Offroad Trailblazers and Envoys

ROADIE HISTORICAL MODS: Ram-mount and tablet

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by The Roadie » Sat Aug 25, 2012 12:39 am

Bringing historical content over here from the OS in case anything "happens". Originally posted in January 2006


Still need to buy the proper docking mount to go on the RAM mount, but I had originally intended to have a small Panasonic Toughbook here. Ebay had a unbeatable deal on another tablet PC I was looking at for aviation use, so I snagged it for the Envoy.

I also have a 7" Xenarc display that the Carputer forums are in love with, but the only place for it in the dash is the double-DIN location where my Bose head unit is now. I'm unwilling to give up the Bose, and 7" is too small to be useful anyway (I tried it twice on the dash). So the best compromise for my use is to have a larger display tablet PC on an arm in front of the dash. A remote carputer running a 11-15" sunlight readable industrial display was another option, except those industrial displays are all over $1000 used. Add in the cost of the CPU and a tablet suddenly looked very, very attractive.

Motion Computing M1400. 3 pounds. Sunlight readable transflective display (View Anywhere option). 60GB hard drive. Built-in Bluetooth and wireless "G". etc., etc., etc.

Mounting system by RAM Mounts: http://www.ram-mount.com

Floor bracket custom made for Trailblazer/Envoys, but I didn't like where they located the vertical tube right in front of the seat cushion (in the way of the passenger leg) so I moved it sideways to hit the side of the transmission tunnel.

http://www.ram-mount.com/nodrillsystems/nodrillbases.htm

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Back view of the laptop mount in temporary use - which will be replaced by the custom Motion Computing dock soon. That's a Garmin ETrex Vista-C portable GPS on the dash, which feeds GPS coordinates to the tablet PC, but I can take it with me when the trail ends and I change to hiking.

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Front view of the unit, running Delorme Topo USA 5.0. Sometimes, I also run Delorme Street Atlas USA 2006 if I need to do optimized road routing or look for motels/restaurants, etc. Offroad, I use National Geographic TOPO! to get full resolution topo maps, which are better for trails and desert environment.

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Close up of the display - 1024X768:

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Display of TOPO! on an old 17" laptop I used to use offroad, except it weighed 10 pounds and the screen giggled too much in the bumps and I was afraid for its life.

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The Roadie
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Posts: 5009
Joined: Mon Sep 07, 2009 11:29 pm
Location: CA, Vista, San Diego County
Name: Bill Carton
Vehicle Year: 2004
Vehicle: GMC Envoy
DriveTrain: 4WD w/ G80
Rank: Expedition Guide

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