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Frequently Asked Questions

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Gilsson GPS product questions

GPS compatibility questions

Reselling and distributing Gilsson products

Garmin and Magellan GPS questions


Helpful GPS links, articles, & information

Gilsson GPS product questions

How do your products differ from Garmin and Magellan original GPS accessories?

Whereas Garmin and Magellan concentrate on designing and manufacturing GPS navigation receivers, we focus our energy and resources on developing the best performing GPS accessories at a fraction of the price of the OEM accessories.

Our goal is to enhance your GPS experience, without costing you a fortune. Please browse our individual GPS product categories for more details.

You are welcome to compare our prices, antenna performance, and quality (coming soon!).

How do your external GPS antennas compare to Garmin original antennas?

Our antennas are amplified external GPS antennas. Garmin's built in antennas are not amplified, and when tested side by side with Garmin's external antenna, ours significantly outperform the Garmin antenna, yielding an average of 28 dB signal gain compared to about 16 dB gain from Garmin's antenna.

Read a professional review from, or view field test results >>.

Optimized for Garmin GPS frequencies, our antennas drastically improve signal reception and consume less power than Garmin's external antenna.

Our antennas also perform exceptionally well with or without an external ground plane, and are guaranteed to be the best performing GPS antennas on the market!

Do I need an external GPS antenna?

The performance and accuracy of your GPS receiver is only as good as the GPS signals your unit can receive. Our GPS antennas are designed to perform in the most demanding environments, such as driving among tall city buildings, hiking under dense tree coverage, or any other condition that prevents a clear line of sight to the sky. This ensures that you will receive the best possible GPS signal so that you can make the most of your GPS. Read a professional review, or see how an external GPS antenna can help you.

What is the difference between an active (amplified) and passive antenna?

Active GPS antennas include a built-in Low Noise Amplifier which provides sufficient gain to overcome coax cable losses while providing the proper signal level to the GPS receiver. Active GPS antennas require power from the GPS receiver to operate, through the GPS receiver antenna connector.

Passive GPS antennas do not include a Low Noise Amplifier and are best suited to GPS applications requiring a short distance, 1 inch to 3 feet, between the GPS receiver and antenna. Passive antennas require an LNA on the GPS receiver.

Where should I place the external antennas?

For Driving:

Mounting the antenna on your car rooftop is the optimal location for the strongest and most accurate signal reception. The antenna will have unimpeded, direct line of sight to the sky and use the rooftop as a ground plane to enhance signal reception.

Winshield mounting is also fine with an antenna windshield mount. The windshield mount will serve as a ground plane to boost signal reception.

Note: if your car has a heated windshield, in-car mounting is not advisable because the heat strips will interfere with GPS signals.

For Hiking:

Some of our customers choose to place the external GPS antenna on the shoulder strap of their backpack, while others have mounted antennas on their hats.

In any case, placing the antenna on a small 2" by 2" piece of metal (available at any local hardware store) will serve as a ground plane to enhance signal reception and accuracy.

Will the GPS antenna scratch the paint on my car?

No. Our GPS antennas have a smooth plastic surface on the base of the antenna, and will not scratch the paint on the surface of your car. They are designed for vehicle-rooftop mounting.

What is the operating voltage of Gilsson GPS antennas?

Our antennas feature a wide operating voltage of anything between 2.5 to 12 volts power.

I lost the installation CD for my USB to Serial Adapter. Where can I download the drivers?

You can download all the necessary drivers and documentation here.

GPS Compatibility Questions

Will your accessories work with Garmin, Magellan and other GPS receivers?

Yes. We have physically tested our products with Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers. Our accessories are designed specifically for the the models listed in our compatibility list, and are not generic all-in-one solutions offered by some other vendors. For instance, our cases are designed and shaped specifically for each Garmin or Magellan GPS units (i.e. they are not just modified cell phone covers).

How do I know which accessories are compatible with my particular GPS unit?

Please refer to our compatibility page for a complete listing of compatible GPS models and accessories.

Reselling Gilsson products

I am interested in selling Gilsson products. Where can I find out more information?

Please visit our reseller page for details about becoming a dealer or distributor, or contact us with any questions. We are always happy to help!

Do you have wholesale prices for multiple item purchases?

Yes, we do offer wholesale prices for resellers. Please email or contact our Wholesale Department at (510) 940-7777 for additional details. Our wholesale prices are on average 49.5% BELOW Garmin Authorized Dealer's prices and yield an astonishing ROI (Rate of Investment) of 398%! In other words, our dealers can potentially sell our Garmin compatible products at nearly four (4) times their cost! Please also visit our dealers/wholesale page for more information.

Which payment methods do you currently accept?

We gladly accept (recipient:, direct Visa/MasterCard phone payments at 510-940-7777 (M-F 9 am to 4 pm Pacific Time), checks, cash, money orders and cashier's checks. For Fortune 500 customers, we gladly accept purchase orders. For wholesale customers, we accept COD, credit card payments, and net terms on approved credit.

Garmin and Magellan GPS questions

Garmin vs. Magellan. Which one is better?

The debate continues over which manufacturer is "better", but it is difficult to have a definitive conclusion once you factor in personal preferences, user-specific needs, and unique applications.

Both Garmin and Magellan have many GPS units for various applications, but Garmin has a much larger and more diverse product line. Please view our GPS reviews page for:
- Garmin vs. Magellan article comparing the two manufactureres
- Garmin vs. Magellan discussion forum
- individual reviews for Garmin and Magellan GPS receivers.

We hope that these resources will give you a better idea of which GPS receiver is most suitable for your needs.

Where can I find Garmin and Magellan user manuals and software downloads?

You can find links to these resources on our support page.


Where should I mail the payment check for orders?

Please make your check or money order payable to "Gilsson Technologies", 2576 Barrington Court, Hayward, CA 94545. Thanks!

Can I pick up my order from your office, if I am in the San Francisco/Bay area?

Of course. You are welcome to come visit us or pick up your order(s) from our Hayward, CA office. We are here M-F 9 am to 4 pm Pacific Time.

What kind of shipping methods do you use and how long does it take?

Below is a list of the shipping methods we use and their approximate delivery times:

First Class Mail.............4-5 business days
USPS Priority Mail.........2-3 business days
DHL Second Day Air....2 business days
DHL Next day delivery
UPS Ground..................5 business days
DHL Ground..................5 business days

USPS Airmail.................10-14 business days
Global Priority Mail.........about 7 business days
Global Express Mail.......4-5 business days

Helpful links, articles, and resources

Find helpful information about GPS such as GPS articles, GPS reviews, and other useful links.


If your question was not answered above, please feel free to contact us.

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