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Author Topic: RadarBox & Surroundings  (Read 3367 times)

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sasa1000

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RadarBox & Surroundings
« on: April 17, 2010, 02:51:37 PM »
Hi, on the brink of ordering one of these fantastic gadgets but would like to know about limitations due to surroundings. I have a fairly good view of the sky round about but there is quite high hills behind the house though I can see sky a bit back over the tops, other than that I can see sky in 2 directions for a piece but not really to the horizon. Is it going to be a waste of money buying a RadarBox or will I still get a fair distance (not expecting to get 100 miles or so) I live in Shetland and we get quite a lot of Transatlantic flights up here.
I would love one of these but not wanting to buy it and hardly pick anything up :)
Thanks in advance for any advice.

Sandy

tarbat

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Re: RadarBox & Surroundings
« Reply #1 on: April 17, 2010, 03:23:18 PM »
Welcome back Sandy.  You can get some idea of the coverage you might get by visiting http://www.heywhatsthat.com/main-0904.html

Put you location in, height above ground of antenna, and generate a map.  Then select the "Up in the air" option on the map, and see what coverage you can expect at, say, 10,000ft and 30,000ft.
« Last Edit: April 17, 2010, 03:29:29 PM by tarbat »

sasa1000

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Re: RadarBox & Surroundings
« Reply #2 on: April 17, 2010, 03:33:08 PM »
Hi tarbat, thanks very much for your help, unfortunately it only covers up to 60 deg north and I live above that. Great resource though, just a pity it won't work for me.

Sandy

tarbat

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Re: RadarBox & Surroundings
« Reply #3 on: April 17, 2010, 03:46:04 PM »
Okay, sorry about that.  Didn't realise it didn't cover >60N.

Reception of ModeS is line-of-sight, so you'll get coverage, up to about 250nm, of all of the sky that you can see.

sasa1000

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Re: RadarBox & Surroundings
« Reply #4 on: April 17, 2010, 03:47:55 PM »
Tarbat, just tried it entering co-ordinates further south on island and I get the idea. It would have been ideal to see how far my coverage would extend> I think it would be a fair bit though as a lot of the stuff up my way will be at cruising altitude.
Thanks again.

Sandy

gleff

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Re: RadarBox & Surroundings
« Reply #5 on: April 17, 2010, 04:18:00 PM »
Sandy,

I'm not privvy on your location as I live in Sydney Australia but I seriously doubt you would have any real issues with coverage where ever you live.

I live in an apartment building on the 13th floor (approx. 20 metres from ground level) but I'm facing away from any flight paths (opposite side of building). I've got very little visible sky because i'm completely surrounded by office buildings.  Most of my signal is getting bounced off the buildings I suspect. 

Using the stock antenna placed indoors where there is NO SKY, I still pick up aircraft.  Yes it's very directional, and yes the signal is flaky, but in the circumstances it would be expected.  I picked up an aircraft today that faces west (opposite direction to what i'm facing), and it was about 200 kilometres away (using the stock antenna sitting on my computer desk).  I also have an external antenna mounted on my veranda and that improves things dramatically, but can still be flaky due to the signal coming from reflections.  I often pick up aircraft out west using the external up to 400 kilometres away.

My biggest issue is the flaky reception due to lack of sky, and all my signal is bouncing off buildings.

So if I can pick up aircraft in my conditions I would be very surprised if you have any real issues. 

Incidently, I find the higher altitude the aircraft is, the longer and further away I can pick the aircraft up.  Another reason for the flaky reception here is that i'm only 20 kilometres away from the airport so any close by aircraft are very low to the ground.  The signal disappears quickly.

BTW.. I was equally concerned about how it would work in my circumstances prior to buying it.  I was thrilled when it worked as well as it did.

Geoff
http://www.flighttracker.gleff.com - based in Sydney, Australia

sasa1000

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Re: RadarBox & Surroundings
« Reply #6 on: April 17, 2010, 05:19:08 PM »
Hi Geoff, thanks for the info in your post, that's very helpful and interesting to know. I would be mounting the antenna outside on my shed roof initially to see what the reception is like. Good to know that even though you have hardly any visible sky, you still manage to pick up plenty of traffic.

Sandy