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Which GNSS antenna to use with your GNSS/INS device

GNSS/INS devices require an antenna. Next to the standard antenna that Xsens delivers with the Development Kits, Xsens has tested other antennas as well. 

Tested antennas

Antenna name Supported constellations
PCTEL 3910D, 3 meter (no longer sold by Xsens, was default antenna for MTi-G-700) GPS
ANT-P: PCTEL 8117D, 3 meter, no magnets (default antenna for MTi-G-710 and MTi-7-DK). Same footprint as 3910D. GPS/GLONASS
ANT-MULTI: Tallysman Wireless 4721, 3 meter (default antenna for MTi-670-DK) GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou/Galileo
Tallysman Wireless 2710 GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou/Galileo
Tallysman TW8889  (default antenna for MTi-680G-SK) Dual Band:
GPS/GLONASS/BeiDou/Galileo

Both Tallysman and PCTEL have many configurations (with/without magnets, cable lengths, connectors), so we recommend to contact them for more information. Most of their antennas are also available with worldwide distributors as Farnell, Mouser and Digi-Key.

Using other antennas

For the MTi-G-710 and MTi-680G, the antenna must be connected to the SMA connector on the front panel or the u.FL connector on the OEM-board.

When using another GNSS antenna than the one supplied as a part of the MTi-G-700/710 Development or MTi-680G Starter Kit, one has to consider the antenna gain of the active antenna. It is recommended to only use active antennas with a gain between 15 and 50 dB. The voltage supplied by the MTi-G-700/710 and MTi-680G to the SMA or u.fl connector (OEM) is 3.2 to 3.3V. An active antenna can be supplied at a maximum of 100mA @ 3.3V. 

Patch antennas are not suitable for hand-held devices, because of the de-tuning effect of the hand/body. The hand/body will dielectrically load the patch antenna, which will de-tune the resonant frequency of the patch. For this purpose a helix antenna is recommended.

In contrast to helix antennas, patch antennas require a ground plane for operation. Helix antennas can be designed for use with or without a ground plane.

When using GNSS antennas with >3m cable, you need to consider the power/signal loss over long cables. The MTi supplies the antenna with 3.3-3.2V, over long cables the power loss could be high and not enough to power the GNSS antenna. This can affect the quality of the GNSS signal. 

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