Filtered Amplified Coketanna with hard metal body and FlightAware Pro Stick Plus

Chasing the sunset and affordable ADS-B reception at the same time; building on Coketenna experiments, using a FlightAware Pro Stick Plus, taking into account the notion that a hard shell might be better than a Coke can, here's what I think is the ultimate ADS-B antenna/receiver solution if money matters:



Aluminum drinks bottle cut up, FlightAware Pro Stick Plus lives inside, connected to Raspberry Pi 3 as host computer with $.30 USB extension cable, antenna is folded center conductor from coax cable, weatherproofing done with small Gatorade plastic bottle.
But how well it works?
In the pro corner: Nooelec SMArtee to power an Uputronics Filtered 1090 MHz preamp connected with chunky Nooelec pigtail, then 2 meters / 6 foot of Nooelec Smart's supplied RG-58 into Jetvision antenna, all on my windowsill:



Ran stations for couple of days, data comparison:



Geographical coverage comparison of 3/4/2018, day with most position reports, 146.49 vs 127.22 maximum nautical mile ranges on 250 degree azimuth.



Astonished


1. Much cheaper setup visibly less Total position reports and range, remember that this comparison is done to see what can be achieved from a small budget.
2. High gain antenna and pro low noise amplifier overcomes line-of-sight limitations, Pro Stick Plus inside a hard metal body Coketenna simply does not have the power (overall system gain) to cope with house blocking one side, whereas higher gain translates to just that little extra oomph needed to get a signal out of the murk.
3. You get what you pay for. 

Construction details


Choose a metal drinks can more or less the same diameter as a Coke can, put on top to see if fits.



Outdoor shops are expensive, pet shops cheaper, charity shops are best, picked up bottle used for antenna body. Buy two bottles if you can, practice on one, first .
Cut aluminum can with grinder, mark 68.8 mm around can, use thin blade in grinder, hold grinder stationary and move bottle below rather than moving grinder around bottle, 1200 rpm and metal cutting blade might result in you asking for five beers with three fingers, just don't.



Practice on alu can, cut off top, get a feel how grinder and alu bottle love each other.
Let the machine do the work: slowly, no pressure, cut into marks around bottle, then move bottle below spinning disc on marks. Removing disc then trying to go into the same mark will not get an uniform and precise cut.
Don't rush: if cutting disc goes sideways, or gets stuck, or at any point you feel process is not going smoothly, just drop everything and step back. A FlightAware antenna is $50 shipped, a nurse won't even take your details for that much.
Drilling top hole: start with drill two size smaller, than work your way up to necessary hole diameter. If you wish to use a different connector standard, diameters for female ends are:
SMA: 6.20 mm,
PAL: 10.08 mm
F-type: 9.35 mm
BNC: 12.44 mm
N-type: 15.77 mm
Divide by 2.54 to get values in inches, I'm not familiar with USA drills so can't comment on appropriate sizes.
If you want to use thicker wire for easier insertion,  get a Nooelec SMA Cable Connectivity Kit for $25, or a nice factory solution is the 5dBi Nooelec ADS-B antenna for $6, need female-female barrel adapter as well.

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