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Author Topic: New Member Saying Hello.  (Read 550 times)

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Steven

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New Member Saying Hello.
« on: September 04, 2019, 02:52:16 AM »
Hello,

My name is Steven, I am 52 years old, and live in Scotland, this is my first post here.
I recently purchased a Micro Radar Box from eBay, the one that looks like a black Version 1 TV type dongle, with the 120 mm long magnetic antenna, it cost approx £10.
I have a RSP SDR, and have been trying to set it up to decode ADS-B, but so far to no avail.
I saw the Micro Radar Box, and thought for the cost, it must be worth a try. My thought being that if it didn't work, I could use the TV type dongle for something else.
It was indeed plug and play. It easily installed it on my windows 10 laptop, by following the link.
I plugged the dongle in, and it started working strait out the box, I'm delighted.

I have been using online type flight trackers for a while, but am now delighted to have my own, definitely the best tenner I have spent for a while !
The only minor issue I have is, when I have it connected to the internet, the program slows down a fair bit, and says at the the top "Program Not Responding."
When I click on anything on the program, the cursor for the mouse has a small rotating circle next to it, and the program slows right down for a few seconds while the "Real-Time Network " indicator updates, then everything is back to normal, until I start clicking things again on the program.
When I disconnect the internet, the program works fine and does not slow down. Its not a big issue, as I have mostly been tracking "My Flights" but it would be nice to be able to have it running properly online.

I find the "Maximum Range Polar Diagram" function interesting, and seeing it overlayed on the map is great. How is this data/info acquired ?
I have been impressed with the results from the stock aerial on a window sill and from connecting it to a loft space aerial I have for the 2 meter amateur band.
I understand that ADS-B is a lot higher frequency, and will make a spider type 1/4 wave ground plane from an "N" type chassis mount for 1090 MHz for it, and endeavor to get it outside and high up.

I am just reading some of the FAQ,s and other posts etc.
Thanks in advance for any replies.
Regards.
Steven.





AirNav Support

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #1 on: September 04, 2019, 08:17:19 AM »
Glad your enjoying it.

Regarding the slowdown, this is because of the realtime network connection. If you go to the network tab and untick get network flights this will not download the network flights. This puts a lot of pressure on the machine as it downloads 10k flights every 20-30 seconds.
Contact Customer/Technical support via:
http://www.airnavsystems.com/contact.html
support@airnavsystems.com

Runway 31

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #2 on: September 04, 2019, 10:23:55 AM »
Hi Steven

Good to have you here.  I am also from Scotland, Motherwell.  Any queries just ask

Alan

Steven

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #3 on: September 06, 2019, 01:07:36 PM »
Hi,
Thanks for the reply's, I am slowly getting to grips with things.
I have lots of questions, but usually find the answers by browsing round this forum.
Im still intrigued by the  "Maximum Range Polar Diagram" and I think it must be getting the info from my lat/long, but im not too sure ?
I made a little 1/4 wave GP type spider antenna cut to 1090 mhz, so will try that out over the weekend.
I already have 7 meters of LMR 400 coax running to a 2 meter band antenna in my loft, so over the weekend I will disconnect the 2 meter antenna and try the 1090 mhz antenna.
I read that it is still favorable to have the antenna outside, and I plan to get round to that soonest, but this weekend I will progress by moving my antenna from the window sill, to the loft.
I will take a screen shot of my polar diagram before and after changing antennas, and see if anything changes, but as I said, im sure its just using my lat and long, and not actually measuring anything on my RX ?
It is still a huge novelty for me to be able to decode ADS-B, and I am relay at the moment only interested in "my flights" or stuff that I am receiving.
I often uncheck the network and look at what I am picking up.
My question is, can I start and run the program without having an internet connection ?
I have tried to start it all up with my laptop NOT being connected to the internet, and I seem unable to get the programme to start, but as soon as I connect my PC to the internet, it all connects fine as normal.
I can then disconnect from the internet if I wish, and it still runs fine receiving "my flights."
Is it possible to start and run "my flights" without an internet connections ?
Thanks,
Steven.


Runway 31

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #4 on: September 06, 2019, 01:45:55 PM »
Hi Steven

Yes it gets your location info from your lat/lon and is showing a diagram of your coverage area using it as the centre.  Even within that area you may not see some aircraft depending on their altitude and what shields it from your antenna like buildings, trees, hills etc as ADSB work via line of sight.  The polar diagram takes some time to build up depending on the traffic.

My antenna is in the loft, outside give a lot coverage but as I have the network I am not missing anything anyway and I don't have problems caused by the weather.  The little antenna that comes with the stick gives great coverage when mobile, couple of hundred miles is possible.  Just make sure that it has a ground plane like a tin can or a 100mm disk, I use the car roof.

You only need to have the network connected for the first connection and after that you don't need the internet connected.  That way you can go mobile for example to an airport/airshow etc and will be able to see what you are picking up with your antenna, you will not get network flights without the internet connected

Alan


Steven

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #5 on: September 06, 2019, 02:32:03 PM »
Hi Alan,
Ok, thanks for the info.
Its own antenna does indeed perform well, even without cutting it, I was tracking aircraft at approx 150 miles away the other night, and the antenna is only sitting on the window sill indoors, I understand that it is due to the height of the aircraft.
The small magnetic antenna whip is screwed onto the mag mount with an M3 screw thread.
I made a little adapter, tapped to M3, to accept some stainless steel welding rod approx 68.5mm long and screwed that onto the mag mount, the list in "my flights" does increase when I screw on the whip of the correct length, as does sitting the mag mount on an empty tin can.
What is inside my Micro Radar Box Dongle ? is it just a standard run of the mill V1 RTL type dongle ? or is there anything different inside it to make it a Radar Box ?
Im just wondering if I run it as an RTL dongle on something like SDRSharp  will that work too ? or is it purely for ADS-B reception ?
Thanks again,
Steven.

wiedehopf

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #6 on: September 06, 2019, 03:54:50 PM »
Due to some factors the optimal whip length is quite a bit shorter.

Try 5.5 cm

Runway 31

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #7 on: September 06, 2019, 04:01:31 PM »
The dongle is designed for ADSB but I presume that like any stick you can get it to do other things with some fiddling

Alan

Steven

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #8 on: September 06, 2019, 04:18:59 PM »
OK, thanks for the info Alan, and thanks wiedehopf, I will try 5.5 cm.
I will report my findings from the loft space antenna over the weekend.
Steven.

Runway 31

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2019, 04:21:40 PM »
I think that measurement includes the screwed in part as well

Alan

wiedehopf

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2019, 05:10:06 PM »
Not really, if you measure from the shield my best results in testing were 58 or 59 mm for cantennas.

So i subtracted 3-4 mm for the part of the base that isn't shielded.
So you can try going even shorter :)

The green stick from AirNav is much better as it has an integrated filter and LNA.

Pretty sure the black one is just a more or less generic DVB-T that is of good quality.

Runway 31

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2019, 05:14:34 PM »
OK got it now wiedhopf, didn't realise.  I tend to use purchased antennas

Alan

abcd567

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abcd567

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #13 on: September 07, 2019, 01:00:21 AM »
Mag mount with whip replaced by 52 mm long steel tie wire.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2019, 01:25:14 AM by abcd567 »

foxhunter

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Re: New Member Saying Hello.
« Reply #14 on: September 07, 2019, 05:42:06 AM »
I made good results with the last one posted by abcd567 after i received the bundle with the small antenna with magnetic socket.

I replaced the tip with a piece of copper and placed it on a cookie can (it does not matter if full or empty and also the brand does not matter :) )

Then i built my own spider giving me approx 20% improvement, finally i ended up with a tailored version for outdoor usage and i am now close to the maximum range i can get even if i still use it indoor.
So i do not expect a large improvement on aircrafts seen, but on messages received once i mount it outdoor