Mounting the GPS - the week after:
In an earlier post, I suggested several alternate mounting methods for a Garmin Nuvi GPS. The one I liked best was using a home-brew 17mm ball (like the unavailable 'Bravo Ball') permanently mounted to the center console. Over the past week, I put 1000+ miles on the vehicle and this installation worked very well. Here's a pic with the GPS in position:
- The unit is very stable - no vibrations, shakes or coming-unglued driving over Philly's silky smooth streets
- Visible - the GPS was easily visible, but also easy to ignore. It did not distract me from the road
- Compact installation - no moving parts - no clutter
- Doesn't interfere with other vehicle functions
- The unit is very close to the face of the console. You must
use an 'angled' USB cable to connect power or your range of movement will be very limited
- You may want the GPS head mounted a few inches higher (see below)
Alternate Mounting position
You could easily mount the ball a few inches higher - see red arrow. It will probably need to be off-center to clear webbing behind the console. The only disadvantage of this is that the protruding 'ball' is higher - a possible risk in a bad accident.
Gadgets I have met
Along the way, I bought two GPS accessories which proved to be very useful. The first is a small "plug" gizmo that mounts in your 12v socket and provides 5v USB power output via a standard USB Type A female socket. It's on the left in the picture below. On eBay, this item was $3.83 delivered, available in a variety of colors. There is a rather bright red LED visible when the power is ON, but, you can rotate the unit so the LED is blocked by the USB cable. The cubby door will close with this gizmo in place - just unplug the USB cable - so it can become a rather permanent part of the vehicle. This item powers the Garmin Nuvi correctly - the GPS boots up in operational mode (ask if you don't understand this).
The other accessory was a replacement GPS cable - "USB 2.0 A Male - Up Angled USB Mini B Male cable 50cm" - $3.80 delivered on eBay (delivered from China - ChenYang Cable). They call this an "Up Angled" cable (not quite sure about the 'up angle' part) - a "Down Angled" cable is also available. They don't call it the inscrutable Orient for nothing. When plugged into the back of the Nuvi, the cable angles downward.
It's about 18" long and makes a very neat uncluttered installation.