GPS antenna comparison

antennaI’m using different GPS antennas with different price, size and gain and I had never compared the result in a real live test. So now it is done and the result are good to share.

My test condition are quite bad and we can’t really consider this as a scientific bench but, experimentally it sounds like a real life test.

So the test is to connect an antenna to a TD1204 with a GPS code on it and test the time it makes to fix the position and get some note about signal level, satellites in view… I used in fact 2 TD1204 : one with a reference antenna to ensure we have equivalent condition from one test to the others. The tests are made indoor where the sensitivity is an important factor. This post detail the results.

For this test I measured 3 indicators:

  • The time to fix, you can have an interval when the multiple run gave different values.
  • The level 4, corresponding to the signal level for the 4 best satellites
  • The available sat @ 120s, corresponding of the number of available satellites at after this duration.

The reference antenna and best one is an Taoglas AP.17F

  • Size : 23 x 22 x 8
  • Price : 11.7€
  • Gain : 26dB
  • Fix duration : 50s
  • Level 4 : 45-38
  • Sat @ 120 : 7

The smallest antenna : a taoglas AP.12F

  • Size 12 x 12 x 3.5
  • Price : 14.5€
  • Gain : 24dB
  • Fix duration : 60s – 94s
  • Level 4 : 39-31
  • Sat @ 120 : 6

The inventek ACTPAT 182

  • Size 18 x 18 x 5
  • Price : 7.21€
  • Gain : 28dB
  • Fix duration : 64s – 91s
  • Level 4 : 40-31
  • Sat @ 120 : 5 – 7

The inventek ACTPAT 184

  • Size 18 x 18 x 7
  • Price : 7.1€
  • Gain : 28dB
  • Fix duration : 104s – 177s
  • Level 4 : 41-31
  • Sat @120 : 5

The inventek ACTPAT 254

  • Size 25 x 25 x 8
  • Price : 7.42€
  • Gain : 28dB
  • Fix duration : 115s
  • Level 4 : 43-34
  • Sat @120 : 5

The Yaego ANT1212

  • Size 12 x 12 x 6
  • Price : 11€
  • Gain : 25dB
  • Fix duration : 202s
  • Level 4 : 36-31
  • Sat @120 : 5

The Adafruit 2460

  • Size 9 x 9 x 6.5
  • Price : 4.5€
  • Gain : -2dB
  • Fix duration : infinite (never fix)
  • Level 4 : 20
  • Sat @120 : 1

To complete this post, here is a nice pdf with a large choice of GPS antenna survey, it contains basically the list of available antennas with the constructor parameters.

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