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2 Questions About External Antennas

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I just received my external antenna from GPS Central.ca and so far it works great! 2 questions about this though:


1. When I look at my satellite page, the signals go higher than the top line. Is this normal?


2. Why the heck don't they build such a sensetive antenna into the GPS in the first place?

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2. Why the heck don't they build such a sensetive antenna into the GPS in the first place?

Size, power requirements, cost....


Plus the big advantage with an external is that you can place it where it gets the best coverage and not have to put it where you can see it. Have you ever noticed how much better reception your GPS will get if you hold it up high with a clear view of the sky?

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1. Yes, sounds normal.

2. Greater sensitivity is not always a good thing, especially if the GPS antenna is placed where it has an obstructed view. In that case it might pick up weak reflected signals from satellites where the direct line-of-sight signal is blocked. The reflected signal will have a greater travel time and will result in an inaccurate calculation of your position (multi-path interference).


As mentioned by JeepCachr above, external antennas are usually placed in less obstructed locations so a bit more sensitivity is alright. In addition, there are marketing advantages for greater sensitivity in an external antenna since the increased signal strength is the first thing that will be noticed by consumers.

Edited by peter
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