Swift strives to make evaluation of, and integration with, our receivers easy and convenient.  To that end, we have accumulated a list of useful accessories for building prototype systems with off-the-shelf components for test and evaluation.

Alternative GNSS Antennas

The mini-survey antenna sold by Swift provides excellent performance for its value.  Integration concerns, such as size or weight, may require the use of alternative antenna. When selecting antennas, it is imperative to make sure the antenna can receive the same L1 and L2 bands that Swift Navigation receivers are able to receive.

HarxonHX-CH7603AHarxon - HX-CH7603AUAV helix antenna


Maxtena - M1227HCT

Helical Antenna

Appropriate for UAVs

Available off-the-shelf from richardson rfp

TallysmanTW3870Tallysman - TW3870Compact
TallysmanTW3972Tallysman - TW3972Railway certified (AAR S-9401)
TaoglasMagma X2 AA.200Taoglas - Magma X2 AA.200Triple-band L1/L2/L5 antenna

GNSS Antenna Extension Cable

Both Piksi Multi and Duro kits are shipped with 4 meters (13’) RG-58 antenna cable. Longer cables can be used if needed as long as the cable signal loss will not exceed 10 dB at 1.5 GHz. So for a few typical cables the approximate maximum length will be:

RG-58:         15 m (50’)

LMR-195:        20 m (65’)

LMR-240:        30 m (100’)

LMR-400:        60 m (200’)

For other cable types use this calculator: http://www.timesmicrowave.com and click Coaxial Cable Calculator button.

If even a longer cable is need then the additional low noise amplifier (LNA) should be used to compensate for the cable loss.


Often it is helpful to place antennas on a tripod.  At Swift we have used tripods intended for photographers, and light stands intended for video and film production.  A 1/4"x20 to 5/8"x11 thread adapter, which is included in the Piksi Multi Evaluation Kit and the Accessory Pack, makes it easy to use either tripod type. Here are two possible tripods that have worked well at Swift.

One easy way to mount equipment such as evaluation kit components on these tripods is with handlebar mounts intended for cameras such as this one.  You can also use this handlebar adapter to attach your antenna to a vehicle.

Base station installation example on the survey tripod

Serial Communications

Serial interfaces are commonly found on embedded sensors and devices. They provide a bi-directional communication link which can be used to interact with the device. The standard connector used for serial communications is the 9-pin DE9. Serial to USB adapters are often used to provide serial communication support on modern computers. The signals used in serial communications can be at either RS232 or TTL voltages, and it is important to use the proper adapter when connecting these signals to your computer.


RS232 Levels, DE9 connector


3.3 V TTL Levels, Pin Header connector

Piksi Multi Ribbon Cable and Connector

Piksi Multi provides 20 pin 2 mm pitch Samtec connector for basic signals (power, UARTs). Use following to connect to that connector:

Ribbon Cable Connector (Amphenol 89361-720LF)

Ribbon Cable