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GPS antenna location

Discussion in 'Ask All Sailors' started by kimelmore, Feb 16, 2017 at 7:52 PM. Add this thread to a FAQ

  1. kimelmore

    kimelmore

    Joined Dec 28, 2010
    344 posts, 59 likes
    Catalina 380
    US Southern California san pedro
    Logic says that the best place for the new GPS antenna is on the rail not on top of the radar mast due to the swing of the boat while sailing. I'm inviting opinions.
     


  2. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    3,053 posts, 152 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca. KF6BL
    If your radar mast is gimbaled then there is no issue. However, just so you know, one of my handheld GPSs is located in the cabin and I have some degradation but not enough to kill the connection.

    Off topic here but, I enjoy it when I see satellite TV antennas high on the house. As if the height is going to improve the reception. 100% of the time, if there is no interference, the dishes are placed high so the logo can be seen. Satellite dishes work as well at ground level as long as there is not blockage of the signal.

    My point being, GPS is not Satellite TV nor is it INMARSAT. GPS has a fleet of satellites always moving so anywhere you put the antenna should receive at a minimum of 3 birds, which is all that is needed for a fix. So put it on the combing, the rail, the coachroof... anywhere should be fine as long as it is not in the way of safe boat operations. And, I would recommend a short cable run to whatever the antenna is connect to.
     


    pateco and Rick D like this.
  3. kimelmore

    kimelmore

    Joined Dec 28, 2010
    344 posts, 59 likes
    Catalina 380
    US Southern California san pedro
    Thanks Brian. I've used a hand held up to this point and never had a problem just laying it on the cushion next to me. I am not enough into TV to want a satellite system unless the price comes way, way down. I'm not going the gimbaled route, just a straight mast with a hoop for antennas. I'll put the Standby VHF, AM/FM, WX/Sirius, and AIS antenna on the hoop above the radar dome. Looks like I'll put the GPS antenna on the rail where the old one was. I hope I can run all the cables thru the hoop...
     


  4. jssailem

    jssailem

    Joined Oct 22, 2014
    1,340 posts, 203 likes
    CAL 35 Cruiser
    US Salem, Moored Port Everett WA
    Depends on the antenna. I was surprised when I installed the Vesper AIS gps antenna in the cabin. It was recognizing 9 -10 satellites at strength levels 7 and above sitting on the nav table.
     


  5. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    3,053 posts, 152 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca. KF6BL
    Kimble, the satellite TV was being used as an example only. Wasn't implying that you are going to install SatTV. LOL
     


  6. kimelmore

    kimelmore

    Joined Dec 28, 2010
    344 posts, 59 likes
    Catalina 380
    US Southern California san pedro
    I know Brian I was laughing along with you. It's good to know that we can have a bit of fun here and tweak a nose or two in jest.
     


  7. kimelmore

    kimelmore

    Joined Dec 28, 2010
    344 posts, 59 likes
    Catalina 380
    US Southern California san pedro
    Someone did ask me if I was going to install a beer tap at the helm when I was describing the electronics installation. LOL*
     


  8. Kermit

    Kermit

    Joined Jul 31, 2010
    3,053 posts, 490 likes
    Hunter 260
    US Sumter, SC Lake Murray Sailing Club, SC
    You mean you're not? Sounds like the perfect mod for singlehanding.
     


  9. Brian D

    Brian D Moderator

    Joined Feb 17, 2006
    3,053 posts, 152 likes
    Lancer 27PS
    US MCB Camp Pendleton, Ca. KF6BL
    Yeah, what's up with that? I have a beer tap in the port side lazerette. I thought it was standard equipment. :poke:
     


    flynhi4u and Kermit like this.
  10. JohnShannon

    JohnShannon

    Joined Jan 4, 2010
    516 posts, 29 likes
    Farr 30
    US San Francisco
    GPS chips have gotten better, and boats have remained about the same. So what didn't work 10 yrs ago can work today.
     


  11. flynhi4u

    flynhi4u

    Joined Oct 28, 2013
    460 posts, 76 likes
    Hunter 20
    US Lake Monroe
    Someone mention beer tap???

    Sam
     


  12. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    3,430 posts, 261 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    I have three satellite antenna on my radar pole, GPS and Sirius. No problem. The arc of movement is nothing compared to the geometry of the triangulation, and you don't have worry about your Brother-in-Law knocking it loose with a boat hook :redface:
     


  13. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    6,069 posts, 622 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    While it will not mess up your location, it might mess with your SOG reading. Luckily most devices do a running average of readings over time to null that out.
     


  14. Gunni

    Gunni

    Joined Mar 16, 2010
    3,430 posts, 261 likes
    Beneteau 411 Oceanis
    US Annapolis
    So interrogatory, since you are in the biz; if my nav GPS sys. is set to something like 10 sec read, do I really care what sort of wag my pole in doing? I mean after all, I am in a groove and sailing on a clean tack- the antenna rotates...like nominal. Never see the SOG dancing around, so I assume the answer is "no problem". Asking.
     


  15. Jackdaw

    Jackdaw

    Joined Nov 8, 2010
    6,069 posts, 622 likes
    Beneteau First 36.7 & 260
    US Minneapolis MN & Bayfield WI
    No problem. Generally. The devices have smoothing algorithms that null out variances in calculated course and reported speed.
     


    Gunni likes this.

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