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External or Internal Antenna? Here’s How to Choose.

April 20, 2017 | Posted in Support & Tech Advice

We like to give customers plenty of choices.

You can get a demo unit to try before you commit. You can choose to rent or buy. But once you’ve seen the value of using GPS trackers on construction equipment, the next question to consider is whether to opt for internal or external antenna.


Screw-mount (left) and magnetic antenna

Here’s the trend we’re seeing from our current customers: The standard SolarTrak tracker contains internal GPS and cellular antennas. As long as the tracker can be installed on the roof of your equipment (with access to satellites), the internal antenna is ideal. The tracker will also work mounted under plastic, glass or fiberglass.

However, if your construction equipment takes a beating, or theft is a particular concern, you may want to opt for hiding the tracker in a safer place (under the hood is typical) and using an external antenna to send a receive signals.

There are two version of external antenna – magnetic or screw mount. Magnetic antenna is most often used on vehicles. Screw mount is used where magnets won’t work (plastic, aluminum, fiberglass or other non-metal surfaces), and will involve drilling a small hole to install the antenna.

Examples: our customers use trackers installed on top of generators and air compressors (which are generally parked out of harm’s way), and external antenna on skid steers, boom and scissor lifts.

If you still can’t decide, ask your rep for a copy of our “Complete Installation Guide” (with photos) and see exactly how customers have installed trackers on specific equipment. Or send us your equipment list and we’ll be glad to provide recommendations.

Talk to the SolarTrak Tech Team by calling 484-223-4994. We’d be happy to help you decide.