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External Antennas And Geocaching


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Here in the Pacific Northwest its spring and the trees are really starting get some folage. On more than one Geocaching outing my 60CS has completely lost the signal for long periods of time making it impossible to get close to the cache. For these situations, I've been thinking about bringing along an amplified external antenna like this one from Gillson. I figured I could pull it out only when needed. Maybe even attach a clip to it so I can clip the antenna to my lappel. Couple questions

 

1) How much will the Glisson help in the heavy tree cover?

2) If you are Geocaching with an external antenna, where do you have it located?

 

Thanks!

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Since a GPSr is a radio receiver, the general rule "the more antenna, the better" applies. You are going to get a couple of benefits from an external...

1. A powered antenna will give you greater gain .. thus better reception

2. The 60CS has a quad-helix, so you must hold it in the vertical position for the best reception, the external antenna removes this requirement

3. Your signal strength will remain the same as you move the GPSr around, put it in you pocket, take it back out...etc.

 

The down side is that you now have a cable hanging off the GPSr which will, as all dangling cables do, catch on everything. Also, as an externally powered device it is gong to cut into your battery life.

 

As for tree cover, I think it is safe to say that the external will out perform the internal. By how much? Good question.

 

As to position of the antenna, remember it must be "flat" so on your lapel is not the best place. One of the best ideas I have heard is to place it on top of your hat and use a largish metal washer on the inside of the hat for something for the magnet to grip. I have also seen them glued to the top of bicycle helmets.

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When I first got into geocaching, I was living in Maryland, and I found that there were often places and times where my coverage was "less than optimal". Not sure just how much it would help, I picked up a "Mighty Mouse" amplified antenna, figuring it would probably make the unit work better in the car, if nothing else.

 

Not only did performance in the car see a notable improvement, but handheld reception was much better as well. As stated above though, what to do with all that extra cabling? Since the Mighty Mouse came with a 5 meter cable on it, I was stuck with about 13 extra feet of cord that I didn't need for handheld use, but which was very nice to have for use in the car.

 

Improbably enough, the solution came from potato chips. The dollar store had a special on those short little lunchbox-sized cans of pringles, and once I got them home, I realized that I had a small container, with a removable lid, and a steel base.

 

From then on, a (properly washed out) lunch-sized Pringles can was a part of my "go bag". With a little notch cut in the rim to allow the cable to go in and out of the can, and the lid to keep the extra cabling under control, I would just stick the magnetic base of the Mouse to the metal bottom of the can, and have myself a nice little handheld "signal magnet" for use under the canopy.

 

After a while, the cans got a little bit beat up, and I needed something a little more rugged. A quick trip to the hardware store netted a big steel washer and a few PVC plumbing fittings. Built into a "T" configuration, I had a metal plate to mount the Mouse on, a place to hold all the extra cable, a handle that doubled as a holder for a pair of "D" batteries (power galore for my little eMap!), and a patch of velcro to hold the GPSr in place. Slap on the GPS and antenna, plug in the power and antenna cables, and I'm all set for the hunt, even in dense foliage. One of these days, I'll add a little switch and some super-bright LEDs so it's a flashlight, too. :D

 

It works quite well, too. With my eMap in Maryland, there would always be a period of about half an hour to an hour in the afternoon (around 2:30 or so) where I would be lucky to pull three or four satellites while under the trees. Adding the Mouse would bring me up to 5 or 6 birds - plenty for a nice afternoon of tupperware hunting. Sure the amp added a little bit of current drain to the unit, but I never noticed the difference. Measuring the current draw with and without the Mouse attached, I calculated that I might get one hour less use on a pair of AA alkalines - that's still several weekends of cache hunting per set, or per charge for NiMH batteries. When running on the D-cells in the antenna handle unit though, power consumption is never really a concern.

 

It's also good to remember that these amped antennas aren't necessarily a cure-all. If you're in an area where something is actually interfering with the GPS signals on the same band, you may not see much improvement. The problem with amplified antennas is that they are indiscriminant - they will happily amplify the signal as well as the noise, and in certain situations, you may actually get better coverage by "running barefoot" without the amp.

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I picked up a Gilsson antenna for my eMap while out for a bike ride that passed near the GPSGeek office. I attach it to the top of my bike helmet with a piece of Velcro when cycling and sewed a little pocket inside a cap for use while hiking. The cable is longer than necessary so I coil it and use rubber bands to hold it under the eMap.

Reception is definitely improved; I think mainly by allowing a mounting position that's not blocked by any part of my body. It also makes it much more convenient to keep a lock when riding in planes/busses/trains.

There are still places in dense redwood forests where I can't get a signal, but there are many forested areas where I would get frequent drop-outs before and now get continuous tracklog data.

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Thanks for the replies.  Seamus, can you post a picture of your antenna rig? It sounds interesting. Where do you keep it while caching?

I'll post images as soon as I can get some taken.

 

As to where I keep it, I typically just hang on to it, or if I need hands free, I'll stuff it into the outside pocket of my cache bag. I should probably add a loop strap or something to it if I ever get around to it...

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You can always get a large washer and stick on the inside of your clothing say a hat or the shoulder of your coat and then the GPS antenna on the outside will stick to the washer through the clothing using the magnet.

 

As for extra wire just loop it up and use a couple bread sack twist ties.

 

As for a model to recommend I've been using the one from PC-Mobile and it's fantastic and cheap. I have the re-radiating setup hooked to my Etrex Vista and I've gone from 3 to 5 sat locks to 11 with all of them at 75% to 100% strength.

Edited by MacBandit
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To answer the questions about the PC-Mobile Re-Radiating antenna I love the thing. The links for the sales site and review have been kindly posted by someone else just about this post. Thank you.

 

As for real world use it's super-fantastic. Even out in the plain open I usually get no more then maybe 6 sat locks with my Etrex Vista when I turn on the Re-Radiating amplifier I will in most cases instantly pick up another 3-5 sats. Also I haven't had very good luck with WAAS were I live and with the antenna I can get 2 WAAS sats now sometimes simultaneously. My previous best all time accuracy was probably around 12 feet. My best in the few days I've been using the antenna is 6 feet with 2 WAAS sats driving down an east west road with tall thick trees on both sides of the road. Without the antenna I get no sats at all in my living room of my house. With the antenna I can get 5 locks and 20 foot accuracy in the same place in my house. The results are incredible and instantly verifiable. All I have to do is turn the amplifier on or off and I can watch the sats come and go on the display instantaneously. Also with the antenna I got a lock 265 miles from my home without having previously turned on the GPS so it was completely disoriented. When I turned it on with the antenna already on I got a position and lock within 20secs. The $50 for the re-radiating antenna is the best purchase I think I have ever made when it comes to GPS accessories. Also the Antenna and the Amplifier are separate pieces and the antenna has the proper connection to plug into most Garmin units including the 60CS I have on order.

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I concour with the external-antenna addition. A couple of days ago I was out wandering the woods finding property corners with my Garmin 176c (yea, its a big unit, but its all I gots!). I was in thick cover and it was cloudy with light rain. My stock antenna lost reception immediately but I had thrown in my mouse antenna in my bag and so I began using that. From that point on, I never lost 3d nav w/WAAS. I was able to find my points as well as keep an accurate track.

 

While the external antenna is a pain, I usually take it and wrap it around my brim hat. It stays up out of my way and also puts the antenna at the highest point (even though its only 5' 6" up, hehehehehe). I haven't really noticed *too* much battery drainage even though I know its there. I just deal with it since the advantages greatly outweigh the expense in the extra energy.

 

I recommend the external antenna. I also use my external antenna extensively in my automobiles and it makes a difference as well.

 

Max T.

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One more vote for the PC-Mobile antenna set-up. I use it with my vistas and my GPS V and it is great. Just for fun, I bought a second unit so I could dismantle the antenna in an effort to make it even lighter when I wear it on my head. Without too much trouble, I removed the thick metal base plate, stuffed some closed cell foam and aluminum foil, in case it would reflect some waves, into the plastic case and sealed it with duct tape. The magnets are small and light so I packed them in as well. It works fine in spite of my tinkering and I saved a couple of ounces, which is nice but not necessary.

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One more vote for the PC-Mobile antenna set-up. I use it with my vistas and my GPS V and it is great. Just for fun, I bought a second unit so I could dismantle the antenna in an effort to make it even lighter when I wear it on my head. Without too much trouble, I removed the thick metal base plate, stuffed some closed cell foam and aluminum foil, in case it would reflect some waves, into the plastic case and sealed it with duct tape. The magnets are small and light so I packed them in as well. It works fine in spite of my tinkering and I saved a couple of ounces, which is nice but not necessary.

Have you tried reducing the size of the amplifier?

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Another nice thing about using a reradiator is that you don't need to put the GPS in the windshield. I have mine mounted on a homemade mount that sits in a cupholder on my floor console, where I can easily see it. Without the external antenna I get essentially no signal, but when I turn on the amplifier I get maximum signal on all 12 satellites most of the time, assuming there are 12 in view.

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I have an old Lowrance Airmap 100 - which did fine until it turned spring and the leaf cover came out....though from reading this thread, maybe that's just the way it is.

 

The thing has some kind of proprietary antenna connector I think. It sounds like the pc-mobile antenna ought to work if I'm reading this right: any thoughts?

 

Also, what kind of antenna connector does the Garmin 60CS have (just in case I ever drop the old GSP?) - BNC or the other one?

 

thanks,

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The PC-Mobile antenna should work on any GPS. It uses a loop antenna which you put onto the built-in antenna using a rubber band to hold it in place. There is no permanent connection, it just uses reradiated RF energy to send to the built-in antenna. If your GPSr has a connection for an external antenna, either BNC or MCX, you can connect to that, also. Most newer GPSrs use an MCX connection, and I think the 60cs does also. BNC is becoming obsolete because of its size, at least on smaller electronic devices.

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I have an old Lowrance Airmap 100 - which did fine until it turned spring and the leaf cover came out....though from reading this thread, maybe that's just the way it is.

 

The thing has some kind of proprietary antenna connector I think. It sounds like the pc-mobile antenna ought to work if I'm reading this right: any thoughts?

 

Also, what kind of antenna connector does the Garmin 60CS have (just in case I ever drop the old GSP?) - BNC or the other one?

 

thanks,

I believe all the current Garmin GPSs that accept external antennas use the MCX connector. The 60c most definitely does.

 

Your lowrance sounds like it has the BNC connector. If you order the PC-Mobile antenna I would most definitely order the one with the MCX connector it will be most compatible with future GPSs that support an external antenna and for those that don't you will always have the re-radiating amplifier that you plug the antenna into.

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Have you tried reducing the size of the amplifier?

 

The amplifier for the PC-Mobile unit would be very small and light were it not for the 3 AA batteries in the case. I suspect it would work fine with 2 or 3 button cells, or AA lithiums to save weight. 2 would probably do the job, as the voltage is higher. I haven't done anything with it as, unlike the antenna, I carry the amp on my belt, not on top of my head.

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I believe all the current Garmin GPSs that accept external antennas use the MCX connector.

The V takes a BNC. I'm not sure if that's because it's older or because it was intended for "fixed" applications rather then hand-held use (but it works well that way)

 

If you know what model you're interested in, check. Garmin has it listed on the specs page under "interface".

 

But don't sweat it too hard. You can get adapter cables if you guess wrong.

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I believe all the current Garmin GPSs that accept external antennas use the MCX connector.

The V takes a BNC. I'm not sure if that's because it's older or because it was intended for "fixed" applications rather then hand-held use (but it works well that way)

 

If you know what model you're interested in, check. Garmin has it listed on the specs page under "interface".

 

But don't sweat it too hard. You can get adapter cables if you guess wrong.

I suspect it's just because of it's age. I just spent some time at the Garmin site researching and it seems all the new products use the MCX connector. All the older products say StreetPilot III and older are BNC.

 

Also I just found out that Garmin sells an MCX to BNC adaptor so that the older units can use there new external antennas which are apparently MCX only.

Edited by MacBandit
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Have you tried reducing the size of the amplifier?

 

The amplifier for the PC-Mobile unit would be very small and light were it not for the 3 AA batteries in the case. I suspect it would work fine with 2 or 3 button cells, or AA lithiums to save weight. 2 would probably do the job, as the voltage is higher. I haven't done anything with it as, unlike the antenna, I carry the amp on my belt, not on top of my head.

Thanks for the reply. I suspected that the unit could be greatly reduced in size if one wanted to change the battery compartment. My reasoning for this is two fold the antenna needs 2.5-5 volts to work correctly but only 12mAh of current. So even when you take power loss of the amplifier into the equation due to inefficiencies even a watch battery should be able to power it if it were a multicell type with 2.5-5volts. Just so everyone knows a typical AA Alkaline battery outputs around 2800-3000mAh so the current draw isn't the issue just the voltage. I just looked it up and a typical 3v watch battery can be had at up to 280mAh so that should do it. Though if you take in to account that they say you can get 100 hours or so off a set of batteries and use 2500mAh x 3 batteries that would get you a total draw of 75mAh so a watch battery could probably only power the unit for about 3 hours or less. Another option though would be to go to a single 6v battery about the size of a typical computer clock battery those should output around 3000 or more mAh and could be had in a rechargeable form.

 

I might have to look into this. It could be that the board inside the amplifier unit is as large as the case in which case size saving would not really be worth attempting.

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The PC-Mobile antenna should work on any GPS. It uses a loop antenna which you put onto the built-in antenna using a rubber band to hold it in place. There is no permanent connection, it just uses reradiated RF energy to send to the built-in antenna. If your GPSr has a connection for an external antenna, either BNC or MCX, you can connect to that, also. Most newer GPSrs use an MCX connection, and I think the 60cs does also. BNC is becoming obsolete because of its size, at least on smaller electronic devices.

Thanks for the help everybody! I just bought one. I'll post with performance if I find anything worth noting.

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The PC-Mobile antenna should work on any GPS.  It uses a loop antenna which you put onto the built-in antenna using a rubber band to hold it in place.  There is no permanent connection, it just uses reradiated RF energy to send to the built-in antenna.  If your GPSr has a connection for an external antenna, either BNC or MCX, you can connect to that, also.  Most newer GPSrs use an MCX connection, and I think the 60cs does also.  BNC is becoming obsolete because of its size, at least on smaller electronic devices.

Thanks for the help everybody! I just bought one. I'll post with performance if I find anything worth noting.

Sounds good I'm sure from my own experience that you will be very satisfied. Also don't be alarmed when they email that it's shipped from Hong Kong.

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Though if you take in to account that they say you can get 100 hours or so off a set of batteries and use 2500mAh x 3 batteries that would get you a total draw of 75mAh so a watch battery could probably only power the unit for about 3 hours or less.

Depending on how you connect the batteries, either the voltage adds or the mAh adds. Not both.

 

Typically batteries are connected to add voltages. Connecting them in parallel is not always a good idea because the strong battery tends to end up charging a weak one and you loose power.

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In this case the batteries are in series, to get the voltage up to a nominal 4.5V. It will work with the voltage much lower. As the voltage drops, the blue LED light dims, so you can sort of judge the amount of power left. Using NiMH rechargeables, I get a long, long time between charges, even if I forget and leave the thing on all day, which is easy to do in bright sunlight, with the battery pack in a container hanging on my AC vent. I generally recharge the batteries weekly, whether they need it or not, and I've never seen the light dim very much.

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Though if you take in to account that they say you can get 100 hours or so off a set of batteries and use 2500mAh x 3 batteries that would get you a total draw of 75mAh so a watch battery could probably only power the unit for about 3 hours or less.

Depending on how you connect the batteries, either the voltage adds or the mAh adds. Not both.

 

Typically batteries are connected to add voltages. Connecting them in parallel is not always a good idea because the strong battery tends to end up charging a weak one and you loose power.

Thanks, duh elementary physics. I'll have to take some time to recalculate.

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Just looked at the pc-mobile site. Their active antenna is supposed to work with the Garmin GPS-II+, but they don't list the GPS-II. I have one w/ sw V2.05. Yeah, I know, it's ancient. But it has sentimental value.

 

They say input voltage 2.5-5v.. so it expects the GPS unit to supply the voltage across the antenna connection? Ok.. but the GPS-II has 4 AA cells in series which makes 6v. Do you think it will work?

 

On another note...

 

I came into the forum today to find somewhere to tell folks that I was sorting through a box of old cables today and I found some thinwire ethernet cables. I said "Hmm.." and proceeded to put one of these cables (and a BNC tee) between my GPS-II and its antenna. It seemed to work fine with 4 meters of 50 ohm cable between the antenna and the unit. I really should have a barrel instaed of a tee to shield things better but I couldn't lay my hands on one. I haven't used thinwire in 5 or six years at least! Anyway, if I don't buy a new antenna I will probably try putting my GPS antenna on my hat, or on my pack frame, or something. Just to get my hands free ! THe "statue of liberty" pose is kind of a pita after a while...

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Just looked at the pc-mobile site. Their active antenna is supposed to work with the Garmin GPS-II+, but they don't list the GPS-II. I have one w/ sw V2.05. Yeah, I know, it's ancient. But it has sentimental value.

 

They say input voltage 2.5-5v.. so it expects the GPS unit to supply the voltage across the antenna connection? Ok.. but the GPS-II has 4 AA cells in series which makes 6v. Do you think it will work?

 

On another note...

 

I came into the forum today to find somewhere to tell folks that I was sorting through a box of old cables today and I found some thinwire ethernet cables. I said "Hmm.." and proceeded to put one of these cables (and a BNC tee) between my GPS-II and its antenna. It seemed to work fine with 4 meters of 50 ohm cable between the antenna and the unit. I really should have a barrel instaed of a tee to shield things better but I couldn't lay my hands on one. I haven't used thinwire in 5 or six years at least! Anyway, if I don't buy a new antenna I will probably try putting my GPS antenna on my hat, or on my pack frame, or something. Just to get my hands free ! THe "statue of liberty" pose is kind of a pita after a while...

You could email them and ask? I would expect that it would work but I can't say for sure. It would most definitely work inductively.

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I have an old Lowrance Airmap 100 - which did fine until it turned spring and the leaf cover came out....though from reading this thread, maybe that's just the way it is.

 

The thing has some kind of proprietary antenna connector I think. It sounds like the pc-mobile antenna ought to work if I'm reading this right: any thoughts?

I'm reporting back as threatened. I've been out a few times with my new pc-mobile antenna and am very happy with it, it nicely improves reception in difficult conditions as others have posted. Have to figure out some sort of carrying method though. I'd been blithely telling friends I can't wait to walk around with an antenna on my head, but when it comes to actually doing it, I am strangely reluctant.

 

I do have one additional sort of related story to tell. It happened that around the same time it turned spring and the leaf cover came out (see quote), the battery drained all the way down and the GPS reset itself back to default conditions. No problem, I went through it turning off all the air map alarms, resetting the screen updates to time & 1 second, etc. However, there was one default I missed....

 

Anybody ever hear of Position Pinning on a Lowrance GPS? It is an old SA-oriented "feature" that if your velocity fell very low, less than walking speed, like IF YOU WERE SEARCHING FOR A CACHE IN THE IMMEDIATE VICINITY, it doesn't do any screen updates. Just sits there with the last distance and bearing up. This was to keep the SA-induced jitter from making your trail map ugly, or something. And - I only figured this out yesterday - Position Pinning ON is the default.

 

Imagine the effect of this if you're trying to find a cache. Aaaaarrrggghhh...no wonder everything got so difficult recently. I thought it wasn't updating because it was losing accuracy from the leaf cover. Should have RTFM more carefully in the first place.

 

Turned the option to off, went out today, found a 4-part multicache unbelievably fast (for me). It would be funny if it weren't so sad. Anyway, I am STILL glad I got the antenna, because it really does help.

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The PC-Mobile antenna will work with any GPS. It uses a reradiating antenna, which you attach to the GPS over the built-in antenna using a rubber band. It doesn't use the GPS batteries, it takes 3 AA cells inside the antenna amplifier. What you get is a box, which has the electronics and holds the batteries, with wires coming out on 2 sides. One wire ends in a loop, and this is what you place on your GPS, using a rubber band to hold it. The other wire has a small box on the other end, which is the antenna, and this antenna has magnets inside, to hold it on top of your car, or on top of your hat with a large washer inside. Sounds complicated, but it's simple to use. Just put in 3 batteries, put the antenna where it can see the sky, put the loop end underneath a rubber band (supplied) around your GPS, slide the switch to ON, and watch your signal strength max out on all available satellites.

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I got my Gilsson and had a chance take it out caching. It definitly improves reception. Surprisingly I was recieve signals inside my house. While out caching it helped quite a bit. However there were still a number of spots with nothing more than a leaves above that it there was no signal at all. While it was a definite improvement, I was hoping it would work a tad better for those caches in heavy tree covered areas. The main problem I had was finding a good place to put it while caching. Mostly I just held it in my hand for that the last 80 feet or so. I think the clip idea has some merit.

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Holding it in your hand isn't an ideal solution. Your hand will block the GPS signals if it covers the antenna. There is more than enough water in your hand to completely block the weak GPS signals. You need to have the antenna somewhere it can see the sky, either on top of your head, or on your pack, or on your shoulder. The problem with the shoulder and pack locations is that your head will block any signals it intercepts. I put mine on top of my hat, and it works pretty well.

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The PC-Mobile antenna will work with any GPS. It uses a reradiating antenna, which you attach to the GPS over the built-in antenna using a rubber band. It doesn't use the GPS batteries, it takes 3 AA cells inside the antenna amplifier. What you get is a box, which has the electronics and holds the batteries, with wires coming out on 2 sides. One wire ends in a loop, and this is what you place on your GPS, using a rubber band to hold it. The other wire has a small box on the other end, which is the antenna, and this antenna has magnets inside, to hold it on top of your car, or on top of your hat with a large washer inside. Sounds complicated, but it's simple to use. Just put in 3 batteries, put the antenna where it can see the sky, put the loop end underneath a rubber band (supplied) around your GPS, slide the switch to ON, and watch your signal strength max out on all available satellites.

You can get the antenna without the inductive amplifier. In this situation I do not know for sure if it will work on a 6v system. It's just a normal GPS antenna but it does have a higher gain and a different voltage and amperage draw then a lot of antennas out there.

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I got my Gilsson and had a chance take it out caching. It definitly improves reception. Surprisingly I was recieve signals inside my house. While out caching it helped quite a bit. However there were still a number of spots with nothing more than a leaves above that it there was no signal at all. While it was a definite improvement, I was hoping it would work a tad better for those caches in heavy tree covered areas. The main problem I had was finding a good place to put it while caching. Mostly I just held it in my hand for that the last 80 feet or so. I think the clip idea has some merit.

Get a large metal washer and put inside your hat and then stick the antenna to the washer from the outside of the hat.

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Get a large metal washer and put inside your hat and then stick the antenna to the washer from the outside of the hat.

I prefer to sew a little fabric pocket on the inside of the top of my cap. Advantages are that I don't have the weight of a metal washer on top of my head, I can take the magnets out of the Gilsson antenna to reduce its weight, and it hides the antenna so I don't get comments about the odd thing on top of my head.

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Get a large metal washer and put inside your hat and then stick the antenna to the washer from the outside of the hat.

I prefer to sew a little fabric pocket on the inside of the top of my cap. Advantages are that I don't have the weight of a metal washer on top of my head, I can take the magnets out of the Gilsson antenna to reduce its weight, and it hides the antenna so I don't get comments about the odd thing on top of my head.

That's not a bad option but I use the washer method because I hike in the rain. If you hike in the rain and you have the antenna covered by a piece of material the chances are the material with the combination of water will inhibit reception. I most often carry the antenna on my shoulder.

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I guess I am still a little confused about this PC mobile antenna even after reading all of this discussion. I have a Garmin Legend now, so I assume that I would simply attach the loop of the PC mobile antenna to the Legend using the rubberband and I am good to go.

 

I'll probably be buying a Garmin 60C soon. I believe the 60C has an attachment place for an external antenna. It was mentioned in this discussion that if the GPSr has an external antenna connector it can be attached to the PC mobile antenna. How so? Do I need an additional adaptor to attach the loop on the PC mobile antenna to the external antenna connection on the 60C? Or do I simply use the rubber band to attach the loop again? A more secure connection than a rubberband would be nice on the 60C.

 

Thanks

 

Dave

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The antenna is connected to the amplifier section with a standard connector. If you have a GPS that accepts an external antenna, you can just disconnect it from the amp and connect it to the GPS, or you can rubberband the reradiating antenna to the internal antenna, whichever you prefer. The antenna won't be amplified if you connect it directly to the external jack, but it will still work better than the internal antenna. DO NOT get the BNC connector unless you have a very old GPS and know that it has a BNC connector for an external antenna. Those connectors are very large, and generally no longer used.

 

And yes, just put the rubber band around your Legend above the display, over the patch antenna (you can see it through the translucent top portion) and insert the loop of the reradiating antenna, turn it on, and you're good to go.

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The antenna won't be amplified if you connect it directly to the external jack, but it will still work better than the internal antenna.

The external antenna is an active type with a built-in amplifier which is powered by the GPS receiver through the ext. antenna jack.

So just connect the antenna portion of the PC-Mobile device directly to the MCX jack on the 60c. No need for the re-radiating loop portion or the AAA battery holder.

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So you are saying that by simply connecting the external antenna to the MCX jack on the 60C, it actually is amplified by the batteries within the GPSr itself? So this would cause additional battery drain on the batteries within the 60C?

 

So has anyone experimented with this to find out which is better? The loop and rubberband around the 60C with the re-radiator or just connecting the antenna portion of the PC Mobile device directly to the 60C using the MCX jack? Which gives you a better signal or would it be roughly the same?

 

Also, could we assume that the PC mobile unit is better than the Gilsson unit because it draws 12mA of power compared to the Gilsson's 7mA? Does this mean better sat reception for the PC mobile than the Gilsson based on power consumption?

Edited by GrnXnham
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So you are saying that by simply connecting the external antenna to the MCX jack on the 60C, it actually is amplified by the batteries within the GPSr itself? So this would cause additional battery drain on the batteries within the 60C?

 

So has anyone experimented with this to find out which is better? The loop and rubberband around the 60C with the re-radiator or just connecting the antenna portion of the PC Mobile device directly to the 60C using the MCX jack? Which gives you a better signal or would it be roughly the same?

I have not really experimented with it on my 60cs but will do so if you wish. The only issue I have with the PC Mobile antenna when connected directly to the 60 is that it is a really pain to get disconnected from the GPS. You practically need a pair of needle nose pliers to remove the connector because it's so small and fits so tight.

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PC-Mobile Re-Radiating antenna.

 

When I attach the re-radiating loop to my GPSMAP 60CS antenna my signal strength actually deteriorates.

 

When I connect the antenna portion of the PC-Mobile directly to the MCX jack the signal strength improves, and is superior to the 60CS built in antenna.

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PC-Mobile Re-Radiating antenna.

 

When I attach the re-radiating loop to my GPSMAP 60CS antenna my signal strength actually deteriorates.

 

When I connect the antenna portion of the PC-Mobile directly to the MCX jack the signal strength improves, and is superior to the 60CS built in antenna.

I'll test mine as well to verify that this is the case on multiple units. I'll get back on this soon.

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ok so ive been lurking for a few days, and appear to be in the minority with my meridian gold. :back:

 

I get decent/good reception under dense tree coverage, but im considering an external antenna for when im in the truck. I noticed the Magellan version just seems to screw on to the back (were everything else also screws in :lol: ) so i was wondering

 

1) can you just solder a length of wire onto the existing screw thingies (ya that?s the official term) of, say the cig adapter?

 

or

 

2) buy the external antenna, cut the screw thingie off it and solder it to the cig adapter screw?

 

same would go for the wrist strap, just solder it to that screw when out in the field?

Edited by schmism
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