PDA

View Full Version : Car Laptop Mount


MLCS
03-06-2009, 04:04 PM
Ok, so about a year ago I was trying to find a good laptop mount for my truck. I looked through all the vendors out there and though RAM looked like the best one available, the price was ridiculous.

I browsed a few other sites and sellers and there was a couple decent options, but the only ones I was interested in wouldn't hold a 17" laptop. (I have a 17" Toshiba Satellite)

So if you're looking for an inexpensive laptop mount, this is a method I found that I'd like to share.

1/2" Galvanized Pipe.

I had to get a bit creative with this, but since I was working for a building supply company I was able to play with it a bit until I got it right.

First start with a threaded pipe flange with screw holes. This is going to be your mount. Now if you don't care about screwing through the floor of your car you can use the screw holes and some self tapping metal screws to secure the flange to the floor.

Myself it was a company vehicle, so didn't want to drill through the floor. So instead I removed one of the bolts holding the seat to the frame of the vehicle, and drilled the hole out wider to match the seat bolt. Then I stuck the seat bolt through the flange and tightened it down REAL tight.

After that it's a lot of tweaking to get it to the right height and angle between the floor and where your mounting platform will be. I used a combination of the following.

Since I mounted it to the seat bolt, I needed to get out from under the seat before I could go vertical. So I used a closed nipple into the flange and a 90 degree on top, then I used a 3" pipe to come straight out from there so I could clear the front of the seat. I then attached a 45 degree and turned it with another 4" pipe and then another 90 degree with a 12" pipe. With twisting the 45 degree and both 90 degree angles around a bit I was able to get a good angle and height. All these will vary per vehicle of course, my suggestion is go to a local plumbing store with tools and the vehicle you're looking to mount it into and let them know what you're doing. They should let you come in and out to exchange various lengths and pieces if you find your an inch or two short here and there.

It took me about an hour to find all the right lengths and angles I needed.

Once I found the right combo I you'll need to build your platform, this will take a plexi glass shop, I found some guys down town that worked with me. Measure your laptop and make sure the plexi glass you're buying will at least be big enough that all of the rubber feet on your laptop will be stationed on the plexi.

The plexi needs to be big enough to hold the laptop, but then also get a 3/4" lip on one of the long ends. So for instance I have something like a 18" wide, and 13" tall clear plexi that the shop made so one of the 18" lengths has a 3/4" lip on it.

Now make sure you have another threaded flange and mount that to the center of your plexi glass using small bolts and nuts (Flat head bolts). Apply a thin strip of sticky back foam to the 3/4" lip, and then buy some velcro (GOOD QUALITY) I bought a strip of velcro with the self adhesive on the back, and a long strip of regular velcro. I found a safe place to lay the velcro across my laptop where it wouldn't be in the way of any keys or jacks etc, then I stuck 2 strips of velcro to the bottom of the plexi platform, and velcro'd the long strip to the 2 pieces stuck to the bottom. This way I can secure my laptop to the plexi with the velcro strap, and the foam protects the front face of my laptop from the plexi itself.

I've used this for about a year now, and it's worked great. It's stable and secure and being built out of 1/2" galv pipe, it's not going ANYWHERE.

Obviously be careful of where you mount it so it's not in your view of driving, and not in front of any airbags. Keeping in mind your access to the vehicle dash as well, I had a tough time positioning my mount so it didn't block the 12v lighter socket so I could plug in my converter for power.

It takes some extra time and geometrics to complete, but all in all I was pretty proud.

Later I added a couple extra things. It was a real pain if I needed to remove the mount for anything (had some guests in my vehicle or was packing around a lot in the cab of the truck) so that first 3" pipe I removed and replaced with 2ea 1" pipe sections and a union, it's a pipe piece that you can unscrew to disconnect the pipe, for me it works as a quick disconnect. I can just unscrew the union and the entire mount comes off as one piece, when I re-install it I just screw the union back together.

I also bought a length of small ADS pipe (perforated pipe) that I used to cover the galv pipe and make it look real clean and nice.

I had to take it all apart because I no longer work for that company, so obviously I don't have the truck anymore. I left the flange in the truck because I didn't have my star wrenches to remove the bolt, but took everything else so I can re-install it in my next vehicle I use for computers. I'll try to get some pictures though if anyone's interested. If you have any questions let me know.

abe
03-06-2009, 04:19 PM
I now understand why "ONE PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS"

MLCS
03-06-2009, 04:37 PM
It'd be more lik 6-7 pictures... ;p

stidham
03-07-2009, 04:51 AM
That sounds like a great idea. I'd love to see the pictures


Thanks,
Dave

Methical
03-07-2009, 05:22 AM
Lol I thought this site was for techs.
I don't know what any of the pipes n stuff look like lol.

Pictures pictures pictures..

I've always wanted to have a nice mount in the car for the lappy; and im with you, i got a 17" Compaq lol

MLCS
03-07-2009, 06:27 AM
Alright, I'll get some and post them over the weekend.