Which GPS units still offer External antenna?
I'm looking to buy a new GPS unit. Just bought a new boat, but there really is no dash, just a small electronics panel in front of the helm, so I'm planning to mount the unit overhead.
So, I'm looking at the new Lowrance units, and none of them offer an external antenna anymore. I'm concerned that with an overhead mount, the internal antenna won't make sufficient contact with the satellites. Looked at Garmin too, and they suggest their product is best suited for freshwater. There are others, but I'd like to keep it in an entry level unit <$800 if possible.
Does anybody have any recommendations on what to do, or which unit might be better suited for an overhead application? I should note that the roof of the house is pretty sturdy fiberglass.
Garmin. They have an entire saltwater line, so if you were looking at freshwater products, you need to expand the search a bit (try chartplotters).
Glass won't block the signal much, if at all. Metal will block or at least degrade the signal. The Garmin high-sensitivity recievers won't even notice that you have it mounted on the ceiling. They are great.
Most of the Garmin marine units have the ability to add an external antenna (at a minimum via NMEA), but for the application it sounds like you're talking about, I don't think you'll need it.
GPS With External Antenna
I'm running a Lowrance LCX-27C which is a couple years old now, but still a great unit and it has an external antenna. The price has really came down since they released the new HD units. I've ran Garmin and Lowrance both and I really like both. IMO Garmin is better on the GPS side and Lowrance is better on the Sonar side, just my two-cents worth.
I posted a link where you can check out the unit. I've never ordered anything form them so I can't recommend them. I bought mine from Cabela's when they were closing them out.