Low Noise Amplifier for SDR Radio ADS‑B Ver. 2.3 with 1090MHz ceramic filter

Low Noise Amplifier for SDR Radio ADS-B Ver. 2.3 with 1090MHz filter

A project to design and build a Low Noise Amplifier (LNA) and 1,090 MHz band­pass fil­ter for receiv­ing ADS‑B trans­mis­sions on a Software Defined Radio (SDR).

Top of LNA+Filter 1090 version 2.3 bare circuit board
Top of LNA+Filter 1090 ver­sion 2.3 bare cir­cuit board

After see­ing sev­er­al LNA / fil­ter projects on the inter­net, that were either a par­tial solu­tion or very expen­sive, I decid­ed to build my own.
If you are want­i­ng to get into ADS‑B plane track­ing the best total solu­tion I have found so far is the FlightAware PiAware ADS‑B Ground Station using their FlightAware Pro Stick and FlightAware 1090MHz ADS‑B Antenna.
I already had a SDR that I want­ed to use, but need­ed addi­tion­al ampli­fi­ca­tion and fil­ter­ing due to my location.

Eagle CAD 4-layer board layout for LNA and Filter
Eagle CAD 4‑layer board lay­out for LNA and Filter
Eagle CAD Version 7.7 schematic drawing for LNA and Filter circuit Version 2.3
Eagle CAD Version 7.7 schemat­ic draw­ing for LNA and Filter cir­cuit Version 2.3

I had found a small 80x25x25mm extrud­ed alu­minum box on Ebay that seemed the per­fect size to house all the need­ed com­po­nents, so I designed the board to fit that case. The board was designed using Eagle CAD Ver 7.7 as a 4‑layer board with all RF traces and com­po­nents matched to 50 ohms.

Power is sup­plied by an USB cable with a nom­i­nal 5 volts DC. The USB pow­er is fil­tered before the cir­cuit board by a FB20021-4B-RC com­mon mode wide-band choke. The 5 volt input is reg­u­lat­ed to 3.3 VDC by U1, a MIC5253‑3.3YC5 in a Teeny™ SC-70–5 pack­age. This reg­u­la­tor is capa­ble of 100 mA out­put cur­rent and is opti­mized for Ultra-low out­put noise applications.

Top of LNA+Filter 1090 version 2.3 circuit board with components soldered
Top of LNA+Filter 1090 ver­sion 2.3 cir­cuit board with com­po­nents soldered
Top of LNA+Filter1090 version 2.3 circuit board showing common mode choke for USB filtering
LNA+Filter1090 ver­sion 2.3 cir­cuit board show­ing com­mon mode choke for USB filtering

After the SMA input con­nec­tor the first com­po­nent inline is capac­i­tor C14 a 100pF 25V NP0 in a 0402 pack­age. This is the DC block for the anten­na input. A BAV99 diode D1 after the capac­i­tor pro­vides some pro­tec­tion, before con­nect­ing to the input of a Mini-Circuits PSA4-5043+ LNA.

The Mini-Circuits PSA4-5043+ is a E‑PHEMT (Pseudomorphic High-Electron-Mobility Transistor) based Ultra-Low Noise MMIC Amplifier. Operating from 50 MHz to 4 GHz with a typ­i­cal noise fig­ure of 0.75 at 1,090 MHz, and a typ­i­cal gain of 17 dB. The ampli­fi­er con­sumes 33 mA at 3V and is inter­nal­ly matched to 50 ohms. It is sup­plied in a super small SC-70 (SOT-343) MSL 1 pack­age (MMM1362).

A Mini-Circuits TCBT-14+ Bias‑T after the LNA injects the reg­u­lat­ed 3.3 volts into the out­put of the LNA to pro­vide pow­er for the ampli­fi­er, fil­ters RF from the pow­er sup­ply, and also has a DC block­ing capac­i­tor for the RF out­put to the fil­ter section.

The fil­ter is a Mini-Circuits CBP-1090C+ 1,090 MHz band­pass fil­ter in a MP1766 pack­age. The CBP-1090C+ is a ceram­ic-coax­i­al-res­onator based band­pass fil­ter in a shield­ed pack­age fab­ri­cat­ed using SMT tech­nol­o­gy. This enables sharp rejec­tion near the pass­band (1060 to 1120 MHz) and low inser­tion loss. The out­put of the fil­ter con­nects to the out­put SMA connector.

LNA+filter almost ready to insert into extruded aluminum box
LNA+filter almost ready to insert into extrud­ed alu­minum box

The 4‑layer boards were fab­ri­cat­ed by OSH-Park print­ed cir­cuit board (PCB) ser­vice. OSH-Park LNA60 3V3 Case 1090MHz Filter Ver‑2.3 project page

Inserting the LNA+Filter 1090 into an extruded aluminum box
Inserting the LNA+Filter 1090 into the extrud­ed alu­minum box

Link for Eagle CAD V7.7 schemat­ic and board files ZIP: LNA1090MHzFilter2.3

ADS-B Flights using PiAware with LNA + Filter 1090
ADS‑B Flights using PiAware with LNA + Filter 1090

Test set­up with a FlightAware Pro Stick mount­ed in a met­al case with heatsink.

ADS-B receiver with LNA+Filter, FlightAware Pro Stick, and Raspberry Pi 3 running Dump1090 mutability
ADS‑B receiv­er with LNA+Filter, FlightAware Pro Stick, and Raspberry Pi 3 run­ning Dump1090 muta­bil­i­ty. Extra heatsinks added to SDR receiv­er and Pi 3 processor.

9 Replies to “Low Noise Amplifier for SDR Radio ADS‑B Ver. 2.3 with 1090MHz ceramic filter”

  1. Hello,
    have you thinked to sell them? Im look­ing for a good amp for my sys­tem and your looks pret­ty damn cool

  2. Where did you source the var­i­ous components? 

    Mouser/Farnell/Digikey do not stock the ceram­ic fil­ter and the E‑PHEMT MMIC ampli­fi­er and some oth­er small stuff.

    Am look­ing into build­ing the pre-amp myself, but cur­rent­ly lack a source for those components.

    1. Hi Jan,
      The MIC5253‑3.3YC5 reg­u­la­tor is avail­able from Digikey. The Mini-Circuits parts are avail­able direct­ly from Minicircuits.com, but some­times there is a min­i­mum. Another source is Ebay for sin­gle components.
      There is also an alter­nate untest­ed ver­sion of the board with the fil­ter placed before the LNA avail­able from OSH Park. OSH Park Alt board

      Greg (Barbouri)

      1. Hi Greg,

        I have ordered a few boards to build your amps.
        Can you tell me what size the capac­i­tors are ?
        I know C14 is 0402 sized, how about the rest ?

        Thanks for mak­ing your board lay­out avail­able. I’m look­ing for­ward to adding these amps to my ADS‑b setups.


        1. Hi Steve,
          The oth­er four capac­i­tors are 0603 size.
          I used a C0G/NP0 type capac­i­tor for C14, Kemet part #CBR04C101F3GAC

          Greg (Barbouri)

    1. Hi Francisco,
      I do not sell any com­plet­ed boards, and have no plans to do that.
      I only make boards for my needs, and make the designs available.

      Greg (Barbouri)

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