GPS Antenna Location

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pondman

Serenity now......
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I have been placing my Missileworks GPS in the nosecone of my rockets. I am looking at a design where the GPS would be in the same bay as the altimeter and I would have the antenna mounted to one of the bulk plates. I have seen this done before, so nothing new here.

My concern is around damage to the antenna during deployment. I can affix a nomex heat shield over the antenna, but I am more concerned about damage from recovery harness or the ensuing descent. I am looking for actual solutions and any experiences that other fliers may have with this. BTW, I know that there can be interference issues between devices but plan on testing the heck out of this arrangement before flight.

Thanks!
 
I have been placing my Missileworks GPS in the nosecone of my rockets. I am looking at a design where the GPS would be in the same bay as the altimeter and I would have the antenna mounted to one of the bulk plates. I have seen this done before, so nothing new here.

My concern is around damage to the antenna during deployment. I can affix a nomex heat shield over the antenna, but I am more concerned about damage from recovery harness or the ensuing descent. I am looking for actual solutions and any experiences that other fliers may have with this. BTW, I know that there can be interference issues between devices but plan on testing the heck out of this arrangement before flight.

Thanks!

I just used some masking tape wrapped around the bulkhead mounted antenna of my Eggfinder TRS to keep if from getting soiled by the BP residue. It worked and I didn't see any damage due to the heat. I may try some small bubble wrap in the future to create some insulation.

As far as damage from the shock getting wrapped around it, I did not experience any. However, the antenna was inside the payload tube so the shock cord did not twist around it. If the antenna was on the bulkhead that was open (the bottom bulkhead), then it may be damaged by the shock cord as the rocket twists and turns.
 
I have used this method of extension cables from the GPS to bulkhead connector-connector to antenna. The antenna is placed in a nomex sleeve in the drogue side (or main if there is more room) and then zip tied to the shock cord. I have used this twice in successful flights with no damage. This assumes you are using RP-SMA connectors and not a wire whip antenna.

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Nice, I've gone one step simpler on a Wildman Junior. Stuck a low powered Ham band Beeline GPS forward in the ebay with an aft riding Raven. The wire antenna goes through a form fit hole in the bulkhead and projects into the main chute bay that has
non-metallic paint on it. I use the cardboard tube that First Fire igniters come in to stent the wire so the main chute laundry doesn't squish the antenna. I wrap the tube with duct tape or electrician's tape (no metal) and I've made over a dozen
completely sight unseen flights with J motors with 100% recovery. I use a little clay on the bulkhead for a seal and have had no trouble with gases getting into the ebay. If I lose the stent, well there's more where that came from!

Yeah it's a kludge, but at the time there were no small GPS trackers I could fit into the nosecone. Kurt
 
I have a rocket set up for HED (head end deployment). The nose cone shoulder is the Av-bay where I house both my altimeter and my MissleWorks tracker. The GPS antenna is mounted on the bulkhead and it fits up in the nose cone alongside the main chute. This rocket (avatar pic) has been to just under 14000' and I had great
tracking thru out the whole flight. My thought about mounting my antenna on the main bulkhead was less chance of it getting damaged if it's not out there flapping in the breeze though out the entire decent. Still gets a strong signal inside the nose cone. I love this set up so much, I've converted my GD 54 to HED.
View attachment 330087View attachment 33008820170121_091608.jpg20170121_091735.jpg

Oh as far as BP residue on the antenna and bulkhead I just use some painters tape. I put my BP charge in the tip of the nose cone and then put in the chute. The thinking (Jason G) behind this is the bp will blow the chute OUT of the cone not back in it. So really bp residue is not much of a problem for me.
 
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