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> DIY Vehicle Mount Kit at Radio Shack
post Mar 1 2004, 12:57 AM
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Radio Shack is closing out a couple of models of gooseneck cellphone mounts for $10 each. Possilby because their suction-cup bases scared away customers (it sure gives me the willies to think about an expensive cellphone or PDA being mounted with one).

But...

If you use a nail or screw to tap out the pin holding the suction cup release lever, you find a hold that you can put about a #10 or so screw through to attach the base firmly. The previous owner of my truck had attached one of those slide-out mounts for a CB to the roof. I finally found a use for it: I screwed the mount to it, and it holds the Z in a position where it's out of the sun, out of my normal line of sight, and easy to see when I want to.

To attach the Z to the cellphone holder, I took the holder apart and removed the "gripper" mechanism (which doesn't spread quite wide enough to hold the Z. Dammit), and tie-wrapped the "Strongarm" bracket out of a Case Logic case to it. I drove around for a while to make sure the idea was going to work, and it did. So I'll drill a couple of holes and screw the bracket to it.

I don't know how the stiffness of the gooseneck compares to the new models, because I'm too cheap to spring the $25 RS wants for them. But it's a lot better than the microphone gooseneck RS sells, which flexes too easily for vehicle use. I put a 90-degree bend in it to hold the Z vertical with the base mounted parallel to the roof, and it doesn't seem to flex visibly at all. Even in my "camper special" pickup, which rides like a buckboard if it doesn't have a ton or so of load on the bed.

So, for about $25 ($10 for the mount, and $15 for the case at places like Fry's and Circuit City) and very little work, you can make a really solid mount that fits the Z very well, and is probably even solid enough for off-roading.

fwiw: I dunno whether it was just the particular units I got, but the model for fliphones (with a clear phone holder) was easier to remove from the gooseneck part for tinkering. I was afraid I going to break the plastic when I whacked the larger one to disconnect it. That may be "better" or "worse", depending on whether your goal is to have a system that's "extra safe" or "easy to mess with" ;-)
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n8a
post Mar 10 2004, 03:08 PM
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I bought the mount shown in the following link (the first picture - "top seller"):

http://www.arkon.com/palm2.html

At $30, this is perfect IMO.

This mount
a) requires no mods - works great out of the package and looks fine. I have it in my Jeep Wrangler, and the bouncing is no prob!
cool.gif fits the 5500 perfectly and is adjustable, so it would fit the 5600 and *should* fit the C series in portrait mode
c) is VERY sturdy - It is suctioned to my windshield, and hangs to the left of my steering wheel above my turn signal. It is sturdy enough that I can use the stylus or press buttons on it without it moving
d) obviously, i don't recommend reading articles or browsing the web while driving. I do on occassion, but really shouldn't! I got it for gps, for the record...

I could potentially post a picture of it mounted in my Jeep if anyone's interested. Not sure how many of you would be interested in doing this...?!?
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post Mar 11 2004, 01:45 AM
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The suction cup thing still gives me the willies, but the other mounting options they offer do make that a better choice for most folks. Especially since they've cut their prices: I think they used to charge even more than the $45 price they now show crossed-out on the webpage.

The one plus for the Radio Shack is that it's easy to change the "mounting plate" if, e.g., you want to switch between the Z and a GPS or other gadget.

Ran
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n8a
post Mar 11 2004, 02:16 PM
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Yeah, I'm sure that they both have their pros and cons. As far as the suction cup, it's VERY sturdy. I was very weary as well, and I had bad experience with it at first as I could not get it to stick. But, once I rubbed my windshield down with alcohol (included and explained in the instructions), then locked the suction level, that thing was ON!

You want to reattach the suction periodically - it recommends every week or so I think, but I've had it on for a month and I just give it a strong tug-test to see if it's weakening before putting my 5500 in it. For me, the suction was good b/c I really don't want to mod or even sticky anything to my Jeep, but for those that are cool with that, I'm sure it works well.
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