Yet Another Cycling Forum

General Category => The Knowledge => GPS => Topic started by: pdm on December 31, 2008, 12:07:48 pm

Title: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: pdm on December 31, 2008, 12:07:48 pm
I have used my Etrex GPS units on the bicycle for several years now and have always been dissatisfied with the handlebar mount supplied - it is too flimsy and, on some units, it allows significant vibration which can switch the unit off. It also only fits on the handlebar and I would have preferred a stem mount.

I therefore set about making a bomb proof tough mount for all eventualities.

Herewith an account of the mount build process - pictures are mobile phone pictures and so not brilliant but adequate to show the results...

Scouring the interweb, I came across the RAM series of GPS mounts - originally designed for motorcycles. GPS Warehouse stocks them (http://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod2394.html) and I bought a couple of these to butcher into shape - I did not buy rail clamps - most of them being designed for motorcycles and add too much bulk and weight.

This is how they are supplied, together with a set of fixing nuts and bolts which I discarded into the spares tin...

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image001_1.jpg)

And this is what it looks like without the wrapping before being butchered. Top side first...

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image002_1.jpg)

and the bottom side. You will notice there is an oblique diamond shaped mount area which usually bolts onto a mount.

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image003_1.jpg)

The other bits of kit required were:

1. A semi round rasp

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image004_1.jpg)

2. A small piece of high density foam. I used a piece of central heating pipe insulator foam cut in half. This has the advantage of being pre-shaped...

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image005_1.jpg)

3. 2 decent weight zip ties - use re-usable ones of you want to swap the mount from bike to bike.

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image006_1.jpg)

4. 4 mm drill or narrow pointed soldering iron. (not shown)



Method:

First lay the mount on a surface bottrom side up and use the half round rasp to file away at the mount along its long axis to create a wide mounting groove - if you want a handlebar mount, do it short axis. This is what it looks like after a few minutes of gentle and meticulous filing:

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image007_1.jpg)

and

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image008_1.jpg)

Next drill or melt two new holes at the other corners of the mount - I find a fine tip soldering iron gives a lot more control and produces an acceptable result like so:

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image009_1.jpg)

Next lay the HD foam in the right place and pierce with the zip ties - just pushing the sharp ends through at the right spot work very well - no need to cut or drill. Start from the outside push through to the hole, loop the tie over to the other hole and push through from inside out. You end up with it looking like this:

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image010_1.jpg)

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image011_1.jpg)

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image012_1.jpg)

Now simply place on your stem (or handlebar if you have a short axis groove) and tighten the zip ties:

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image013_1.jpg)

(http://www.meiring.org.uk/images/garmin/Image015_1.jpg)

Voila!

(If you want decent quality pictures, let me know and I will brave the -5C outside and do a better job in daylight)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Cadence on December 31, 2008, 01:25:08 pm
PDM

I really appreciate the step by step instructions - very many thanks indeed!

Now all I need to do is to work out how to create routes. Is there a free online site that allows route creation that works well with the Garmin extrex legend HCx? I have managed to create tracks with bikeroutetoaster but not routes. I've no idea how to get started with something like GPS Babel etc

Best wishes for 2009!
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: nic on December 31, 2008, 01:49:17 pm
Thanks pdm. All nice and clear  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: saturn on December 31, 2008, 01:55:21 pm
Thanks - bookmarked for if (when) I take the plunge.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: alanmc on December 31, 2008, 02:15:46 pm

Now all I need to do is to work out how to create routes. Is there a free online site that allows route creation that works well with the Garmin extrex legend HCx? I have managed to create tracks with bikeroutetoaster but

Not totally free (£5 for a years subscription), but Marengo (http://www.marengo-ltd.com/map2/) is very good for creating "direct routing" routes.

For a very good description of various routing methods, and an excellent tutorial on the finer points of tracks, routes, waypoints, routepoints etc, see Francis Cookes varioius "Living with a Garmin" articles on the  Audax UK site (http://www.aukadia.net/gps/index.htm)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: frankly frankie on December 31, 2008, 03:08:10 pm
Is there a free online site that allows route creation that works well with the Garmin extrex legend HCx? I have managed to create tracks with bikeroutetoaster but not routes. I've no idea how to get started with something like GPS Babel etc

This tutorial (using Google Maps) might be of interest:
http://www.aukadia.net/gps/lwg_7.htm (http://www.aukadia.net/gps/lwg_7.htm)

The end result is a gpx file (track or route, your choice) which you should be able to open in your copy of Trip & Waypoint Manager, and thus transfer to the Garmin.
But the more you get into this malarkey, the more you'll find it pays to get your head round GPSBabel.  There is a bit of a GUI for Windows users or you could even just use the web front-end http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/gpsbabel/ (http://www.gpsvisualizer.com/gpsbabel/)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: cheadle hulme on January 04, 2009, 08:13:23 pm
Thanks for the heads up. The clip on the unit snapped on mine so i'd been using a thin bungee cord to secure.
It stopped the rattling but wasn't very elegant! Stem mounted is much better.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: tonycollinet on January 04, 2009, 10:47:58 pm
Excellent - thanks.

Just ordered a RAM mount for my soon to be delivered Oregon. :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on January 04, 2009, 10:57:04 pm
I like the standard Etrex mount. I use it on a small Acor bar extender just ahead of the bars, in the middle. One good thing about it is that it is easy to alter the angle of the device.

Tonycollinet, the Oregon has a good stem mount available (unlike the Etrex), the same one as that for the Colorado:

http://www.handtec.co.uk/product.php/1019/garmin-colorado-oregon-handlebar-mount (http://www.handtec.co.uk/product.php/1019/garmin-colorado-oregon-handlebar-mount)

However, compared to the Vista HCx, the Oregon has a screen that is extremely hard to see in sunlight,  so the ability to vary the angle of view might be helpful.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Charlotte on January 04, 2009, 11:10:04 pm
Interesting - great howto there, pdm  :)

Oddly, I use a bicycle mount on the handlebars of my motorbike...

(http://i19.photobucket.com/albums/b187/vicechair/PC210503.jpg)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Cadence on January 07, 2009, 07:57:39 pm
I followed pdm's excellent step by step instructions earleir this evening to attach a RAM Mount for an eTrex Legend HCx and am very pleased with the result.

The only modification I made was to drill a couple more holes across the middle to add a third zip tie for uber solidity.

Thanks again pdm for taking the time to post such clear instructions. Very helpful indeed.

Cadence 
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: The Mechanic on February 18, 2009, 04:25:01 pm
As with Mr Cadence, I have just completed the installation of my Ram mount for Etrex Vista HCx.  Nice and robust.  Being a short person, my stem is not a long as PDMs and I have a couple of spacers above the stem.  However, still looks good and far stronger than the garmon mount.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Ivo on February 18, 2009, 06:45:13 pm
A nice kick at the right moment. I just ordered an Etrex and was figuring out which stemmount to use.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: rogerzilla on February 18, 2009, 06:52:37 pm
I've also ordered one - it's the only solution for oversize bars.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: rogerzilla on February 18, 2009, 07:44:56 pm
Heh.  Why don't they use the word "handlebar" in the description, then people like me might find it  ::-)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: The Mechanic on February 20, 2009, 06:41:32 am
If I remember rightly, you also need the small bar mount to get the bit that goes on the back of the garmin.  You don't get one with the large bar mount.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: rogerzilla on February 20, 2009, 06:49:10 am
Cunning, eh?
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: inc on February 20, 2009, 09:12:28 am
I use a 60 CSx but I think the bar mount is the same. I feel the original mount is strong enough but a pain to mount on the bars so I cut the top part off the Garmin bar mount filed a radius to suit the stem curve and drilled four holes for tie wraps then mounted it on the stem. It was just a temporary fix but has been there for six months now.

(http://i434.photobucket.com/albums/qq62/titan-photo/mount.jpg)

(http://i434.photobucket.com/albums/qq62/titan-photo/mount2.jpg)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: frankly frankie on February 20, 2009, 09:22:32 am
If I remember rightly, you also need the small bar mount to get the bit that goes on the back of the garmin.  You don't get one with the large bar mount.

Most Garmins come supplied with that bit in the bubble pack - it just tends to get discarded as an unrecognisable thing and then people go bin-diving 2 days later when they've worked out they need it ... 
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: rogerzilla on February 21, 2009, 06:19:41 pm
Gosh - the standard bar mount rattles like buggery, doesn't it?  Black electrical tape?
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: frankly frankie on February 22, 2009, 02:28:55 pm
Definitely.  About 3 layers, taking care not to interfere with the latch.

The rattle seems to be the main contributor to the dreaded momentary-loss-of-power syndrome - by eliminating it the GPS becomes much more reliable.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: PloddinPedro on March 25, 2009, 10:07:33 pm
Definitely.  About 3 layers, taking care not to interfere with the latch.

The rattle seems to be the main contributor to the dreaded momentary-loss-of-power syndrome - by eliminating it the GPS becomes much more reliable.
And beware this rattle - on my Map60CSx, the holder eventually ground the little "ears" on the bracket down enough to cause them to snap when I hit a pothole - next minute the whole unit was teetering, restained only by the lanyard wound around the 'bars.

I now make sure there's a skim of Vaseline to avoid this wearing away of the bracket and I also tighten the bracket screw hard, to bow the bracket slightly and reduce the play between it and the cradle lugs. Not sure what this will do to the bracket life though....
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Sergeant Pluck on March 25, 2009, 10:19:09 pm
Gosh - the standard bar mount rattles like buggery, doesn't it?  Black electrical tape?

Just put two (or as needed) little rectangular pieces of insulating tape, layered one on top of the other, on the Etrex part of the mount, from the little sticky up bit at the top down over the mounting screw to the lower end. This takes out the play and on mine (with two different mounts) it slides on very snugly indeed.

Re the other problem, the name of which I dare not speak, some judicious balancing of shock absorption versus solidity was required for a time. Now I have the mounts out in front of the stems of each bike, centrally, on these (http://www.parker-international.co.uk/7082/Acor-Carbon-Bar-Extension.html). At first I thought mounting the extensions on shock absorbing rubber strips at the handlebar end was the way forward but no: too much give is disastrous. Firm but not totally solid...
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Greenbank on March 25, 2009, 10:26:03 pm
Gosh - the standard bar mount rattles like buggery, doesn't it?  Black electrical tape?

Zip tie. As just visible here:- http://www.greenbank.org/misc/le13.jpg

Works for me.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Martin on March 31, 2009, 05:05:06 pm
got my Ram mount today; good gear  :thumbsup: I predict a day's rummaging in the bits box for a removable bracket underneathy bit

on a tangent; can anyone recommend a good cheap dashboard mount to use with the supplied little slidy mount in the car ? (typical modern dashboard; no flat or sucker-able surfaces; but has got a little glasses cubby hole under the CD

I assume a cheapo cigarette lighter - USB adaptor like Halfrauds have for £15 will do the job for power? Handtech shows a weird plug on the end of their version but nowhere to plug it in on the Vista  ???
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: rogerzilla on April 18, 2009, 12:58:44 pm
A standard USB power lead will do provided it meets the voltage standard (some don't).  Garmin will try and sell you one for about £25.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: andrew_s on April 18, 2009, 03:35:15 pm
Shock-absorbing mounting system, using RAM cradles
Softplate.nl (http://www.softplate.nl/uk/index.html)

Edit:

RAM now also do a quick-release handlebar mount for their normal GPS cradles, so no drilling/filing required.
https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod4137.html?OrdIDEnc=e2f97dd22abb39d4

   Part Details
 (http://www.ram-mount.com/CatalogResults/PartDetails/tabid/63/partid/082065080045050055052045049066085/Default.aspx)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Martin on April 24, 2009, 11:11:33 pm
RAM now also do a quick-release handlebar mount for their normal GPS cradles, so no drilling/filing required.

potential and probably real problem with that on a handlebar stem is that the GPS ends up too far forward esp with an Aheadset and ends up nudging whatever you have got fixed to the bars (in my case a computer and a front light) in the end I bodged a redundant rear seat post light bracket to fit via a spacer into just the front fixing hole; very solid but still slightly too far forward; an adjustable platen is needed  :-\

the cottage industries that have grown up around these gizmos are truly inspirational; takes me back to the days of the old motorbike shops with their display cards of replacement handlebar switches reflectors and grips behind the counter
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: AlanW on June 07, 2009, 09:41:40 am
As a pending Etrex owner I first read this article with a great deal of interest.  

I looked at the mounts that RAM produce and none of them fitted the bill really, I wanted one to mount central on the stem/bars.  But I also wanted the option to add a route card holder, just in case the GPS went AWOL!

So off we went to the garage.   ;D

This is the cardboard template that I made first of all, I then cut out this shape in Perspex.  (http://img3.imageshack.us/img3/1341/templateresized.jpg)

The RAM holder (RAM-HOL-GA16) screws to the centre diagonal holes.  The little clips used on the Polaris MapTrap are then fixed the three remaining holes.

The assembly is then simply zip tied to the stem/bars.  So looking at the finished item underneath it looks like this

(http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/993/mtbunderneathresized.jpg)  

Looking from the side looks like this

(http://img205.imageshack.us/img205/3519/mtbsideresized.jpg)   

From the top

(http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/1782/mtbtopresized.jpg)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: rogerzilla on June 07, 2009, 09:46:54 am
I bought the RAM mount but in the end went for the Garmin mount with some electrician's tape to stop it rattling.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: AlanW on June 07, 2009, 09:49:17 am
So taking it to the next stage and to include the route card holder, I simply extended the Perspex.  But after I had made it, it was to floppy and when riding the vibration was to great to read the text...dam  >:(

So mark II went into production, this time made from thin ali sheet, then adding the Polaris MapTrap to the end of it.  

(http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/8463/maptapandetrexsideresiz.jpg)

(http://img25.imageshack.us/img25/9696/maptrapandetrexresized.jpg)

(http://img7.imageshack.us/img7/6822/maptrapandetrexendresiz.jpg)

It has been used several times in anger now and it works perfect, result.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: AlanW on June 07, 2009, 10:15:12 am
I bought the RAM mount but in the end went for the Garmin mount with some electrician's tape to stop it rattling.

Before making my own I bought the RAM quick release mount.  But I was not happy about using it on my MTB and not really happy about it not being mounted centrally.  When used with the MapTrap mounted on a Space Saver bar, plus the bike computer, all of a sudden the handle bar area became very cluttered. :sick:

Hence the reason why I designed my own bracket in the end, keeps it all mounted in the middle and less cluttered  :thumbsup:
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: AlanW on June 07, 2009, 10:27:05 am
This is the mark I, Perspex version that proved to be useless, thanks to to much vibration.  >:(

However, it will give you some idea of the scale in case someone wants to make a similar item?

(http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/9606/sideresized.jpg)

(http://img191.imageshack.us/img191/2125/topresized.jpg)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: oxford_guy on September 01, 2009, 12:54:16 am
As a possible eTrex Vista Hcx, I've been reading this article with interest, as the one thing that's putting me off buying a Vista for my Hewitt touring bike, and making me consider an Edge 705, is the lack of a decent stem-mount for it. Ideally I would like to use the RAM cradle, but on a quick-release fitting, for easy removal.
Is there an easy to make (my DIY skills are lacking) solution to this and, if so, what specific parts do I need, apart from zip ties, which I have loads of? Thanks!

I would prefer a stem-mounted solution, but would consider a bar mount if that would work, but a) I have over-sized bars and b) I tour with a Vaude Aqua bar bag, so it need not to obstruct this, which limits my options a bit...
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: andrew_s on September 01, 2009, 01:15:25 am
I refer you to my earlier post:

RAM now also do a quick-release handlebar mount for their normal GPS cradles, so no drilling/filing required.
https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod4137.html?OrdIDEnc=e2f97dd22abb39d4

The questionable point about it is that it looks like it releases at 45deg, but the diamond adapter bit on the back of the Etrex cradle is as 45deg whilst the diamond plate on the back of the illustrated iPod cradle is in line.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: AlanW on September 01, 2009, 06:43:09 am
I refer you to my earlier post:

RAM now also do a quick-release handlebar mount for their normal GPS cradles, so no drilling/filing required.
https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod4137.html?OrdIDEnc=e2f97dd22abb39d4

The questionable point about it is that it looks like it releases at 45deg, but the diamond adapter bit on the back of the Etrex cradle is as 45deg whilst the diamond plate on the back of the illustrated iPod cradle is in line.


This is what I purchased in the beginning, but I personally didn't like it.  In principle I liked it and its certainly worth buying just to try it for yourself.

But it does sit quite high on the stem by the time you add all the items together, RAM cradle plus diamond plate, plus QR handlebar mount.  It was to high for me and all looked rather flimsey

Plus (and I am being really picky here) the machining on the mating RAM swivel parts was a just little bit out, which meant that I could never get it to sit central on the bars.  To be fair, it was only a very small amount and most normal people would not have noticed or bothered about it. 

Hence the reason why I made my own bracket, coupled with the fact that I don't 100% trust the GPS, and therefore needed to mount a route card holder as well.

Its really not that hard to make and will take you less than an hour.  The hard part was thinking about how to do it.  :o
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: oxford_guy on September 01, 2009, 10:12:22 am
I refer you to my earlier post:

RAM now also do a quick-release handlebar mount for their normal GPS cradles, so no drilling/filing required.
https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod4137.html?OrdIDEnc=e2f97dd22abb39d4

The questionable point about it is that it looks like it releases at 45deg, but the diamond adapter bit on the back of the Etrex cradle is as 45deg whilst the diamond plate on the back of the illustrated iPod cradle is in line.

Okay, I will probably order this and give it a go - am assuming I will need these parts only?:
https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod4137.html?OrdIDEnc=e2f97dd22abb39d4
and
https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod2394.html?OrdIDEnc=dc51ce77c6d2835e

Am thinking of also ordering the Garmin Large Diameter Rail Mount Adaptor (https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod2741.html?OrdIDEnc=dc51ce77c6d2835e ) too to see how I get on with that, I can always use this on my other bike, if I go for the RAM mount on my tourer...

I really like the look of the Softplate system (i.e. https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod4324.html?OrdIDEnc=dc51ce77c6d2835e ), despite the price, and Alan W's mount, but my bar bag takes up the space on the handlebars next to the stem clamp that these require  :(

Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: frankly frankie on September 01, 2009, 05:21:37 pm
Didn't someone make a stem mount by 'adapting' a Garmin rail mount?  It looked quite neat.  Discard the bottom half of the clamp, and shape the underside of the top half to suit the stem, drill through and cabletie. 
The GPS is then still QR, just leaving the other half of the QR attached to the stem, which is a lot less in-yer-face than the RAM mount.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: andrew_s on September 01, 2009, 06:20:13 pm
Okay, I will probably order this and give it a go - am assuming I will need these parts only?:
https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod4137.html?OrdIDEnc=e2f97dd22abb39d4
and
https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod2394.html?OrdIDEnc=dc51ce77c6d2835e

That's my understanding.
Does AlanW agree? (he's actually got/had one)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Tewdric on September 01, 2009, 06:25:11 pm
Okay, I will probably order this and give it a go - am assuming I will need these parts only?:
https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod4137.html?OrdIDEnc=e2f97dd22abb39d4
and
https://www.gpsw.co.uk/details/prod2394.html?OrdIDEnc=dc51ce77c6d2835e

Yes, that's all you need - it's what I just bought and used today.  I like it because it raises the GPS up a bit, making it easy to read, it provides a bit of "suspension" for the unit, is secure yet easily click-on-and-offable.  Perhaps a tiny bit clumsy but tolerable.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Polar Bear on September 01, 2009, 06:30:38 pm
Definitely.  About 3 layers, taking care not to interfere with the latch.

The rattle seems to be the main contributor to the dreaded momentary-loss-of-power syndrome - by eliminating it the GPS becomes much more reliable.
And beware this rattle - on my Map60CSx, the holder eventually ground the little "ears" on the bracket down enough to cause them to snap when I hit a pothole - next minute the whole unit was teetering, restained only by the lanyard wound around the 'bars.

I now make sure there's a skim of Vaseline to avoid this wearing away of the bracket and I also tighten the bracket screw hard, to bow the bracket slightly and reduce the play between it and the cradle lugs. Not sure what this will do to the bracket life though....

It'll cause the bracket to snap when you're miles (and days) form home rendering bar-mounting of your gps impossible for the rest of your three week tour.   >:(
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: pdm on September 01, 2009, 07:27:40 pm
I find the RAM cradle is "quick release" enough for my liking - the GPS unit can be popped in and out easily and efficiently at cafe stops.
BTW, the main reason for using the RAM cradle in the first place was to "buffer" the GPS unit and not mount it using the Garmin mount which strains the casing on bumps. Big bumps caused enough strain to cause the contacts inside to momentarily go open circuit and switch the unit off. This has never happened with the RAM cradle.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: PloddinPedro on September 01, 2009, 09:33:53 pm
It'll cause the bracket to snap when you're miles (and days) form home rendering bar-mounting of your gps impossible for the rest of your three week tour.   >:(
Yup, that's what I too thought would eventually happen if I pushed my luck so I fabricated an adaption (?) to fit it to a nice robust USE Exposure light bracket. Trouble was, my "engineering" skills weren't really up to it and the plastic Garmin cradle fractured on a fast, bumpy downhill on last weekend's Spa Trek, resulting in yet another bodge up to struggle through the rest of the ride!

I find the RAM cradle is "quick release" enough for my liking - the GPS unit can be popped in and out easily and efficiently and cafe stops. BTW, the main reason for using the RAM cradle in the first place was to "buffer" the GPS unit and not mount it using the Garmin mount which strains the casing on bumps. Big bumps caused enough strain to cause the contacts inside to momentarily go open circuit and switch the unit off. This has never happened with the RAM cradle.
I've had that problem too. I returned my Map 60CSx to Garmin complaining about it and they sent me a new unit - good service! No comments about the cause though. I hope you're right about the RAM mount because I've given up on the homemade mount and ordered a Softplate system today!
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: bikefish on September 04, 2009, 07:40:23 am
They sent you a new 60 !!
My bodge solution - a widemouth drinks bottle with a window cut out in a handlebar mounted bottle cage. These things are low profile, easily portable and fairly secure with pipe foam padding. I have a Fly brand holder too but sits a bit high and plastic is kind of flimsy for off road.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: kcass on January 14, 2010, 04:37:06 pm
The GPS Warehouse website is not working any more. If you phone them they tell you to go here
   RAM HOLDER FOR THE GARMIN eTREX COLOUR SERIES LEGEND C & VISTA C RAM-HOL-GA16 (SKU 3753)
 (http://www.buybits.com/product.aspx?id=3753 ) to get the RAM holder.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Panoramix on February 23, 2010, 09:01:25 am
I have mounted mine like this. Works great. Now I am on a mission to find the hilliest route to work in preparation for the mille cymru!
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: frankly frankie on February 23, 2010, 10:03:29 am
Possibly not robust, but the HAMA mounting system (as sold by 7dayshop and others) is fairly compatible with the back of an Etrex.  It sorta works straight off, and with some minor cutting/drilling of the Hama mount plate it can be made much better.  And they do a rail mount that can be turned through 90' so will work on bars or stem.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: stevedo on March 11, 2010, 12:46:06 pm
Does anyone happen to know which RAM cradle to get for a basic Etrex H model?

Many thanks
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: frankly frankie on March 11, 2010, 02:31:10 pm
According to
http://www.ram-mount-uk.com/garmin-mounts.htm (http://www.ram-mount-uk.com/garmin-mounts.htm)
RAM-HOL-GA5
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: stevedo on March 11, 2010, 06:32:50 pm
Many thanks indeed. Ordered.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: tonycollinet on March 12, 2010, 06:03:42 pm
My experience - there is no need to file the underside of the mount. Simply cushion with some foam pipe lagging, and fix in place with a cable tie. I use an additional (Looser) cable tie as security in case the first breaks.
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: stevedo on March 15, 2010, 09:58:07 am
Ok. Job done. It looks excellent. A brilliant idea - many thanks!  ;D ;D
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: Somnolent on June 04, 2010, 12:14:53 pm
Remarkable speedy delivery on the RAM mounts from that BuyBits outfit - even on their standard delivery service.

Decided to equip all my bikes so ordered another 2 cradles yesterday morning, order despatched e-mail received within 5 minutes of the order confirmation e-mail !
Arrived 1st class recorded this morning. 

 :thumbsup:

Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: ant1606 on March 30, 2011, 06:51:00 pm
Hi everyone,
I have a Vista HCx and tried the original Garmin handlebar mount. Very weak and I abandoned it after my first ride, too much vibration and shaking during MTB practice. I don't trust such a small screw connecting the mount to the battery cover, although I always keep tethering the unit to the handlebar with a safety lanyard. For some time I've been using the original Garmin case and connecting its belt clip to a self-made support on both my bicycles' and motorcycle's handlebars.
The plastic cover makes it at times difficult to read, plus I hate the unit to shake.

I've been considering to modify the battery cover by drilling and tapping extra holes to fasten a solid connecting plate, but I have instead made a case out of scrap which I attach everywhere with Velcro strap. All of my handlebars, backpacks and even car dashboards. Simple, easy to build for a cost of say $1. Very reliable under any condition and easy to get on and off. Photo herebelow shows my first prototype which I've now been testing for quite some time. I prepared nicer ones but the prototype is still good, so I'm testing it for longevity and it hasn't let me down after a year of intense use. Should it happen, I'll just replace the velcro.
If interested, please find the concept, details (including a cutout template) for case/mount and building description here:
http://ant1606-garmi...ta.blogspot.com

Ciao
Ant
(http://2.bp.blogspot.com/-vE_W0lwu3aA/TZMfRa3z9mI/AAAAAAAAEKE/au5SNSm2PCk/s1600/eTrex%2BVista_Case_6.jpg)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on April 05, 2011, 12:44:56 pm

http://ant1606-garmi...ta.blogspot.com

Ciao
Ant


Fixed link

http://ant1606-garmin-etrex-vista.blogspot.com/ (http://ant1606-garmin-etrex-vista.blogspot.com/)
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: mrcharly-YHT on April 05, 2011, 02:47:18 pm
Question:

Is there are reason *not* to use the beltclip/mount adapter screwhole in the back of the garmin units?

I'm thinking of a bit of threaded rod + a butterfly nut. Could pass through a plate that is fastened to the bike. Would be reasonably quick to undo. The plate could be 'vibration damped' and cable-tied down (ie, have some foam glued to side where it presses against bars).
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: frankly frankie on April 05, 2011, 04:10:07 pm
I suppose you might want to use that hole for it's intended purpose one day.  And spare/replacement battery cover plates are notoriously hard to obtain (the ones you can buy with the rail mounts don't fit).  I think drilling a pair of new holes as suggested above is a better idea, given that the battery cover isn't particularly waterproof anyway.

I've never really had any trouble with the standard Garmin mounting system, in over 6 years use x2 people - it doesn't inspire confidence but it's been OK. 
I wouldn't be seen dead with a RAM mount - what a total monstrosity!
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: underseer on November 07, 2011, 11:41:08 am
PDM,

Thanks for great instructions. Easy to follow and effective result. No eTrex jitter even when MTB or gravel-road riding.

£11.02 RAM bracket for eTrex Vista HCx (RAM-HOL-GA16U) from buybits.com (http://www.buybits.com/product/3753.aspx)

Now searching for best shock-damping foam to replace camping-mat foam (polyethylene foam) between bracket and bar. Sections of running-shoe sole (polyurethane foam) should be best for this application. Scavenging round piles of stinky old trainers for a suitable donor!

Cheers, u
Title: Re: Robust Etrex GPS Mount (HOWTO)
Post by: tonycollinet on November 07, 2011, 09:31:40 pm
Pipe insulation foam works well.

Also no need (IMO) to file indents in the bottom of the mount. Makes no difference for me.