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ginericLC

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Have any of you hardmounted a laptop in your 80s? I've been wanting to do this for some time to run my mapping software with my GPS. Suggestions on how much power I would need. I'm trying to go cheap because I realize that it is going to get trashed with dust and vibration. Any suggestions, brands, features, I should look for would be appreciated. Also how much power would I need to go wireless internet using my cell phone? I'm going to a new phone this month. I could get a phone that would be compatible for data transfer if I thought the future would include a laptop in the Cruiser that would do this.
 

alia176

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Eric,

For laptop power in vehicle, I recommend using a brand like Targus or similar universal power supplies. The primary benefit is that you don't need an inverter to be plugged into the cig lighter and your own laptop power supply brick. all this means is that you have less clutter. Check out http://www.targus.com/us/accessories_power.asp for some ideas. I have one of these in each of my vehicles, permanently hardwired.

I've never used the cell phone with my laptop for internet access. All I've heard that this process is painfully slow.

Ali
 

ginericLC

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Yes but posting an instant picture from the trail would be cool. I called my brother at work in 2000 while I was crossing the Golden Crack. I told him, "guess where I am, I know where you are." I guess I could get a phone that would do that now. Thanks for the heads up on the power supply.
 

ginericLC

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I used to really think that electronic gadgets had no place in my Cruiser. However, I have been thinking that the computer for the GPS would be justified. When I was in the electronics store I was looking at the new Sony headunits. One of them takes MagicGate memory sticks. I could video my Cruiser and have it be the display for the radio while music was playing. I'm still thinking too many moving parts at this point. But the fact that I thought about it for awhile and still find my mind wandering off to it is driving me nuts. It is not practical.
 
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as far as the hard mounting of a laptop on the vehicle you have a couple of options wich raises a couple of questions.
1. do you normally have a passenger in the frt seat while wheeling.
2. do you already have an inverter in the rig.
If you do not normally have a passenger in the front seat you can use a seatbelt held down cubby and soem straps to mount the laptop to the cubby, had these when I worked for an insurance company and they were nice.
other than that you can go with the police style flexy ple mounts but they are a bit much in my opinion.
on the inverter I like my old one I had again at said insurance company, was a 1000 watt hard wired and mounted in the rear cargo area. I then ran a usb cable and power to the laptop under the rear seats under the floor mats and had them sitting to the right of the center console. worked well and could tuck the cords under the passenger seat when I had someone in the vehicle.
on the laptops I liked my compaq presario 2500, worked well and was pretty durable.
moving on the cell phone internet, I believe riley here on the forum works for a cell based internet provider and he could probably get you the low down on those.
Dave
 
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a buddy of mine can connect his laptop to cell but it is painfully slow @ 9Kb /second, it takes forever to open a web page with just a few small .gif buttons, forget about posting pictures

it is very handy for checking flights wile traveling


the GPS thing would be nice, to bad you dont have a 96/97 as you could also run auto-tap or some other OBDII software to keep an eye on the engines controls

you may be better off with just a good standalone GPS unit, it would take up a lot less room and be a lot more reliable
 

alia176

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here's the skinny on laptop mounts: Jotto desk or RAM mounts. Both have good produts so figure out what you need/spend and buy accordingly. Incidentally, I've seen both units mounted such that the passenger space wasn't bothered. But do know this; all laptop mounts will eventually weaken and start to teeter totter. That's a s*** load of weight at the end of a long lever. This can be reduced by running some sort of a lateral brace from the dash or something.

As someone said earlier, go with a GPS. You can always use a laptop for Streets and Trips or Topo software. However, the GPS will tell you good info all other times when you don't feel like messing with a laptop/cords/ etc. Incidentally, you can easily make up cables for most GPS /laptop interface. Check the 'net for instructions and materials.

Whatever laptop you end up with, set it up for minimal hdd spinning. They really hate rough bumps and such while spinning!

Curious, how difficult would it to be to mount a smaller or mini laptop on top of the dash with some creativity? Normal laptop is too large for this but nowadays the mini laptops are quite small. I'm not talking about palm tops or PDAs or such.

Ali
 
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I've been considering the new Garmin Ique 3600, but havn't seen one in person to test it out. Kinda funny, considering their headquarters is about 2.5 hours from where I live.

B000087BXU.01.LZZZZZZZ.jpg


Anyway, in case you don't know, it's a GPS/PDA combination, so the screen--while definitely not laptop size--is full color and larger than most other GPS displays. Not sure where the best place to mount it would be, however. The Garmin auto mount looks like a little 'bean-bag' stand that sits on the dash. I'd like to find something cleaner than that. I know Ram mounts has some that will work; might play around with that.

Cheapest place I've seen them is at Amazon.com
http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/B000087BXU/qid=1070917819//ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i0_xgl23/102-0146003-8164145?v=glance&s=electronics&n=507846:
 
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Wilmington, NC
All,

I am working on a laptop mount for my Lancruiser. I am building one that you should not have to drill any new holes. I am using the screw hole that is the in center console. It will hold my compaq laptop and let me use my TOPO software on the trail. I should be done with the setup in the next few weeks and will post some pics. As for what Ali said about the jolly stands they are nice but very expensive!! For the power supply I have a DC to Ac converter to use. I looked up that web site on the other power supply but I they are $100!

Tim
 

alia176

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Tim,

send me some pics too when you're done. Always looking for ideas from people on projects!

thanks.

ali

ps Targus is expensive. One good thing is that using their multiple tip concept, you can power up PDAs, cells, cameras and other laptops. I used them on airplanes for work quite a bit.
 
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Dave was almost spot on - I do work for a company that manufactures wireless data products, not a provider (don't want to painted with that brush). ::)

We manufacture wireless data PC cards (we call it an Aircard) but using a cellphone with a cable is just about the same thing and much less expensive if you are ok with having a cable run between your phone and laptop. The data speeds are about the same nowadays regardless.

With modern day technology you should be able to get from 40Kbps to 80Kbps or even higher. When talking to your wireless company tell them you want:

GPRS or EDGE (companies like ATT or T-Mobile) GSM technology
1X or 1XEVDO (companies like Spint or Verizon) CDMA technology

with these handsets you should get some pretty good speeds. ATT has just launched EDGE with the Nokia 6200 phone and you should get some real fast speeds and I think it's unlimited data.

Let me know if you need more info or help, I may as well use this useless info for something related to wheeling.

Riley
 

ginericLC

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Thanks for the info on the phones. AT&T and I are done at the end of the month. So I'm in the market for a new phone and new service. I will take your specs with me when I go shopping. I also appreciate the info on the power supplies. That is helpful too. Something I wasn't exactly thinking about when I started looking at laptops. I'm still thinking on how to do the lap top. I'm going to rip out my consoles and look to see what kind of space I have. I'm thinking I could mount a smaller LCD screen on a flip down screen near the dome light that would work as a display. They are getting pretty cheap these days. I'm going to have to really plan the whole system out prior to starting so I get what I want even if I have to do it in phases. Once I get something in place I will let you know.
 

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