We use a GPS in combination with our laptop for navigation. We find we only use this when on long trips, or going into
territory we have not been before, so generally the computer is not set up on the dash. But we needed a convenient way to
view and secure the computer when it is in use. We looked at what others had done and came up with our solution. It works
well for us, is simple to build, and gets rid of the CB holder (over the fuse cover) which we no longer needed, since we use
a Cobra handheld CB (all functions are integrated in the CB "mike"). When the computer is not in use, it is easy to remove
the slide portion, leaving just the fuse cover in place.
I first replaced the fuse cover with a 1/4" hardboard cover,
painted to match the dash trim (black). Everything is sprayed with satin polyurathane. This fuse cover is always in place,
but the rest of the computer slide is removable when not in use.
The slide and slide base is made of 1/4" hardboard.
The base pivots on a small brass machine screw that goes into a threaded insert in the fuse cover (you can buy these inserts
at Home stores). This allows either the passenger or driver to see the screen. The slide allows the computer to be pulled
close to the navigator, for easier access to the keyboard and so those of us who are loosing our vision can focus on the screen
well. The slide runs in 1/4" aluminum tracks available at the Home Center where they sell aluminum. Examine the pictures for
You need to put felt on the bottom of the slide base to
keep from scratching up the fuse cover. The felt also helps the slide base to pivot smoothly over the screws that retain the
Second, the carriage bolt that the slide base swivels on needs to be recessed into the surface of the
slide base. A large drill bit works fine. If you don't recess it, you will find that the head will restrict the movement of
the slide forward and backward in the tracks.
To control the ease of movement forward/back of the slide, simply squeeze
the aluminum track some. If you make it too loose, the slide will "walk" out of position as the truck moves.
use velcro to hold the computer in place.
We have been using a Garmin
GPS III, which is a handheld unit, as input into our computer. We chose this GPS because it enables us to take it hiking when
we need to. It works well, and picks up the satellites fine if placed up against the windshield, on top of the dash. No external
antenna is required.
For mapping software we are using Street Atlas Road Warrior Edition. This version of SA allows
multiple routes on the same screen. I understand that this feature is now available in the later versions of SA. We will look
at SA 2005 when it is available, but we are satisfied with this version.