Unfortunately, for boat owners discoveries of equipment failure often temper with the “Joys of Spring”. Usually when you power up your electronics for the first time, after a winter layup. It is usually the sensors and aerials that suffer the most. As a result of there permanent location outside in a very hostile environment.
One of the antennas that can fail is the GPS antenna. This can really mess up your precious sailing time where we are so heavily reliant on GPS these days. Gone are the days of the DR plot.
There are basically two types of GPS antenna. The first being the traditional passive antenna, that is literally just an aerial (with a 3v or 5v pre-amplifier inside). The second option is the “smart” GPS antenna that has the all the GPS receiver electronics built-in to the antenna. To tell which antenna you have, just check the cable or connector. A coax cable (like a TV aerial) with either a TNC or BNC (most common connectors for GPS aerials) is a traditional passive antenna. If it is a cable with multiple separately isolated wires inside or a multi pin connector, then it will be a “smart” GPS antenna.
Digital Yacht produce both a traditional Passive GPS Antenna and a “Smart” TriNav GPS Antenna. These provide perfect drop in replacements. This can be for any of the old marine GPS antennas that are currently in use on boats. Whatever the make or model, the chances are that one of these Digital Yacht antennas will be suitable.
Our Passive GPS Antenna (Part No X500.391) can work from either a 3v or 5v pre-amplifier supply voltage. It has a small FME connector to make it easy to feed the cable through the boat. We also supplu an FME to TNC adaptor which will fit most GPS units. Alternatively, you can easily get an FME to BNC adaptor if your GPS has the less common BNC connector. You can purchase this from any good electronics shop.
Our GPS160 TriNav smart GPS antenna (Part No ZDIGGPS160) has the very latest GPS receiver technology inside and with its simple two wire NMEA0183 output can be connected to a wide variety of Chart Plotters, VHF Radios, etc. including Garmin, Raymarine, Icom, Standard Horizon, Furuno, Lowrance, etc.
Both antennas feature a standard 1″x14TPI thread integral mount, so that you can mount to standard VHF brackets. For more information or to get wiring diagrams for specific makes and models of chart potters and radios, please contact us.