I have to solder an active gps antenna on a pcb. But I don’t know how to choose components.

In my case antenna will be used outdoor on a pet collar.

First of all there are a lot of different ceramic antennas, what are they differences? Mainly they have various sizes but other parameters are the same. I’ve read on one forum that smaller ones are much worse.

And amplifiers, I want to use some cheap circuit like here - https://www.arrow.com/en/categories/amplifiers/gps/gps-amplifiers

But most of them have very poor datasheets. How to choose such ones? Could They be connected to passive ceramic antenna directly? Are other components needed ? Like filters or so?

What would be main differences between such antenna and for e.g. topgnss active one?

  • \$\begingroup\$ Poor data sheets? - I'd expect anything from Philips of Infineon to have excellent datasheets and/or excellent technical support. Here is the datasheet of the first device listed. Do you consider this "very poor"? [Genuine question]. \$\endgroup\$
    – Russell McMahon
    Oct 26, 2020 at 6:17
  • \$\begingroup\$ Ok, not all, but I encountered bad ones like ru.mouser.com/datasheet/2/472/SKY65611_11_PS_203447B-784725.pdf \$\endgroup\$ Oct 26, 2020 at 6:24

1 Answer 1


If I was doing this in one off or small volume I'd choose an RF chain that had the most chance of working with the minimum of effort.

That would almost certainly have antenna, RF amplifier if used and GPS IC integrated in a module that I connected power and basic signals to.

Even trying to implement a reference design with separate antenna + amplifier + GPS IC would be liable to be one to quite possibly two orders of magnitude harder. (= 10 to 100 times harder.)
It may be small and look trivial, but antenna implementation can be demanding beyond reasonable belief. If meeting an extraordinary a challenge is not the aim then learning how to tame GHZ level RF is best left for another occasion - on each occasion when the need arises :-).

As for specs - I'd read spec sheets.

If a device did not have a good spec sheet I'd look for one that did have - I'd buy a poor spec sheet device only if it was well known and recommended by a large community of users and if there were technically compelling reasons to do so.


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