I was given a broken active GPS antenna by a pilot friend. It’s made by Gilsson who are known for their great GPS antennas so I thought I would have a go at getting it working.
On first inspection, it seems that someone has removed the original thin coax and replaced it with some thicker coax. There has been a hole drilled in the bottom of the case and the new coax has been inserted through.
Once I had the antenna apart, the problem was obvious. The larger coax had no strain relief and it looked like the coax had been stressed and the center core had pulled a track off of the antenna PCB.
I removed all the gunk (a whole lot of hard sealant) and cleaned up the PCB.
Then I removed the protective coating from the damaged PCB track and installed a new piece of smaller coax bridging it to the PCB track.
Finally, I put the antenna back together and mounted it on the top of the HABAT test payload enclosure routing the new coax to the inside.
The results? GPS lock in less than 3 minutes with the HABAT test payload sat on my desk. I would say that it works just fine.