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Author Topic: Performance down - help please  (Read 7274 times)

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bratters

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Performance down - help please
« on: December 17, 2008, 09:12:04 AM »
I've had RB for about 4 weeks now and have been pleased with the results. Generally between 25 -70 flights on screen with ranges up to 250 NM.

Over the last couple of days however performance has virtually died. Never more than 10 flights, these close to home and showing very limited information. Scheduled stuff that should appear daily just not being picked up.

Nothing has changed in the set-up. No filters on. PC is in optimum condition. I've tried changing and shortening USB connection and altering antenna position  but to no avail. Performance remains stubbornly down.

Could it be simply down to conditions (airband radio doesn't seem to be down) or have I got a more serious problem?

Any help greatly appreciated.

Allocator

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #1 on: December 17, 2008, 12:45:02 PM »
I wonder where abouts you are?

I did think that my box wasn't picking up all it should over the weekend, as traffic was significantly down in the west Midlands.  However, this really was a traffic problem and not a Radarbox problem, as the traffic picked up on Sunday evening and is back to normal now.

However, the pressure was significantly down over the weekend 999mb, where it had been quite high for a while and this will make a difference to propogation.

Try this test - switch off hardware processing and look at Network traffic only.  If there is traffic in your area and there is a RB user within 100 miles or so, you should be able to see traffic around you.  Then switch of Network traffic and switch hardware processing on again.  Can you now see the Network traffic as live tracks?

bratters

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #2 on: December 17, 2008, 02:14:12 PM »
Thanks for reply Allocator. I'm based about 15 miles east of Nottingham. I have an excellent south facing clear view over fields (virtually 180' due East to due West) and I am using the RB supplied magmount attached to an open upstairs window. Normal range has been as far as Low Countries and N France, Bristol channel and westward to Aberystwyth. North blocked by the Peaks and Pennines but neverthelss not bad. (Max range of course)

Yes I have tried running network and hardware for comparison purposes and it seems to indicate that I have a problem here at home. I may have been lucky in my first weeks with superb propogation but I suspect a connection/wiring problem with the antenna.

Its 1400 hours now and I have 7 (seven) flights on screen all within a 40 mile radius and all within a 90 degree arc south.

Disappointing but is this normal maybe? Is it possible for the the antenna to underperform?

PS I have also tried re-loading the prog.

Allocator

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #3 on: December 17, 2008, 02:55:25 PM »
OK, if you do think that you definitely have a problem, you need to email Support direct at:

[email protected]


Blackthorn

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #4 on: December 17, 2008, 04:32:57 PM »
I live in Derby and my antenna is in the loft, at this moment 16:32 I have 108 flights in MyFlights

Is your antenna cable okay?

bratters

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #5 on: December 17, 2008, 04:47:23 PM »
Hi Blackthorn   By a process of elimination the antenna cable is now suspect number one. It's the original cable - no extensions - and I've looked carefully at the connection with the box which seems to OK. There's no way that I know of replacing the cable.

Hopefully another antenna will be arriving in a couple of days and I can see how that functiions. How far can you reach?

Blackthorn

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #6 on: December 17, 2008, 08:00:09 PM »
This is my polar map, my antenna is loft mounted hence the restricted West/East reception.

bratters

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #7 on: December 20, 2008, 08:38:03 PM »
I'm pleased to say that I'm up and running again. Took the box back to my dealer who did a quick test & diagnosed a faulty aerial input. He promptly disconnected his demo model, handed it to me and sent me on my way. Happy bunny again. Many thanks Anchor and thanks to all who offered help on the forum.

While I'm here I'll ask a question guys.  Many years ago I used to connect two antennas to an old scanner  - both directional and each covering a completely separate area.

Anyone know if radarbox can cope with two feeds?


Blackthorn

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #8 on: December 20, 2008, 10:59:19 PM »
Glad to hear you issue was resloved I have seen a few issues with the supplied antenna cable.

I would have thought that two antennas would split the input impedance which would result in signal loss.

bratters

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #9 on: December 21, 2008, 09:09:38 AM »
The theory is a north facing aerial at the front of the house and a south facing aerial at the back. These could be used independently via a switcher but I wondered  whether they could be jointly fed into the box.  If a loss of signal results then it's a pointless exercise but I was more concerned as to whether any damage would be caused to the circuitry in the box.

Re fault, it was the Aerial input connector on the box that was iffy (?)

CoastGuardJon

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #10 on: December 21, 2008, 02:08:34 PM »
Hi Bratters
I was more concerned as to whether any damage would be caused to the circuitry in the box.

Hi Bratters, you'll not damage anything in the RB, provided you're only using passive antennae. IMO it would definitely be a useful and interesting exercise - I'd be keen to seen the polar diagrams from each, and then combined.   I've used 2 and 3 antennae feeding 1 scanner/comms receiver (using BNC T adapters) with good results.    I think it would also be  of value to feed a JIM M-75 with 2 antennae input through a T BNC and see what comes out on the polar diagram.   I'm planning on trying some experiments along these lines next year - and will post results, good or bad.   I'm an SWL (although I passed my RAE, years ago, have never bothered to get AR Licence) and am very much into suck it and see, rather than sticking 100% to to the laws of physics.   A lot of unnecessary mystique seems to be applied to antennae.
ANRB :  AOR AR8000 : Icom R-7000 : Icom IC-R9000 : JRC NRD-545 : OptoElectronics Digital Scout and OptoLinx Interface; Realistic Pro-2005 : UBC 800XLT - listed in alphabetical order, not cost, preference, performance or entertainment value!

bratters

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #11 on: December 21, 2008, 04:58:34 PM »
Hi CoastGuardJohn     I've got a couple of 1090 aerials - passive - and bags of bits and miles of cable from my early SWL days as well. I was thinking on the same lines ie using a BNC T adaptor.

At the moment my polar diag. is virtually a semi-circle  (no dedicated rooftop antenna as yet- only a discone) so the RB aerial is high on upper bedroom window - works well but obviously directionally limited.
I rather suspect that the two signals will cancel each other out, if you know what I mean and I'll end up with worst of both worlds. Also suspect there will be considerable cable loss as it's quite a long run. In fact there isn't that much activity on my northern side, but it will be an interesting experiment to see what  I can pull in. (Really got to get up on the roof one day!)

Thanks for reply - I'll let you know what transpires.

CoastGuardJon

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #12 on: December 21, 2008, 05:18:14 PM »
Hi Bratters, I've only got another 4 days to wait to get my hands on RB. My intention, next spring, is to erect several antennae on my roof (about 200' asl, with virtually 360 degree horizon, only 2 miles from Goohilly ES Station, built on The Lizard because of its flat, level and stable geological nature).    I use an external sloping longwire for HF, but have a discone and Dressler ARA1500 which I need to get outside, and also plan purchasing Diamond 777 and a couple of other proprietary antennae, to get in the air, with an SSE1090, will also be buying a pair of JIM M-75s, and possibly a mast-head amp..   The plan is to keep downleads really short, until they're just inside the loft, easily accessible, where they'll be terminated with N or BNC type connectors, easily swappable/connectable singly or in multiple to JIMs or extension downleads.   Once I've got the twigs up (more tackle than a Russian trawler!), I'll join the network and contribute to it.

With your situation, if you have 2x 1090 antennae, as long as they're more than 27cms (Wavelength of 1090 MHz) apart, I don't think you'll get any interaction or null phasing of signal if the signals are combined - I may well be wrong - but you certainly won't risk damaging the RB.   If you were running a couple of active antennae, which receive their 12v via the downlead, you may run into problems.

I'll be trying the RB on several different combinations and see which gives the best results.
« Last Edit: December 21, 2008, 05:32:38 PM by CoastGuardJon »
ANRB :  AOR AR8000 : Icom R-7000 : Icom IC-R9000 : JRC NRD-545 : OptoElectronics Digital Scout and OptoLinx Interface; Realistic Pro-2005 : UBC 800XLT - listed in alphabetical order, not cost, preference, performance or entertainment value!

bratters

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #13 on: December 21, 2008, 09:05:46 PM »
Thanks for that Coastguard. We must keep in touch. I've got sloping V into a Kenwood R5000 which I bought humph years ago but remains a cracking bit of kit. Scanner is a Pro-2006, also yonks old but still very effective.

As you'll have read I'm a newbie myself to RB although I've done both VHF & shortwave tracking and plotting in the past. I tried the supplied airnav aerial in the loft but with no success, my loft being a notorious black hole reception-wise. One thing I have found is that extending the USB lead in order to reduce the aerial length didn't work for me. For reasons I don't understand, my RB throws a wobbly with a greatly extended USB. Roof antenna & low loss cable seems the way to go.

Sounds like you could give give Goonhilly a run for their money and I would imagine your range west will be phenomenal. Keep in touch.

peteeds

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Re: Performance down - help please
« Reply #14 on: December 22, 2008, 02:32:41 PM »
Hy Guys, Very interesting topic this. I have been thinking along the same lines, at the moment I am using the external ant that was feeding my BS ( now back in the box) on a 40ft tower to the back of the house, which leaves a null to the south east. I have the Elad masthead preamp up there with very expensive low loss coax down to the shack (upstairs ) & a jim m75 as it enters the box. I have used a splitter off the jim & run both boxes at the same time with no problems at all. Just using RB now. Was thinking of another vertical to the front of the house to catch the null. Like you coastguard I have a host of verticals, VHF / UHF/ longwire for HF. Discone for the airbands & crossed dipoles for downloading the sat weather pics, 6 mtr beam. Wife says it's like bloody GCHQ living here ????? What the hell its a hobby. keep the ideas coming gents all very interesting.

                            Cheers  Peteeds.