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Author Topic:   Mount for GPS antenna
bigjohn1 posted 10-25-2006 10:39 PM ET (US)   Profile for bigjohn1   Send Email to bigjohn1  
Like many Montauk owners, I have my GPS antenna mounted atop the console grab rail. I do not like the off-brand rail mount I am currently using though. The reason is, it takes 1-2 complete revolutions of the lever to loosen the mount enough to allow the antenna to rotated down (such as when you want to put the boat cover on. The trouble here is the mushroom shape of the antenna interferes with rotation of this handle.

I am looking for a plastic version of Shakespear's course-toothed ss antenna rail mount; if I am not mistaken though, Skakespear has discontinued that model. This type mount is better as the antenna can be rotated with only 1/4 - 1/2 turn of the tightening lever, thereby not coming in contact with the mushroom-shaped antenna.

What mounts are folks using?

Chuck Tribolet posted 10-26-2006 01:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
I've got my VHF antenna on a rail mount that takes < 1/4 turn
of the lever to lower the antenna. I bought it from West
about nine years ago, before their banzai charge to West
branded stuff. I THINK it was a Shake part, but the current
Shake webpage doesn't show anything like it. The West
catalog shows 7850290, but that's a West branded gizmo.

I've got a second one of these mounts that used to have my
DGPS antenna on it (before WAAS). I think I'll keep it.


bigjohn1 posted 10-26-2006 08:08 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Thanks Chuck, that West part numbers crosses to an ss unit. It will do the job no doubt but its overkill for a puny mushroom gps antenna and it doesn't match the antenna color (chrome vs white).

My original thought when I first installed the unit was to use a short pvc pipe extension (perhaps 4") so the antenna would be up away from the "swing" of the lever. I could never find the correct thread pattern on pvc to match the threads of the antenna so I scratched that idea.
After looking at my mount a little closer, it appears I can simply shave about 1/2 of the lever length off and avoid contact with the antenna.

bluewaterpirate posted 10-26-2006 09:16 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
You could also flush mount the GPS antenna on your helm console. Done that with all of mine works just fine.


davej14 posted 10-26-2006 09:43 AM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
Be careful if you flush mount the antenna to the helm console. I found that I lost a significant amount of signal in that position vs. mounting on the console top rail. Try the different positions while monitoring the satellite signal strength on your GPS screen.

I do not have a movable mount for my GPS antenna. I took my boat cover to a local canvas shop and they added a cup shaped appendage that slips over the antenna for $20.

bluewaterpirate posted 10-26-2006 10:47 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I haven't lost a thing flush mounting. I'll post some pictures later. Alot of my clients I've done installations for prefered that method. Done it on 15'er's all the way up to 65'er's.


bigjohn1 posted 10-26-2006 08:41 PM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Ditto with me Tom. I have even laid my $89.00 el-cheapo
K-mart handheld GPS on the console and it gets reception just fine.
davej14 posted 10-26-2006 09:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for davej14  Send Email to davej14     
I am only reporting the results I have had personally with the Lowrance LMS2000 GPS antenna. With it laying on the console of my Dauntless I lost about 50% of the satellite signal levels and could not get WAAS data. Mounted to the rail it was exceptionally good. If there was equal performance on the console I would have preferred to mount it in that location.

I am sure that every installation is different. There is also going to be an impact based upon the latitude of your location. Since it is easy to check the reception, my suggestion is see what you get in your particular situation before you start drilling holes.

bigjohn1 posted 10-27-2006 07:40 AM ET (US)     Profile for bigjohn1  Send Email to bigjohn1     
Fair point Dave, I live at 13 degrees latitude and we don't have WAAS here so its not a factor. If we had WAAS, perhaps it would have made a difference.
bluewaterpirate posted 10-27-2006 08:24 AM ET (US)     Profile for bluewaterpirate  Send Email to bluewaterpirate     
I fish 33 to 36N lat. No problem wit either on the dash.


Chuck Tribolet posted 10-28-2006 03:36 PM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
The whaler is parked in the driveway with a pretty good view
of the sky, so I just ran the following experiment. I took
my hand-held GPS (Garmin eTrex Vista), set it to display
signal strength bars, and tried various locations on top
of the console, and compared them to the top of the console
rail. There were definitely some locations on top of the
console where one or two satellites would get a reduced
signal strength compared to the top of the rail. I suspect
that these were the location were the antenna was shadowed
by the rail.

Net: I'll stick with my rail mount. Besides, console top
space is more precious than rail space.


blackdog54 posted 10-29-2006 11:09 AM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog54  Send Email to blackdog54     
Chuck, Same here with my Etrex on the Console of my 85 Montauk, which, as you know, has an internal antennae under the globe imprint on the face of the plastic cover. I get less satellite coverage on the console.

I am not sure if the internal antennae models are less sensitive to signal or not, as I have not had one with an mushroom (external) antannae.

I am looking to move up to a newer, larger GPS and would appreciate the expertise of the forum. I have an 85 Montauk, with the usual limited console space, that the prior owner mounted a stereo unit in. Now that its there, I don't want to butcher the console further by ripping it out (and I do listen to it when I am anchored off by myself-it has an input for my iPod).

There is a fish finder, the recessed compass and the VHF mounted on top already. The prior owner also put a 2 cup teak drink holder up there, in the center flush to the console windshield, that I could do without. However, he not only screwed it in place, but put some white, hard adhesive under it as well.

Any suggestions how to remove the cup holder? OR bright idead to mount a larger GPS?


blackdog54 posted 10-31-2006 11:16 PM ET (US)     Profile for blackdog54  Send Email to blackdog54     
bump and hoping for Chuck Tribolet to respond with guidance. Chuck, I have reviewed all of your links (dogs, diving, etc.) and believe that you have a lot to offer in terms of guidance.

Looking for a console mounted GPS, limited space, don't need to break the bank for it. any thoughts?



Chuck Tribolet posted 11-01-2006 10:15 AM ET (US)     Profile for Chuck Tribolet  Send Email to Chuck Tribolet     
Well, if I had to replace my Garmin 162, I'd probably opt for
a Humminbird with sidescan sonar (I've had a good year),
but I think in the more basic range I'd go for a Garmin 172C.
But I haven't been tracking this stuff closely as I'm not
in the market.


Frank O posted 11-01-2006 06:34 PM ET (US)     Profile for Frank O  Send Email to Frank O     
I was going to go the Humminbird route too, but was eventually persuaded that a boat-mounted transducer wouldn't result in high-quality images. Unless it's a supernaturally flat day, any rocking of the boat will degrade the image. I therefore decided to get an inexpensive side-scan system that has a transducer on a towfish that plugs into a conventional Lowrance fishfinder. It's made by a fellow in Rhode Island named Garry Burton who has a company called Burton Electronics:

I haven't gotten mine out yet except for a very brief test run last weekend, but here are some sample images from another user with the same system:

(Probably not what Linda and others are looking for, but I couldn't help but mention it after seeing Chuck mention side-scan.)

where2 posted 11-01-2006 07:52 PM ET (US)     Profile for where2  Send Email to where2     
If you're looking for a new GPS receiver, you might wish to look toward Standard Horizon at their CP180i, or wait for the upcoming CP300i (widescreen version of CP180i). I ordered a CP180i in February before they hit the street. It arrived in April, and I mounted it on the boat the same week (in place of my Standard Horizon CP150 which still works fine). CP180i features: Sunlight viewable color display, built in antenna, Standard Horizon's shuttle-point cursor and 3 year waterproof guarantee. Best part: Around $400 for the CP180i (plus the cost of a chart).

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