When it comes to external GPS antennas that are naturally equipped with an in-dash navigation receiver, there are a few simple guiding rules to follow during their installation. Topping the list here is that you should not make any attempt to modify or cut the antenna in any way. Second, it is a cardinal rule that they remain perpetually connected to the GPS satellites that are orbiting the earth. This is the reason why you must mount them to your car in such a way that there is not going to be much signal interference.
Most of the time, GPS antennas can be mounted on the topmost part of your dash (above or behind the receiver). Nowadays, it is safe to say that satellite signals are more reliable and stronger than ever and this should be more than enough for these antennas to maintain good reception. It is also helpful in keeping the GPS antenna for the car out of sight.
The vast majority of technicians recommend mounting GPS with antenna either along the rear deck or on the dash itself. Provided that it is not in close range to a 2-way antenna or A-pillars and has a clear path to the sky, it should work okay and good.
Under the following conditions, you will want to mount your antenna on your vehicle’s exteriors:
- Your car/auto does have a wired rear defroster
- Your car or auto does have metallic window tint
- Your car window is a solar reflective type
- You radio antenna have a windshield-mounted
If your GPS for car antenna comes with an attached metal sheet or plate, you must ensure that they have a solid connection and are as level as possible. Normally, there is some kind of adhesive solution used here just so the antenna will remain in place. You will need to route your GPS antenna car wire along with your dashboard rear receiver, or through a door seal or window, whichever is most practical and applicable.
Receivers equipped with a video screen need to have a couple of additional wire connections that are not necessary for non-touch screen stereos. Let us delve deep into some of them here.
Parking brake wire connection
For safety concerns, if the front of the car is equipped with a video screen you must see to it that it is connected to the parking brake wire. The same thing is also applicable to GPS systems. While the vehicle is in motion, some of these advanced navigation functions will be deactivated.
Say, for instance, you want to search out a particular phone number, or that you want to make some tweaks on the unit’s default settings, the first thing you need to do is to pull over. Foot brake connection may be necessitated but this doesn’t happen very often.
Amplified Against Passive GPS Antennas
There are two classifications for external GPS antennas, they are either amplified or passive antenna. If they only receive GPS signals and transmit this to a GPS navigation device, we qualify them as passive. The active ones come with a powered-up amplifier which helps give a boost to the signal power.
Compared to a passive antenna, the active type of antenna comes with more installation challenges and a bit more expensive, too. Besides, you can also have it installed at a greater distance from your GPS. Most of the time, a passive antenna must be installed using a coaxial cable that is no more than 3 feet. Active antennas work better with larger vehicles since you can install them further away.