So, i was dreaming about a Dakar-type screen and a mount for a GPS. Oh, and a GPS. But as this is a hobby for me (read: things should be as cheap as possible), the commercial options where out of my range. Besides, I like to think up solutions to problems and solve them with bits and pieces lying around aka "shade tree mechanic (see glossary below). Other people's rubbish etc... Solution: PENNYTECH!
I had picked up a couple of PALM V PDAs second hand for a couple of dollars a few years back. These are well-outdated PDAs, but are blessed with a big clear (glass screen and a sturdy aluminium housing. State of the art about 10 years ago, but still simple and dependable today. With the optional keyboard (10 dollars eBay for two) I also have a word processor for writing ride reports, a store of technical details for the bike, a fuel calculator and an email/internet option with an old second hand Nokia cell phone (20 dollars eBay). I now have a newer PDA, but didn't want to dump the old Palm V's. so, a GPS attachment was found on eBay for about 15 dollars, and I was ready to roll. I just needed a fitting system.
The design was the best bit: an integrated PDA holder with built in fly screen to protect the rider and GPS from bugs, stones etc. The screen was made from clear Perspex at work (thanks, Martin!) and the holder consists of two lengths of aluminium bar, two pipe holders (rubber, stainless steel) and a handful of stainless bolts (thanks Michael!). Making the whole thing took about an hour, and if anything breaks I can make replacements parts immediately. The rubber mountings are good to absorb vibrations, but not strong enough to hold against the press of the wind. To counteract movement of the screen, two Pennytech spacers where made from a length of hard plastic tube and some zip ties. A rubber pad behind the GPS sorts out the last of the vibrations.
Two slits where cut into the Perspex, so that the GPS can be held on by a thick rubber band, allowing removal of the GPS within seconds.
This setup works. No more wind on the upper body, and the GPS is mounted where I can see it without looking away from the road. The screen is also good to mount my cell phone beside the GPS. Now I just need to figure out a way to run the GPS off the 12V battery in the bike (watch this space!!). I will also modify a plastic lunch box (Pennytech Roadbook) with clear lid to mount in place of the GPS to hold maps.
Shade tree mechanic: The name "shade tree" comes from the shade tree mechanic habit of slinging a chain over the top of a giant oak limb to use the tree as an engine hoist.
Penny tech: simple solutions that involve more brain and passion and usually cost NO money.