Since TBG wanted to pin this in the Airframes.io Discord server, I thought I would post this updated version of my rant here.
Lothar’s general advice is:
- AVOID ALL plastic cased SDRs.
- FAVOR any SDR that uses the SKY7510 LNA, as it is hands down the lowest NF of any common LNA chip.
- FAVOR SDRs with Genuine Taisaw SAW filters for 1090.
- FAVOR LNA>filter over Filter>LNA SDRs topology for 1090 SDRs (unless you are in a rough high RF environment, where you MUST use an unfiltered orange stick and a cavity filter.
- ADD heat coupling putty pads (NOT adhesive foam thermal heat sink attachment pads) between the underside of the SDR PCB and the metal case. I use Gelid Solutions GP-Extreme 2.0mm Thermal Pads, available at Amazon, DigiKey, Mouser etc.