Mounting ham gear on car dash etc.

Discussion in 'Mobile Radio Systems' started by KE5WWX, Jan 2, 2011.

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  1. WB2WIK

    WB2WIK Platinum Subscriber Platinum Subscriber QRZ Page

    I have a GPS on a windshield mount, out of reach of airbags.

    It's plastic and has no sharp corners, it's "rounded" in every dimension. That may have been for cosmetics, but I'll bet it was to help keep them safe in a collision.

    Getting hit with something plastic and having no corners at 75 mph is safer than getting hit with something metal, having square corners.
     
  2. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    They've got mounts that clip into A/C nozzles like the one I've been using. The mount I got has two types -- the AC nozzle mount and a big suction cup for the windshield. It works fine except....

    A/C nozzles are fragile and can be easily broken. Not a problem for me since one of my nozzles is already broken but still does a good job holding the faceplate of my '857. It bounces around somewhat, but no big deal -- I mostly control the radio with the remote mic and all I really use the actual control head for is the display and the tuning knob. Don't know if I'd use a moount like that on a nozzle that wasn't broken. The nozzles in my car are close to unobtainium -- gotta make a trip to a junk yard, I guess.

    Another idea I've seen can be used if you car has one of those cubbyholes in the dash or console. What a friend of mine did was took out that cubby hole and turned it around so that the back was flush with the dash. Then he attached the mount for the faceplate of his Icom to that. Made a nice installation.
     
  3. KF5FEI

    KF5FEI Ham Member QRZ Page

    R-A-M makes a multitude of mounts, bases and arms, and they are very sturdy and secure. I have several different ways I do the mounts:

    On my van, it has a flat center below-dash area with some cut-outs for a business card holder and some extra switches. Popped out the business card holder and made a clamp that has a ball-mount on it. Works good for the cell phone, satellite radio, etc...

    Also mounted one of their bases to the drivers side door post for the GPS -- it is out of the way and is accessible with the left hand without taking my hand completely off the wheel.

    On the wife's PT Cruiser, I mounted a base on the side of the under-dash console and used two arms to bring the control head over within reach. Could do the same thing with a piece that wedges into the cup holder.

    For certain vehicles, R-A-M makes some pedestal mounts that bolt under the seats, and they also make some suction cup mounts that are very secure.

    As far as sticky-tape on the dash, when you remove it you will find the dash did not fade under the tape, leaving a darker ring. Not to mention that stuff doesn't do well in heat and you'll have something you have to remove when you park in a thievy area.
     
  4. KC2UGV

    KC2UGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    For the remote head, RAM has a mount. Something like this: http://www.google.com/products/cata...g_result&ct=result&resnum=10&ved=0CH8Q8wIwCQ#

    For the watt meter? Mount that thing NOT on the dash. No matter how good the "temporary" mount is, it will go flying in a crash, and it will most likely injure someone, if not kill them.

    I have a pull-out cup holder, and for a semi-permanent mount, I zip tied the mounting bracket to the cup holder.
     
  5. K0RGR

    K0RGR Premium Subscriber QRZ Page

    Yes, the RAM mounts are pretty versatile, and I've used them, too. Some of their adhesive units actually look decent on a transmission hump, and can't be dislodged with a jackhammer. However, if you are working with an ICOM mobile bracket, check the placement of the mount about 15 times and then check it again before you stick it on.

    I have not had good luck with the vent mounts on my Toyota pickup. They won't hold up a microphone, and they get knocked off every time the XYL gets in the truck, somehow. I have trouble removing them on purpose, but she gets them with her purse every time!

    Windshield mounts are illegal in California and Minnesota, at least according to Garmin (and Minnesota cops have told me this , too). I will move my GPS down to the dashboard when I get home, but I like it on the windshield where it belongs, regardless of what the nanny state says. I have a plastic mounting plate on the dash that I can stick the suction cups to, from yet another GPS.
     
  6. AB9YP

    AB9YP Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm glad someone mentioned air bags. That was going to be my comment. My brother-in-law works at the biggest emergency services install company in Indianapolis. (They take a normal car and install all the lights, radios, antennas, etc.) They are forbidden to mount anything up there, because it becomes a very fast projectile with air bag deployment.

    That said, I also used the bean bag Garmin, until I switched to our WebOS phones with Turn by Turn included. I just make darn sure that it is outside of any airbag zone. (Not always easy to spot, so make sure you check your manual for all air bags.)
     
  7. KC2UGV

    KC2UGV Ham Member QRZ Page

    I'm pretty sure all airbag panels are marked in newish vehicles now. I could be wrong.

    However, the owner's manual will tell you exactly where they are :)
     
  8. N0WYO

    N0WYO XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Well there's an idea... I'll set up a temporary dash mount for my TS-570.:eek::p:D
     
  9. W1GUH

    W1GUH Ham Member QRZ Page

    As for safety -- IMHO, the safest way to use a mobile rig is to mount the display where you can see it without taking your eyes off the road and controlling the radio with a remote mic. For that purpose, the center A/C nozzles are about optimum -- unless there's a legal place to mount the head higher. (What I'd really like is a HUD!)

    Re: air bags and projectile management. Safe driving eliminates both of those problems.
     
  10. K8MHZ

    K8MHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think the one's in the wheel and dash always were. There are also bags on the sides now, in the doors and there are curtains that drop down forcibly over the side windows to contain broken glass.
     
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