MountGuys Blog

May 31, 2010

Garmin TomTom & Magellan GPS Charger and Power Cable Options

Filed under: Other Mounts & Accessories — Tags: , , , , — mountguys @ 10:39 am

We get a lot of questions regarding this topic so figured it was time for a MountGuys Blog posting on the topic.

First, the easy ones.  TomTom and Magellan.  All of their GPS units made in the past few years use a USB charger.

Now, the difficult one.  Garmin.  It all depends upon which on you guys.  The Garmin Nuvi 600, 700 and 800 series all use a proprietary ending that plugs into their cradle.  Can you use the USB type directly into the GPS?  Garmin does not recommend it but we have found no material effects with doing that.  It’s always good to pay attention to the manufacturer though.  So we suggest that if you can do it, use the flat charger with the cradle.  A few pictures are presented for the Garmin Nuvi 600 700 and 800 series.  By the way, the same charging end is used for the Zumo using the car cradle.

What about the rest of the Garmin Nuvi family?  They use cables that are USB as well but with proprietary pin settings.  Be sure that the cable you purchase is made for a GPS otherwise you risk going into the dreaded PC mode.  Another important tip:  many of the cables made for GPS units with traffic can integrate the traffic receiver with the cable itself, so be sure that the cable you buy is rated for traffic if you choose to retain that feature.

Last one.  Magellan.  They use USB cables with proprietary pin settings too.  Ask us any questions you might have about powering up your GPS at customerservice@mountguys.com.

February 14, 2010

Weatherproof GPS and iPhone Motorcycle Mounts Part II

Since we wrote our last blog post about waterproof GPS and iPhone mounts, we have discovered other vaiations that have proven very popular with our customers.  As you know, we carry the RAM line of motorcycle mounts and they make an excellent array of weatherproof mounts called the Aquabox (RAM-B-149Z-AQ6U).  These are excellent mounts but the price in some cases begins to approach what a lower priced GPS costs.

We recently began to carry a lower priced model.  It’s a completely different type of mount.  The case is made of a weatherproof neoprene type of material and deploys a weatherproof zipper for a tight water resistant seal.  The mount fits bars to 1.5 inches and is a heavy duty plastic. These fit the majority of TomTom, Garmin, Mio, Magellan and Nextar GPS models.  Generally speaking anything that is 4.3 or 3.5 inch diagonal will fit well (that’s 98% of the GPS market).

The excellent feature (besides the price) is that the human touch can be felt through the transparent window.  This means you can interface with your iPhone.  We find this difficult with the RAM Aquabox line.  Our new waterproof mount line overcomes this restriction at a very competitive price.

RAM makes a great mount, but if you would like a lower priced option, take a look at our WaterBike line of mounts.

Arkon's GPS032 Weatherproof Mount

Arkon’s GPS032 Weatherproof Mount

SmartPhone / iPhone Weatherproof Handlebar Mount

SmartPhone / iPhone Weatherproof Handlebar Mount

Weatherproof GPS Handlebar Mount

Weatherproof GPS Handlebar Mount

Protecting your GPS with Cases and Screen Protectors

You spent a lot of money on your GPS.  These devices are easily scratched so don’t just throw it in your gym bag, purse or glove compartment when not in use.  Consider adding a carry case or pouch.  We always wondered why the manufacturers do not include one, going back to when GPS units first came into fashion, the manufacturers would include a pouch in the box.  Well, suppose times are tough now, so the consumer is faced with purchasing a carry case for their GPS.  There are plenty to choose from for your Garmin, Magellan, TomTom, Mio, Nextar or whatever brand you have.  They are even available for Golf GPS units like SkyCaddie (those cost more than fully blown GPS units these days).

First we start with cases.  There are many types, and depending upon the size of your GPS and if you would like to also store the mount, many sizes to choose from.

There are smaller cases too.  If your GPS is a standard 4.3 or 3.5 inch, there are many smaller cases on the market that will accommodate your GPS and charger, but if you would like to also include your mount, then the larger ones above are the only way to go.  There are cases made by the manufacturer too, often in the form of pouches to fit your GPS.  However, we think the ones that are aftermarket are a better value and you can generally fit more stuff in there.

 Next item up for consideration are screen protectors.  Originally made for PDAs back in the 1990s, some like to add these to GPS units.  They come precut for the 3.5 and 4.3 inch units.  Easy to apply and remove, they generally do not leave any residue on your GPS.  They do need to be replaced roughly every 3-6 months.

October 6, 2009

RAM Mounts for the Common Man (or Woman)

RAM makes killer mounts.  Excellent quality with hundreds of customizable options (they have custom cradles for many GPS and cell phonemodels).  But their selection can sometimes be confusing.  We wrote this post to help explain how their numbering (and lettering) system works.  Some of  of this information can be found on their web site if you know where to find it.  But as a large reseller of their mounts, we thought it would be helpful to provide a brief explanation.

RAM’s system is a simple ball and socket design.  You need to make sure the ball size matches the socket.  The majority of RAM mounts sold for GPS, satellite radio, HAM radio are one-inch balls (RAM-B or RAP-B).  Most use the the metal (the M in RAM-B) but to save a few dollars, some will opt for the plastic (the P in RAP-B).

Arms typically come in several sizes too.  Again most common is the one inch ball, and there are three arm sizes (1.75, 3 and 6 inch sizes).  Most of our mount listings have an option to choose an arm size.

Here is RAM’s high level numbering system and arm sizes in detail:

A size ball = .56″ diameter (seldom used)

B size ball = 1″ diameter (by far the most common)

C size ball = 1.5″ diameter (used for heavier items like marine electronics)

D size ball = 2.25″ diameter (very seldom used)

E size ball = 3.38″ diameter (very rarely used)

August 30, 2009

The Sun and the GPS Live Happily Together with Anti Glare Shields

Filed under: GPS Mounts and Accessories — Tags: , , , , , , , , , — mountguys @ 9:36 pm

We receive a lot of questions about glare on GPS units.  Especially when used on the windshield or motorcycle.  While we aren’t aware of any GPS units that use an anti glare surface, we wonder why they don’t.  For some reason it seems like the glare on TomTom GPS units are the worst.  At least, that’s what our sales tell us as we sell more glare shields for that brand than any other.  Garmin also has a similar issue.  Magellan GPS units seems to be the best at preventing glare.  Not sure if that’s by design.

There are two different types of GPS anti glare shields.  One clips on the unit.  It surrounds the display (not the entire GPS, just the display).  The second uses velcro to attach to your GPS and a fabric hood surrounds the entire GPS.

Which one do we recommend?  Well that’s up to you.  The clip-on is a cleaner look, and when removed, there’s no velcro left on your GPS.  However, the fabric type gives better coverage as it surrounds the GPS including the sides and gives superior glare control.  We seem to sell more of the first type (if that helps).

These are available for most GPS units.  95% of all GPS units sold are either 4.3 or 5.0 inch screens and there are anti glare shields for both.  There are anti glare shields for Fishfinders as well.

Glare Stomper for marine units

Glare Stomper for marine units

Clipboard style for 5" GPS Units

Clipboard style for 5″ GPS Units

The Glare Stomper works well on motorcycles and cars

The Glare Stomper works well on motorcycles and cars

Clip-on Glare Shield

Clip-on Glare Shield

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