GPS splitters allow a feed from a single GPS antenna to be shared between multiple receivers.
Cost savings can be achieved by reducing the amount of cabling required to install multiple receiving devices. A single antenna and surge suppressor can be installed and shared between multiple GPS NTP servers or other GPS receivers.
A disadvantage of GPS splitters is that they create a single point of failure. If the single antenna fails or indeed the splitter itself, the GPS feed to all the connected receivers will be lost.
Additionally, in some instances, the cost of a splitter can out-weigh the cost of installing separate antennas for each receiver.
GPS Splitter Specifications
Splitters are generally broken down into two groups, passive and active.
Passive splitters are sometimes referred to as DC-pass splitters. Generally passive splitters do not require a power supply unit, they are powered from a connected GPS receiver. They pass DC current from one receiver unit connected to one of the GPS outputs to power the splitter and antenna.
Some passive splitters have the ability to automatically switch which output is used to power the antenna, if the powering receiver is disconnected from the splitter.
Active splitters are sometimes referred to as DC-blocked splitters.
Active splitters have a PSU to power the splitter and GPS antenna. Care must be taken to ensure that the correct voltage is supplied to the antenna.
TimeTools T-3040 and T-3740 antennas have a wide voltage input range of 2.5 to 12 VDC @ 19mA. A splitter must supply power to the antenna within this voltage range.
Additionally, if a GPS amplifier is used to extend cable distance, it also needs to be powered by the splitter. TimeTools T-AD200-8 amplifier has an input voltage range of 5 to 20VDC @ 15mA max.
T-Series NTP servers feature open-circuit and over-current antenna detection. Most GPS splitters have a resistor fitted across its outputs to emulate an antenna connection. Typically, a 200 ohm resistor is fitted across each splitter output to draw a few milliamperes from the receiver. The receiver then assumes that an antenna is correctly connected.
GPS Splitter Manufacturers
TimeTools has tested the following splitters from Global Professional with its T-Series NTP servers.
F800345-PRO – 2-way Active GPS Splitter Compact Enclosure.
F80082-PRO – 4-way Active GPS Splitter Compact Enclosure.
F800957-PRO – 8-way Active GPS Splitter Compact Enclosure.
F800061-PRO – 8-way Active GPS Splitter, Dual PSU, 1U Rack-mountable Enclosure.
F800247-PRO – 16-way Active GPS Splitter, Dual PSU, 2U Rack-mountable Enclosure.
F800248-PRO – 32-way Active GPS Splitter, Dual PSU, 3U Rack-mountable Enclosure.
Alternative Splitter Manufacturers
The following links are to alternative manufacturers of GPS splitters:
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