Custom GPS Cradles for select Garmins and SPOTs
As users of the 60-series Garmin GPS's are probably aware, there are cradle mounting options from RAM and TOURATECH, and either of those cradles may serve. Some users, myself included, have noticed that while the RAM mounting system is a great system - at least it is in my opinion, that the cradles themselves can leave a little to be desired. So, I went ahead and made my own to keep the pesky GPS unit attached to my cockpit. Long story abbreviated, I made a few for some friends going off-road to Baja last March, and they reported that they were an improvement over the RAM cradles, certainly in terms of performance - no more premature ejections.... as it were, so to speak. These were one-offs I made with Berg Briggs in his shop and used a one-piece clamshell design of Kydex material, and retained the standard RAM ball/diamond mount system. They work great, but are in my opinion, a bit on the ugly side.
A year later, and I've picked up with the effort at the encouragement of some users and others, and revisited the cradles and redoubled my efforts to improve them and offer some of them for sale. Each one is made by me by hand using Kydex or Concealex materials, tools I have fabricated from scratch, and they take me a bit of time for each one. I haven't tooled for mass production and I do this more or less as a kitchen table home occupation effort.
Anyway, since my business consists of me, the sole proprietor and some tools and plastic and effort, this ad falls right in line with that.
If anybody wants a cradle, I'll sell you one for $75 and mail it to you CONUS USPS. You'll need to mail me a check. Free shipping remains in effect for ADVRider inmates, indefinitely. That is, free mailing US Postal Service, Flat Rate Priority Mail with USPS tracking to the continental United States addresses. International may be extra, but no UPS or FEDEX.
Fit and finish is improving as time goes on and I get better at it, and there is still room for improvement. They look like they've been made on some guys' kitchen table. They have. But, they absolutely work, they keep your 60-series GPS mounted to the RAM system perfectly, they allow for bike-power access through the power port in the back and are reasonably workable to deal and fidget with. Hand fitting and finishing of the closure wings and clips gets me away from using any hardware like I used on my first tries - which worked, but this is better - and the fit is friction tight and compression from the closure wings of the two piece top and bottom locks the unit in place. There's also a fair bit of impact protection for the entire GPS, and especially for the antenna. The old design I did only protected the back half of the antenna.
The power on/off button area is relieved for access and the buttons are easily navigable with a gloved hand. I've tested these new-improved cradles on my snowmobile on clapped-out trails in Idaho and Montana, and I really like it. What guarantee can you expect from Home-Handyman-Built-in-his-own-garage-guy-posting-on-the-forum? If you want one and buy it and don't like it, I guess I should take it back and send you a check back for what you paid me for it. I don't take PayPal or credit cards. I'm sure I'll continue learning through this experience, I just hope it's not all bad. I've learned a lot about working with these materials already, and I've enjoyed the process and have been encouraged by the fact that what I set out to do, make a solid 60-series cradle, has been successful.
And at least I got one for me that works and is bomb-proof. "Doh..."
I call it the "Buzz Bomb Cradle" because it's a Team Ruptured Buzzard effort. I hope the cradles are as good and catchy as the name - or actually, better.
Criticisms of the product are welcomed and invited. (RAM ball/diamond mount not included, but I send a pre-drilled reinforcement insert with two bolts and locknuts for mounting to the standard RAM ball/diamond.)
These are the kinds of things you will need (and supply for yourself - I don't sell these RAM mounts) to mount my CRADLE -
A RAM diamond plate with ball
The BUZZ BOMB Cradle is designed to connect to the RAM Diamond Plate on the back of the cradle. The diamond plate has a 1.0 inch diameter rubber ball connected at right angles to the plate, which connects directly to the 1 inch arm socket. You will also need the RAM arm socket...
You will also need a way to get this onto your bike, and there a different ways to do that with the RAM system. A common mounting is on the handlebars using a setup like this...
Medium length arm kit:
Short length arm kit:
Thats the basics. There are so many options to "get your balls together" with RAM components that each rider needs to sort that out with their own bike. Different handlebar diameters take different sized U-bolts, so pay attention to your dimensions when shopping.
But I will stress that the cradle I make is designed to work only with the RAM mount system. The adjustability and shock absorption and impact resistance of the RAM mounts help keep my cradles "bomb-proof." Mounting them any other way with any other components is recommended against.
PM for further if interested, or post here. If BALDY runs a Garmin 60CSX and wants one, his is free.
Garmin 60-Series Black Carbon Holstex
Garmin 78-Series Limited on hand availability - check with me
Garmin Montana Series Black Carbon Holstex
Both Generation SPOTS Black or (Gray fleck carbon KYDEX - discontinued color. Check with me for colors...)
All models remain $75 and I will pay to mail them to any ADV inmate within Continental United States via US Postal Service, Flat Rate Priority Mail, for free.
I need signed release form prior to mailing the SPOT cradles.
Garmin Montana now available - September 2012
Montana - Carbon HOLSTEX
Garmin Montana on left ant Garmin 60CSx on right - Carbon HOLSTEX
Montana and GEN1 SPOT
G60 and GEN1 SPOT
GEN1 and GEN2 SPOTs
GEN1 SPOT in BLACK CONCEALEX and Carbon KYDEX (now available)
Also, for the Gen2 SPOTs, they must be installed with the safety covers removed from the SPOT devices first, so that in an emergency, the buttons can be accessed without having to disassemble the cradle. In the event the user is injured and can't use his hands properly, he can still get at the buttons. They are already protected inside the cradle, and the user must agree to this install at the time of purchase. That's the indemnification in a nutshell, and here is the copy verbatim:
Buzz-Bomb Cradle For
IMPORTANT SAFETY INSTRUCTIONS AND CONDITIONS
Every SPOT user is 100% responsible and liable for use, misuse, accidental activation of their SPOT units and accounts. Using a cradle to carry it on a vehicle such as a motorcycle, ATV, snowmobile, personal watercraft, ultralight aircraft or anything else is fine – but it doesn’t in any way negate the user’s responsibilities. Ever. Period.
Installing a SPOT emergency beacon/satellite tracker-locator into a BUZZ-BOMB cradle will not cause satellite interference with the SPOT signal. However, SPOT satellite signals will experience intermittent failures to communicate between the SPOT units and the SPOT satellites as part of that technology and the limitations of that technology. Understand that as a SPOT user.
If a SPOT unit fails to communicate with its satellite and/or vice versa, you agree to hold the maker of the Buzz-Bomb cradle harmless of any and all liability and damages whatsoever. Use this cradle made of materials tested and known to be radio frequency transparent by KLEERDEX and BOLTARON laboratories at your own risk. The material will not cause any interference with GPS or SPOT devices, period.
SPOT Generation 2 Unit owners – Read and understand and comply with the following instructions: NEVER INSTALL YOUR 2<sup>nd</sup> Generation SPOT device into a Buzz-Bomb Cradle with the SPOT factory safety covers in place. YOU MUST PHYSICALLY REMOVE BOTH PLASTIC TAB SAFETY COVERS THAT COVER THE HELP AND 911 ACTIVATION BUTTONS PRIOR TO PLACING YOUR SPOT INSIDE THE BUZZ-BOMB CRADLE. FAILURE TO FOLLOW THIS INSTRUCTION COULD RESULT IN INADVERTANT SPOT ACTIVATION, SERIOUS INJURY OR DEATH.
If the safety covers are left in place and then the SPOT is installed inside a Buzz-Bomb cradle, the SPOT user will not be able to intentionally press the buttons which activate the SPOT functions without first removing the SPOT from the cradle. This may take an effort or demand manual dexterity and mental acuity that a SPOT user who is injured may not possess, and therefore may not be able to successfully activate the SPOT and call for needed assistance. It is therefore IMPERATIVE that the purchaser/user of this BUZZ-BOMB cradle fully understand this installation instruction, and agree to always install the 2<sup>nd</sup> Generation SPOT with the safety covers removed first, and never install a 2<sup>nd</sup> Generation SPOT with the safety covers in place.
This understanding, and an initialed and signed copy of same, is a condition of sale and use of this product.
I understand that I am the SPOT user and I alone am 100% responsible for use, misuse and accidental activation(s) of my SPOT device. ____________ initial here
I understand the warning about intermittent satellite signal loss between SPOT devices and SPOT satellites. _________________ initial here
I understand I will always install my Gen 2 SPOT after first removing the SPOT factory safety covers (2 plastic tabs) and never install my Gen 2 SPOT with the factory safety covers (2 plastic tabs) in place. ________________ initial here.
I will never allow my SPOT to be used by another person in any manner contrary to conditions above. ____________________initial here
Understood and agreed to as conditions of purchase and use:
(Print Name) (Signature Name)
************************************************** ************************************************** ***************************
(Above form for SPOT cradles only)
Garmin 78 in Carbon KYDEX, now available
Garmin 60-Series / Garmin 78-Series / Garmin Montana Series / GEN1 SPOT / GEN2 SPOT
UPDATE August 2010 - Now offering Cradles for Garmin GPSMAP 78 in addition to 60-Series!
THANK YOU EVERYBODY for all of your support!
Garmin 78 in carbon colored CONCEALEX, material no longer available. Cradle design still available in BLACK and 'carbon KYDEX.
G78 on left and G60 on right, mounted up for display on Casper my Friendly Punkin. 2010 450 XC-W Six Days dream bike.
G60CSx on the left in old Gray Flecked Carbon KYDEX (discontinued color) and the GEN1 SPOT in a BLACK cradle on right. Mounted up on "Casper the Friendly Punkin" - my 2010 KTM 450 XC-W Six Days.
Where I use mine during the short summer riding season in the Tetons. This image out my back door...
i have used one of the original prototypes and never had an issue loosing my GPS. sign me up for a new one out of that fancy material Janko!!!:D
if i didn't already have a TT one, i'd be on this!
keep your GPS where it belongs
I am sure there are other riders out there that have seen their GPS skipping across the terra firma. Our group cannot be the only bunch. This cradle works very well, it does not block the SAT signal & holds your unit firmly,heh heh. We have had the misfortune of losing a GPS. There have been quite a few miles covered to miraculously find one.You can end that bullshit with the purchase of this cradle, we did. Excellent product Jenks, I want the sexy new model. Joe
Very nice looking case.
Kydex has technical data showing it good for antenna domes (covers) in the 1.5Mhz region of the GPS signal
I did a quick google search and did not find technical data on Concealex. Might want to verify the RF properties before you go too far.
RF transparency of Concealex
Thanks for looking at this and for the advice - much appreciated. And thanks for the look at my cradle and the encouragement.
You are correct about precautionary wisdom since the performance of an antenna can be affected by surrounding materials and I did check the Kydex in the field and in the available literature, and found similar performance characteristics reported as in the example provided in your link for Kydex. My intention is to provide a printed disclaimer with links printed that substantiate claims about RF transparency for liability concerns - since it covers a navigation device and all the itinerant legal reasons for that in the crystal ball.
I haven't had more than field testing joy yet though on the CONCEALEX research, and need to source some decent scientific documentation on that RF transparency issue, neutral dielectric effects with this material. So if you or anybody else comes across any such beef in the scientific literature and would care to point me to it, I would be grateful. I'm not a scientist and don't even play one on TV, and the importance of covering this base is obvious and shouldn't be overlooked, even at this stage of the game. I do appreciate you chiming in with this point.
My 60CSX gets a 9-bird lock within about 20 seconds with the CONCEALEX, no different than without a cradle, but will that stand up in court when somebody decides to sue me? Important stuff, to be sure. (Newer MTK chipset. Haven't wrapped the CONCEALEX around SIRFIII chipset'ed 60-series, but can't imagine any difference in chipset technology affecting the antenna performance - but then again, like I said - I'm not a scientist and ought to cover that base as well, now that I think about it.)
Thanks to all who have responded and for the encouragement.
I remain -
Fantastic idea! You have certainly put a lot of time putting this together. I know the folks that have used your product and they have rave reviews. Sign me up for one of your new ones. I need it for my snow bike, so get on it!
Also, I want to give props to your website. Great stories and friends.
Keep up the good work.
Humble appreciation Teton Bailey,
I will acknowledge right here that Teton Baily is one of the most accomplished motorcycle riders I've EVER ridden with, and a righteous dual sport companion in his own regard. Not to mention years of travel and adventure experience throughout North and South America. Coming from you.... WOW.
A million thanks, Sir! :D
Concealex gone until end of February
I sold my last CONCEALEX cradle, and have a handful of KYDEX left. More material inbound to me in the coming week, so no CONCEALEX units completed for a couple weeks.
Thank you everybody for your support. I will also be an LLC by the time the new CONCEALEX cradles are made. Wish me more luck.... I feel like a virgin at the Buffalo Chip campground.
I am one of the unfortunate victims of the ram mount system. I sent mine into some sagebrushy rabbit hidey hole or some such. After that I painted the replacement blaze orange in hopes that if I sent it bouncing across the desert at 60 MPH there might be some hope of finding it. I have one of the prototypes and it is BOMBER. It has been stellar, the unit is solidly held, there is no way it is coming out or off unless it is ripped off which would be no easy task, so I guess it was a waste of good paint. The buttons are easily accessible and the there is no interferance with the screen visibilty at all. It did a stint in Baja on some crazy single track and never even budged, great product! I look forward to getting my mitts on the "New and Improved" version.
You're in, thank you. List in progress, won't be a problem making new runs - it's my focus in life! I'll shoot a PM when I've got 'em done and buffed.
CONCEALEX in action today...
Just wanted to say I'm having no problem with the GPS antenna reception from actual use, and continue to gather my scientific fact find on the rf transparency issue to line that up for all the lawyers.
Here's a pic of my current personal proto in use in the cockpit of my fuel-injected nightmare of a snowmobile, showing the bird-lock from a cold start at about 23 seconds. 11 satellites high and tight inside my concealex cradle, FWIW.
Thanks to those who have placed orders already, and especially to the mutts who cleaned me out of the last of the current crop of Concealex ones! I have about 8 Kydex units shippable by next weekend in the interim between the next build that should be done by the end of this month, shipping first week in March. Orders and checks in advance will be first served.
For those who may be searching for a Garmin 60CSX - PCNATION had been selling them online for about $282, and it might be worth a look there. (I have nothing to do with PCNATION. Just spreading the good word - if it may help anybody. That was a pretty screamin' price tag.)
Also, RAM's are the way to go, in my opinion. Nothing compares to a clapped out approach trail to the mountains on a sled in terms of a guy and a machine getting slammed for all get out - far worse than Baja - mountain sleds do not have the suspension of a trail cruiser. The RAM system holds fast and true - just like my "Buzz Bomb" cradles.
I to have been using one of the original mounts and it works great. I have tested it for about a year. The new ones are much more refined and looking quite good.
Thanks for the great mount, Keep up the good work.
Thank You Berg!
I can't thank you enough for all the assistance you've given me on my projects over the years, including this one, but I can at least express it publicly here for starters.
I salute you, Sir. :clap
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