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Author Topic: First impressions of RadarBox  (Read 4332 times)

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First impressions of RadarBox
« on: July 26, 2008, 01:53:59 PM »
Finally installed my RadarBox and with the supplied antenna sitting on the window sill was seeing 85-110 aircraft in My Flights...good start!

Spent most of the day yesterday installing my Watson 1090MHz antenna which itself is 1m long, @20mm diameter and white with a chrome top mounted atop a 17 foot pole at the top of my house and fed with 10m Westflex 103 cable - N connector for the antenna and a recommended PL259 on the other.


I hate adaptors of any sort especially when it comes to RF but have absolutely no choice here it would appear so had to take an SMA->PL259 adaptor...ugh!

You may have seen my other post questioning why a tiny, fragile SMA connector is fitted to the RB while everyone & their dog recommend you fit the highest quality, low-loss cable you can afford which usually means THICK.

How on earth one can expect this thick, non-pliable cable to be hooked up to the SMA connector is beyond me and the adaptors are a very poor solution IMHO.

Anyway with the supplied antenna now perched inside my loft my count had gone up from @ 100 aircraft to @175 and so I connected the new antenna with high hopes.

Looked at the screen...nothing showing and only 2 aircraft showing in My Flights?

Went up and just touched the adaptor and BAM! over 200 aircraft that lasted for @ 1 minute before the screen went blank again.

Not good and all down to the poxy adaptor which then decided to shed its threaded SMA part. to Maplin but they did not have the SMA->PL259 or anything else that was close and the only way was;

SMA->BNC male adaptor
BNC->BNC female-female adaptor
BNC male->PL259 Male adaptor

The PL259 was the wrong gender so I dug out an old PL259 female-female adaptor that I had kicking around since my old CB days going back to the 70's

Connected - but now I dare not cough in case something is disturbed and I lose my fragile connection...not to mention the signal loss from the chain of adaptors of varying quality.

Sort of defeats the object of trying hard to minimise signal loss and I can't help but think I might have been better off with a length of RG58 fitted with the correct SMA connector on one end or better still a 'proper' connector on the fact I think I may void my warranty and fit a decent connector directly to the case to replace the SMA if there is enough room in there.

After it had been running for a while I looked and My Flights and was reporting in excess of 400 aircraft...WOW!

From @ 6pm yesterday when I finally got it working until @9:30 this morning when the UBox dropped its connection to the network Reporter had logged 3065 aircraft!

I reconnected the UBox to the network (a post for another time) @ 45 minutes ago and can currently see 430 aircraft listed in My Flights and have seen Ezy393B just outside Brussels, RyanAir EI-DYB not far from CDG Paris, Belair HB-1SE flying past the Isle Of Man and a 737 just South of Carlisle on the screen  - all being fed into the network.

Although I have RB set to only download one aircraft picture I have a total of 3141 pictures downloaded...not bad for someone who is based in Oxfordshire...

I also see from Reporter that I picked the Vulcan up 14:37 yesterday...

If it wasn't for the adaptor/connector saga I would be over the moon.

First impressions? Brilliant...really pleased but not without problems.

Some as described above along with software issues that can wait until 1.6 is released in case they then become non-issues...


« Last Edit: July 29, 2008, 06:45:28 PM by GlynH »

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Re: First impressions of RadarBox
« Reply #1 on: July 26, 2008, 02:14:15 PM »
Hi Glyn,

I can see from our special stats of the network that you are pumping quite  a lot into the network which is brilliant. I am sure everyone is gratefull.

Regarding adapters, most of the high powered installations have a preamp and hence the cable going back to the RadarBox is BNC and there are very small and simple adapters for BNC to SMA. They also have very little loss. Also a lot customers love that fact we have SMA as its much smaller and hence smaller case and is very portable so we have to please a mix of both worlds.

1.6 will be out soon so hopfeully be the icing on the cake for you.
Contact Customer/Technical support via:
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Re: First impressions of RadarBox
« Reply #2 on: July 26, 2008, 02:53:13 PM »
Regarding adapters. I am testing a T-piece BNC connector attached to the back of the SBS1 with the aerial (loft mounted) connected one side and a patch lead of  12" with BNC connectors to the BNC/SMA connector for RV with both devices still showing the expected levels of aircraft.  Before the adaptation I was getting 100 -130 aircraft and I still am since........

Steve R

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Re: First impressions of RadarBox
« Reply #3 on: July 27, 2008, 12:54:45 PM »
Hi all,

Blimey Glyn, you have inspired me to hurry up an het an external antenna installed in my loft. Although I have a question.

What is a uBox and what does it do?

I have a JIM m-75 pre amp already connected to my scanner, is this suitable to connect to my RB does anyone know?




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Monitoring on Canada's "Left" coast

Steve R

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Re: First impressions of RadarBox
« Reply #5 on: July 27, 2008, 05:06:20 PM »
Cheers CK,

I'll take a look

Steve R