I've been thinking about upgrading the non-nav radio in my SRT to the factory nav system. Of course, almost everyone selling one of these radios does not include the GPS antenna because it's too hard to get to/don't know where it is/too lazy to remove. As the lack of a GPS antenna is a common stumbling block with this upgrade, I thought I'd do some research on antenna options.
I learned that the factory antenna is a Wisi AG 13
made in Germany by Wisi
. It is an active antenna with a standard SMA male
connector. The data sheet says it's "compatible with all common systems." So, that implies that the nav head unit doesn't require some kind of proprietary antenna. A general-purpose GPS antenna should work.
As is often suggested by sellers of antenna-less nav units, I called my local Chrysler dealer and asked if I could order the GPS antenna. The dealer said no. He could sell me the $2,000 radio which would include an antenna but he couldn't order just the antenna. As we know, dealer quality varies widely so perhaps others have had better luck. For me, the "just call your dealer and order a replacement for $60" plan doesn't work.
I called Becker North America
and asked if they could get me a Wisi AG 13. The friendly operator said he could sell me a GPS antenna that he guaranteed would work with the Becker Traffic Pro from the Crossfire for $59.95. He said it's not an AG 13 but it will work. This is my second clue that we don't need a proprietary GPS antenna for these units.
So, I started looking for possible third-party antenna options. I think the Titan III
might work. It is a universal antenna and you can buy a male SMA adapter for it. Its electrical characteristics are roughly equivalent to the AG 13 except it draws less current. The AG 13 draws 18 mA but the Titan only draws 7 mA. Otherwise, it has the same impedance and signal gain with a wider operating voltage (so it should operate at whatever voltage the Becker unit offers). Unfortunately, the Titan III is more expensive than the Becker antenna. I'm not sure if it will work as I haven't tried it but it seems like it should.
Please provide any comments or corrections to what I've written here. I think if we can come up with a standard, easy solution to the missing GPS antenna problem, it would help both buyers and sellers.