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PICList Thread
'[OT]: GPS Case design'
2002\08\01@142111 by Josh Koffman

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Hi all. I want to put my BGMicro GPS module in a case, so I don't have
quick so many bare circuit boards on my dashboard. If the box is
plastic, do I need to make a cutout for the antenna? And, if I do, does
the entire antenna have to stick out, or just the raised square at the
center?

Thanks!

Josh
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2002\08\01@163444 by James Paul

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I'd say for optimum performance, you'd want the antenna external from the
box altogether. It might work okay, but I'd want the best exposure
possible to the most birds the unit could see.

I have one of these units.  What are you using for your user interface?
Would you mind sharing the details?

                                             Thanks and Regards,

                                                    Jim



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2002\08\01@210533 by Barry Gershenfeld

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Some plastics are transparent to microwave RF.   For some reason
I remember the term "polycarbonate" although I forget whether
that was good or bad.  <pause>  A quick web search suggests that
this is the good stuff and it doesn't block RF.   Note you
can buy many a receiver that has the antenna inside.

If in doubt about your enclosure, set it on top of the antenna
and see what it does to the signal strength.

Barry


At 02:43 PM 8/1/02 -0400, you wrote:
>Hi all. I want to put my BGMicro GPS module in a case, so I don't have
>quick so many bare circuit boards on my dashboard. If the box is
>plastic, do I need to make a cutout for the antenna? And, if I do, does
>the entire antenna have to stick out, or just the raised square at the
>center?
>
>Thanks!
>
>Josh

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2002\08\02@035811 by Russell McMahon

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> Some plastics are transparent to microwave RF.   For some reason
> I remember the term "polycarbonate" although I forget whether
> that was good or bad.  <pause>  A quick web search suggests that
> this is the good stuff and it doesn't block RF.   Note you
> can buy many a receiver that has the antenna inside.
>
> If in doubt about your enclosure, set it on top of the antenna
> and see what it does to the signal strength.


A simple test for transparency to RF at 2.4 GHz is to place a piece in a (n
operating :-) )  microwave oven. Any heating suggests you should find
another plastic. While this is not necessarily representative of how the
material will act at other frequencies it often gives a fair indication.
(Note that water has an absorption line at ~2.4 GHz which is why they use
that frequency. )

Testing for a minute or so is probably worthwhile. Having some other "load"
in the oven at the same time is necessary if you value your magnetron.


       RM

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2002\08\02@055634 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Testing for a minute or so is probably worthwhile. Having
>some other "load" in the oven at the same time is
>necessary if you value your magnetron.

An ordinary glass of water is sufficient for this, just don't try and remove
it immediately though :)

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2002\08\02@112904 by Bill & Pookie

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I have heard that water needs a rough surface in
order to boil.  So the water in a glass may be
above the boiling temperature and not boil until
something rough is added.  At that point it tries
to all boil at once.

And of course, only a fool would microwave a bar
of Ivory soap.

Bill

{Original Message removed}

2002\08\02@113611 by Alan B. Pearce

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>I have heard that water needs a rough surface in
>order to boil.  So the water in a glass may be
>above the boiling temperature and not boil until
>something rough is added.  At that point it tries
>to all boil at once.

Yes that is so, and there have been discussions on here in the past about
this, and the dangers of opening the microwave with the water in a
suprheated state because it hasn't done the bubbling bit.

Oh well, it will just have to be a mug of water with some coffee in it after
all. Gee, the things we have to go through to test components. Now where is
that suger bowl :))

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2002\08\02@164157 by Josh Koffman

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I plan on making the receiver/antenna box remote. I'd like to put them
in a project box of some sort, with magnets and rubber feet so I can
either sit it on the dashboard, or stick it to the roof of the car. The
unit seems to work ok on the dash of my car, but it has a really deep
dash so it sees much of the sky. I'm guessing that it may not work as
well on the dash of my truck, hence the dual mode casing.

As for my UI, I was fortunate enough to come across a Toshiba Libretto
(a laptop about the size of a VHS tape) at this year's Dayton
Hamvention. I am running the superb GPSS (http://www.gpss.co.uk)
software on it, and let me just say it rocks! Street level mapping (in
the USA and many other countries around the world), and it's free!

Go check it out...they guy who wrote it is a really nice guy too.

Josh

--
A common mistake that people make when trying to design something
completely foolproof is to underestimate the ingenuity of complete
fools.
       -Douglas Adams

James Paul wrote:
>
>  I'd say for optimum performance, you'd want the antenna external from the
>  box altogether. It might work okay, but I'd want the best exposure
>  possible to the most birds the unit could see.
>
>  I have one of these units.  What are you using for your user interface?
>  Would you mind sharing the details?

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