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PowerFlarm Dipole Antenna
PowerFlarm Dipole Antenna PowerFlarm Rod Antenna PowerFlarm Shark Fin Antenna

PowerFLARM Antenna

Sale Price: $30.00

SKU: 1429 - 1430

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Detailed Description

PowerFLARM Antenna


• FLARM Dipole Core A&B and Portable A&B (with adapter) Antenna - SKU 1429FLRM
• ADS-B Dipole Core and Portable (with adapter) Antenna - SKU 1429ADSB
• Flarm Rod Portable Antenna - SKU 1430FLRM
• ADS-B Rod Type Portable Antenna - 1430ADSB

Antenna Installation Guidelines

Introduction

This page is only addresses FLARM RF antenna installations. Refer to the PowerFLARM manual for information on GPS antenna placement and installation.

The following section “Antenna Installation Guidelines” gives you guidelines on how to properly install FLARM RF antennas. If you follow these guidelines you will likely get a good installation for collision avoidance. However, optimal installation for an individual aircraft type is not possible because of variations in aircraft type and the materials used.

Therefore, do not make the first installation permanent. Check the section “How to build a temporary dipole antenna mount” and follow the installation guidelines for a first try. This will likely give a good range or at least give you a good starting point for further optimization. Keep in mind that for safety purposes you require a range of only 1 NM forward, less to the sides (See “FAQ” section for explanation). Once you are happy with the achieved range, make the installation permanent.

Do's and Dont's


• Before connecting, always check type and polarity of antenna connectors carefully!
• Have a very good look at the inside conductor, one side MUST be male, the other MUST be female.
• Attaching incompatible antenna connectors will cause loss of performance, permanent damage to the device and void the warranty.
• Mount antenna clear of any object except for the parts intended for attachment by antenna designer! (e.g. adhesive patch on PowerFLARM remote antenna)
• Give the antenna as much ‘free’ room as possible!
• Don’t let it touch anything!
• Keep in mind that not just conductive material but also humans attenuate signals. Glass fiber and Kevlar barely attenuates signals.

FLARM Do's and Dont's


Always connect an antenna to FLARM A port!
If you only use one antenna, connect it to FLARM A port. If you feel that your airplane attenuates signals strongly in one direction, you can connect a second antenna to the FLARM B port. The best solution however is to find a place where the antenna on FLARM A port can freely radiate in every direction. Do not connect more than one antenna to one RF port (e.g. by splitter)!
Ensure that the installation does not conflict with any operation of the aircraft e.g. Canopy emergency release
No, the coaxial antenna cable will not ‘just rip’...

FLARM Do's and Dont's


Keep antennas separated as far as possible!
Min. distance between RF antenna on FLARM A and FLARM B port: 1ft (0.3 m)
Min. distance between RF antenna on FLARM A port and GPS antenna: 1ft (0.3 m)
Min. distance between RF antenna on FLARM B port and GPS antenna: 4in (0.1 m)
Min. distance between ADS-B / XPDR antenna and GPS antenna: 4in (0.1 m)

Do not mount antennas on conductive material (e.g. any type of metal, carbon fiber)!
Exception: If you are using third party antennas which require a ground plane¹.

Alternative Antenna Types / Placements

PowerFLARM is delivered with universal antennas that work well for most installations. However, some alternative antenna types or placement locations may be beneficial.

On top of the glare shield installation

FLARM Antenna on top of glare shield

Example of factory installed glare shield antennas; required ground plane is hidden under the cover. ADS=B/PCAS antenna on left, FLARM antenna on right.

Outside antenna

Some aviation antennas e.g. the ones used for transponders, will work very well, talk to the antenna supplier about performance in the 902-926MHz band used by FLARM in North America. FLARM cannot share an antenna with a transponder.

Antenna in tail

Some carbon gliders have dedicated glass only areas in their tails for VHF and other antennas. It may be possible to place the FLARM antenna there. ‘Low loss’ coaxial cables must be used with less than 1.5dB/10m attenuation at 900MZ, e.g. LMR-400. DO NOT use RG-174 coaxial cable for any extensions > 1m (3ft)

Antenna in gear box

This location is NOT recommended for the ‘A’ port antenna. In carbon gliders, the ‘B’ port antenna may be placed in or near the gear box to improve coverage from below, if the gear doors are not made out of carbon.

Links:

FLARM configuration tool

Sailplane FLARM Mode S address lookup (enter your N number)

Radio Range FLARM Analysis Tool

PowerFLARM Portable manualPowerFLARM Portable manual

PowerFLARM Core manualPowerFLARM Portable manual

PowerFLARM Antenna Types

PowerFLARM portable device antenna (rod antenna)
• Does not need a ground plane¹
• Medium performance
• Internal antenna
FLARM Portable Antenna
PowerFLARM remote antenna (center fed dipole antenna)
• Does not need a ground plane¹
• Highest performance
• Internal antenna
Flarm Core Antenna
PowerFlarm Shark Fin Antenna
• Use as an external antenna (Flarm A or B)
• Dimensions 104 mm (4.10 in) x 99 mm (3.9 in)x 26 mm (1 in)
• Weight 160 g (0.33 lbs)
• Must use a minimum 12 in diameter ground plane (not included)
• Highest performance
FLARM Shark Fin Antenna
Secondary remote antenna (flat dipole antenna)
• Does not need a ground plane¹
• Medium performance
• Do not use this antenna as primary antenna!
Flarm Secondary Remote Antenna
Classic FLARM device antenna (¼ wave whip antenna)
• Requires a ground plane¹ of at least 80mm (3 inch) radius
• Medium performance
• May have blind spots below the ground plane¹
Classic Flarm Antenna

¹A ground plane is a plane of highly conductive material (e.g. metal) orthogonal to the antenna axis and electrically connected to the antenna ground. If you are still unsure about the meaning of the term “ground plane” just use the bundled antennas and keep any conductive material (e.g. aluminum, carbon fiber) away from the antennas.

Antenna Adapters

Antenna Adapters

If you want to use PowerFLARM Core dipole antennas on a PowerFLARM Portable you must use an adapter. Use a MALE ADAPTER with PowerFLARM Core dipole FLARM antenna to PowerFLARM Portable. Use a FEMALE ADAPTER with PowerFLARM Core dipole ADS-B antenna to PowerFLARM Portable

FAQ


Q: What is the minimum required range for a timely warning?
A: A range of 1 nautical mile (1852m) forward and 0.5 NM to the side and behind will give the pilot a warning at least 15 seconds before closest convergence. Any range beyond that may be useful for tactical purposes but it adds very little to safety. Calculation: Worst case for gliders is two aircraft converging at 110kn each -> 220kn closing speed -> 113m/s For a 15 second warning -> 1697m -> 0.91 nautical miles The profile of a glider when seen from straight ahead at 1 NM distance is about as thick as a human hair held at arm’s length; almost impossible to see...

Q: Can you tell me if my antenna installation will perform well?
A: Maybe not. We will not be able to predict how your particular installation will perform. You have better knowledge of the material used in your airplane than we do. Stick to the guidelines in this document and your installation should be OK for collision avoidance. If you want to get extended range, you will have to do some testing.

Q: I found this antenna data sheet on the Internet, can I use it for PowerFLARM?
A: Maybe. It is oftentimes difficult to determine real world antenna performance from data sheets. Some antennas, tested by FLARM do not meet their published specifications. If you like experimenting, make sure the connectors, operating frequency and impedance (50 Ohm) match! A generic rule: The larger the antenna, the better it works.

Q: I found this ‘FLARM’ antenna on the Internet, can I use it for PowerFLARM?
A: Maybe. Be careful with ‘FLARM’ antennas from non US sources, as for example FLARM in Europe uses other frequencies and therefore requires different antennas. Non US FLARM antennas may also have different polarity on the connector (RP-SMA vs. Std. SMA)

Q: May I use an ‘extension’ cable for the antennas.
A: Yes, but total attenuation at 915MHz must remain < 1.5dB. Do not use RG-174 or similar poor coaxial cables for extensions > 1m (3ft). Also, every connector introduces signal losses.

Q: Does the human body attenuate the FLARM signal?
A: Yes

Q: Does the FLARM signal harm the human body?
A: PowerFLARM USA devices meet or exceed all relevant FCC rules, in addition the signal is up to 100 times weaker than a cell phone signal, while using similar frequencies.

Q: May I use an antenna splitter for the FLARM / PowerFLARM antennas
A: No

Q: May I use an antenna splitter to attach two FLARM antennas to one antenna port?
A: No, this will most likely result in signals canceling themselves out completely

Q: May I use an antenna splitter to share the GPS antenna with another device?
A: Yes. Keep in mind most GPS antennas need to be powered.

Q: Do the FLARM antennas really have to be within 15 degrees of vertical?
A: Yes.

Q: Why does PowerFLARM have ‘Reverse Polarity’ SMA connectors for the transmitting antenna?
A: FCC rule.

Q: May I use a ‘remote’ antenna, on the ‘Portable’ ‘A’ port?
A: Yes, just make sure you check the polarity of the connectors.

Q: What about the PCAS / ADS-B antenna?
A: Placement of the PCAS/ADS-B Antenna is not crucial as the signals it receives are many times stronger than the FLARM signals. Observe the same fundamental rules as for the FLARM RF antennas but don’t lose sleep over its placement.

Q: What about ‘Port ‘B’ (PowerFLARM USA only)
A: Port ‘A’ is the primary FLARM antenna port and must always be equipped with an antenna. If blind spots are observed or measured, a second antenna may be mounted on Port ‘B’.

Q: Can I fully test an antenna with an SWR meter?
A: No

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Our staff has over 8,000 hours of flying experience in gliders and airplanes. Wings & Wheels is staffed by Sean, Garret, Miki, Matt and Linda. You will have a friendly voice pick up when you call. Our staff is trained to promptly take your orders and ship your products.

Shipping Information

Same Day Shipping

Orders placed by 3:00 pm PST Monday-Friday for “off-the-shelf“, in-stock items are normally shipped same day by UPS.  Although we stock the vast majority of the items on our online store, we cannot assure that they will all be on hand at all times. We ship every order as quickly as possible, and in the event of a delay, be assured that we are working hard to get your order shipped promptly. Due to order volume during holidays, we cannot guarantee that all orders placed can ship on the day after the holiday closure. 

Orders for special cut products may take a few days to ship depending on order volume. Special order products ship based on the lead times of each manufacturer. 

Shipping Service

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UPS orders will need to be placed before 4:00 pm EST and 4:00 pm PST Monday-Friday to ship out the same business day.  We apply UPS retail rates to calculate shipping costs.  Packages may not qualify for actual wieight due to size.  If dimensional weight is applied by UPS your shipping & packing rate will be adjusted.  Packages are only insured aganst theft if signature delivery is accepted.  Request signature delivery.

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Priority Mail & 1st Class order has to be placed by 11am. We will use the flat rate box service if your parts fit in the box and the service cost is less than USPS Priority Mail. USPS may not always have tracking information available.  If you request lower cost USPS shipping you agree to accept all responsibility for lost, stolen and damaged packages.

Delivery Timing

UPS Ground Delivery

USPS Delivery Timing

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