I have been tasked with designing a low power sensor system and the customer has decided location would be a great option. I have done GPS before but only with complete modules (Ant. + IC). To keep costs down I was looking at basic GPS Receiver modules such as the SE4150L-R by Skyworks Solutions and adding a chip or ceramic antenna.
My concern is the external SAW filter and antenna matching network. I'm assuming for the antenna line and network there the board should be 50 Ohm controlled. The biggest problem is I lack a network analyzer to check the board. I'm concerned that with a cheep fab, over time if the FR4 changes or with component tolerances that even if it works now, will the 1000th one work?
Does anyone have any experience using GPS RX modules and can input how it worked out for them? Or any suggestions such as stay far away from this RF black magic?
Please don't think I'm ignorant, I have done basic RF work in the past, but this GHz stuff at-least from what I hear can be a different animal.