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Old 04-11-2009, 10:46 PM   #1
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Future Project

I built my own laptop stand a while ago for running my GPS software, works great but since using it I've found two things. Having the mount to my lower right means I need to take my eyes off the road for to long to get my bearings and see what's coming up next. It also makes it a bit of a pain getting in and out.

So I am looking at the dash on my Sightseer and it appears I could make a flat surface for the laptop in the center over the rearview monitor. I'm looking at wrapping a piece of wood around the curve to then support a piece of hardwood as a base. I would then like to use some type of lazy-susan to be able to turn the laptop to facing me or facing my wife. My thought is to use a wireless keyboard/mouse so my wife can update things while facing here and control the iTunes software for music.

Being I am not an advanced woodworker, I'm wondering what type of wood would work best to wrap around the curve?

Any other thoughts or comments?

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Old 04-17-2009, 03:07 AM   #2
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I was considering an lcd flat panel hung on the drivers side sun visor myself and purring the laptop in dual display mode.
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Old 04-17-2009, 04:33 AM   #3
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Steve,
Not the answer you're probably interested in, but we faced the same problem when using a laptop/GPS setup. Went with a Garmin 7200 and would never go back to a laptop. The Garmin has all our favorite music loaded and plays through the vehicle speaker system; also handles electronic books; XM radio; and many other options.
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Old 04-17-2009, 10:40 AM   #4
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Thanks for the feedback so far, part of the reason to keep the laptop for now is that I use it with TopoUSA for trails once we arrive. Was trying to avoid the duplicate, but might be something to consider.
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Old 04-17-2009, 02:52 PM   #5
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Have you considered routing the video from the laptop to your back up Monitor
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Old 04-17-2009, 03:35 PM   #6
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I tried a laptop with the GPS and found it to way to distracting and went back to a straight GPS with the smaller screen, but mounted where I can easily see it.

Ken
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:15 PM   #7
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Steve,
I have an ASUS netbook with an 8.5" display that I was planning on putting on the dash over the camera monitor. I'd received a Tough Tray II cradle from Ram Mount intending to attach it there. After physically setting it in place and prior to making any permanent attachments I realised that it obscured my view more than I was comfortable with. I have some different hardware coming from Ram Mount and my intent now is to mount off the cup holder console with the netbook display just in front of the camera monitor and partially closing the display when I need a peek at the monitor. I also explored mounting to the left of the steering wheel but that would rule out navigator access to it and a laptop probably wouldn't fit there. Not sure how much you can improve on your existing set up. Keep us posted as to what you find works best for your needs.

Al
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Old 04-17-2009, 09:54 PM   #8
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Steve, Not an answer, but I love using our laptop with a Garmin GPS18 receiver and software. I have two Garmins Nuvi's and they can't compare with the amount of information I receive on the laptop, when I choose to. Right now we use one of our Nuvi's for short trips, but for serious road trips the PC works best since it will give you as much or as little information as you want. With our laptop, I have no need to search for gas stations, restaurants, road side rests or anything else... just have to have the program set to the level of information I want to see as we drive along. We have the same problem right now as to what to do with the laptop and have just decided to set the laptop in front of the passenger seat on the dash. Not extremely handy, but at least DW gets to surf the net while driving down the road.... and I still have the Nuvi for general guidance. Best of luck, Eric
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Old 04-18-2009, 09:36 AM   #9
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Thanks for the comments.

As I pull an ATV trailer I really want to keep the screen dedicated to the back up cam so I can keep an eye on things, plus its b&w.

A dedicated GPS, at least for now, isn't an option or at least isn't a priority financially. But if I can afford one with a larger screen down the road it might be.

I've since switched laptops, this one is a bit shorter so I'm hoping that it won't block much, but that's a good point and something I'll have to make not of. If it won't work on the dash I may just rebend some conduit.

I'll share back what I find as I dig into this project.
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Old 04-18-2009, 01:43 PM   #10
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I've used what you show in the picture and am very happy with it It has been beat badly on some of the roads on our current trip into Mexico but it has saved us several times...the only time I made a wrong turn was when I thought it was wrong (Streets & Trips 2009 has great Mexico coverage).

I'd be afraid that putting it over the monitor would block some of your vision? If you do something, please post and maybe I'll steal it :-)
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