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Author Topic: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox  (Read 25785 times)

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tarbat

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Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« on: January 12, 2008, 01:54:34 PM »
I have a couple of questions about replacing my current SBS-1 with a Radarbox:

1. Is the connecting lead on the Radarbox antenna as long as that on the SBS-1 antenna?

2. Can the antenna supplied with the SBS-1 be used with Radarbox, or is it better to use the one supplied with the Radarbox?

3. Is the USB connection on the RB the same as on an SBS-1?  I've already got a long USB lead connecting my PC up to the SBS-1 in the loft, and would rather not replace the USB lead.

Anything else I should be aware of about replacing my SBS-1 with a Radarbox?

Allocator

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2008, 02:23:33 PM »
I have a couple of questions about replacing my current SBS-1 with a Radarbox:

1. Is the connecting lead on the Radarbox antenna as long as that on the SBS-1 antenna?

2. Can the antenna supplied with the SBS-1 be used with Radarbox, or is it better to use the one supplied with the Radarbox?

3. Is the USB connection on the RB the same as on an SBS-1?  I've already got a long USB lead connecting my PC up to the SBS-1 in the loft, and would rather not replace the USB lead.

Anything else I should be aware of about replacing my SBS-1 with a Radarbox?

Hi tarbat,

Answers to your quaetions :-)

1 - Without taking the RadarBox antenna off the velux window, I've measured 2.5 m of lead.  It might be slightly longer as there is a bit outside the window.  The plug on the end of the antenna that goes into the back of RadarBox is like a small satelite TV antenna plug - not sure of the name, but I'll post a picture here later.

2- You can use the SBS-1 antenna, both the mag-mount, or BS1100 (as I do) with an adapter that fits between the SBS-1 antenna and RadarBox.  I had one kicking around to allow me to connect an external antenna to my Amateur Radio handie.  Again, I'm hopeless with the names of the plugs - pictures to follow!  I tend to use the SBS-1 mag-mount when I use RadarBox at work, and the RadarBox antenna when I'm at home.  Use of the BS1100 has only started recently as I've stopped using my SBS-1.  There are some polar diagrams somewhere on this forum - I'll try to find them!

3 - The USB connection on RadarBox is not the same as the SBS-1.  The SBS-1 uses what I would call a USB printer cable, whereas RadarBox uses the small D shaped connector that is the same an my card reader and digital camera.  I'm using the USB Cat45 cable extender I've talked about on the Kinetic forum - works a treat!

Installing the RadarBox drivers can be a similar issue as the SBS-1, as if you plug RadarBox into a different USB port, the PC tries to install drivers automatically just like the SBS-1.  It's no problem as long as you manually select the driver location.

I'll get back to you with pictures in a bit.

All the best

Allocator

tarbat

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #2 on: January 12, 2008, 02:36:00 PM »
Allocator, thanks for the comprehensive reply.  Looks like I'll have to factor in the cost of a USB CAT5 extender then.  Does this supply power okay to the Radarbox?  Or how long is the USB lead that comes with the Radarbox.

Just waiting to see if I can finally get a refund on my SBS-1 and I can then switch over to Radarbox.
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 02:38:10 PM by tarbat »

Allocator

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #3 on: January 12, 2008, 02:54:20 PM »
Here is the back of the RadarBox:



Close-up of the USB socket:



Close up of the antenna connection (SMA Female):



Adapter from SBS-1 antenna to RadarBox. (I use this to connect my Yaesu FT60 or VX-1 to my Amateur antenna's) - BNC Female to SMA Male



I can't remember how long the USB lead is that comes with RadarBox - I've got so many of these, I've no idea which one I'm using with it at the moment!  The one I'm using now is 1.5m long.  All the USB leads I've tried with it worked (except for one - maybe a cheap camera lead that didn't have all the pins connected?)

I got my USB extender from Maplins, but I don't think that they do this one any more.  It looks just like this one:

http://www.nti1.co.uk/usbc5.html

Also here:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/USB-Extension-CAT5-Extender-50m/dp/B000KEHMLQ

Yes, it does power RadarBox, there are no other inputs other than the antenna and USB socket you see in the pictures above.  I used to get USB disconnections with the SBS-1, when connected directly and via this USB extender, but RadarBox does not drop-out at all.

Edit: Marinus, thanks for the help with the connector names :-)
« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 03:17:41 PM by Allocator »

Marinus

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #4 on: January 12, 2008, 02:57:57 PM »
Hello,

The antenna connector to the Radarbox is called SMA connector and you propably
need an adaptor BNC female > SMA or N connector > SMA (better)

The USB cable leading to the Radarbox ends in a mini-USB connector and
those cables (extensions) are widely available against minimum costs.

Cannot compare the two because I've never owned a SBS-1 but hope above
will help.

Regards,

Marinus.


Edit  Picture 3 shows the SMA female connection
       Picture 4 shows a BNC female > SMA male adaptor

« Last Edit: January 12, 2008, 03:00:29 PM by Marinus »

tarbat

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #5 on: January 12, 2008, 03:01:07 PM »
Allocator (and Marinus), thanks again.

Yes, I recognise that antenna adaptor, I might have one of those lying around I think.  The photos really help, thanks.  Just need to decide on the best way of extending the USB.  I currently have an 8m USB cable to my SBS-1, and never get any drop-outs.  I guess I might be able to find an adaptor to convert the plug on the end of that cable to fit into the Radarbox.

Cumulus

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #6 on: January 12, 2008, 03:24:47 PM »
Allocator (and Marinus), thanks again.

Yes, I recognise that antenna adaptor, I might have one of those lying around I think.  The photos really help, thanks.  Just need to decide on the best way of extending the USB.  I currently have an 8m USB cable to my SBS-1, and never get any drop-outs.  I guess I might be able to find an adaptor to convert the plug on the end of that cable to fit into the Radarbox.

Hi Tarbat,

One of these should do the trick.

http://www.7dayshop.com/catalog/product_info.php?products_id=100659&r=A

Cheers,

Peter

Bill

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #7 on: January 12, 2008, 08:27:17 PM »
Hi Tarbat,
A few more snippets of comfort for you - I run my SBS and ARB simultaneously with the SBS antenna (and amplifier from Martin Lynch) via an SP-3 antenna combiner (RF Systems - from Haydon Communications) - so no insertion loss. And yes , as already mentioned in the posts above you will need an SMA M to BNC F, Maplin Part No. RS85G, and a BNC - BNC patch lead.  My experience is that the shorter the aerial lead the better so, as both boxes output via USB, they stay in the loft and I use a USB Extender 4 Port Hub (Web purchase only), Maplin Part No. A22FJ + some Cat 5 cable to the computer and watch both boxes side by side.  The reason why you can use the SBS with a USB extension lead is because it is self powered.  The ARB is bus powered from the USB computer port and there isn't enough power to drive more than 3 metres of USB cable efficiently. Using the Cat 5 method gets around all these issues.

I realise all this adds up in ££'s but it does make for really good tracking - even if there's not much activity to visually log in the North East of Scotland ;-))............Now ShipTrax could be something else !!

Regards
Bill

Roadrunner

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #8 on: January 13, 2008, 09:52:54 AM »
You know what Tarbat. Like Bill I have both SBS and ARB and each has its own quirks. SBS is far from perfect, but as with all things neither is the ARB. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses and I would not part with either of them. My SBS is my main machine but I do like ANRB and find some of the functions are better than the SBS but it (SBS) was my first experience of this monitoring hobby and if for nothing else but it seems to work better with PP I will not part with it.  As they say "Don't end up chucking out the baby with the bathwater" :-)
Mike

Bill

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #9 on: January 13, 2008, 10:36:16 AM »
Can't argue with those sentiments at all.
As for Shipplotter - see me at *B

Regards
Bill

juangelb

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #10 on: January 13, 2008, 12:09:07 PM »
Hi people,

Tarbat is a long time ago user of this things...   Hi Tarbat ?

I also have both (SBS and RB) and had haed aches with USB estanders maily with PCL-C5 (I think...) this one used to drop the USB very frequently with SBS and with RB, the USB did not even raised....
So I put one Ubox 2100 to connect both the radars, and killed the USB restriction lenght.
This also, alows me to "catch" theese USBs at any place trough the internet,
and it works fine, leting me to lend one or other radar to a friend of mine for some time, having both here in my house, and using my antennas....


Best regards and lots of NM in ours boxes.....

Juan





tarbat

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #11 on: February 07, 2008, 04:45:01 PM »
Okay, RadarBox is on order, so I just want to check about the mini-USB adaptor.  Looks like there's many different types of "mini-USB" connector.  So far I've found ones labelled B4, B5, B6, B8, and M4.  Anyone know for sure which one I need?

Alternatively, will the RB work connected through a USB Hub, as I've got one of these going spare.  I could connect the USB hub to my PC using my 8m USB cable, then use the RB USB cable to connect the Radarbox to the USB hub.

Allocator

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #12 on: February 07, 2008, 05:06:46 PM »
Okay, RadarBox is on order, so I just want to check about the mini-USB adaptor.  Looks like there's many different types of "mini-USB" connector.  So far I've found ones labelled B4, B5, B6, B8, and M4.  Anyone know for sure which one I need?

Alternatively, will the RB work connected through a USB Hub, as I've got one of these going spare.  I could connect the USB hub to my PC using my 8m USB cable, then use the RB USB cable to connect the Radarbox to the USB hub.

Hi tarbet,

I can't actually remember which USB cable came with RB as I've got at least 5 of these kicking around and they all work except for one - which I always forget and wonder why RB has stopped talking to my PC.  The all look exactly the same as per the photo above.  I suggest that they are generally all the same.

I haven't used a hub with RB, but it should work as long as there are enough volts coming out.  The hub I have somewhere is a powered hub that did work for most things without the power adaptor, however, I found that some things such as webcams wouldn't work without the power adaptor plugged into the hub. I'll see if I can find my hub and try it out.  The only thing I would be careful about here is the same problem as with the SBS-1 regarding drivers.  Plug RB into a different USB port to that used for the install, and it'll try to install random Windows drivers.

Have you taken a look at the new manual for V1.4?  Some of the stuff in there such as the mil flags, works with V1.3 too.  You'll have to wait for V1.4 to get the new SQL database though - should be released soon.

All the best

Allocator

tarbat

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #13 on: February 07, 2008, 05:18:35 PM »
Hi Allocator.  I'll get drivers installed without using the hub to start with, and then give the hub a try.  It's a powered hub, so should provide enough power.

I've downloaded and read the v1.4 manual, and will be using the same flags from SBS-1, and also some outlines (but not coastlines because of the duplication problem).  Priority will be to get RB up-and-running without any extras to start with.

BTW, anyone know what version of software RB ships with at the moment - v1.2 or v1.3?  And will the firmware need updating?

Allocator

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Re: Replace SBS-1 with Radarbox
« Reply #14 on: February 07, 2008, 05:27:26 PM »
I think that it's V1.3 but I might be wrong.