Dedicated GPS/Cellular antenna setup

TaTaco

New member
Good evening everyone,

So after doing some reading, I've decided I want to install a dedicated navigation system into my Tacoma. I'm not the most tech savvy person, but can figure most things out through research, just don't ask me to some coding. I really like the idea of the tablet/GPS antenna idea.

Here is were I'm sure I'm missing something. In my head, this seams like a good idea, but I don't understand a lot of the technical aspects to GPS and Wifi. The more I read the less I know.
Capture.JPG

As you can see from my attached diagram I have found all the cables and adapters to connect everything together. Will all this work, probably. Will it work well, that I don't know.

Let me start with the antenna. I'd like to spend a little more here to get something that will function properly and receive the best signal for my devices. This is the Antenna Plus MIMO/LTE. I like the style of this antenna and am not scared to put a hole in my roof if it truly is the best option. It will provide signal to my Nighthawk M1 and to this USB GPS Module Antenna.

What I have right now on hand are the M1 and a Samsung tablet. I'm currently deployed and am waiting on the tablet model to ensure it is what I need and is compatible with Navigation apps. I have seen some pretty mediocre reviews on this device, so I'm not completely committed to it. I have access to Netgear M2s as well, Just haven't seen how well they do in the states.

I want these items to allow for seamless navigation while in the back country, and the best wifi signal I can get when out traveling as well. I don't need the wifi to stream video games, but it need to do basic internet functions for work related tasks. Navigation will be through one or two apps (Turn by turn and Overlanding) to get me to where I want to go.

Thank you in advance. Hope this spawns some good conversation.

Tataco.
 

Rando

Explorer
I gave some advice in your other thread - to recap, no need for a GPS antenna, and generally no need for a cellular router if you already have a smart phone with hotspot capabilities.
 
Does the Tacoma not have a built in LTE modem and hotspot? My ZR2 has it built in. Works great.

I can see using a dedicated GPS antenna though. They are much more accurate then what’s in a typical tablet with higher update frequency.

If you really wanted to go this route, I would do an LTE tablet like a cellular IPad Mini and a Garmin GLO Bluetooth GPS hardwired to an ignition source.

No hole in the roof, far less complicated than all the adapters and boxes your proposing. Everything would be controlled from your fingertips and no issue of hardware compatibility.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Photobug

Well-known member
I can see the need for a type of cell phone booster and router, just not for navigation purposes. You should have the maps you needed for your trip downloaded before you leave home or before you leave the pavement. I am going to guess that even with a lot of specialized antennas and boosters, you won't be getting reliable cellular signal into the backcountry. The right GPS, or pad will have a built in GPS.

I can see the need for a cell signal booster only to be able to get some information while camping at night.
 

Joe917

Explorer
We have used a Samsung Galaxy 10 with built in GPS on a RAM mount from Alaska to Ushuaia no problem. Tested head to head with Garmin Nuvi, more accurate by far.
Try running Maps.me Free software using openstreetmaps data.
 

TaTaco

New member
Thank you for your replies.

Denver Dave,

I didn't think I was over complicating this. I figured a dedicated antenna would provide better signal being mounted outside the cab. Especially for the wifi I'm wanting. That's mostly for my wife's work.

Rondo,

I agree my cell phone can do everything, but I don't want to rely on it for guidance.

JP,

Yes the Bluetooth is simple and easy. I didn't want to rely on another electronic device and worry about the BT connection.

The one piece I agree is overly complicated is that GPS adapter. I'm not able to find a USB to SMA adapter. That was on I saw, and there are others that resemble a thumb drive. I guess there needs to be some kind of hardware to make that transition.

With the Bluetooth devices, I didn't see any that can connect directly to a device, and I didn't see any that could be mounted outside the cab.

The install would be the hardest portion, but would allow for the easiest start up I think.

Please shoot some holes in my theory. And it is just a theory.

Thank you everyone,

Tataco
 
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Rando

Explorer
You can use a tablet for navigation, but use your phone for the hotspot instead of the Nighthawk (ie to provide wifi). One less device and one less cellular subscription to worry about.

Again, there is really no need for the GPS antenna on the roof. Most of us here use the built in GPS on phones/tablets in the car with no external antenna and no issues what so ever. Also use the hotspot on my phone to provide internet for my laptop and it works beautifully.
 

Photobug

Well-known member
Please shoot some holes in my theory. And it is just a theory.
Tataco
If you buy any phone it will have a GPS, if you buy any android tablet it will have a GPS, if you buy a cellular Ipad you will have a built in GPS. You can buy a Bluetooth GPS module if you want a back up GPS source. Besides the cost and major hassle of adding an external antenna you are creating a chain of cables and adapters all at risk of failing to plug it into your nav screen. IMO it is just as likely a complicated cable system is just as vulnerable as a Bluetooth module. Then you have the problem of keeping your nav screen charged while the GPS is plugged in.

You are solving a problem that does not exist and creating a new one. I agree a Wifi antenna would be of benefit especially if your wife needs a signal when you are off the grid.
 

TaTaco

New member
You all are saying the same thing regarding the GPS. I don't want a cellular enabled tablet, as I don't want to pay for service on a GPS. I will do downloads and updates via wifi.

Thank you all for the advice. I will use what I have, and adjust from there.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
You all are saying the same thing regarding the GPS. I don't want a cellular enabled tablet, as I don't want to pay for service on a GPS. I will do downloads and updates via wifi.

Thank you all for the advice. I will use what I have, and adjust from there.
You don't have to activate the cellular part of a tablet or phone. It's that the GPS functionality is integrated in the cell radio chipset in an iPad. Android tablets usually (maybe all) and all phones have a GPS chipset regardless of their WiFi and cellular configuration. If you have no SIM card devices will still work fine for everything except making calls or doing cellular data.
 

roving1

Well-known member
Why do people resist until they are blue in the face people telling them they don't need a cell contract for GPS? I literally don't understand it. 🤔

This is the signal from my Samsung Tab A in the cement basement of a 2 story building standing under the metal hvac duct.
Screenshot_20210107-191439_Gaia GPS.jpg

This is the signal standing in the corner of the basement with a metal water heater on one side and the heater and ductwork above. Almost completely surrounded by either cement or metal and then two stories of building above me.
Screenshot_20210107-191450_Gaia GPS.jpg

YOU DON'T NEED AN EXTERNAL GPS ANTENNA!
 

WVI

Adventurer
Do you live down there??
That's a great signal.
What year is the Tab A? I had run across some new ones that supposedly dont have GPS, but I know older ones do....we have one but I'd like to get the 10" modle.
 

Photobug

Well-known member
You all are saying the same thing regarding the GPS. I don't want a cellular enabled tablet, as I don't want to pay for service on a GPS. I will do downloads and updates via wifi.

Thank you all for the advice. I will use what I have, and adjust from there.
Only Ipads require an LTE enabled pad to have a GPS, all except the cheapest droid tablets have GPS built in. You don't have to pay for cell service, you just have to buy a capable pad to do this. Ipads were superior for GAIA but this has been solved as far as I can tell. IMO A sub $200 Glaxay tab will do a great job for navigation with a lot of benefits (expandable memory) over Ipads.
 
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