If you are reading this article, you are likely trying to pick out components to complete a mounting solution. RAM Mounts has a wide array of components and it’s sometimes a challenge to choose the right ones. This article will review the arm component which is what is needed to connect the base and the attachment adapter. The base is typically what is attached to your vehicle or surface such as a boat, handlebar ow windshield. The attachment adapter will connect to your device or a custom cradle.
Both the base and attachment adapter have a rubber ball. The arm is what is used to connect these two parts. The most common ball size is one inch and that is what is being discussed in this article.
The arm is a fairly simple component to operate. The arm consists of two halves joined together with a screw attached to a flywheel. There’s a single spring in the middle to allow easy attachment to the balls. To attach to the balls, simply turn the flywheel and loosen the arm halves. When the ball is inserted into the arm, tighten the flywheel.
There are two types of arms. One type is made of metal, the other is made of composite plastic. The plastic is made for lighter weight applications and is a little less expensive. The price difference between the plastic and metal is minimal and for the added strength and durability of metal, I always opt for the metal. In this article, we will discuss the metal arms.
The metal arm comes in three sizes. The most common size is the Standard RAM Double Socket Arm for 1 Inch Balls. This has an overall length of 3.69 inches from tip to tip. The socket to socket length is three inches. This means that your mount will be three inches tall not counting the height of the base and the adapter. The arm has the standard spring and flywheel described previously. This arm size is what’s found in most of the RAM Mounts and should suffice for most applications.
Perhaps more of a flush mount is required. I see this especially on motorcycle applications where the device, such as a GPS or smartphone, is a better fit closed to the handlebar. If that’s the case, opt for the RAM Double Socket Short Arm for 1 Inch Balls. Also known as the A-length, this arm is substantially shorter than the standard. The arm measures 2.38 inches tip to tip and 1.75 inches socket to socket. It operates similarly to the other arm except there is no spring in the middle.
In cases where a longer arm is necessary, consider the RAM Double Socket Long Arm for 1 Inch Balls. This is the longest 1″ ball arm that RAM makes. It measures six inches from tip to tip and 5.25 inches socket to socket. This is a good arm for suction cup mounts where the reach to your device needs to be shortened when adhered to your windshield.
After reading this far and still needing an even longer arm, there is a solution. RAM makes the Double Ball Adapter which allows connection of two arms together. I know some that have connected three arms together but when it comes to the one inch ball, I have found that two arms connected is the longest I would go. Bolting on a third arm might prove to be unstable especially in a high vibration environment such as a motorcycle or boat.