The Super Re-Radiator in your GPShack

Tri-M sent me their most recent GPS re-radiating kit, called 'WIDE GPS' The kit consists of a Mighty Mouse active GPS patch antenna, an active (20 dB) helix re-radiating element with integrated voltage regulator, and a power cord with car cigarette lighter connector (it operates between 8 and 30 VDC) . Although the specs claim it can be used in vehicles, trains, ships, aircraft (I don't think your pilot will be happy when you use this device !), lab and office, I believe the kit finds its major application in the latter two: laboratory and office.

The specs claim 'good signal reception' to a distance of 2 meters. In my experimental set-up with the Mighty Mouse on top of my roof (with an unobstructed view to the sky) and the re-radiator mounted upside down to the ceiling of my GPShack I obtained normal signal reception bars on my Garmin 12XL at distances up to 2 meters, and nearly everywhere sufficient signal reception up to 5 m! Wow !

And it became even better: I replaced the Mighty Mouse with its Big Brother, a GPS antenna which delivers some 4 dB more gain (see my antenna table). Consistent normal reception up to 4 m distance between re-radiator and receiver !

I am very happy with this performance, and I think Tri-M should name the kit 'Great Re-Radiator' because of its superior performance. This kit has gained a permanent place in my GPS shack. It enables all stationary experiments to be carried out inside, without fiddling around with coax cables, 5 different types of RF connectors, or the re-radiator of Tri-M's earlier Big Brother kit.

And you can use as many receivers as fit on your desk. So, you can run non-moving comparison tests on your receivers.

Of course you can also use the kit inside your car or camper. Most probably you'll have proper reception when your receiver 'sees' the re-radiator.

Two words of caution:

  1. The RF cable of the Mighty Mouse has a length of 5 meters. This may not be sufficient for your location. RG-174 RF cable attenuates the signals by 1.4 dB/meter. Adding a few meters of this cable will consume the excess power rapidly. For long cable runs low-loss cable such as RG-8 (= more expensive and a larger diameter) is recommended.
  2. To avoid feedback and damage to the antennas the re-radiator should not see the Mighty Mouse.

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