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> The car mount kit
Daniel W
post Mar 18 2019, 01:46 PM
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While this is more "Hardware for the Gemini" rather than "Gemini Hardware", I felt it would be appropriate to mention it here.

Over at the Gemini page on https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gemini-p...bile-device--2/, a car mount kit for the Gemini (which will also fit the Cosmo as well) has been added. There are some details in Update#69 available on that page, for those who doesn't get the updates by e-mail.

I'm not sure if linking to an image over there will work, but here goes...


There are a few more pictures on the indiegogo page, but basically it seems to be a clamp wide enough to hold a Planet Computers device and a few mounting options intended for cars. I don't have a car, but I figured a clamp like this might be my next best option in lack of a proper tripod mount for my Gemini or Cosmo, so I've backed one, hoping that securing the clamp to a table with the suction cup will be sturdy enough, lest I find a way to put the clamp on a tripod.

Other pictures over there shows that the clamp has an opening for a charger cable, which might be helpful for actual car use.

Edit:Yes, it does fit the Cosmo too, text above updated.
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Radovan Garabík
post Mar 19 2019, 02:25 AM
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QUOTE(Daniel W @ Mar 18 2019, 10:46 PM) *
Over at the Gemini page on https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/gemini-p...bile-device--2/, a car mount kit for the Gemini (which will also fit the Cosmo as well) has been added. There are some details in Update#69 available on that page, for those who doesn't get the updates by e-mail.

It seems that only the keyboard half of the Gemini is attached to the mount. I would be somewhat afraid of the stress the vibrations and bumping would produce on the hinges, since we all know hinges are the weak point of the Gemini (pun intended). I would even say that I would not be surprised to see the force to overcome the spring resistance and the display will snap shut. With all the negative consequences related to cracks around the magnets etc...
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Daniel W
post Mar 19 2019, 07:05 AM
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QUOTE(Radovan Garabík @ Mar 19 2019, 11:25 AM) *
It seems that only the keyboard half of the Gemini is attached to the mount...

Since Planet Computers apparently has at least one prototype, I would presume they have evaluated it, before committing to that particular design. As a Gemini is fairly heavy for a phone, they would reasonably have had to test that its weight times the length of the goose neck doesn't easily overcome the suction cup, as that would send the Gemini into a hard fall, which would obviously be bad. While doing so, one would hope that any other obvious issues, if present, would have been spotted.

That said, I just tried manually holding my Gemini by the sides of the keyboard, similar to how the car mount would. While just one, fairly mild, distinct upwards motion - a bit like when passing a speed bump in less than an optimal way - could cause the lid to swing over, my fingers had to somewhat overlap the device to hold it, so the screen couldn't snap shut, but rather came to rest on top of my fingers. As the rubberclad insides of the clamp appears to be slanting inwards, I doubt it's possible to fully close the lid with a Gemini or Cosmo mounted in the clamp, so that would likely prevent the screen from violently snapping shut.

If anything, I'd rather worry about the other thing you mentioned, vibrations more or less coinciding with the resonant frequency of the hinge. While such vibrations may or may not have occurred in the vehicles used by Planet Computers, if the do occur, they could perhaps make the screen wobble in a way that might make it hard to read and, if prolonged, could perhaps cause undue stress. I can only hope that the goose neck might provide sufficient damping, but if anyone from Planet is reading this, telling a bit more about how you've tested the car mount and what the possible issues might be, would likely help alleviate concerns and thus make it more popular.
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gidds
post Mar 19 2019, 08:37 AM
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I share the concern.  Moving parts are almost always the weak spot, and hinges on clamshell devices especially so.

(I have a variety of experiences with Psion 3- and 5-series machines to point to: on the 3 it was always the plastic hinge itself breaking, while on the 5 it was almost always the ribbon cable driving the screen which would start to fail after being flexed too many times.)

There's been at least one report on this very forum of a Gemini's hinges breaking, so we know they're vulnerable.
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DJO
post Mar 19 2019, 09:56 AM
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QUOTE(gidds @ Mar 19 2019, 04:37 PM) *
I share the concern.?Moving parts are almost always the weak spot


It's not clear in the picture but the side cheeks look like they have a small lip which might be enough to hold the screen in the open position.

If not and the screen is free to open & close then the kit is worse than useless.

It would be helpful to see a picture of one with a Gemini mounted.
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Daniel W
post Mar 19 2019, 10:45 AM
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QUOTE(DJO @ Mar 19 2019, 06:56 PM) *
It would be helpful to see a picture of one with a Gemini mounted.

There are such pictures over at the indiegogo page. Since hotlinking images there seems to work, here are the other three:




"The car mount kit allows for charging whilst the Gemini PDA device is mounted."

When comparing the two images of a Gemini in the clamp, I notice that on the top image, the front of the clamp is more or less flush with the front of the Gemini keyboard, while on the second picture, the rear of the clamp is more or less flush with the rear of the keyboard. If I've guesstimated correctly that the clamp overlaps the keyboard slightly, such that the lid would hit the clamp rather than be able to slam shut, it might be possible to slide the Gemini far enough forward in the clamp, that the rear of the clamp is in contact with the edges of the screen, even when it's fully open, but that's obviously just my guesswork and conjecture.

It seems (to me) that nothing is designed to hold on to the lid. Given that the Gemini has a fixed opening angle, it should be possible to design a clamp such that it holds on to both the sides of the keyboard AND the sides of the screen. I'd guess the answer might be that this clamp, to keep cost down, is partially based on some standard design, say a small tablet clamp, and that a more advanced design would make it too expensive, but again, I'm just guessing here.
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DJO
post Mar 19 2019, 12:49 PM
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QUOTE(Daniel W @ Mar 19 2019, 06:45 PM) *
I'd guess the answer might be that this clamp, to keep cost down, is partially based on some standard design, say a small tablet clamp, and that a more advanced design would make it too expensive, but again, I'm just guessing here.


It'd be nice to think so but standard ones (on Amazon) seem to cost under £20, this one is nearer £40. Admittedly this one has 3 mounts but even so £25 would seem closer to the mark. A small plate or bar at the back to support the screen and a lightly sprung arm on the base to clasp the bezel wouldn't be all that tricky.

The missing piece of kit is the 12 volt fast charger.
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mithrandir
post Mar 19 2019, 03:02 PM
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For sure they have tested it, but the question is how well...
What about emergency situations, i.e. full stop or really fast acceleration with cars with many horses?

Also, does it really hold the Gemini in Place in such situations? When falling down in opened state it breaks most certainly...

Questions over questions...
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gymbo
post Mar 19 2019, 03:37 PM
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QUOTE(mithrandir @ Mar 20 2019, 12:02 AM) *
...
Also, does it really hold the Gemini in Place in such situations? When falling down in opened state it breaks most certainly...
...

I am happy to confirm that the Gemini does not NECESSARILY break when falling in open state... happy.gif
I would really not recommend trying to test it, but I've been unlucky/clumsy enough in a few occasions that I can say that it at least MIGHT survive a fall in open state. The hinge-plate will probably fall off (and I do believe I once had at least one of the other plates falling off as well when it fell in an open state), but that has, so far, just been a case of putting it back on again. But it could certainly bee an added risk, if it falls out of the car mount in open state.

I do however agree with those that are worried that it will "snap shut" when hitting bumps in the road (or any rapid change of direction for any reason, really...). It might seem like it should be possible to slide it so far down the mount that the clamp will keep the Gemini "open" as Daniel W has suggested. But if that is not the case, even though the clamp will prevent the Gemini from closing completely, it will still ALMOST close. And the force of the screen hitting the clamp might be more damaging than actually letting it snap shut (as the force will be on one/two spots, and not distributed over a larger area...). huh.gif dry.gif wink.gif
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