Here is information on the two main types of GPS units
available and how to ensure that each of
these will work as well as possible.
How They Work
Most people think of a GPS as an easy way to find
locations and get directions.
They fail to realize what a delicate and sophisticated piece of equipment
they are dealing with. A GPS uses an antenna to send and receive signals from
satellites that can be used to detect the unit’s location and to provide
directions to locations that users program into the unit.
Types of GPS Units
There are two types of GPS units that are available. Many cars are now coming with integrated GPS systems. These are set up to allow the antenna to have unobstructed access to the sky so that they can function properly. There are also portable units that can be moved from vehicle to vehicle and used while on foot as well.
Older GPS units were quite large and unwieldy compared to more modern units. They were quite large and were often quite heavy as well. The units all featured external antennas that provided the reception these units needed to access satellite information. These units are now much more streamlined and are often smaller and lighter. One huge change is that antennas are now internal although it is possible to get extended antennas for use in automobiles. These integrated units are also used within vehicle tracking systems as well as general journey navigation.
Positioning Your Portable GPS Unit
When using a portable GPS unit it is important to position it properly in the car. This is because without an unobstructed view for the antenna the unit cannot function properly. If you are using a portable unit you have two options to enable it to have the unobstructed antenna access that will allow it to get accurate satellite information.
One option is to use a suction cup mount that will position the GPS on your windshield. This means that nothing will obstruct the antenna and reception will often be much improved. Unfortunately, unless your unit is quite large it may be difficult to see the screen and this can lead to unsafe driving conditions.
If you need to position your GPS unit closer to the steering wheel it may be necessary to purchase an extended antenna that will increase signal strength and help to improve your reception while still giving you a clearer view of your screen.