MountGuys Blog

April 16, 2011

External Antennas for your GPS

External antennas have been available for GPS units for a long time.  Ten years ago, it was a good addition to your GPS because the external antenna had a higher gain than the one internal to your GPS.  Over the years that has changed and people now use external antennas because they would like to keep the GPS where it cannot see the sky.  For instance, there are people who would like to mount their GPS using a seat bolt mount or a cup holder mount.  While we find sunroofs help immensely with these out of the way locations, an external antenna is sometimes deployed to help the GPS reception.

There are different types of antenna connections.  Most current car GPS antenna connections use a connector called MCX.  You will normally find the port on the back or bottom of the GPS.  While most car GPS units use MCX, many marine GPS units use a connector called BNC.  Larger than the MCX, the BNC antenna connections are also typically found on the back of the unit.

Once you decide an antenna is needed, the next question might be where to put it.  Some like to run the wire through a window and place it on the roof of the car.  Since most antennas have a magnetic bottom, it will stay where you place it.  However from a bad guy perspective, an antenna sitting on your roof is a good way to alert them if a potential target.  Consider an antenna mount inside your vehicle.

Most antennas have a gain of roughly 30dB and can be found for less than $20 and are sufficient for everyday driving.  However there are more powerful antennas that can double the gain, although at a much higher price.

So if you want to stash your GPS in a location different from the tranditional windshield but have some reception issues, the addition of an antenna might be what you need.

MCX Adapter

MCX Adapter

MCX 3 Meter Extension Cord

MCX 3 Meter Extension Cord

Antenna Mount

Antenna Mount

April 15, 2011

Using Your Car Lighter to Mount Stuff

When I was a kid, you used your car lighter to, well, light your cigarette.  No clue to the dangers of second hand smoke, my parents would light up with the windows closed.  The interior of the car was worse than a bad day next to the Hudson River on a foggy day.  From the back seat, I could barely see the road.

Things sure have changed.  My parents stopped smoking, I grew up, and now use my car lighter for much better things.  What kind of things you ask?  Mounting my iPhone, GPS, Galaxy Tab, Smartphone or Sirius / XM Radio.  All lighter mounts have an integrated power adapter.  Some include a universal port to plug your existing car charger into.  Others actually have an integrated USB cable to power your smartphone or GPS.

We find the lighter, depending upon location, can make an excellent spot for a GPS application.  It’s also great to just power your unit on the drive home.

Lighter Mount for iPhone

Lighter Mount for iPhone

Car Lighter Mount with a Sirius Sportster

Car Lighter Mount with a Sirius Sportster

Lighter Mount for Garmin Nuvi

Lighter Mount for Garmin Nuvi

Using your Apple iPhone on the Golf Course

Filed under: Other Mounts & Accessories — Tags: , , — mountguys @ 4:48 pm

Yes another great way to use your iPhone is on the golf course.  There are some excellent golf applications that run on your iPhone.

We sell a lot of mounts for dedicated golf GPS units like SkyCaddie, Callaway uPro and Golf Buddy.  These companies make great golf rangefinder GPS units, but if you have an iPhone, after looking at some of the applications, you may find they work as well as a dedicated GPS.  We especially like using these applications on the iPhone 4 with the new retina display.  There are a lot of rangefinder apps.  Our favorite has been Golfshot which costs $29.95.

There is also a good app from GolfLogix and it’s free.  While we prefer the Golfshot app a bit more for ease of use and completeness, the one from GolLogix is free.  This integrates Google Satellite Imagery from Google Maps and for a free app does a good job.  You can use any of these apps to keep score and customize according to your handicap and abilities.

We always say it’s tough to swing a golf club with anything hanging off your belt, so consider a mounting alternative to the belt mount.  We present a few options below for your iPhone.  These work with all models.

Sun Mountain golf cart mount for Apple iPhone

Sun Mountain golf cart mount for Apple iPhone

Golf cart cup holder mount for iPhone or any golf GPS

Golf cart cup holder mount for iPhone or any golf GPS

Walking cart mount for Apple iPhone

Walking cart mount for Apple iPhone

Marine Electronics Mounting Accessories for Lowrance, Garmin, Humminbird

Have a Fishfinder, Chartplotter or GPS and the stock mounting bracket isn’t cutting it?  Common problem.

Most marine electronics are larger than your typical GPS unit and coupled with the unique requirements of using your device on a boat, a need for something larger and more flexible than a flush mount might be required.  You want that mount to be rugged and resistant to the elements.  Many aftermarket mounts couple with your current bracket to add a more secure grasp to your device while allowing it to be moved to a more convenient location, opften closer to the user or even out of the way when not in use.

Most marine mounts are bolted to the surface.  We are often asked about using a suction cup on a boat.  If out in the elements especially in salt water, we steer our customers away from this idea as salt water can quickly erode the integrity of a suction cup.  You want a mount that is made of a non corrosive materials like marine grade metal.

We present some good options to consider below.

Mid-weight marine mount for units weighing less than 10 pounds

Mid-weight marine mount for units weighing less than 10 pounds

Very heavy duty marine mount for large Chartplotters like the Lowrance HDS-7 HDS-7M HDS-8 HDS-8M HDS-10

Marine mount for units weighing less than 5 pounds

Marine mount for units weighing less than 5 pounds

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