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Toughbook mount - or alternatives


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Trying to see about mounting my Toughbook (CF-19) in the car, I've made up a cradle for it but on mocking up there doesn't really seem to be anywhere that is visible to the driver but doesn't interfere with either forward vision or gearstick movement. This is in my 1992 Defender.

My idea was to have it mounted on top of the dash sort of covering the radio, but in order to have it high enough that I can select gears it sticks up above the dash top by around 6-8". This blocks vision of the front near side corner of the vehicle. Okay, not the end of the world but would be nice to avoid.

Do others use Toughbooks? What mounting solutions have you used?

Or alternatively, should I just bolt the iPad in instead? Is this the modern way? I like the Toughbook because it runs proper Memory Map, the iOS version is crippled in terms of functionality. Though I suppose when out and about all one needs is the display, position, and an overlay of lanes.

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Have a look at Ram mounts, lots of solutions there. Inch & a half ball and socket for anything heavy, though the one inch might do an ipad mini.

Buy direct from Ram mount uk, prices are good and the service is brilliant.

They do dedicated and universal cradles for popular tablets and laptops.

I use an inch & a half ball bolted through the dash top and a socket arm to a dedicated cradle for my Samsung Q1 tablet.

Works well and looks neat.

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You can see mine here.

attachicon.gifPicture 060.jpg

Does he not fall of the seat when reaching for the pad :-)

We use ram mounts at work in the form of a bar that runs from screen pillar to screen pillar with half a dozen displays fastened to them with the standard ball mounts and I agree they are very solid.

What I did is a ram ball joint screwed to the hard shell of an Otter box defender case which the ipad then clips into - makes for a solid mount and very protected.

I find the ipad (or any tablet) better as you can get out and take it with you.. sometimes I stop and walk a few km up a ttrack to a site to see if its drivable and the map with me is handy. Only need limited function out on the road really.


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I have a similar dilemma and had been collecting parts to mount the toughbook in the back somewhere and route some cables through to a smaller/lighter touchscreen on the front dash. I was going to fold up an aluminium support to be fixed to the top of the dash and bolted to the lower dash. A RAM mount would then be supported from this ali plate to hold the touchscreen.

Having taken so long to gather all the parts including dock for Toughbook, external GPS aerial, etc, it now seems technology has overtaken me and a tablet might be a better solution.

I had looked at a bar across the dash, similar to what

GW8IZR describes and I found an off the shelf version from Series Defender Outfitters


Currently the Toughbook sits on the Navigator's lap, which is not really ideal. I've found ipads to be quite sluggish on updating the position.

I'd be interested to see what you end up with.​​

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I know people are going to shout at me, but ....

I bought a tablet to take advantage of the huge improvement in display, compared to a laptop PC, and of course I didn't have to find space for a keyboard when mounted in the car.

I then found, as others have mentioned, the 'reduced feature set', particularly noticeable with Memory Map, the prime reason for in-car use. I managed to work round the restrictions enough to make it serviceable for a month or two, but it will be going, sometime after Christmas.

Instead I've bought a laptop PC with a very slightly larger screen, but is a full PC, running full programmes, but one where the keyboard can be removed, and the base unit operates as a tablet, but still running the PC programmes.

I treated myself to a Surface Pro 4, but I have noticed the prices of new Surface Pro 3's were dropping, and I suspect they have gone down further since Pro 4's have begun shipping into the UK.

The major snag is that these don't come with GPS built in, and unless your Bluetooth GPS mouse is fairly new, the Windows 10 OS won't work. I believe this affected W8 as well. There was a W10 update made at the end of November to improve the situation, but it doesn't work with SPP stack 1.1, only 1.2, introduced in 2012.

I have applied a separate Driver set, for free, and used MM the other night, with the GPS tracking my movement. I believe that this driver set works with the older versions of Windows as well.

The minor snag is that the screen is so bright that even on MM 'night colours' it's too bright, noticeably affecting my night-time vision. The immediate cure was to turn the screen away from me; as I knew where I was going this was OK, I was trying the PC just to make sure it was OK. I've subsequently put a short cut on the desktop (and will pin it to the taskbar) that takes me to the screen that allows me to fully dim the screen, for when I'm driving at night.

I suppose my main point is that I see the Surface Pro range being referred to as Tablets. This is a mistake, they are PCs, running whatever programmes you have on your current PC*, but with the ability to also work without a keyboard, like a Tablet.

* It depends how far back you go. MS Office 2007 loaded and works OK, ABBYY Screen Reader needed an upgrade, but was free as the same registration number was valid. The biggest 'disappointment' was Adobe Photoshop Elements; my Version 2 wouldn't even load, and I've had to leap to Version 14 to get one that will work both with W10 AND the High Density screen used on the Pro 4. Not the end of my world, just another step up the learning curve.

Screen Mounts. Lets get back to topic, I use one bought off eBay several years ago, its been in a Peugeot 205 (holding a Dell L400 laptop) and a Skoda Citigo (holding the Sony Xperia 4 Tablet, then the SP 4). When the Series 2A currently adorning the garden becomes fully roadworthy (to my satisfaction) I intend to buy a second mount for it. Here we are, the very same model, and only £10 more than I paid when I bought from a UK supplier in August 2010!!

I cut strips off each side of the mounting plate so it was no wider than my Dell.

Google 'car laptop mount' for this and similar results. Beware buying from the USA, they often use UPS who WILL declare your item to Customs, and charge you both any customs fee AND a service charge.



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I've been playing with a different iPad app over the last few days, Viewranger. I downloaded a few local OS maps for it and it seems much better feature-wise than the Memory Map app, but I haven't tried it out in the field yet. Going laning next week so will try it out then. If it works well I might see about getting a RAM Mount for the iPad and just using that. A much more slimline and tidy solution for sure.

Will see about getting a decent size mount that I might be able to adapt for either the iPad or the Toughbook if I still deem it necessary. The cradle I've made for the Toughbook is made of 3mm steel sheet so it'll take a RAM Mount easily but it's quite heavy, that with the weight of the thing itself means the mount itself will need to be pretty substantial. Pat's solution looks good.

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I must admit I have found view ranger very good and reliable.

I do like being able to jump from iPad to iPhone to pc without issue

Not tried on the Linux laptop yet - in fact there isn't much on telly and I can watch Paul Ogradys dog show with one eye so I'll have a bash at that tonight :-)

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I found some pictures of the Toughbook mount I made for Mouse, but I can't find any pictures of it in the car though. IIRC there was already some sort of swivelling arm in there where the Spanners mounted theirs. It mounts both a CF-18 and a Garmin GPSMap 62s.







I later added (way too much) velcro to keep it in place in the cradle.

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