Our site looks a lot different, doesn’t it? After spending 70 hours a week on running our online business, we realized we needed to change things. Working these long hours once in a while is ok, but after doing it steadily for over ten years, it began to affect our health and quality of life. We decided to shift our focus. We have retained a subset of our business to serve our prior customers and continue to offer our most popular products on Amazon. Mounts we have sold in the past can be purchased on Amazon and may be accessed here or you may use the banner at the top of the page.
For several years, we had a blog attached to our site that many of you found useful. We added articles as time allowed. We decided to expand our blog and write with far more frequency. We will continue to explain how to mount new stuff and use what you already have in ways you may not have thought about before.
Garmin, why did you integrate the traffic receiver into the cable? A lot of owners of a Garmin GPS don’t even realize this is the case. You would be amazed of how many people we heard from over the years that never realized this. They would lose the charger then buy an inexpensive GPS charger, plug it in, and voila, no traffic!
I’m not a cable expert so can’t tell you why Garmin opted for this design. Each traffic GPS has the actual traffic subscription tied into the cable itself. This means if the charger stops working or you left in your rental car, you will need to purchase a brand new cable with a new traffic subscription tied to it. Unfortunately, you cannot carry your previously purchased traffic subscription into a new cable. This will turn out to be a pretty expensive affair as a new traffic cable typically starts at $50 and goes up from there.
This article is about how to hardwire a Garmin traffic cable to your motorcycle. While I suppose you can buy a second traffic cable for this purpose and leave the other one in your car, you don’t need to as you can transfer the cable between your car and motorcycle pretty easily.
Now, you might be thinking that attaching a traffic cable to your battery is as simple as cutting off the DC end and simply attaching the barewires to the battery. This is a terrible idea for several reasons. The tip of the charger has. among other things, a fuse and power regulator. This is what’s needed to take the power to a lower voltage. You will likely fry your GPS (and traffic subscription) if you cut off the end and attach it to the battery so please do not do it.
A few lucky motorcycle owners may have a DC outlet built into the bike but most do not. For those that don’t, you need to install a hardwire that includes a cigar lighter ending to it. You will than plug your traffic cable / charger into that ending. So when you are done with this project, you will have an accessory outlet to plug your traffic cable into. Installation is fairly simple and if you are comfortable working on your bike, this should be a fairly simple project.
The Eklipes Charging System is an excellent addition for most motorcycles. It includes everything you need to hook up the power outlet onto your bike. The actual power outlet includes not only a DC port but also a USB port and an on/off switch. This means you can potentially plug in your traffic cable as well as charge your cell phone at the same time. This power kit includes a handlebar mount and has a chrome finish. There is a 5 1/2 foot cable to attach the adapter to your battery.
A similar kit but in a black finish is the RioRande Adapter Kit. This also clamps onto your handlebar and has both a DC and USB port for charging your GPS and a cell phone. It includes a five foot cable to attach your battery to the adapter. There is a built-in fuse but unlike the Eklipes model, there is no on/off switch.
Now if you would like to simply hardwire your GPS and don’t really care about getting traffic, that’s a little easier and is covered in this article.
Like many motorized bike owners, Vespa owners like to mount things on their scooters. The most popular items mounted are cameras, cell phones and GPS units. Mounting locations for a Vespa isn’t as easy as a motorcycle because there isn’t much of a handlebar. It’s a way different design from a conventional motorcycle such as a Harley or Suzuki.
There are three good locations for mounting devices on a Vespa which are reviewed below. Although you might be tempted to use a suction cup somewhere on your Vespa, we don’t recommend it. Suction cups in high vibration environments can become loose and fall off so we suggest using one of the three methods outlined below. Mounts for a Vespa are hard to come by because, well, it’s not a motorcycle, it’s a scooter and this makes a big difference. There are dozens of manufacturers that make handlebar mounts for traditional motorcycles, but since the Vespa doesn’t have a traditional handlebar, the options are limited – so limited that we are only familiar with a single manufacturer that has mounts that fit a Vespa. Fortunately it’s a leading manufacturer that has been around for a long time. RAM Mounts come with a lifetime warranty. Our phone recommendations below all feature the RAM X-Grip cradle which is an expandable universal gripper. We wrote a very detailed article on the X-Grip cradle which you can read here.
The most popular location for mounts is the mirror stem. The diameter of the mirror stem will vary but it’s typically .375 inches or thicker. This is quite a bit thinner than a traditional handlebar so many of the mounts that you may see for a motorcycle handlebar are unlikely to fit. The RAM U-bolt Mount for smartphones is a good pick for this location. The RAM u-bolt base mount is an ideal starter kit for attaching a custom cradle to fit your GPS. A very similar u-bolt camera mount is available to attach to any camera that has a standard 1/4″ – 20 threaded tripod screw on the bottom . Be sure to use the RAM plastic inserts so that the u-bolt can fit the smaller diameter of the mirror stem. These mounts come with a lifetime warranty from the manufacturer. Most components are made of powder coated metal. These are real well made mounts.
A second location for mounting devices to a Vespa is the base of the mirror stem. To install these, you will need to remove the mirror stem, place the stem through the hole at the base of the mount, add a washer, then reinstall the mirror stem. It’s not difficult and the install may look a little cleaner than attaching directly to the mirror stem as outlined in the prior paragraph. The RAM mirror stem features an 11mm holes which will fit most mirror stems. You can add a RAM arm and X-Grip cradle to complete your phone kit. You can also add a tripod screw to complete the kit for a camera.
The last location to consider for a Vespa is the dash. A flat surface mount requires some drilling and you need to be ok with a permanent set of holes. The prior two locations we discussed are temporary and the mounts can be removed when you want, but this gets bolted down and isn’t meant to be easily removed. The RAM X-Grip Flat Surface Mount can be bolted to any flat surface and comes with their popular phone cradle.
Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:
iPhone bigger and better. At least that’s what Apple calls it. Recently made available, this is the most popular release to date of a new Apple iPhone. It’s understandable, especially for those not already owning a more current phone. The performance and functionality improvements introduced with the new phone as well as the new operating system (IOS release 8) are significant. This is a site that focuses on the stuff needed to make your devices mobile, so if you want to read about some of the enhancements, take a few minutes to view it at Apple.
We would be remiss without mentioning one very important sets of features on the new iPhone 6 which is called iSight and Auto Image Stabilization. This combines some new hardware and software enhancements that will permit you to shoot photos and videos that aren’t as prone to a shaky hand nor as susceptible to a vibrating vehicle. This expands the potential of using your iPhone 6 for use as a dash camera or possibly for use on a motorcycle. If you choose to do this, make sure the mount that you purchase leave the rear camera lens uncovered.
When it comes to mounting this phone, it’s important to know the dimensions of these devices. The iPhone 6 is larger than any model announced to date. With a 4.7 inch diagonal screen this phone is 5.44 inches tall by 2.64 inches wide by .27 inches deep. The larger iPhone 6 Plus is even larger. Sporting a 5.5 inch diagonal screen, this iPhone is 6.22 inches tall, 3.06 inches wide and .28 inches deep. These are important measurements to keep in mind when selecting your mount. For those with any custom iPhone mount which features a cradle specifically made for your iPhone, they aren’t going to fit and you will need to purchase a new mount, or at least a new cradle. For those that have purchased a universal mount to hold your older phone, hopefully it opens wide enough to hold your new iPhone 6 series without a problem. Most universal mounts offer options to upgrade your cradle to a larger one. From experience, I suspect you will be able to reuse your existing universal mount for an iPhone 6, but not for the iPhone 6 Plus. The iPhone 6 Plus is a really big phone. It was made to compete with the larger models from Samsung such as the Mega and Galaxy Note.
Readers of our site already know that we favor the universal mounts because of the reasons just mentioned. So for those that never had a phone mount before, avoid the custom solutions and purchase a solid universal mount.
There are a lot of companies that offer some excellent mounting solutions for the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus.
Arkon, based in California, offers three inexpensive lines that fit all iPhone 6 models with or without a case. The Mobile-Grip 2 cradles were recently introduced. Mobile-Grip 2 features an expandable cradle that grips your phone from the sides. The cradle opens to 3.6 inches wide so should be large enough for almost all cases although you might struggle a bit with a thick case on an iPhone 6 Plus. Arkon also offers an older line called Slim-Grip Ultra which opens to over 7 inches. The Slim-Grip Ultra will hold your phone from the top and bottom and features support legs that can move from side to side. Lastly, the Megagrip cradle opens to 3.4 inches. The Megagrip has been around for many years and is extremely reliable. The Megagrip features one hand operation and opens with the push of a button. Arkon does not offer a custom cradle for any of the iphone 6 models.
iOttie, based in New York, provides some inexpensive mounts that feature the Easy One Touch 2 universal cradle which opens to 3.2 inches and will fit the iPhone 6 and 6 Plus without a case or skin. When adding a thick case, this line may not fit well. This cradle is spring loaded and sold with a variety of mounts for the handlebar, windshield and dash. iOttie is somewhat new to us and we plan to look closer at their offerings in the near future.
RAM Mount, out of Washington, features two custom cradles. The RAM-HOL-AP18U is made to fit the iPhone 6 and the RAM-HOL-AP19U will fit the iPhone 6 Plus. Since it’s a custom cradle, these will not fit your device with a case or skin. You can couple these with one of RAM’s mounting pedestals for the windshield, cup holder, dash or motorcycle. RAM also makes their ever popular X-Grip cradle, the RAM-HOL-UN7BU for the 6 and RAM-HOL-UN10BU for the 6 Plus. These universal cradles will open to grip your phone from the sides with or without a case or skin in use. Although the custom cradles are well made, we prefer the X-Grip universal cradles. It’s likely you will have a case or skin on your phone so go with the universal cradles. We do a deep dive on the X-Grip series which is worth reading here.
As for recommendations, I have used and really like the Arkon MegaGrip SM415 Mount for universal car use. This line is inexpensive and proven. You can use it reliably on your car dash or windshield and it fits your iPhone 6 with or without a case. The mount features a vacuum locked suction assembly attached to a pivoting arm. The cradle opens and closes at a push of a button and expands up to 3.4 inches so it will git the iPhone 6 even with a case and an iPhone 6 Plus without a case or with a very thin skin. The phone can swivel into any orientation. The mount also comes with an adhesive disk that you can stick to the dash to turn the mount into a console mount. The suction assembly can adhere tot he adhesive disk just like it would on a windshield. I have used these for a long time and can vouch for the ease of use and durability. Might be the best phone mount you can get for the price.
If you are looking to use your iPhone 6 or iPhone 6 Plus on a motorcycle, consider the RAM X-Grip line. These are heavy duty mounts that are mostly constructed of metal. The mount has gone through some rigorous shake tests and holds up well on a motorcycle. We wrote about X-Grips extensively on this site and you can view that article here. The mount that you would use for the iPhone 6 is the RAM-B-149Z-UN7U. The iPhone 6 Plus needs a larger cradle so you would select the RAM-B-149Z-UN10U.
Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:
So we’re eating dinner at a local restaurant on Route 46 in Northern New Jersey. We leave after a 90 minutes meal to find a bunch of glass all over the parking lot. I look at my car to find the passenger window smashed, my GPS stolen and the glove box all over the floor of the car. I remember walking into the restaurant and several people from the kitchen staff were outside smoking and checking us out. This is New Jersey and that’s the way the state rolls so I didn’t think anything about it at the time. When the local police arrived, he mentioned to me this happens a lot at this restaurant and said they typically involve GPS or smartphones left in plain sight. I mentioned the audience that we had encountered upon arrival and he said that’s probably a good theory but would not offer additional assistance in figuring this out. I spoke to the restaurant management who were of absolutely no help.
Well needless to say I never went back to this restaurant and in fact, a short few months later, they went out of business. The financial loss from the theft was less than $500. The side window needed to be replaced, they stole my Garmin GPS and a few other small items from the glove box. I did pick up a few tips on how to avoid this happening again in the future, from the police officer as well as some further investigation on my part. Some of it is common sense stuff.
The police officer told me that marks on your windshield from a GPS or phone suction cup mount is a common way for thieves to figure out if something good was hidden in the glove box. Indeed, when you looked at my front windshield there was an obvious round mark from my suction cup. So even though you might be doing the right thing by removing the GPS and mount and placing it in the glove box, that mark on your windshield is a clear indication that there’s something in the glove box, or at least there might be. The term “might be” is enough for a thief to take a few minutes to knock out your car window and check, thereby costing you a few hundred dollars minimum for a new window.
So, how do you get around that? Don’t use a windshield suction cup mount. Although I used a suction cup, I always recommend vent mounts because they keep the device away from plain sight. We wrote a detailed article on vent mounts that can be read here. Another good option is a dashboard mount as long as you remember to put it away before getting out of your car. We also wrote a good article on dashboard mounts that can be found here. A third location that works well is a cup holder mount as long as you have a spare and that article can be found here. One other tip to pass on is that if you are going to put the GPS in the glove box, don’t forget to also remove the charger and put that away too.
Another good idea is something that I call the “hat trick”. Remember the dashboard mount that I just mentioned? If you don’t feel like putting it away in your glove box every time you get out of the car, just throw a hat over it. I doubt someone is going to break in to steal a hat. Use a Mets cap, absolutely nobody would break in to steal a Mets cap (I am a devout Mets fan of over 40 years so can make these jokes).
Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:
|Garmin||Garmin bean bag mount with standard 17mm ball to fit the socket on the back of the cradle||Garmin Portable Friction Mount
|Garmin||Garmin vent mount with 17mm ball to fit the socket on the back of the cradle||Garmin Vent Mount
|Arkon||Arkon cup holder mount with 17mm ball to fit the socket on the back of the cradle||Arkon GPS Cup Holder Mount
I never heard of TechMatte until very recently. The company is based in Pennsylvania and distributes a wide selection of products targeting mobile electronics. Today we take a look at one of their mounts, the TechMatte MagGrip Air Vent Magnetic Mount.
Readers of our site known that I have been a fan of magnetic mounts for a long time. It’s so much easier to install and remove the mount. No worries about expanding a cradle or snapping your device into a holster. The key to a good magnetic mount is the strength of the magnet and the size and attachment mechanism for the metal plate that’s needed to adhere to the magnet. For those that worry about the magnet interfering with the functionality of the phone or GPS, I never had an issue. The magnetic pull is directed towards the metal plate that is attached to your phone or GPS therefore I never experienced any damage or malfunction of my phone or GPS.
The TechMatte MagGrip mount has three components in the box. The mount and two metal surfaces which are used to attach to the mount. There is also a well written small instruction booklet. The mount is available in black, red and blue which is unusual as most mounts are available in one color which is black.
The mount itself has a magnetic surface a little larger than a US Quarter. The back has four prongs that are used to attach to a car vent. This design allows attachment to either a horizontal or vertical vent. The attachment to the vent slats is accomplished by aligning a vent slat between the prongs and pushing forward. The attachment seemed relatively secure but not quite as tight as other vent mounts that use clips to attach to the back of the vent slat. I’m not too worried about it falling off, and with a day of use under my belt, it hasn’t budged. There isn’t a pivot available, so the angle of the device will be horizontal to the contour of the vent.
Two metal attachments are provided with this mount. Your typical round metal plate about the size of the magnetic surface of the mount with an adhesive backing can be stuck to the back of your device. As long as you don’t mind sticking something to the back of your device, this should work well and if you are not using a case or skin, this is the only option available. A rectangular metal plate a little larger than the round disk is also included. This rectangular plate does not have adhesive and is intended to be used by those that have a case or skin. The instructions indicate this should be used with cases. Simply place this plate between your case and the phone and close it back up. The magnet is strong enough to hold your device through the case. I tried this method and it worked real well.
The primary buyer of this product will be a smartphone user although I would think the magnet is strong enough to be used with a GPS as well. According to TechMatte, this mount should work with most phones, although they do state that the metal plate/sticker may affect wireless charging for some devices.
I didn’t pay much for the TechMatte MagGrip Air Vent Magnetic Mount, and think it’s certainly worth the price. Ideally I would have liked to see a pivot feature, but in the case of my SUV it really doesn’t make too much of a difference. Certainly worth your consideration.
Readers of this site know how fond I am of Waze. A very popular competitor to Waze is Google Maps. Ironically Google is not only the owner of Google Maps but they also own Waze thanks to a large purchase completed in 2013. The $1.3 billion purchase made a small bunch of employees millionaires overnight at the Israeli company.
On the surface, you might wonder why Google would invest over $1 billion on a product that is so similar to one they already have. Both applications are in the GPS category, gives driving directions and has some traffic abilities built-in. However when you use both extensively, it becomes clear why the purchase was made. We take a comparison look at how the applications stack up on some key features.
Cost – both applications are absolutely free. While Waze supports itself by showing advertising when you stop at a red light, I have not seen the same come up with Google Maps. I suspect that one day Google will also monetize Google Maps the same way that Waze does. Advantage: Tie
Driving Directions – both applications use real-time traffic integration from sources such as Intrix and monitoring their drivers in real-time. However, Waze has this whole social aspect that Google Maps does not. For example, if Waze thinks you have been stopped in the middle of Interstate 80 too long, it will ask if you are in a traffic jam. Waze also has reporting features that Google Maps does not so that you can report situations such as road work or even roadkill in the middle of the road. This all results in the most optimal route based upon real-time events. Advantage: Waze
Maps – The accuracy of maps seems excellent in my experience. I live in Northern New Jersey, as does millions of other people. I suspect this may result in a more accurate mapping experience than if I lived in a more remote part of the world so your mileage may vary here. I do find that Google Maps offers different views of the map including a topological scene that is unique. I’m not crazy about it when driving but it is a nice option that some may find appealing. Additionally, Google Maps provides routes based upon your mode of transport. For example, if you are walking instead of driving, Google Maps will optimize your route and change the arrival time based upon the speed of an average walker. Advantage: Google Maps
Traffic – Both applications integrate traffic reporting services, but as previously mentioned, Waze’s social aspect trumps Google Maps and as a result has more timely and accurate traffic reporting. Advantage: Waze
Usability – Google Maps has a more straight forward interface than Waze. It took me a while to get accustomed to the Waze interface and I still find myself pushing buttons that interfere with the map experience. Now one may argue that the more sophisticated the applications, the more time it takes to learn to use and potentially the more complicated which I agree with. However, if you are just looking for a simply to use driving application, Google Maps is the easier to use. Advantage: Google Maps
Both Google Maps and Waze have some real strong points and no major weaknesses. The above reflects my own personal opinion, you might have different experiences. You will need to base your decision on your own personal needs. If you just need a basic GPS application that support driving as well as walking, Google Maps might be the way to go. On the other hand if you (like me) prefer a lot of bells and whistles including a social aspect, Waze is the better choice.
If you would like to read a good article on phone mounts for cars which makes using these applications more enjoyable, you can view our article here.
The Garmin Aera 795 and 796 were released earlier this year for aviation use. These are great units that feature 3D Vision technology which shows a virtual 3-D behind-the-aircraft perspective of surrounding terrain derived from GPS and the pre-loaded terrain database. It’s touchscreen so simply slide your finger across the screen to rotate the view and show land and water features, obstacles, runways and airport signposts in relative proximity to the aircraft. That’s just one of the many neat features of this GPS line.
This article isn’t about the Aera. It’s about the mounts so let’s get started with that discussion.
Garmin included some nice mounting options in the box with the GPS. Included in the box is a yoke mount, DC cigarette adapter 12/24 volt cradle, home A/C cradle dock and remote antenna with suction cup mount. That might be all you need to get started but there are some additional options that can be considered as well.
First, let’s discuss the yoke mount. Garmin has partnered with RAM Mount to provide a solid metal mount that’s powder coated and suitable for marine use. That mount is going to bolt to the back to the powered cradle that has a DC adapter attached to it. Garmin provides a screw kit that you will need if you would like to attach this to an alternative mount so if you decide to replace the one in the box, be sure to save those screws and nuts.
The yoke mount can be upgraded or replicated if you would like. Select the RAM yoke base if you would like to use it in a second aircraft and do not want to move the mount from place to place. The arm that is included with the GPS has a short arm. That arm can be upgraded to an extra long 6″ size.
If you like the cradle from Garmin but would prefer a cradle that has a hardwire connection, you need the Garmin Aera Bare Wire Cradle. You can connect the bare wires to a panel mount product to transfer data, such as a flight plans, to your Aera. You can also connect to a panel-mounted radio to transfer data from your Aera to the radio. You can even connect to a transponder to display air traffic data on your Aera. This is a worthwhile product to consider if you have other devices that can be interfaced into the Aera.
Garmin does not offer the ability to turn the Aera into a panel mounted device however there are options to do this. The Airgizmo Aera Panel Mount Kit is a nice upgrade for your GPS. You would replace the yoke mount with this panel mount kit. You can turn the GPS on or off and set the brightness without removing the GPS from the panel as the mount has a button which lines up with the one on Aera 795 and 796. Be sure to check the measurements of this panel mount prior to purchase to ensure you have a space for it built into your panel.
A few additional mount modifications to consider involve replacements for the yoke. These replacements work with the existing arm and cradle attachment and are fairly inexpensive. You can turn the yoke mount into a flat surface screw in mount by replacing the yoke base with the flat surface mount. You may also turn this mount into a glare shield mount by adding the glare shield base.
Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:
Today we take a closer look at the Arkon GPS032 Water Resistant Mount. We have been asked many times over the years whether or not a car GPS can be used on a motorcycle or bicycle. We decided to write a detailed article on the subject which you can read here. We refer to weatherproof cases which are available for added protection against the elements. Coupled with a good mount, this is a good way to use your car GPS outdoors.
The case that accompanies this mount features a clear cover which allows the GPS to be responsive to human touch. In other words, you can manipulate a touchscreen GPS even when using the case. The manufacturer includes several foam pads which are used to provide cushion for the rear of the GPS and fit the unit right below the clear lens and to keep it still while riding. The case measures 5.5 x 3.5 x 1.7 inches internally. The case is zipper shut and features a cable access port so that you can run cables to the GPS if needed. The zipper is easy to open and close.
This is a weatherproof case. It’s not waterproof. This is an important distinction. Weatherproof means that your GPS is going to stay dry under light rain. If you are riding in a true downpour or for whatever reason stick the case in water, your device will get wet. Also keep in mind there is a cable port which if in use has a slight hole. It’s not a large hole but it’s enough to allow some moisture into the case especially in heavy rain. Keeping that hole away from the sky helps a little.
The case is advertised to fit GPS models up to 4.3 inch diagonal screen size however it will also fit many 5 inch models available today. As long as the dimensions are less than or equal to 5.5 x 3.5 x 1.7 inches, it should fit well. The case will also fit many other devices such as a satellite radio and even some handheld GPS units.
The included mount is a dual T version of Arkon’s GN032 motorcycle handlebar mount. This is a well made mount that’s typically used for holding a Garmin GPS. The mount fits handlebars up to 1.25 inches. Included rubber strips are used to prevent marring of chrome handlebars and to allow the mount to be used for handlebars that are less than 1.25 inches in diameter. The mount has an attachment with two tabs on it. The two tabs fit the two slots on the back of the case. The mount has the ability to swivel and tilt.
The mount provided with the case isn’t very high. Maybe an inch or less off the handlebar. Therefore you will need to be sure your handlebar has enough real estate available to place your mount as the case will sit almost flush to the bar.
Attachment to the handlebar will require a screw driver as it’s bolted onto the bar with two screws. This isn’t a mount that meant to be easily removed. The case itself can be removed easily enough though. Simply lift upwards and the two tabs will come off the two slots on the back of the case.
The Arkon GPS032 Water Resistant Mount is a solid selection at a reasonable price for protecting your device from the elements.
The eTrex line of handheld GPS units has been marketed by Garmin for roughly 15 years. The marketing is targeted towards outdoors use while hiking, camping or Geocaching. During the second half of 2015, Garmin released yet another new generation of their eTrex GPS line called the eTrex Touch. As you can tell by the name of the product, Garmin has added a touch screen to the GPS. There are three models of the eTrex Touch. The Garmin eTrex Touch 25 includes a 2.6 inch color touchscreen, an integrated compass, over 250,000 preloaded geocaches and 4GB of memory. While 4GB may not sound like a lot of memory, remember this isn’t meant for road maps, so you will not need as much memory. The eTrex Touch 35 adds a barometric altimeter to the features just mentioned. The eTrex Touch 35t upgrades the memory to 8GB.
We all know that people will use these for more than basic handheld use, so without further ado, we present some thoughts on selecting a mount. Garmin provides a GPS and cable in the box. There are no mounts. An important note is that the eTrex Touch lineup is a complete redesign from prior eTrex models. The only common mounting component is a rear button that’s typically used to mount to a belt clip so if you have a prior mount that used this knob (such as a belt clip) then it should work with the eTrex Touch line as well.
Any custom cradle mounts such as those from RAM will not fit. As of the date of publication of this article, they have not released a custom cradle. However, RAM does make a universal finger-grip cradle that’s often used with handheld GPS units. These have the same 2-hole diamond mounting pattern that your old mount likely used. The finger grip cradle can also be purchased as a motorcycle mount. This mount combination features the RAM u-bolt metal mount. It fits handlebars up to 1.25 inches diameter and the arm is three inches long. The mount features vibration dampening technology. We always recommend that you tether your device to your motorcycle and do not use your GPS nor adjust the mount while riding.
Garmin offers a few mounts for mounting your device onto a flat surface. Their weighted friction mount is a solid choice especially if using the eTrex inside a car or truck. Just snap your eTrex onto the cradle and place the mount onto your dash. It’s easy to install and remove. This mount features the extremely popular Garmin friction mount which we reviewed here. Garmin also offer a screw down flat surface mount. You will potentially see these advertised for older GPS models such as a Rino or Colorado but they also fit the eTrex Touch as Garmin often makes mounts that fit dozens of models.
If you would like to use your GPS on bicycle, Garmin offers a stem mount. It’s an inexpensive mount that uses twist ties to fasten it to your stem or handlebar. Since the mount is permanent, be sure you like where you put it or you will need to cut the ties and buy new ones. This mount is good for a bicycle, not a motorcycle. A motorcycle has too much vibration and I don’t trust twist ties on anything other than a bicycle. Garmin also offers a variety of accessories to hold your GPS in a variety of places on your body such as around your neck attached to your belt or clipped to a backpack. These are especially useful if you are geocaching.
I continue to find it surprising that Garmin does not offer a suction mount option for the eTrex Touch. This is consistent with the previous versions of eTrex. I suppose since it’s not intended to be used in a car, a suction cup mount is not necessary. If you absolutely need a suction mount, the RAM finger-grip cradle previously mentioned can be found as a suction cup combination.
On a related note, I have seen some dealers offering screen protectors for the eTrex models. Please save your money and do not buy these. Most GPS units made over the past five years use an anti-scratch lens and under most normal use will not show any scratches. In addition, this is a touchscreen GPS and some screen protectors will render the touch option useless.
Mounting Components Discussed in this Article:
Turns out LG makes a pretty wide array of products than range in size from a big refrigerator to a small cell phone. Today, we will talk about something on the smaller end of their product line, mounts for the LG G4 smartphone. The LG G4 is a big phone. It’s what we call a phablet. We will discuss car and motorcycle mounts for the LG G4 in a moment but first some important specifications.
With a big 5.5 inch diagonal screen this phone is 5.86 inches tall by 3.00 inches wide by .39 inches deep. These are important measurements to keep in mind when selecting your mount. I’m not aware of any custom mounts for the LG G4 so we are going to discuss universal mounts. Because the G4 is so large, you can’t just buy any universal mount. You need to purchase a mount with a large expandable cradle. For those that have purchased a universal mount to hold your older phone, hopefully it opens wide enough to hold your new device without a problem. Most universal mounts offer options to upgrade your cradle to a larger one. Be very aware of the size of the cradle, this large phone won’t fit into just any mount. Be sure to measure your phone before cradle shopping and remember, if you have a case or skin, the dimensions are even larger.
The LG G4 costs a lot money. Buy a case for it. I have always liked the Otterbox Defender series which we reviewed here, and as luck has it, there is a custom Otterbox for the LG G4. A single drop on ceramic tile that results in a broken lens will cost way more than the case. If you think insurance will cover you, think again. Insurance policies purchased from your carrier have a deductible and for newer more expensive phones that can be $169 on up. So to add insult to injury, you will not only be paying the monthly insurance premium, but you will then pay the deductible. You can read our article on phone insurance here. Bottom line is buy a case.
OK, let’s talk about some mounts.
For the car, give the location of your mount some thought. There are lots of places to mount your G4. The windshield is the most popular location to mount especially if you plan to use it as a GPS with my favorite application which is Waze. A well made expandable product is Arkon’s Slim Grip Ultra Travel Mount. This mount features an expandable cradle which expands to over 7 inches using a spring loaded top and bottom. The support arms move so that you can expose any ports or buttons. This will fit your phone with or without a thick case. The mount comes with an adhesive dash plate so that you can attach to the mount to your dash as well as your windshield. This same company also makes a very formidable cup holder mount that includes the same cradle.
Another interesting location for your phone is the car air vent. The Arkon Magnetic Vent Mount is an excellent well made choice. The mount secures onto horizontal or vertical car air vents with added support leg for extra stability. The added support leg is unique to the Arkon mount. It enables additional stability over other vent mounts. The vent keeps your phone right around eye level and out of the way of potential thieves. Check your vent to make sure it’s well made enough to hang a lightweight device. A recent innovation is mounts is the use of a small magnet coupled with a very think adhesive metal disk which sticks to the back of your phone. The great thing about magnetic mounts is the simple process for install and removal. It’s a simple matter of simply matching up where the metal strip is to the magnet.
For motorcycle use, it’s important that you select a mount that has a well constructed cradle that is going to hold your LG G4 tightly so that it stays secure in high vibration environments. We like the RAM X-Grip line a lot. These are heavy duty mounts that are mostly constructed of metal. The mount has gone through some rigorous shake tests and holds up well on a motorcycle. We wrote about X-Grips extensively on this site and you can view that article here. Most motorcycles can use the X-Grip handlebar mount or the X-Grip clutch mount. Both of these mounts feature the expandable X-Grip IV cradle which can open to 4.5 inches which is large enough for most cases. We always recommend tethering your device for added security.
Mounting Components Discussed in this Article: