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TomTom iPhone car kit with a difference

 
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MikeB
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 1:07 pm    Post subject: TomTom iPhone car kit with a difference Reply with quote

pocketgpsworld.comMike Alder is not one to let a simple matter of incompatibility stand in his way. In the dedicated style of a true engineer he stripped the TomTom Car Kit mount and re-engineered a Garmin ball to fit the TomTom GPS cradle and then screwed the whole lot to a Brodit mount. I will let mike explain how he achieved this:

As supplied the TomTom iPhone car kit is intended to attach to your windscreen via its integral sucker, whilst this sticks with the affinity of a limpet mine attaching itself to a ship, I wanted something different.

As it needs power to function this leads to cables strewn across the dashboard of the car which isn't something I am too happy with these days. The old Volvo was a mobile test lab with aerials festooned on the roof and cables all over the inside but since purchasing the V70 I have gone to great lengths to hide cables and keep the car neat and tidy by burying cables behind the dash and generally mounting hardware on Brodit Pro-Clips attached to the dash/ airvents.

Rather than sticking a "Dash Disk" to a Pro-Clip I decided to undertake a different approach, so how do you attach a TomTom iPhone car kit to a Brodit mount? well its all rather easy:

The holder as supplied is in two parts, the windscreen sucker and the actual iPhone holder, splitting the two parts is easy as they seperate where the joint is across the ball:



Start by removing the two rubber bungs from the hinge which reveals two philips head screws, remove the screws to release the top cap (take care not to lose the steel spring)



With the two parts seperated its time to measure the diameter of the ball which checks in at 15,90MM slightly less than the Garmin standard ball which is 17,12MM (Both are shown in this picture for comparison).



With the use of the Dremel and some emery cloth the diameter of the Brodit Garmin Nuvi 310 mount was reduced to the required diameter. If you remove too much material you will scrap the brodit part, too little and the assembly won't fit together so this takes time. Also the material behind the ball on the Brodit mount needs to be seriously reduced (Dremel very handy) otherwise you restrict the range of movement available from the swivel ball joint.



Once happy the ball is down to the required diameter with the support stalk undercut to allow freedom of movement re-assemble the components attaching the modified Brodit Garmin Ball to the TomTom iPhone car kit holder, tighten the two screws and refit the two rubber bungs. Make a final check to ensure there is still adequate resistance felt on the swivel mechanism, if its too low the device will rotate in the mount if cornering a little quick! - This can be addressed by removing the two screws and top cap from the car kit where it attaches to the Brodit ball and adding a small amount of paper/ off cut of a match stick to increase the spring pressure applied to the rotation mechanism.



One last step that can be done in the house is to attach the assembly to your chosen Pro-Clip using the supplied self tapping screws:



All that remains is to fit the modified car holder to the car which is easy and I have removed two unnecessary cables from view within the car, they still exist but now they can be easily hidden routed through the airvent in to the void behind the dashboard. Power is available from a multi-way ciggy socket I fitted under the dash earlier in the year that feeds some of the other hard wired installs within the car

Being right handed I decided to get the Brodit Pro-Clip that goes over the right air vent, it actually secures into the speaker grille and part of the dash structure, whilst it does affect air flow I don't use this vent very often at all.



With the iPhone mounted in the cradle it sits well and is close to the steering wheel but not too close so its not affecting the control of the car in any way.



Finally as close as I can get to a drivers eye point photograph (need a wider angle lens though to be honest).



The device is nice and secure, and you still have the full range of adjustment available as was present with the car kit mounted on the screen sucker.
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ttrevor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 3:08 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Its nearly as good as mine, !! Laughing




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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 7:49 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttrevor wrote:
Its nearly as good as mine, !! Laughing

How did you mod yours?
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ttrevor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:28 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Hi Darren the same way as Mike did, I had a spare Brodit/ Garmin ball type fixing plate and Dremeled it down to the correct size, I don't like those sucker thingy's
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Darren
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:31 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ah, I thought it was from your pic but wanted to check. If I ever get hold of one this will be the first thing I do so I can affix to a MOVE mount/ProClip.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Isn't it strange how Ovlov owners don't like windscreen mounts and cables all over the car and also have an affection for Brodit kit which is also Swedish - Neat instal in the C30 by the way - Mike
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ttrevor
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 17, 2009 8:43 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Your right there Mike Laughing there is no way to hide the wire's completly but you can only see mine near the holder all the rest are hidden and it spins to lanscape position ok, but I have had it in various positions on the dash and that position is the best (the holder I mean) , so many electrics around must effect the signal.
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prl1862
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 3:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Brodit have now developed an official adapter for the TomTom mount:


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Darren
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PostPosted: Fri Jan 08, 2010 4:03 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

prl1862 wrote:
Brodit have now developed an official adapter for the TomTom mount

Happy days. Now I can consider using one at last!
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nsp24
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:02 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

ttrevor wrote:
Its nearly as good as mine, !! Laughing



Hi, do you still get a good signal when it is mounted on the dash and not on the windscreen?

Also my car power socket is always live would the kit still use any power if it was left plugged in without the iphone?
I would prefer the power socket to turn off when the ignition is turned off, I know I can unplug it when I am not using it but I tend to forget. It would be nice if you could wire it in and not use the power socket.
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Darren
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:12 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

nsp24 wrote:
Hi, do you still get a good signal when it is mounted on the dash and not on the windscreen?

It would depend very much on where on the dash you has it. I have mine fairly high up on a Brodit mount and works fine, that is without the additional GPS in the TT CarKit
Quote:
Also my car power socket is always live would the kit still use any power if it was left plugged in without the iphone?

It will use a small amount of power but you could just unplug?
Quote:
I would prefer the power socket to turn off when the ignition is turned off, I know I can unplug it when I am not using it but I tend to forget. It would be nice if you could wire it in and not use the power socket.

Most accessory sockets are ignition controlled. You could either get an auto-electrician to re-wire it so it is ignition controlled OR you could hard wire.

BUT if you hard wire you must remember that the cradle expects 5v.

In most GPS chargers the circuit to reduce 12v to 5v is in the cigarette lighter plug. I do not know if this is also the case with the TT CarKit or if it's in the cradle.

It would be safest to wire in an accessory socket hidden behind the dash and plug-into that.
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:13 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The car kit gets a GPS signal pretty much anywhere within the car (unlike the crap receiver built in to the iPhone), so mounting it on the dash or even lower down on the dash won't present an issue.

The car kit will still pull power from the car if connected to a power source even without an iPhone docked.

Consider getting an additional ciggy socket wired in to the car fed from a switched supply such as the power to the radio or ignition circuit, the parts only cost a couple of quid and are available from Maplins/ Halfords etc, this way you can bury the wiring behind the dash and the supply will be switched via the ignition key - Mike
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mikealder
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Darren wrote:
In most GPS chargers the circuit to reduce 12v to 5v is in the cigarette lighter plug. I do not know if this is also the case with the TT CarKit or if it's in the cradle.

Indeed this is the case, the car kit is supplied with a 5V charger cable terminated with a mini USB plug capable of supplying up to 1,2 Amps - I prefer using mine with an older charger cable rated at 2 amps as I find the phone keeps its charge better when running the app - Mike
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nsp24
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PostPosted: Sat Jan 09, 2010 12:27 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

mikealder wrote:


Consider getting an additional ciggy socket wired in to the car fed from a switched supply - Mike


Thatís a great idea never thought of that it will also allow me to use the original socket for other items, There is a maplins opening near me in Harrogate soon so I think I will do this.

Thanks also to Darren who also suggested doing this.

Itís a shame the Brodit is so expensive for the mount and iphone adapter it would be about £40 for my Astra sport!

This iphone is costing me a fortune with kits, apps, cases and now mounts!
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