1
\$\begingroup\$

Reading up GPS testing using a simulator and came across several articles which suggest requiring a DC block capacitor in the RF path between the GPS Simulator+Attenuators & Active Antenna.

Some explain, the 50 ohm load seen by the receiver is too high making it draw excess DC current from the circuit through the active antenna and pass through ground, which may damage the Simulator Front End or Attenuators, and also some passive components in the Receiver circuit DC current path which may not be rated for that high DC current.

My question is isn't the active antenna 50 ohm itself? Does this apply to just GPS?

\$\endgroup\$
1
\$\begingroup\$

I would have to see a diagram of the test setup you're referring to to be sure, but I presume this is to block DC bias that the GPS receiver provides to power an active antenna so that it doesn't damage parts of the test setup that aren't designed to handle this, or damage the receiver by drawing too much current. It's common for GPS receivers that use external antennas to supply anywhere between 3.3v to 12v out the antenna connector with a bias tee. This can be used to power an LNA integrated with the antenna to compensate for cable losses. 12 volts into 50 ohms is almost 3 watts, which could be a lot more than what the attenuator is designed to handle, and it could be a lot more than the receiver is designed to provide. An active antenna with integrated amplifier will have a built-in bias tee to extract this bias voltage, so in effect the receiver will see a much higher impedance than 50 ohms at DC.

\$\endgroup\$

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.