Thursday, August 16, 2007

A New Way to mount the N800 on my Motorcycle

Those of you who've read my blog before, know I've been trying to find a better ways to mount and use my Nokia N800 Internet Tablet as a GPS device and media player while on my motorcycle.

As a preliminary to investing upwards of $90 or more on RAM mounts and special waterproof cases and visors, I thought I'd try a less expensive (read cheap) route now that I've got my BRM Shelf installed.

Below pictures depict a slightly modified pda holder that was advertised on Ebay as being able to also hold the Nokia N800. It was less than $8, shipped, from Hong Kong so why not I said to myself.

It was designed to use a suction cup and mount on a car's windshield but I hardmounted it instead with three nuts/bolts and secured the bracket to the arm permanently with an additional screw. A little velcro on the top to prevent it from sliding sideways on the twisty roads and voila:

View of the bracket, notice the screw preventing it from sliding off the arm mount

Suction base, more securely fastened now....

The BMR Shelf gives me great flexibility in mounting Farkles

View from the top

Obviously, the unit is not waterproof or resistant for that matter. I don't plan on using the GPS during rainstorms so it'll hopefully be safely stashed in my tank bag under a waterproof cover during such occasions.

Some test riding is of course in my future for this rig, but I rode a bit with in on just with the suction cup and pretty stock and it seemed to do fine. I can lower and raise the windshield without it getting in the way, which was not the case with the mount that came with the Navicore GPS software. I also don't worry anymore about the suction cup letting go at a bad time, such as when riding at speed!

We'll see how this rig does in the long run; and yes, I do need more farkle for all that real estate provided by the BMR Shelf Unit!

21AUG07 Update: Well, you get what you pay for I guess. The racheting/locking mechanism on the mount failed today while I was riding in to work with the Nokia mounted! Luckily, I noticed it in time, grabbed the N800 while stopped at a light and stashed it quickly into my tankbag. The mechanism is toast. Back to the old drawing board.


Justin said...

Here's a better approach. Get an Otterbox 1900 w/ car kit. That will hold the N800, and provide a rugged water proof case for the N800. Then go to, and get the motorcycle stem mount, and whatever parts you want to go between the stem mount and the otterbox. What you'll end up with is something that could probably withstand a motorcycle crash.

Charlie6 said...

Thanks Justin, yeah, I looked at that and the RAM extra large Aqua box sold by the folks who make ram mounts.

Waterproofness would be end result but am uncomfortable leaving the Nokia mounted when I am not with the bike, and using either box would make it harder to unhook things I think.

Not to mention, the otter box would probably preclude my accessing the touch screen, whereas the aqua box claims the ability to let you use the touchscreen on your device.

So for now, the rig I have works, I stow things away during rain of course or when leaving the bike parked.

Justin said...

I'm glad your rig is working out for you. Though I must correct a couple inaccuracies for readers who might go down this path. The otterbox 1900 is not a permanent fixture. It easily snaps out of its holder, so there's no need to leave the device mounted on the bike. Also, the touchscreen is accessible in the otterbox 1900. There is a soft plastic membrane covering the touchscreen to protect it from water, and it's meant to work with a stylus.

scott said...

I'm hooking my n800 up to my commuter bicycle, found your blog while looking for ideas.

Anyhow, for your waterproofing issue, use a ziplock bag! It won't cause overheating.