In-car Photos 3
Article by Dave Burrows
Back around the start of the new year (2003) I had
promised you all some new in-car photos.
I'm now currently running 3 GPS receivers in-car,
normally against two Pocket PC's, but I now have the ability to run 3 on a
permanent basis, and I also have the ability now to remove all the mounts very
What I now have on the drivers right hand side of
the car is an Arkon CM626 mount. This is not the multimedia mount!
This sits nicely on the dash in the small place I have, and suctions to the
windscreen nicely. The height gap just allows (within a few millimetres) an
iPAQ 3630 with
Arkon CM626 and Leadtek 9531 hidden behind on
Leadtek cable comes out from beside the dash
Navman sleeve to fit in (it's tight, but
it fits!). This allows me to run up TomTom Navigator or SmartST
Pro that I have installed and run this against the Navman sleeve.
I can then run another GPS program against the lead you see coming up
from the side of the dashboard which is the cable for the Leadtek 9531
GPS mouse. This sits behind the Arkon cradle so I don't usually
see much of the receiver.
Unfortunately the cable for the Leadtek
doesn't quite reach, I've managed to bring it down the door seal, but
I need to get an extension that will give me about another foot of
cable which should allow me to tidy this behind the plastic edging of
the door well. This cable then runs down the side of the drivers
mat (underneath) and plugs into a 4-way block that is located
under the drivers seat.
I have a problem where I need far too
many accessory sockets in-car, and trying to hide these IS a
problem, and the easiest way is to put these out of sight.
Remember out of sight, out of mind ? Okay, it's not perfect, but
it never gets seen, so I don't mind this too much, and it does give me
access when I need to plug another device into the accessory socket.
This socket houses both the Leadtek 9531
and my Radar Detector (Beltronics Euro 550) cable, and also will house
2 other chargers depending on what I'm using in car, usually a 3800
and 3600 iPAQ charger.
Now you would think this socket plugs
into the main accessory socket ? Oh no! Now why would I do
something as sensible as that ?
This 4-way block cable will come out of
the back of the drivers seat and be passed round the back of the gear
box / handbrake housing and plug into another (yep you've guessed it
now!), 4-way block that sits under the passenger seat!
Having a 4-way block accessible from
each side of the car makes tidying up cables easy. Because I
drive a sports coupe, I very rarely have anyone sitting in the back
(and if I do they have to be under 5ft tall!), so the photo you see on
the right, is with the passenger seat pulled fully up to the glove
compartment. When this is pulled back, this is hidden under the
passenger seat quite nicely.
I was originally going to do a more
professional job of hiding this cable by removing the gear box /
handbrake housing, however I will be changing my car in the next
couple of months, so didn't feel that the extra work and
re-installation warranted this.
So what plugs into this accessory socket
4-way accessory socket hidden under drivers seat
4-way block under Passenger Seat (seat pulled
to mention that I now also have a second permanent Leadtek 9531 that
sits on the left hand side of the dashboard. This again follows
the other install by hiding the cable down the side of the dashboard
and down the door seal to under the passenger seat. The cable
does actually reach so it makes the install slightly cleaner so I
don't have any passengers kicking any wires. The above accessory
socket you see also will have a mobile phone charger plugged into this
and if I have any other GPS test gear in-car, this will also be
plugged into this 4-way block.
Second Leadtek 9531 sitting on Passenger side of the
Now on a
regular day I would only have two Pocket PC mounts sitting on the
dashboard. The first you saw above (right hand side of steering
wheel), and I would usually have the left most mount you see in the
photo to the right. However because I'm using the Arkon CM656
(multimedia mounts), what I've managed to do is carefully unclip the
multimedia mount (as I don't currently use this) from the back of the
cradle, and removing this takes away a couple of cables per cradle
mount. I can then easily install two cradles with ease and
remove them very quickly. The long arm mount on the Arkon CM656
makes the arm as long as the dashboard's depth.
both of these mounts can be achieved in seconds, and the same goes
with the mount on the right hand side by the steering wheel.
quite easily remove both Leadtek's from the dashboard in a couple of
minutes, or within a few seconds there's enough cable to be able to
remove these from the dash and store them under the seats so they are
no longer visible from outside the car.
I am envious
of some of the professional looking installs some of our readers have
created, but for me, the most important thing is being able to remove
the whole setup within seconds, and this now gives me an easy
solution. Like many people, I don't like leaving this sort of
gear in full view when parking in public car parks or multi-storey car
parks, if I can remove most of this gear out of sight
Two Arkon CM656 Multimedia Mounts
(without Multimedia casing)
(Leadtek's under the seat and mounts into the boot of
the car), this makes it less desirable for the average thief who may
be looking around cars seeing what they can steal.
Finally I've included a slightly wider angle shot of
dashboard (below) so you can see the three cradles that are present.
On the far left hand mount I would usually use a
Leadtek 9531 with my iPAQ 3870 and whichever application I'm testing.
If I'm not testing an application than I would run TomTom Navigator on
this Pocket PC.
On the far right hand mount by the steering wheel, I
would usually use an iPAQ 3630 with Navman sleeve that would allow me
to run TomTom Navigator, and also to plug a Leadtek 9531 into the
serial port allowing me to also run up TrafCam.
On the middle mount, which isn't always in the car, I
can run my iPAQ 3850 with any new hardware I'm testing and with any
All three Arkon mounts sitting on dashboard
I also have the original TomTom Navigator cradle which
I use from time to time, and also the Navman sleeve windscreen mount,
so I can add 5 Pocket PC's in-car at anyone time.
Since completing this article, I have now received the
Arkon vent mount, which I'm playing with. It's had a couple of
days road test, and like the windscreen mounts is a very robust cradle
mount that hangs off of the vent mount slats. I'll have a review
of this available soon