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 effect 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 plus continue to sell our most popular items on Amazon which you can be viewed here.You may also use the Amazon link at the top of our page to visit Amazon. Email us at email@example.com if you need anything.
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.
I remember when mobile phones first went mainstream with the infamous bag phone. It costs 99 cents per minute to make a call. You took a rubber antenna and used a suction cup to stick it to your windshield. Call quality was sketchy and you only used it in an emergency. That was about 25 years ago. These have come a long way. Next time you sit down at a restaurant, take a look around. People no longer talk to each other while waiting for their dinner to arrive, they’re checking out Facebook on their phones.
The use of mobile phones in your car is now way beyond mainstream. Phones can now replace GPS devices quite capably. Take a look at Waze. It provides the capability that you would find in a $200 GPS including updated maps and current traffic conditions. And it’s free. Although a smaller size than a DVD player or tablet, you can entertain the kids with a video or YouTube. And oh yeah, you can make calls for much less than 99 cents per second.
This article will help you to select the right car mount for your mobile phone.
First measure your phone to ensure the cradle part of the mount will fit. Stay away from mounts with custom cradles and instead opt for a universal as this will permit the use of a case or skin and can be used again when you purchase a new phone. Secondly think about where you would like to put it. We will review a few most popular mounting types below. Lastly, be sure the mount that you purchase has a few important features included namely the ability to tilt, swivel and pivot. Also be sure that the cradle part of the phone will not block any buttons or ports.
Suction Cup Mounts – These continue to be the most popular mount although I do not personally think it is the most practical. I think these are the first type of mount people think of and that’s why they are so popular. Be sure to purchase a mount that has a suction cup that is at least three inches across with a vacuum grip. Be certain that your state permits use of a windshield mount as there are a few that do not as outlined in a recent article. A very popular and affordable windshield suction mount that we have spoken about before is the entry from Arkon which you can see here.
Air Vent Mounts – This is my favorite location for mounting a phone. This keeps your phone at a perfect location near the windshield yet out of view of a potential thief. Try to purchase a mount that uses a vice to attach versus the arms. It is easier to install and remove and works on practically any vent type.
Mirror Mount – These are relatively new mounts and also one of my favorite locations. The photo that accompanies this article shows a mirror mount in use with an iPhone. Mirror mounts typically include a vice grip that attaches to the top and bottom of your rear view mirror. These place the phone at an excellent location very close to the line of site for the road.
Cup Holder Mount – As long as your cup holder isn’t larger than a 7-11 Big Gulp, use it for a car mount. We wrote about cup holder mounts in great detail in a prior article. I have eight cup holders in my car and can’t possibly use them all for drinks. Why not use one for a mount. Be sure to purchase a cup holder mount that has an expandable base for different size cup holders.
Dash Mount – Dash mounts come in two flavors. First is a weighted base with a suction cup mount that attaches to a round smooth plate. There is a second type of dash mount which will use adhesive to attach to your dash. Although these types of mounts are popular, I prefer one of the previously listed options.
Lighter Mount – We discussed these in greater depth in a prior article. These mounts combine a charger with a mount. Be sure your lighter is deep enough to support the weight of a phone. Lighters that are vertical seems to work best for these types of mounts. Also be certain that your stick shift will not get in the way of the mount when you are in park.
That’s a lot of options. There are even more options that I didn’t discuss because I don’t think they work as well as the options listed above. Some of these mounts come with extended warranties that are worth taking into account. Again, be sure to go with a universal cradle and not a custom one. That will allow you to use a case or skin as well as re-purpose your mount for the next time you upgrade your phone.
When you first purchased that mount, you thought it was so great that you really didn’t give much thought to taking it off one day. Perhaps you thought (like I do) that you will worry about that when the day comes, which you never really thought it would. Well now you are getting ready to sell your car, and guess what, that day has come. You try to just pull it off. The thing is stuck like someone took cement to the bottom.
Most adhesive mounts use a very special glue disk called Very High Bond also known as VHB. It is a very expensive form of adhesive attached to a thin paper or rubber strip likely manufactured by 3M. Very expensive to purchase but also the best around for adhering lightweight mounts to a leather or plastic dashboard in a car. It is not made to come off easily.
So what do you do? Fortunately there is a way to remove these mounts while inflicting little to no damage on your dashboard.
First, do not attempt to remove your mount in a cold environment. If you live in the northern part of the country and it’s the winter, take a hair dryer out to your car and warm up the area where the mount is attached to your dash. After doing that, take a thin butter knife and very slowly begin to cut away at the paper or rubber that has the adhesive attached to it. Be very careful to not cut into the dashboard. Exert a slight upward pressure on the mount while you slowly ease the butter knife under it.
Hopefully once you get that done, the mount has come loose. You will likely be left with some glue or paper residue on your dash. Go to your neighborhood Home Depot or Walmart and pick up a small bottle of a solvent called Goo Gone. This stuff is incredible at removing adhesive residue from surfaces such as a dashboard and I have never know it to stain. There are a few different kinds of Goo Gone. I like using the gel because you do not need to worry about it spilling on other surfaces in your car. Lay down a small amount of Goo Gone on the adhesive residue and let it soak in for ten minutes. Attack it with a clean rag and apply some pressure. You will hopefully get it all in the first shot but you may need to apply a few coats of Goo Gone for complete removal of the mount. The nice part about Goo Gone is that it does not matter how long the mount was there, it will still work. You may notice the spot where the mount was attached is slightly lighter but that’s not because of the Goo Gone, that’s what the color of the dash looked like when you first attached the mount as the sun and dirt will discolor your dash over time.
Hopefully this article helped to make your dash look as good as before you applied the adhesive mount. Don’t be afraid to buy another one for your new car that now that you know the secret for removal.
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 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 universale 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.
As for recommendations, we 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.
It still amazes me how many cup holders exist in today’s cars. I have an SUV. There are two in the front middle, one in each of the four doors, two more embedded into the rear seat armrest and another two in the back where I have a third seat that we used once just to see what it felt like to sit in it. That’s ten cup holders. Who drinks that much water? Using one (or more) to mount your phone, tablet, satellite radio or GPS seems like the logical thing to do.
A cup holder mount typically consists of three components. The expandable base will typically expand to fit almost any size cup holder, there is a an adapter or cradle for your device, then normally some sort of extension to connect the base to the cradle. Before selecting a cup holder, measure the diameter across the cup holder and make sure that what you select will expand to fit the width. Second, determine how high of a reach beyond the top of the cup holder you would like your device to be. If you have a tablet, don’t forget to factor in the size of your tablet. Thirdly, if you will be buying a car cup holder mount with a universal cradle, measure your device to make sure it will fit. And lastly, be sure the mount swivels your device into landscape and portrait.
After purchasing your cup holder mount, installation is typically a five minute activity. First, make sure the cup holder is clean and there isn’t anything in the cup holder. You will then adjust the base. You will adjust the base by typically turning a knob or wheel, it will vary depending upon the brand that you have purchased. Make sure that the sides of the cup holder mount have expanded extremely tightly to the cup holder. Failure to do that means your mount may tip over with the first wide turn. Next you will install the cradle. Most cradles have one to four slots on the back that will fit over a series of forks on the mount. Push it down tightly onto the mount. You can then install your device into the cradle. Orient the cradle and adjust the mount so that you will not have to do this while driving. Place it an angle that is easy for the user to see. Try interfacing with it so that you can be sure that when you touch it, that it will not move.
For specific recommendations, it depends upon the device that you are trying to mount, but here are a few good ones for you to consider.
If you are thinking about buying a one for a phone, then Bracketron offers an excellent cup holder mount. The bottom expands by twisting the knob just above the base. The cradle has a nice feature where the side grips separate to accommodate your phone configuration. So if you have a port or volume buttons on the side, you can move the arms up or down so as not to interfere with them.
Moving into the tablet space, take a look at iKross cup holder mount. These mounts serve a dual purpose in that it includes cradles for both a phone and a tablet. The mount is adjustable and solidly made to easily handle the weight of your tablet.
For GPS devices, the winner is Arkon. They make a cup holder mount with a flexible gooseneck which has a 17mm ball at the end. They are the only company we know of that offers this unique ball size. This ball size will snap right into the back of your Garmin Nuvi cradle. It includes a flexible gooseneck to adjust the angle of the mount.
If you would like to mount a satellite radio in your cup holder, Arkon is the only company we know of that make a mount for Sirius or XM radios. Their mounts include an AMPS adapter plate that has the holes and screws needed to attach to the back of your Sirius / XM radio.
GPS systems have been around for many years. While the technology has advanced considerably, the mounts that are provided by the manufacturer have stayed the same. To this day, when you open your brand new GPS box, you will meet your new mount which will typically be a small suction cup similar to what you can purchased for a few dollars online. The issue with these mounts is that you can use them in one place which is the windshield. The second issue is that, well, what if you wanted to mount your GPS somewhere other than the windshield? This article will help you to choose the right GPS car mount for your car. If you are interested in an article about mounting on your motorcycle, read the articles we wrote on this topic. You can view them here and here.
Suction Cup Mounts: Since the manufacturers provide a suction cup mount in the box with your GPS, it should be no surprise that the most popular location to mount a GPS is the windshield. If you need to replace your suction mount, look at some better made suction mounts, specifically one that has a suction cup diameter of at least 3 inches across. However, before you spend any money on a new suction cup mount, read our tutorial on how to fix a failing suction cup to see if the problem can be addressed without buying a new one. Also, be sure that your state allows mounts on your windshield. We have written previously about the states that have an issue with windshield mounts.
Dash Mount: The second most popular location for mounting a GPS is the dash. Dash mounts come in two flavors. The first type uses your existing suction cup mount. The base is often weighted and features a non skid bottom similar to one of the mounts we reviewed which you can read here. There is a second type of dash mount which is simply an adhesive round plate. Like the weighted mount, these feature a smooth round surface which your suction cup will stick to.
Vent Mount: I always liked vent mounts. Typically, the vent is at the perfect location for a driver as your eyes do not have to wander very far from the windshield to see the GPS. Anotgher advantage is that the vent is always somewhat below the view of a passing bad guy who is looking for windshield mounts. The drawback about vent mounts is that removal is often tricky and they normally only work on horizontal vents. If you decide to try a vent mount try to purchase one that uses a mini vice to attach to the vent slats versus the typical mount which uses arms to attach.
Cup Holder Mount: Ever notice the number of cup holders in your car? You can’t possibly put that many drinks in your car so why not use one of them as a GPS mount. Be sure that the cup holder is a normal size, smaller than a 7-Eleven Big Gulp as most cup holder mounts will only expand so far. Also, buy a cup holder mount made for your GPS. I see too many phone mounts with universal cradles being sold for a GPS. Avoid those as they will not fit your GPS properly.
Lighter Mount: Never could figure out why these weren’t more popular. We wrote a detailed overview on lighter mounts which you can read here. Depending upon where your car power port or lighter is located, these can place your GPS at a great location. Some lighter mounts include an integrated USB cable to power your unit and cost less than a new charger. Before purchasing a lighter mount, be sure than your stick shift when put into park will not bump up against your GPS. Also be sure that your lighter is fairly deep otherwise the weight of the GPS will likely pull the mount out of the receptacle.
So, as you can see, there are a variety of options that make good alternatives to a suction cup. Most are made even better than the ones that you got with your GPS and many come with extended or even lifetime warranties. You may also find that some of these alternative mounts are universal and can also be used when you upgrade your GPS several years from now.
The Garmin Zumo was first introduced in 2006 for motorcycles. Garmin realized that TomTom was dominating the motorcycle spaces with their TomTom Rider and introduced these to compete with TomTom. This line of GPS has been very popular with motorcyclists and Garmin has introduced ten Zumo models to date. Surprisingly, not all Zumo models come with a motorcycle mount in the box which never made a lot of sense to me. This article will discuss mounting options for the Garmin Zumo line of GPS devices.
The Garmin Zumo motorcycle mounts we will discuss in the following few paragraphs apply to the 350LM, 390LM, 450, 550, 590LM, 660, 660LM, 665 and 665LM. That’s every Zumo model except the 220.
The most common option is marketed by Garmin as their model number 010-10962-00. This is a mount that will attach to the back of the Zumo cradle using the bolts and screws that came with the motorcycle cradle that you likely received in the box with the GPS. The square plate uses the standard 4-hole AMPS pattern. Use the square metal top of the mount to line the screw holes up with the back of the cradle. There is a metal arm that supports a ball and socket system. The base has a dual mounting option. Most will use the u-bolts that comes with the mount to attach to the handlebar. Some, especially those that ride Honda Holdwings as well as some Harley owners will use the brake or clutch options. The brake / clutch options will require you to remove the factory installed bolts and replace them with the bolts that are included with the mount. You may also use the spacers that are provided depending upon your model of bike. Instructions to do this are included with the mount. By the way, here’s a money saving tip, take a look at this mount from RAM. If it looks familiar, it is the same components as Garmin has these manufactured for them by RAM. My suggestion is to purchase the RAM Mount, save a few dollars and benefit from their lifetime warranty.
There are many other options for mounting a Zumo to a motorcycle. Another popular option is to use a fork stem mount. This mount will attach to the stem hole on many motorcycles. The mounting kit includes a bolt and a plastic cone that you can cut to fit the stem hole. The plastic cone can be cut from 12 -20mm and 28mm or .5” – 1.10”. You can use the mounting diamond of this mount kit to attach to the upper right and lower left holes of the back of the Zumo motorcycle cradle or if you prefer, replace the top of the mount with the 4-hole square component. Another popular mount for a motorcycle is the mirror hole which is very popular with many BMW models.
Many riders will notice some glare once you have this mounted on your motorcycle. Fortunately there are some nice inexpensive solutions available to shield your unit from glare and we discussed these options in an earlier article which you can read here.
Garmin has now introduced well in excess of 100 models of units as part of the Nuvi line. The 2013 GPS line included a series of lower priced GPS models called the 42, 42LM, 44, 44LM, 52, 52LM, 54, 54LM. The difference between all these units is size, map updates and coverage. All of the 40-series models have 4.3 inch diagonal screens. The 50-series have a 5.0″ diagonal screen. When you see the letters “LM” at the end – that stands for Lifetime Map updates. The 44 and 54 include maps for Canada and the US. The 42 and 52 have just the lower 49 states of the US. Personally, I never had use for the lifetime map updates as I found that you will likely purchase a new GPS before it’s tmie to update the maps. GPS models are like any other technology. The price drops over time. These units now sell for almost half of the initial price they were introduced at. Features wise, the current models that were introduced in late 2014 are pretty much the same. Save your money. Buy last year’s model.
In the box is a suction cup mount, adhesive disk and a charger. All of these units come with a cradle which the GPS snaps into. The cradle has a 17mm socket on the back and can be adapted to many alternative mounts by simply pulling the cradle off the suction cup mount that comes with your unit. There are many alternative mounts to the suction cup which we find to be very marginal in terms of reliability. The mounting kit in the box also includes an adhesive mounting disk. This is particularly useful for states like California and Minnesota where mounting to a windshield is not legal and you need to mount it elsewhere. We wrote a detailed article on these states and you can read it here.
The most popular mount made for the Garmin Nuvi series is their beanbag mount which has a 17mm ball which you can snap the cradle onto. We wrote an in-depth review of this mount which you can read here.
I continue to be amazed at the number of cup holders that are present in my SUV. I cannot possibly drink that many bottles of water nor can the passengers that ride in my car. Why not use one of these spare cup holders to mount your Nuvi? The cup holder mount for the Nuvi is made by a company named Arkon and it features a base that expands to the contour of your car’s cup holder. These place your Nuvi at a good location for viewing. for GPS reception, we find these work best with a sunroof as depending upon the location of your cup holders, it may be challenged to see the satellites in the sky.
Vent mounts have been available for many years but Garmin completely missed the parade on these until 2013. Finally coming out with a vent mount of their own, Garmin’s 010-11952-00 mount is a very well made mount. Unlike many of their competitors, Garmin saw the need for a vent mount with a clamp on the back if it. This means these mounts will fit horizontal and vertical vents. While it costs a bit more than the competitors, it’s worth the extra fora well made mount that you can easily install and remove.
We wrote recently about using a Garmin Nuvi on a motorcycle and you can read about it here. For the motorcycle, we like the RAM Mount line for these. First start with the RAM custom cradle for these devices. The RAM-HOL-GA55U for the 52 or 54 series and the RAM-HOL-GA54U for the 42 and 44 series. Couple these with the RAM-B-174U handlebar and clutch mount for the complete solution.
The Cobb Tuning Accessport is one of the most popular monitoring and tuning solutions available. Cobb Tuning has their headquarters in Texas. They started out tuning Subarus and have turned their Accessport line into one that can be used for multiple brands. Since this site concentrates on mounting solutions, we aren’t going into the technical details of the Accessport line, but will leave that for other review sites that have that level of expertise.
So onto the mount discussion which fortunately, we do have a lot of expertise with. The current and most widely used is the Cobb Tuning Accessport V3. The device comes with a cradle or holster that the Accessport will fit into. The back of the holster has two slots. The Accessport V3 comes with an adhesive mount that isn’t too bad. The bottom of the the mount features a 3M Very High Bond (VHB) adhesive strip. The secret to getting these to work is to only apply it when the weather is not extreme (too cold or hot) and apply to a clean smooth flat area. After you apply the mount, leave it alone for 24 hours. After a day, attach your Accessport and you should be fine.
But what if you do not wish to use the adhesive mount? There are situations where you may not want to stick anything to your car. Perhaps there aren’t any smooth flat surfaces to place the adhesive mount to. The adhesive mount is short and as a result the Accessport will be almost flush to the flat surface which might be an issue.
Fortunately there are alternative mounts available for the Accessport. A very popular option is to mount your Accessport to the windshield of your vehicle. A mount is available that includes the dual T pattern that will fit the two slots on the back of the cradle that came with your device. Attachment to the windshield is simply a matter of putting it in place then pressing down on the vacuum lever. Very easy to install and remove. Lost your cradle? No problem as there is a similar mount available which includes a cradle that will grip your Accessport by the sides. Work the same way as the first mount except it includes a cradle.
Another great option for mounting your Accessport is the car air vent. These mounts work on most air vents that have horizontal slats. The mount features two arms that clip onto the vent slats. Like the windshield mount, these mounts include the dual T pattern that fits the two slots on the back of your cradle. The mount pivots and swivels for placement at an ideal location for the driver to see it.
Seems like every cars have more cup holders in them than you could possibly have drinks to fill them. A cup holder makes a pretty good location for mounting devices such as a phone or a Cobb Accessport. Just be sure your cup holder isn’t the size of a giant Big Gulp and these mounts will fit quite well. Like the other mounts described, these also feature a dual T pattern.
Lastly, a good location to mount your Accessport is using a car seat bolt mount. We covered car seat bolt mount use in general on this site and you can view the article here. A mount to fit your seat bolt with the dual T slot pattern needed is available to fit your cradle.
I remember when a scanner meant having a book of frequencies to key in so that you could find the traffic of interest to you. Things have changed radically with the Uniden HomePatrol-1 and HomePatrol-II Scanner. Just key in your zip code, select the traffic type you wish to hear and the radio finds the stations by itself. It’s that easy. Up and running in minutes.
One thing that Uniden did not realize until after these radios were out for a bit is that people would like to use it in their cars. Fortunately they listened to their customers and came out with a cradle called a BCKHP-1. This cradle holds your unit firmly and will attach to many mounts on the market having a standard AMPS mounting pattern. The cradle is available at Uniden. The problem you will find is they are perpetually out of stock and you might be able to find this cradle at a small handful of HAM Radio shops. It has been difficult to locate for the few years the HomePatrol has been out.
The cradle is pictured within this article. You will see the front and back. Your HomePatrol will snap quite tightly into the cradle. The cradle comes with two screws and tightening nuts to attach to a mount. The distance between these two holes is 1.9 inches between the centers. That conforms to the AMPS pattern. You can read more about the AMPS mounting pattern here.
There are many mounts that fit the AMPS pattern. You may find mounts that have four holes instead of the two shown, but you can use them by diagonally aligning the corner holes on the back of the mount witht he two holes on the cradle. You will also find at least one manufacturer that makes mounts that just use the two holes for a perfect fit.
This radio is not light as it weighs in at several pounds. If you purchase a suction cup mount for your car windshield, get one that has a suction cup size of at least three inches across and has a vacuum lock. Because of the weight and size, you may find that a seat bolt mount might be a better choice. Select a seat bolt mount that is at least 22 inches high as you will want to ensure that the radio will extend above the passenger seat and can be swung out of the way. In SUVs or similarly sized vehicles, you might even want to select a 30 inch mount. The longer length will permit you to bend the mount and device out of the way when you have a passenger riding in your car. Although there are other AMPS mounts made to fit alternative locations, I do not recommend it as the weight of the HomePatrol-1 as well as the bulky size will make you wish you purchased a suction or seat bolt mount. Nothing worse than having your mount fall off within a mile of installing it at your house.
We have found that mounts made by RAM are a perfect fit for this cradle and they come with a lifetime warranty and as readers of this site know, we are big fans of RAM’s build quality. The most popular mount is their RAM-B-316-1-238U seat bolt version. This places the radio at a nice location and will not block your view of the road, solidly made and stands 18″. The 30 inch version of this mount is the RAM-B-316-1-30-238. If you would like to mount this on your windshield, use RAM’s suction cup version which is the RAM-B-166U.
Once installed in your car, powering the unit is fairly easy as you can use the included DC power outlet and plug it into the power outlet of your car.
Car seat bolt mounts have been around for 15 years. The first one that I ever ran into was from a company called Arkon out in California. They made a 15-inch seat bolt mount for your satellite radio. This was infinitely better than the sticky mount that you got with your XM Radio which fell off the dash the first hot day in July. I really thought I was a genius when I found that. Even though it was only 15 inches high, it placed the radio at the perfect location and I never had to worry about the sticky mount falling off the dash ever again.
Now it’s 15 years later. You can still buy that satellite radio car mount. If I remember correctly I paid $10 plus shipping so it’s a lot more today but they still work really well and even at twice the price, they are worth it. Back before the turn of the century, you didn’t have GPS, smartphones and tablets to mount in your car. Today though, you do, and the car seat bolt mount has matured along with the electronics industry. A seat bolt mount can be purchased that includes a universal cradle or custom adapter for virtually any device that you would want to mount in your car or truck.
You might be asking your self if a car seat bolt mount is right for you. The first question to answer is whether or not your car seat bolt is exposed and accessible. In the majority of the cases, the answer yes but in some rare cases, the manufacturer places the bolt underneath the seat or has covered it with molding. Now that you have determined that your seat bolt is accessible, make sure that your passenger is not going to mind giving up a small portion of their knee room to your mount. While most seat bolt mounts are flexible goosenecks, some are not. I recommend the gooseneck for the ability to angle it out of the way and to give you, the driver, the best angle. And thirdly, determine the height that you need to see it. I have seen seat bolt mounts in 15, 18, 22 and 30 inch lengths. The 18 inch length seems to work best for most cars. SUVs can benefit from the 22 length and large trucks can consider the 30 inch when available.
After purchasing your seat bolt mount, get ready for what will hopefully be a simply five minute installation job. You will need pliers or a wrench to loosen your seat bolt. You will notice that one end of the mount has a claw or loop. Try to purchase the mounts with the claw versus the loop. The loop means you need to completely remove your seat bolt where the claw just requires a loosening of a few turns. Once you get your seat bolt mount in place under the bolt, tighten the bolt. Use your pliers or wrench to tighten it as much as possible. I have seen so many buyers of these mounts complain that their mount is flopping from side to side every time they make a sharp turn. When I inquire about how they installed it, the answer is that they just hand tightened the seat bolt.
Today, you can find seat bolt mounts for virtually any device. Our favorite seat bolt mount use is for your phone. These mounts keep your phone out of your cup holder or passenger seat and keeps it handy where you can glance down for a quick moment. The Arkon SM488 is a seat bolt mount that I have used for many years so can vouch for its sturdiness and ease of use. A tablet version of this that I have also used is called the TAB-FSM. This is also available in a taller 22″ version for SUVs. The taller versions also work well in cars where it’s a little easier to bend it over your console if you have a front seat passenger.
I have found most seat bolt mounts to be well made and the gooseneck types typically hold up to about 1.5 pounds without any compromising of stability.