DIY Laptop Mount on the CHEAP!

mattmainster

Observer
So I picked up a "Netbook" last week with the intentions of using it in the FJ for mapping trails via GPS, mobile internet, and a bunch of other ideas I've got stirring. I bought an Asus Eee PC 1000H, which weighs only 3.2 lbs, has a 160GB hard drive, 10.2" screen, windows XP (bleh! I'm a Mac guy), WiFi, SD card reader, webcam, and a bunch of other goodies. Not too shabby for less than $350 out the door! I'll be doing another full write up on the complete setup...I'll have that up this week.

Here's the laptop in all it's glory:


Back on track: The only dilemma I ran into was coming up with an inexpensive, but sturdy mount for it. I'm not about to drop $200 on a RAM mount for a $350 computer... I also wanted something easily removable so that when I'm not using the laptop, there's no bulky mount in the way, so I chose do go with a cup holder mount.

Here's what I came up with. I'm very please with the results, but it still needs a couple tweaks.

I decided on using ABS instead of PVC, as it's stronger, and black which will match the interior of the FJ quite a bit better. I'm using 1.5" and 3" diameter sections.




Here are all the pipe sections and couplers/adapters cut down to size:


Starting to piece the sections together for a 'dry run':



Some more test fitting:


I still need to fab a platform with a back support clip to the display so that it doesn't slam shut or overextend the hinge.

After doing some test fitting, I decided to do some trimming to lower the mount. Then I used ABS glue to finish everything up...

Here's where I landed after $25 and a few hours of work.
I will post up again when I finish the platform and back support.

The base of the mount is 3" diameter ABS, which fits fairly tight in the cup holder, but I will be wrapping it with either electrical tape (pictured in my test fit pictures) or some other sort of padded tape to give it tighter fit.

Since the laptop only weighs 3 pounds or so, this mount is perfect and holds everything very well.





Oh, and my 4-legged helper was pooped after a day of work! :)
 

mattmainster

Observer
On another note (this will be included in another thread with my full "carputer" setup), I mounted the GPS and ran the USB cable today also...
Here are a couple pictures...the GPS puck is mounted with velcro, and run through the gauge cluster mounting hole. The USB cable comes out at the switch panel, and will eventually be flush mounted in one of the switch blanks.


 

psychohawk

Observer
Hmm, another idea to save $200 using pvc ... maybe there should be a special forum just for pvc applications ... how's the pvc snorkel coming? And pvc roof rack? Or maybe galvanized and/or brass for the roof rack? Just an idea. :sombrero:

Sarcasm and kidding aside, I like the netbook idea ... my bulky laptop is just "floating" in the cab ... not exactly safe.

Carl
 

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kjp1969

Explorer
If you're not opposed to drilling a single strategic hole, you might consider a long bolt or piece of all-thread going down the vertical piece down into a corresponding fastener on the bottom of your cupholder. If made the proper length, you could tighten it down with a wing nut on top (hidden, perhaps) to snug the whole thing into your cupholder.
 

mattmainster

Observer
If you're not opposed to drilling a single strategic hole, you might consider a long bolt or piece of all-thread going down the vertical piece down into a corresponding fastener on the bottom of your cupholder. If made the proper length, you could tighten it down with a wing nut on top (hidden, perhaps) to snug the whole thing into your cupholder.
I like that idea, and may end up doing that. Thanks!
 

jesusgatos

Explorer
That's a great idea. Thinking about it, you probably wouldn't need to adjust a mount like that if you built it to fit a specific computer / vehicle combo. It would be cool if you padded the top of the Tee fitting and used it as an arm rest. I imagine that would make it a lot easier to use the track-pad while you were driving, not that you would ever do that...
 
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