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PDA Car Mounts
Posté le 24 juillet 2004 à 01:01:01 par gpspassion.

PDA Car Mounts

Here's a tutorial by Paul, moderator of our forums and experienced PocketPC GPS user who will share his experience with various PDA mounts, windshield and vent mounts and universal or dedicated cradles

Now that you have your GPS unit, how are you going to mount it in your vehicle? Well, thanks to our friends at BuyGPSNow, we can take a short look at some of the options out there.

Windsield or Vent?
There are basically two * types of mounts for GPS units: windshield mounts which stick on with a suction cup and vent mounts which slip into the air vents of the dashboard. Which one you choose is really a matter of personal preference and the layout of your car. Personally, I prefer windshield mounts because they are at eye level and you don't have to take your eyes off the road and glance down to see the display. Vent mounts are not at eye level and so are slightly more dangerous, in my opinion. On the other hand they don't fall off the windshield and make you try to catch them in while you are in heavy traffic. Take your pick.

Universal Mounts:
The "simple" Arkon vent mount
The first mount we'll look at is the simple old-style Arkon vent mount. You can see the hooks that go over the slats in the air vent. The PPC slides into the front and the two arms compress to hold it in. I got this about a year ago. BuyGPSNow provided me with the new-style Arkon mount. The new version has a swivel joint added that allows it to be rotated sideways for a better view. It does not rotate up and down.


The amplified Arkon vent mount
The next mount is my workhorse, the standard Arkon amplified windshield mount. This is about a year old, and I don't know if Arkon has updated it at all. These type of mounts have an internal amplifier and speaker that takes over for the poor-quality speakers that are in most PPCs. They also have an integrated power cord so you plug your PPC into the mount. In the picture you see the power cord extending downward to the cigarette lighter and then the USB power cord in front that plugs into the PPC. The speaker cable is on the top right and the volume control on the bottom left. This mount has given me very good service.

Trick for good windshield suction
There have be a fair number of posts on the site regarding windows mounts that fall off and don't stay solid on the windshield. I have never had this problem - there is a trick to using them. When you place the suction cup against the windshield the next step is to push a little lever to lock it in place. This is very fiddly, however. You have to move the mount and the cup so that there is RESISTANCE when you throw the lever. Then it will stick like glue. If there is no resistance than it will fall off a little while later. Sometimes it can take 5 minutes or more to position the unit just right to feel this resistance. I still haven't gotten it down on the first, or second, try. But when I do it right the mount will stay on for 8 months or more.

Dedicated Mounts:
The next type of mount is fairly new - the dedicated mount. This is a mount with many of the connections built in so you don't need the extra power wire like on the Arkon.

Seidio G2500
BuyGPSNow sent me the new Seidio G2500. This mount is available as a dedicated unit for a number of different PPCs and the Tungsten T series. In the first picture below, you see the unit configured for the Ipaq 4155. At the top is the audio cable and to the right is the power cable that plugs into the cigarette lighter. The volume control is on the left and there is another power-out socket on the right which can be used to plug into a Bluetooth GPS for recharging. The unit comes in a windshield or vent mount. As you can see from the pictures, the vent mount has a 360 degree ball mount which gives you a lot of latitude in positioning. The sound is quite good and easy to hear. There is plenty of volume.

Haicom Dedicated Window Mount
Our final unit is the Haicom dedicated window mount. Like the Seidio the Haicom has a nice clear speaker which can be very loud. The power connections go through the mount itself, so it is a little less cluttered than the Seidio. The Haicom, however, has no volume control and the volume is set on the PPC, itself. Both the Haicom and the Seidio have extra jacks to plug a GPS into (a PS2 type on the Haicom and a telephone type on the Seidio) which will connect to a Haicom GPS unit. The Haicom is also available for a number of different PPCs.

So there you have a picture of what is available today. Just remember the "trick" mentioned above if you choose a windshield mount, and you will be happy with whatever choice you make.

* Other options include "customized" mounts by Proclip

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