We have a handful of simple rules to follow when it comes to the use and the installation of external GPS antennas for cars, particularly those that are equipped with an in-dash navigation receiver. One rule of thumb to know is that no matter what happens, never try to cut or make any kind of physical alteration to the antenna.
Paramount also to the proper functioning of optimal GPS antennas is that they should always remain in constant contact with GPS satellites. These man-made satellites that are orbiting the earth from outer space provide the necessary data needed by these antennas. Otherwise, the information you will obtain from them will always be questionable in terms of accuracy and reliability. For this reason, you need to mount them in such a manner that its signal won’t be suffering from interference.
Ideally, the external type of GPS antenna can be mounted near the top of your dash, particularly on the underside. Nowadays, satellite signals are so strong which is sufficient in maintaining reliable reception. Aside from this, it will also help in keeping the antenna out of the line of sight.
If your receivers are equipped with a video screen, they are likely to require several extra wire connections that are not necessary to have in non-touchscreen stereos. Let us delve deeper at every single one of them.
Reverse Signal Wire Connections
A handful of navigation systems also allow for connection to your car’s reverse signal wire (backup light). Making use of this connection will signify your vehicle’s navigation system when it is moving or traveling in a reverse direction. Without hooking up this wire, your vehicle direction is not likely to track properly. Hence, your external GPS antenna is not going to efficiently deliver its expected function.
There are instances that the reverse wire can be located under the hood or the dash. For this, it is better that you refer to your vehicle’s dedicated wiring diagram just so you will correctly identify it. It is much easier and more convenient to tap into it, particularly at the taillight.
Parking Brake Wire Connection
For safety concerns, if the car is equipped with a video screen at the front, it should be connected to the wire for the parking brake. The same thing also applies to GPS systems, too. Sometimes, the more highly advanced navigation functionality is unusable as they’re disabled while the vehicle remains in motion.
Say for instance that you want to search out a particular phone number or make some changes to the unit’s default settings, you are necessitated to pull over first before access to it can be made available to you again. In rare cases, a foot brake connection would be necessary.
Use Connectors for Wired Connections
When it comes to wired connections, connectors will provide you with secure and quick twist-on connections. Besides, they can be reused over and over, too. For these types of connections, you’ll want to tap into currently existing wires sans the need to make alterations or cutting it.
This is one effective way you can get strong connections, fast and easy. Soldering or crimping are also considered good alternatives if you feel you are at greater ease and more comfortable in using those methods instead.
The installation of an in-dash GPS receiver may require a few more extra steps beyond the usual stereo installation.