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Looking For Antenna Ideas.


zeus661
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Why not try finding 2 or 3 dozen caches without the antenna. You may find you do not need one. With all the talk of external antennas I have seen in the forums I have never met a geocacher eye to eye that has ever used one. for the most part I think they are a cure for an illness that does not exist.

 

You could always place it on a back pack or on top of a very tall walking stick.

 

Anything other than sticking it on or in a hat.

This would be the easy way

Edited by JohnnyVegas
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External antennas are mostly designed for use when the GPSr itself is in an enclosed space, such as inside a car, airplane, or boat, etc.. If you're on foot in the open, you shouldn't need one..

 

Having said that, some handheld GPSr's have been shown to be more effective than others especially under tree cover. The early Black&white eTrexes have been reported to be very frustrating to use under a thick canopy even when held correctly.. they're just an old design. Other modern receivers/antennas like Lowrance iFinders & Magellan Explorists show tremendous signal performance under the same conditions. I routinely walk with my iFinder Pro in my shirt/coat pocket (front/chest pocket) and the thing never loses it's signal lock

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I dunno, my Garmin 76C does get notably better EPE with my Gillson than without.

 

Is it entirely practical when looking for a cache? Only if yer looking for a micro

in a pile of rocks.... :unsure: Of course, that don't mean a thing if the coords are off. :huh::D

 

Seriously though, a large majority of the caches it won't help you. But I can understand the OP's wanting to use one.

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I met a guy who was mapping trails with his 76S. He had a dowel (about 2 feet long) that he slipped into his pack and attached the antenna to the top.

 

That being said, I have a 60CS and a Vista and have used both under very heavy tree cover and never found the need for an antena. The few times I lose reception, I get it back within seconds.

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An external antenna WITH a ground plane (I use a knockout from a computer chassis 5 1/4 inch bay) can make a tremendous difference in the signal quality your GPS receives. I use cable management velcro strips to attach the antenna to long sticks to raise the antenna to where it can get a good signal or to eliminate multipathing. Without a ground plane they can be actually less useful than an internal antenna.

 

Just as twenty feet or so to one side or another can be the difference between a jumpy position and a stable one, so can being able to get your signal from ten or more feet above your head. This is all the more true with multipating off rock faces and/or rock walls.

 

You can find most caches without, certainly. But, it can be a lot easier with.

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I made a small mount from a ferrous metal with wires attached to the four corners. The magnetic mount sat fine on this 2.5 inch by 4 inch piece of metal. The mount was then put on top of my day pack with the wires run inside in the 4 corners of the pack. Signal strength with the mag mount antenna was considerably better with this arrangement. Problem is you need to wear the pack.

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I just took a strip of metal strapping material and wrapped it around the shoulder strap of my backpack, so that it sits on top of my shoulder. I attach my Gilsson to that, and clip my 60C on my belt when I hike.

 

The main advantage of the external is that I never lose signal when the GPSr is on my belt. Without it, I lose sat coverage in the woods unless I have the GPSr in my hand and held upright. Much easier to hike in rough terrain with one hand on my staff and the other free to catch myself when I fall. :laughing:

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I put a metal pin (okemo ski area) through the top of my orange knit hat (it is huntin' season ya know - or almost anyway) and stick the nilsson antenna magnet on that. My head isn't flat but it is big (oh god what did I jsut say).

 

Hmmm would a metal graduation hat (patent pending) work?

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An external antenna WITH a ground plane can make a tremendous difference in the signal quality your GPS receives.

Bingo! It's the ground plane that makes the difference.

Okay, please forgive my ignorance, but I understand that a ground plane ought to be at least equal in size to one wavelength of the signal. Can anyone tell me the wavelength of GPS sattelite signals? What is the minimum size for a decent ground plane?

 

Edit: Or is the size important only for a transmitting antenna, and not a receiving antenna?

Edited by Sputnik 57
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Shame on you for hiding a cache knowing the cords are inaccurate. :lol:

 

Actually in using a ground plane, I emailed Gilsson a few weeks ago and got a return email that the antennas only require a ground plane about 2 inches by 2 inches.

Edited by QJ
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I put a metal pin (okemo ski area) through the top of my orange knit hat (it is huntin' season ya know - or almost anyway) and stick the nilsson antenna magnet on that.  My head isn't flat but it is big (oh god what did I jsut say).

 

Hmmm would a metal graduation hat (patent pending) work?

I have made myself some antenna's for GPS. See:

http://www.xs4all.nl/~atarist/geo/diy_gps_antenna_d.htm

 

Such a kind of hat-antenne I have already patented. See here:

graduation4.jpg

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