How should I place my antenna to optimise satellite lock?
For the VBOX to acquire high quality satellite lock, the antenna should be exposed to as much sky as possible whilst fitted under conditions to minimise multipath interference.
For a haul truck, the antenna is best placed above the height of the tray/canopy. For example, mining users often use existing antenna mounts or fabricate poles on-site to raise the antenna higher than the truck tray/canopy during long-term fitment.
On the end of the pole, it is advised to include a ground plane at the top on which to place the antenna – unless the antenna has an in-built ground plane. A well-placed ground plane will minimise multipath interference caused by reflections of weak GPS signals. Any structure above the ground plane can cause multipath interference. This is why an ideal ground plane would be above the canopy with nothing above it.
For example, a proven method involves placing the magnetic antenna on the top of a metal disc fixed to the end of the pole at the top – above the tray/canopy of the truck. Please click here to view the downloads section of the VBOX Mining website, which includes a drawing of this solution to assist with fabrication.
Note that this drawing includes minimum recommended dimensions, and it could be larger and thicker if it is easier for fabrication. The ground plane does not necessarily need to be steel. It is possible to fabricate a ground plane by using aluminium/silver/copper foil or metallic tape. Please click here to view further information on how antennas are applied in VBOX Automotive applications.
The antenna cable will need to be long enough to run from the VBOX unit up to the antenna, ideally placed at the top of the tray/canopy. Usually, a 10 m antenna cable provides users with enough length to place the antenna cable appropriately but there are also other options with varying thickness and length depending on which antenna is fitted. See What are my main antenna options? for more details.
Alternatively, some users have temporarily placed an antenna on the left-hand-side of the truck near the side-view mirror. This makes it easy to fit and test the unit, however this is not ideal antenna placement as it would effectively limit half of the sky – this is why it is much better to raise the antenna above the tray/canopy.
Note: Due to the range of fitment procedures on-site, it is advised that customers source permanent mounting solutions independently. Racelogic shall not provide haul truck extension poles due to the variation between vehicles on-site. Racelogic offer the Dual Antenna Mounting Pole, but this will be an expensive solution due to shipping, and is not guaranteed to apply to the mining environment as it is not designed for haul trucks.