Tuesday, March 27, 2007

GPS mounts

I’ve had a few folks enquire as to exactly how did I mount my GPS to my Grahame Sisson Arctic Raider during the recent WaterTribe Everglades Challenge. And hang it, I can talk or write about gear ‘til the cows come home.

I’d been racking my brains as to how I was going to mount the GPS to where I could see it easily, was accessible enough to punch buttons, and didn’t interfere with either my Pacific Action Sail’s sheets or my Greenland paddle stroke - a bit lower than when using a Euro paddle. My kayak has an ocean cockpit, so I had a fair bit of room to maneuver with.

About four or so months before the EC started, someone on the WaterTribe discussion forum recommended Ram mounts. I researched which mount was specifically listed for my GPS – a discontinued Garmin GPSMap 60CS – and bought the two-piece Ram unit accordingly – a RAM-B-138-GA12U.

The unit came with two screws, and neither nut would fit either screw. I figured the unit really needed four screws, and bought a new stainless set from a local hardware store. Of course, this also meant drilling four more holes in my beautiful yellow topsides.

The next challenge I had to overcome was how to secure the GPS to the mount – there’s a ‘tunnel’ in the back of the mount for a screw to enter the GPS, but I couldn’t for the life of me find anything either Garmin-related or long enough to fit it (about 100mm). So I concocted some short bungee, which threaded through the ‘tunnel’ and flipped over the top of the antennae. The GPS didn’t budge the entire (wet) race, though the tension finally broke through the rubber loop of the GPS aerial, which thankfully didn’t interfere with the actual working of the GPS unit.

When I'm not using the boat, or the GPS, I loosen the wing screw on the side of the bottom mount, which releases the entire unit from the ball. The ball is left firmly attached (via the four screws) to the deck.

All-in-all, I was a happy bunny.


Michael said...

While I agree the little ball mount that remains on your deck was a good solution, would you have rather used your sticky-pod as the GPS mount instead had you known about it first?

Kristen said...

Good question, Michael. With the sticky pod, even though they do stick really well, they can be knocked off (which I did do once, when it didn't have the camera attached and I just caught it before it was lost for good). Even though my GPS is also attached by its hand cord, I just didn't want the hassle of having to worry about it, recheck it all the time etc, during the heat of the moments. I knew with the Ram mount that it wasn't going anywhere!

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 said...

Any time you can use concocted and happy bunny in the same post... You are having a most splended day. :-)

Capt'n "O" Dark 30 said...

Did you get my e-mail yesterday---
PEAK Camp and New Zealand connect?