RAM makes an excellent mounting system. They are well made, very stable and come with a lifetime warranty. However, they are also very easy to steal. While it’s almost impossible to make anything completely theft-proof, there are some add-on options that will make your expensive RAM Mount a lot more difficult to steal.
The first line of defense is the base. Use a base that uses tools for attachment such as flat surface mount or a u-bolt handlebar mount. The RAM Flat Surface Base has pre-drilled holes for mounting with bolts to a flat surface. This is an example of a good base that’s difficult to steal. Mounts such as a suction cup or clamp make poor candidates for high theft environments. You can make the mount itself as secure as you like, but if it’s a suction cup, there’s not a lot you can do to prevent a thief.
So assuming you have a secure base, the best way to stop a thief is to use a good lock. The RAM Locking Knob for 1″ Ball Arms is what’s shown in the photo that accompanies this article. It combines a keyed lock with a turning knob. I often see these on RAM motorcycle mounts but they are equally effective in any environment. These large round knobs will replace the flywheel on your standard arm. Simply twist off the current knob and add this locking knob. The knob features a real lock complete with two keys. You lock the knob and when someone tried to turn it without the key engaged, it simply spins and never loosens the arm. I’m often asked if multiple knobs can have a matching key pattern which I have yet to see as there are a large number of keyed patterns.
A less secure option but one to consider is the RAM Mixed Combination Pin-Lock Security Knob and Key Knob for 1″ Diameter B Size Arm which consists of a 1/4″-20 female threaded security knob and key knob. Like the locking knob, this security knob replaces the standard flywheel that is found on RAM arms.
There is a second part of this knob which has a corresponding pattern for removing the knob. Without it, the knob will simply spin. This is a much less expensive option versus the locking knob, but it’s also a bit less secure. If someone else has one of these Pin-Lock Security Knobs, they will be able to loosen your mount. While there’s a good chance this won’t be a worry, it’s an exposure to be aware of.
While these accessories will make your mount much more difficult to steal, they do not protect your device. If you have a valuable device, remove it when not present.
The items discussed in this article are for making the mount more secure, they won’t affect the security of the device that is mounted. There are some locking cradles available from RAM especially for tablets which can be paired with these locking knobs and will provide an excellent theft deterrent. However there aren’t any locking cradles for marine electronics nor most GPS units.