied aerial this last week.  I traditionally have a range of around 120 miles in certain directions.  This last week I haven't logged anything over 30 miles range.  The network shows that aircraft are still flying at greater range in positions I previously would have picked them up. 

My daily totals logged are down from a traditional 1500 to under 400 with the aerial in the same location.  The network shows south England has returned to its normal traffic density following the disruption earlier this week.

I put it down to atmospherics and was waiting for metreological conditions to improve.  Your post seems to confirm this is the case.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: bratters on February 09, 2009, 07:15:20 PM
I had a similar problem, and it turned out that while the centre cable was OK, once I had carefully cut off the heatshrink the braid was completely broken.

I have it working inside now, but could do with a source for a spare cable and aerial for the unit.  All those seen in shops are BNC not SMA - AirNav and source for aerial spares please?

Go here for any leads/connectors - most helpful.

http://www.garex.co.uk/contact.htm
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 07:16:14 PM
ISJ

I tend to agree with you. I live in High Wycombe and I have been experiencing serious degredation with range of my supplied aerial this last week.  I traditionally have a range of around 120 miles in certain directions.  This last week I haven't logged anything over 30 miles range.  The network shows that aircraft are still flying at greater range in positions I previously would have picked them up. 

My daily totals logged are down from a traditional 1500 to under 400 with the aerial in the same location.  The network shows south England has returned to its normal traffic density following the disruption earlier this week.

I put it down to atmospherics and was waiting for metreological conditions to improve.  Your post seems to confirm this is the case.


Now that is interesting, as I have had a very good look at all of the connections in my rig and nothing seems to be wrong.

However, there can be no denying that my unit simply isnt pick up a third of what it was 10 days ago before I took it to the US

(As I said, my normal aerial is fixed in the loft,, all I did was break the connection when I went away and then reconnected it upon my return - unless the connector on the back of the RDB got damaged whilst I was away it was HIGHLY unlikely that any other part of the rig has changed)

I wonder if it really is atmospherics after all?!
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: viking9 on February 09, 2009, 07:24:37 PM
Well I've logged 1400 aircraft so far today from my very poor location in a valley. If anything that's slightly higher than usual. I'm currently receiving 200 plus messages/sec and there are 43 aircraft in MyFlights.

Tom
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 08:48:58 PM
So is it just ACW367 and I who are down (seriously!) on numbers??

I have looked over all the connections in my set up and nothing looks broken.

I have tried connecting the 'stock' aerial (with it sitting on my window ledge - from where you can see LHR with the naked eye) to the Radarbox and basically the only pings on the screen are from LHR. Nothing in the holds, nothing going through the zone.

So the unit is giving rubbish returns with both ariels. Therefore I have to conclude that its either atmospherics or something wrong with the unit itself.

Only way to prove/disprove that I can think of would be for me to put my Radarbox into somebody elses rig and see if it returns less than their unit. Anybody willing to help?
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: bratters on February 09, 2009, 08:51:43 PM
Atmospherical interference to that extent seems unlikely in the extreme. 
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Allocator on February 09, 2009, 09:21:48 PM
9M-ISJ,

Did you plug the RB back into the smae USB port when you came back from the states?

When you look at My Computer > Propertive > Hardware > USB devices, is AirNav RadarBox listed?  If so, when you right click on RadarBox and look at the driver properties, are you actually using the correct driver?

See this video:

http://www.airnavsystems.com/radarbox/video/Drivers.wmv
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: bratters on February 09, 2009, 09:24:34 PM
Further to the above, my numbers are normal and include an Easyjet at distance 150nm FL38 which is approaching max. range for me.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 09:53:34 PM
OK, so what else could be strangling my range?

The unit is working, up to a point (my outter limit of pick ups seems to be 35miles now which is down from about 200miles prior to my trip).

Logic says that something must have worked loose, or no longer making full connection.

The SMA on the back of the unit, seems to still be attached to the unit as it should be. The female part of the inner stub of the unit is flush with the plastic drum in the middle. I believe this is in order?

I would have expected the unit to stop working totally if it was damaged??

Really stressed out now! I love my RB, it helps me to make so many numbers... I hate to think of life with it working no better than this
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: jgrloit on February 09, 2009, 10:00:39 PM
The centre pin should protrude to the level of the lockdown surround.
Being flush tends to imply that the braid or screen is not connected electrically.

the centre pin MUST make contact with the inner section of the socket.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Allocator on February 09, 2009, 10:04:30 PM
did you read this, what can you see for the driver?

9M-ISJ,

Did you plug the RB back into the same USB port when you came back from the states?

When you look at My Computer > Properties > Hardware > USB devices, is AirNav RadarBox listed?  If so, when you right click on RadarBox and look at the driver properties, are you actually using the correct driver?

See this video:

http://www.airnavsystems.com/radarbox/video/Drivers.wmv

If you plugged RB into a different USB port and let Windows install the wrong driver, this would be a problem.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 10:11:31 PM
Hi,

Allocator...

I didnt pull the USB wire out of the desktop. I left it plugged in, and used another wire to connect up to the laptop while traveling.

Jgrloit...

Looking at the SMA connector on the back of the RB unit. The brass female plug is flush inside the white plastic drum. It is neither stucking out nor is it pushed into the white plastic.

The white plastic drum itself is sitting about 4mms lower than the surface of the threaded barrel onto which the male SMA goes.


Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: viking9 on February 09, 2009, 10:16:26 PM
But is the centre pin protruding about 2 mm from the plastic insulator?

BTW, as you have a laptop, why not take it and the RB out to some high ground, plug the whip antenna in and see what reception is like.

Tom
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Allocator on February 09, 2009, 10:18:04 PM
Hi,

Allocator...

I didnt pull the USB wire out of the desktop. I left it plugged in, and used another wire to connect up to the laptop while traveling.


OK, but it's still worth checking that you are running the correct version of the driver - but it's up to you if you don't want to check it.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Allocator on February 09, 2009, 10:24:15 PM
This is what the centre pin in the antenna plug should look like.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 10:30:59 PM
OK Allocator,

Done that and all is in order. It reports driver version 2.2.4.0

Viking 9,

I will take the unit out with me to work tomorrow (there is no high ground round here, but I know what you mean)

When you say the center pin sticking out 2mms, I take it you mean in the coax coming from the aerial?

In which case yes it is. Both on the loft mounted one, and on the stock one which came with the unit.

For what its worth I think it is significant that when testing with the stock aerial i get even less pick ups on the screen. (Currently down from 15 to 6) and going back to when I first got the unit there wasnt much difference between the two aerials.

It seems to me that something inside the unit seems to have come loose and is stopping nine tenths of the signal getting through.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: bratters on February 09, 2009, 10:34:26 PM
Haven't seen inside the box myself but understand that the connector is not securely fastened to the frame of the box by a couple of threaded nuts but attached inside the box by solders - in the opinion of my informant a surprisingly weak and insecure connection that can easily be broken by undue pressure on the brass connector when attaching/detaching aerials or placing any strain on the connector - this results in reduction and loss of signals. Is there any movement in the brass connector/sidewall? if so, that's probably your answer.

(If this all a load of horlicks I apologise in advance and Airnav will no doubt intervene)
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: viking9 on February 09, 2009, 10:36:04 PM
Well, if you get it out in the clear and you are still only showing a small number of flights then it would indicate it's the box.

Tom
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 10:40:06 PM
Haven't seen inside the box myself but understand that the connector is not securely fastened to the frame of the box by a couple of threaded nuts but attached inside the box by solders - in the opinion of my informant a surprisingly weak and insecure connection that can easily be broken by undue pressure on the brass connector when attaching/detaching aerials or placing any strain on the connector - this results in reduction and loss of signals. Is there any movement in the brass connector/sidewall? if so, that's probably your answer.

(If this all a load of horlicks I apologise in advance and Airnav will no doubt intervene)

Hi,

There seems to be no play in the SMA connector at all.

I set up and broke down the unit twice per day while I was away (we had the unit running in the hire car all the time we were spotting),, so I am guessing this could be the root of the problem.

The unit was never dropped, and was transported in my hand luggage.

However it is hard to get away from the point that the aerial was screwed in and out 20 or more times during the trip, where as at home it would never have been touched
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Allocator on February 09, 2009, 10:46:12 PM
I always disconnect the antenna when I switch off the PC - that's over 18 months of connecting and disconnecting the antenna almost every day.  Also using RB at home and and work and on holiday etc.  I've had no problems with the RadarBox socket, although I did get the "retracting" centre-pin with the standard antenna plug.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 09, 2009, 10:48:52 PM
What is the path forward to return the unit to AN for it to be looked at??

Do I need an RMA number of something of this nature??

Perhaps AirNav could comment??

I intend to try the unit out in the car tomorrow, parked somewhere as high as I can get (probably car park 2 at Heathrow) but to be honest I am doubting that I will pick up much further than 30 miles away
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: RodBearden on February 09, 2009, 10:53:00 PM
I suggest you contact AirNav support direct for 1-2-1 problem solving and return info: support@airnavsystems.com (http://support@airnavsystems.com)

Let's hope you won't need to!

Rod
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Fenris on February 09, 2009, 11:33:00 PM
I note that, you have been away for a week or two, you have an internal antenna in the loft.

Do you by any chance have a build up of snow on the roof? If so that could make a difference, also it could be affected even if it's melted and the roof is saturated where it was reasonably dry before.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 10, 2009, 12:15:55 PM
Hi,

I like your way of thinking Fenris, and I pray that you right, however I doubt it.

I have the RB with me, so as soon as I leave work at 1300hrs we will see what it does with setup aerial on the car.

9M
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 10, 2009, 02:11:09 PM
Hi All,

Well as expected the box worked no better with the small aerial stuck to the roof of the car on top of the MSCP at Terminal 2. I was still unable to get past about 30miles of range.

So, thanks to all.... but I guess something is wrong with the unit itself and I shall head off down the road of support at AN.

Out of interest I will try to post up a before and after coverage chart

9M

Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 10, 2009, 02:12:34 PM
And what I used to get...... sob sob sob

(glad I made a load with it in the US,, as it seems to have killed it. I would be really cross if it had been a waste of time!)

Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: jgrloit on February 10, 2009, 02:22:39 PM
While you are mobile, have you connected the outer of the aerial cable directly to your car chassis to check if the braid has fractured, and you therefore have no efective groundplane?
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 10, 2009, 02:25:25 PM
Hi,

Yep... aerial stuck directly to roof of car, and it returns almost 100percent the same range that it does with the loft mounted one at home. Plots appear and disappear in almost the same places.

9M
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: jgrloit on February 10, 2009, 02:44:38 PM
Missing the point - If the outer Braid is damaged even with the aerial base on the car roof you will have no electrical capacitive connection to what you are using as the groundplane.
I had this happen here, fixed the braid and the maximum signal range went back up from 30Nm to over 100Nm  and in a bad location!!
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 10, 2009, 02:52:33 PM
Not missing the point... however,

I have a totally seperate loft mounted aerial with a totally different set of wire and connectors which is also picking up nothing more than 30 miles away.

I am getting a tenth of my range using EITHER aerial.

The point of setting up with the magmount aerial was to prove that it couldnt be something wrong with the loft based set up (or something like a soaked roof).

The unit is returning the same 30 NM range with either set up (and it should be noted on two different installations of the software - as the loft mounted results were shown on my desktop PC and the mobile ones were on my laptop).

I have now lodged a case with tech support at AN, lets see where that goes
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Tramline on February 10, 2009, 04:27:04 PM
Not missing the point... however,

I have a totally seperate loft mounted aerial with a totally different set of wire and connectors which is also picking up nothing more than 30 miles away.

I am getting a tenth of my range using EITHER aerial.

The point of setting up with the magmount aerial was to prove that it couldnt be something wrong with the loft based set up (or something like a soaked roof).

The unit is returning the same 30 NM range with either set up (and it should be noted on two different installations of the software - as the loft mounted results were shown on my desktop PC and the mobile ones were on my laptop).

I have now lodged a case with tech support at AN, lets see where that goes

I'm away till next Tuesday, but if you want to pop round we can try out your aerial here?

Let me know....
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 10, 2009, 04:34:18 PM
Hi,

Thanks for the kind offer, but AirNav support have told me to send the unit in for replacement/repair. So it will be on its way to Essex tomorrow (just look out for crystal clear blue skies with everything trailing until it comes back!!)
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Tramline on February 10, 2009, 04:42:34 PM
Hi,

Thanks for the kind offer, but AirNav support have told me to send the unit in for replacement/repair. So it will be on its way to Essex tomorrow (just look out for crystal clear blue skies with everything trailing until it comes back!!)

Indeed, its forecast to be clear, sunny and cold with vapour trails a mile long.  Still, I'll be away as well and will also miss the UL9 frenzy.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 10, 2009, 04:52:29 PM
I really will miss it, even with this horrible range it has helped me to make 7 so far this afternoon!!

I have no idea how many extra it added to the log book in the US

Fantastic bit of kit, and I hope to be without it for the minimum amount of time
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: ACW367 on February 10, 2009, 07:07:11 PM
Missing the point - If the outer Braid is damaged even with the aerial base on the car roof you will have no electrical capacitive connection to what you are using as the groundplane.
I had this happen here, fixed the braid and the maximum signal range went back up from 30Nm to over 100Nm  and in a bad location!!

I am not electrically minded.  Would you mind explaining what you mean by 'the outer braid', do you mean the felt on the bottom of the magnet.  I have been suffering a serious degredation of performance.  All the leads seem to be in good shape but the felt under the magnet is badly eroded and the metal of the magnet is showing through. 

Would putting some cloth underneath the magnet help or am I barking up the wrong tree??
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Allocator on February 10, 2009, 07:12:32 PM
The "outer braid" is the outer part of the antenna cable (the woven silver bit made up of thin wires) as seen here in this picture.  The centre bit goes to the pin in the antenna plug, the outer is connected to the body of the plug.  It the centre cable isn't connected to Radarbox via the plug, you will get no aircraft.  If the outer isn't connected, then you will get very poor returns.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 10, 2009, 07:18:02 PM
Check your polar diagram, it will still show what you could once get.

Save it, file, screen shot, save to file.

Then go into preffs and clear the file. It will then start replotting it. Let it run for 24 hours or so, and see if it is vastly different to our original one. (see mine above)

If nothing else in your rig, or your environment has changed contact AirNav support - you could have the same problem I have (still unknown, but very real)

9M
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: QF1 on February 11, 2009, 04:57:49 AM
Hi there 9M-ISJ

I hope that you will let us know how the "repair" goes.  I don't hink that my RB has had the expected range right from the time I bought it.  I have tested with three separate aerials and it does not perform as well as my SBS.  I am waiting to try out someone else's RB with my aerial and his aerial, but I think I may also be returning mine for a repair, although that is a little more problematic from "down under".

Cheers
M
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: defcon333 on February 11, 2009, 09:11:56 AM
hi all
i reported the same problem on feb 2nd. I have read all the above entries, after that i looked up the device manager and ooops NO ANRB entry!!! in the section USB all those drivers on the desktop pc and the notebook are gone. witchcraft? could anyone tell how to reinstall the correct drivers and where to get them from?
herbert
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Allocator on February 11, 2009, 07:26:10 PM
They should be in the Drivers directory.  See the Utilities website page here for the RB directory structure:

http://radarbox.gofreeserve.com/html/downloads.html

Watch the USB section of device manager when you plug in your RB USB lead so you can see what it is calling itself.

Right click on it and go to the Update Drivers option and browse to the Drivers directory.

You might get the odd "File not Found" message, but just use Windows Search to find the file and browse to it and click Try Again.

If none of this makes sense, let us know :-)
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 24, 2009, 05:07:45 PM

Hi,

An interesting update to this thread.

I finally managed to stop using my 75percent down on coverage unit (I was still making numbers into LHR with it - so tough to switch off!) and sent it to Walters and Stanton for repair as instructed by AirNav.

Posted yesterday (Monday) and after speaking to W&S today they tell me all is fixed and it will be posted back to me tonight.

When I asked what the problem was, they told me that a "static filter in the unit had been overloaded" and that was causing the drop off in range. When I asked what might have caused that they told me that it can either build up (worrying) or can be a result if the unit has been placed too near the aerial in an area of high data stream (ie a busy airport).... so I am putting it down to three days of usage in a hotel room in ATL with the aerial only a foot or two away from the 'box'

Interesting and a little worrying!

Hope to get the box back tomorrow.... and hope even more than it is indeed fixed

Paul
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: bratters on February 24, 2009, 05:51:35 PM
Thanks for that Paul - sounds like identical synptoms. Working OK - just lost about 75% as you say. I'll give W&S a bell and se if we can get it sorted.

When you say "it can either build up" what does that mean please?

John
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: flightchecker on February 24, 2009, 06:59:27 PM

Hi Paul and John,

AirNav won't like, but nevertheless have a look at the posting below.

          http://www.airnavsystems.com/forum/index.php?topic=977.0

Looks like both of you belong to the "handfull" of users, suffering from the problem it is about in this thread. There are others covering the same subject.

Regards
Karl





Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 24, 2009, 08:04:29 PM
Very interesting reading Karl,

I am certainly being told that static was to blame for my loss of RX.

However I do not own an external aerial, and the damage to the unit happened whislt I was using the unit in the US - with the standard kit aerial (sometimes in hotel rooms and some times on the parcel shelf or roof of the hire car - on the roof while stationary, on the parcel shelf whilst driving)

So,, could I have had a build up of static through the kit aerial???

Seriously concerned about how to use my RB on future trips away from home

Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: AirNav Support on February 24, 2009, 08:12:09 PM
If it was damage by static then you are the first 9M-ISJ to have that from the default antenna and that shows how rare it is. The thread mentioned above we have posted on many times to explain to customers that they should use antennas which reduce the threat of static or by using dc blocks which many preamps have anyway.

In your case 9M-ISJ, there must have been something different in your enviroment which caused the damage or damage in transit.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 24, 2009, 08:14:36 PM
OK, forewarned (now!) is forearmed.

Where do I get a dc block or preamp??

Please let me know the names of some suppliers and part numbers and I will order some up tonight - I dont want a repeat situation
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: AirNav Support on February 24, 2009, 08:18:19 PM
For the default antenna we don't recommend anything. It shouldn't pick up enough static to damage unless placed in conditions with very high static.

9M-ISJ, can you confirm you only noticed the issue when you came back to the UK, or did it occur while using the in states? Trying to deduce whether it could have got damaged during transit.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: 9M-ISJ on February 24, 2009, 08:27:13 PM
Hi,

Range loss only noticed on return to UK (within 5mins - couldnt see anything in the Biggin hold).

Sat in the viewing park at CLT on the second to last day of the trip we could certainly 'see' Jetblues - one of the few things to track in the US! - over the coast (much further than it was getting once back home). I do seem to recall NOT seeing any flights using the same tracks on the final day. Put that down to them using a different routing.... could be more to it.

The unit was not dropped or anything of that nature during the trip. It was transported in a padded wallet, within its own pocket in a camera bag (Crumpler)

Could TSA Xray machines have an effect??
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: Fenris on February 24, 2009, 11:42:12 PM
For the default antenna we don't recommend anything. It shouldn't pick up enough static to damage unless placed in conditions with very high static.

My suggestion to your hardware designers would be to place a couple of 10K SM resistors in parallel across your antenna input on the PCB, this will allow the discharge of static before the protection device fires without affecting the RF insertion loss by more than 0.1dB or so.

The problem with the various semiconductor/zinc oxide type ESD protection devices is once they have had to deal with a high energy event they often go short circuit, or low enough resistance to seriously reduce the signal level. A few cents spent on the resistors should reduce the chances of this sort of damage further still.
Title: Re: Loss of Range
Post by: flightchecker on February 25, 2009, 10:45:10 AM
Quote
Interesting and a little worrying!

me too Paul, if I was told, you could "filter" (electrostatic) " build ups". They might be bled, depleted, discharched or whatever you name it, but not "filtered". You may filter High- and Audio- Frequency by different means, depending on the results to be expected, but you can't do so with "static build up".

Quote
Interesting and a little worrying!

Me too again, if I was told, the above "filter", or whatever the "provision" (if there is one) expected to prevent [elecrostatic] buildups to discharge is called, had been"overloaded". It simply would have been useless, as itself by definition is supposed to prevent a "follow up device" from being overloaded (by static discharge as mentioned).

Quote
Interesting and a little worrying!

me too once more if being told "overload damage" to a receivers input might occure due to exessive field strenght (by a transmitting antenna situated in the near vicinty of a receiver as guessed) Fieldstrenght decreases by the square root of distance as High Frequency signals travel away from its radiating antenna, and you must come VERY close to the antenna itself, before a receiving devices performance might but degrade, and a "poor device" whose input circuitry should suffer damage before it almost "physically" touches a radiating antenna.  Imagine those hundreds of millions mobiles to die, if suffering  from a "susceptibility" like the one assumed above!!!

Quote
For the default antenna we don't recommend anything. It shouldn't pick up enough static to damage unless placed in conditions with very high static.


AirNav, could you imagine the "human body" to gather electrostatic build up? At least I can, and sometimes even ought to "feel" it "discharging" when touching my car after getting out of it, to just mention a very popular among many other examples. And why do you think, you're asked to "ground" yourself by means of a metal band at your wrist connected to an"earthground"  (heater / plumbing) or at least to "discharche" yourself before touching / installing PC- components ?
The "human body model"  with its 100-250pf of [body] capacitance and 1000-2000Ohms of [body] resistance in fact being applied in civil and military ESD susceptibility test standards by discharging the above array (prior being charged to Hi Tension levels as defined by the different "standards") into for instance a receivers input, thus proving its "ESD susceptibility". (As most hopefully performed in AirNavs development lab too)

Imagine once more, a (real !) human body's static charge to discharge into a receivers input if touching an antenna "galvanically" connected to  the mentioned receivers input that might be suspect regarding ESD. The antenna of course also to be an indoor (default) antenna as it comes with RB or similar gear.

All "discussed in a lenght" as AirNav might tell again,  but also "discussed in a lenght"
that a "DC Block" is NOT an answer to the phenomenon it is about.

As already suggested, try to "google" for "DC Block", to make up your own mind if not trusting mine, that has been subject of several postings already before. Bet you won't find even one manufacturer of the above "items" (a lot of manufacturers as well as items to show up) that claims his "DC Block" to be a preventive measure against ESD. One should believe that the manufacturers mentioned "know" what they expect their components to be for. Usefull measures have been discussed (again "in a lenght" too) before, and not to be repeated again.
And, not to forget: "Lightning- and Surge- Protectors" do NOT belong to those measures.

Regards

Karl