Virtual Radar Server - Trouble shooting!

jeallen01

jeallen01

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Chris

Looks like that should work, but you will still need:

- a screened box to mount it in, with SMA (or F-connectors?) on the outside - otherwise there is likely to be a lot external RF noise getting into the amp, because that amp appears likely to be pretty sensitive to (probably) any RF in the vicinity. Also, you should try to make sure that the internal connections to the amp input & from its output are via suitable coax cable, or else there could be crosstalk/feedback between the two.
- a 5Vdc 100mA supply (best well filtered!) to a 3rd connector - preferably coaxial, not just terminals - on the case of the box to power the amp.

Again, the greatest payback will be if the amp is directly connected to end of the antenna, and not at the receiver end of the cable, because of the attenuation resulting from that cable means that the S/N ratio degrades more. That means the psu probably needs to be near there as well.

Not sure how much difference that will make overall, compared with the basic sort of amp I used, because the amplification factor below 3GHz is similar in that it is pretty non-linear - much higher gain at 3GHz than below that.

Also, making a longer co-linear antenna, with more sections, looks like it would help as well.

Overall, I suspect that improving, & then raising, the antenna ,with a simple amp setup, as far as you can would have greater overall effect than trying to squeeze out much more gain using this type of amp - law of diminishing returns.
 
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Chris

Looks like that should work, but you will still need:

- a screened box to mount it in, with SMA (or F-connectors?) on the outside - otherwise there is likely to be a lot external RF noise getting into the amp, because that amp appears likely to be pretty sensitive to (probably) any RF in the vicinity. Also, you should try to make sure that the internal connections to the amp input & from its output are via suitable coax cable, or else there could be crosstalk/feedback between the two.
- a 5Vdc 100mA supply (best well filtered!) to a 3rd connector - preferably coaxial, not just terminals - on the case of the box to power the amp.

Again, the greatest payback will be if the amp is directly connected to end of the antenna, and not at the receiver end of the cable, because of the attenuation resulting from that cable means that the S/N ratio degrades more. That means the psu probably needs to be near there as well.

Not sure how much difference that will make overall, compared with the basic sort of amp I used, because the amplification factor below 3GHz is similar in that it is pretty non-linear - much higher gain at 3GHz than below that.

Also, making a longer co-linear antenna, with more sections, looks like it would help as well.

Overall, I suspect that improving, & then raising, the antenna ,with a simple amp setup, as far as you can would have greater overall effect than trying to squeeze out much more gain using this type of amp - law of diminishing returns.
The aerial is on the back of my brick shed/office/junk room and in turn that backs on to the garage.

The sat cable and the radio aerial cable go through the garage, and then in to the loft, just on the back of my sky dish.

So powering any form of amp, would be quite easy to do, and I had planned on putting the amp, on the aerial end of the cable.

Raising the aerial is something I would have to think about, as to where I can place it, without upsetting the new neighbours next door, when they move in, as it would be right in their line of sight from their kitchen window.

A satellite line amp starts at 950mhz?

So does that mean it would block all frequencies below?

As I want to split the aerials at the pc end, one feed to my ads-b filtered pre-amp (saw) and the other feed to my air band radio.
 
jeallen01

jeallen01

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The aerial is on the back of my brick shed/office/junk room and in turn that backs on to the garage.

The sat cable and the radio aerial cable go through the garage, and then in to the loft, just on the back of my sky dish.

So powering any form of amp, would be quite easy to do, and I had planned on putting the amp, on the aerial end of the cable.

Raising the aerial is something I would have to think about, as to where I can place it, without upsetting the new neighbours next door, when they move in, as it would be right in their line of sight from their kitchen window.
You could disguise it a bit by painting it a darkish colour - I sprayed mine with a random pattern using brown primer and green car spray, and mounted it on a couple of brown fencing batons. Don't forget that at around 1GHz (in fact from about 500MHz upwards), most signals are attenuated by anything in the line of sight to the source - which would include building materials, trees and so on (especially if there is anything metallic involved, and concrete is a pretty good signal blocker as well!)
A satellite line amp starts at 950mhz?
So does that mean it would block all frequencies below?
As I want to split the aerials at the pc end, one feed to my ads-b filtered pre-amp (saw) and the other feed to my air band radio.
Most do start at around 950MHz and probably block some/all signals somewhere below that (or, maybe don't have much gain below 950MHz), but the one I chose claims to start at 47MHz and there are (supposed to be!) no band-stop filters between that & 2200MHz - and so should cover the airbands.
 
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jeallen01

jeallen01

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Just bought one of these SAC 20dB IN-LINE SATELLITE AMPLIFIER/SIGNAL BOOST. LOW NOISE- 4DB MAX BUYME | eBay following the link in one of your posts.

Still need a couple more bits.
Sounds like some "progress" - but you will still need the DC inserter, and the one I ordered came from Germany and thus took a few days . PSU is less problematic, but you need to find a way to connect a piece of coax to the DC o/p - as close as possible to the PSU to prevent RF pickup on the cable - if you don't use a filter assy like I did, and with an F-c0nnector at the other end to screw on to the inserter.
 
jeallen01

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Chris

Just had a thought about the location of the antenna - could you move it to the wall, with some T&K brackets, of your house above your newly re-roofed extension, where it will not be in direct line-of-sight of your neighbours' kitchen?
 
jeallen01

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Had a few more thoughts about DC inserters & extractors, and found this site "solidsignal.com" and specifically this page Splitters and Combiners - Solid Signal.

If you then search for DC extractors, and specifically the HRFPIX, you can find that DC extractor for just a few $ (+P&P) and if you look elsewhere you can find the HRFPI which is the equivalent DC inserter for about the same price.

Don't know if they ship to the UK but could be worth asking as those would allow the amp to be put right near the antenna(s) with the power feed in the garage, or wherever.

FWIW, the units on this site could be useful in other similar applications - wish I had found it much earlier!
 
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So far these have turned up.

IMG_1803.JPG IMG_1802.JPG IMG_1801.JPG

But I am also thinking about an lna outside, and I can power it from my garage.

I still need to sort out a power supply.
 
jeallen01

jeallen01

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So far these have turned up.

View attachment 102300 View attachment 102301 View attachment 102302

But I am also thinking about an lna outside, and I can power it from my garage.

I still need to sort out a power supply.
Progress!
W.r.t. the PSU, what have you got lying around in the toolbox (etc.) with an o/p of, say 12 to 15V DC?
NB: that inline amp only needs 12-13Vdc at about 20-30mA, so virtually any supply with anything more than that should be fine ("interference issues" not withstanding!).
 
jeallen01

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Been a couple of weeks since I actually ran the VRS s/w which was for about 4 days continuously, although I think the SDR dongle has been since still been powered up a lot of the time because the USB lead was connected

However, now, when I actually tried to fire up dump1090, that is telling me "No supported RTLSDR devices found" and so I think the SDR dongle (the metal cased NooElec device) has "popped its clogs" through longterm overheating, even though it has been clamped to the metal case of the SSA unit.:mad:

BTW: changed the USB Lead and plugged it into another USB port on the same machine, but neither fixed the problem.

Anyone else had anything like this happen??
 
Analoguesat

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Any updates on that machine in the last couple of weeks? If so it will have taken the dongle drivers out. If its a win machine try running zadig again
 
jeallen01

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Any updates on that machine in the last couple of weeks? If so it will have taken the dongle drivers out. If its a win machine try running zadig again
A/S

Thanks, and have now rerun zadig again (after I found where I saved it 2 months ago) and then rebooted the m/c - unfortunately that does not appear to have fixed the problem :(.
 
jeallen01

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Now tried it on another PC and it's definitely dead - contacted the ebay supplier (supposedly NooElec in Bedfordshire - but you never really know with many ebay suppliers!).

Let's see what happens now??
 
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Now tried it on another PC and it's definitely dead - contacted the ebay supplier (supposedly NooElec in Bedfordshire - but you never really know with many ebay suppliers!).

Let's see what happens now??
Hopefully no elec will sort it out for you.
 
jeallen01

jeallen01

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Well, it's been a few hours since I sent the "complaint" via ebay but no response yet (I suspect that the "UK address" is just the shipping location, but that all the ordering & correspondence is actually handled somewhere in China/Hong Kong, so will have to wait for them to wake up again!)
 
jeallen01

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Afternoon

Well, last night I got a quite encouraging message from a lady at NooElec in either the US or Canada (not clear, but certainly not the Far East!) to the extent that a possible hardware failure might have happened - but she asked me to send here more info on what Device Manager shows and how well zadig actually installed. Have now sent both, and am waiting to hear back.
 
jeallen01

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Update: this morning I got a message from Sarah at Nooelec saying that, from the various screenshots I sent her (and stuff in this thread, to which I had referred them) that they have concluded that the SDR unit has had some sort of failure, and they are going to ship me a new one (and then I send the old one back to "somewhere").

BTW: from the Reply ebay email address, it looks like Sarah is located in the Canadian offices.
 
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Update: this morning I got a message from Sarah at Nooelec saying that, from the various screenshots I sent her (and stuff in this thread, to which I had referred them) that they have concluded that the SDR unit has had some sort of failure, and they are going to ship me a new one (and then I send the old one back to "somewhere").

BTW: from the Reply ebay email address, it looks like Sarah is located in the Canadian offices.

Good result :) at least they are going to send you a new one.
 
jeallen01

jeallen01

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The replacement unit arrived this morning. Now installed but not yet fired up because I spent most of the day totally rejigging all the cabling (between 2x PCs, 2x monitors, the HDMI switch, PSU's for 2x sat receivers - and, of course, the SDR unit/dc inserter/dc supply filter combo (that was a real pain due to all the RF connections, which kept loosening/breaking!) - on 2 boards now mounted on the walls of the very small space (about 50cm x 50cm!) available on the little desk area I have. Sounds "easy" but, believe me, it was not!.

Still waiting for NooElec to tell me where to send the failed unit back to.
 
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