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Old May 7, 12, 7:06 am   #1
 
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Android Mount for California

I use my Android phone as a GPS. I have a suction cup mount for use when I travel, but California (and I guess Minnesota as well) don't allow windshield mounts. What is a good alternative mount for these states? I need something that will hold an HTC Evo, be portable (not permanent mount), work in any car, and take up the least amount of space in my bag. Suggestions?
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Old May 7, 12, 8:13 am   #2
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Arkon mounts makes a nice and compact clip, but my personal preference is one from Cygnett:

http://www.amazon.com/Universal-Wind...6399968&sr=8-1
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Old May 7, 12, 8:27 am   #3
 
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California does allow suction cup mounts but only in two specific (generally unhandy) places...

http://www.dmv.ca.gov/pubs/vctop/d12/vc26708.htm
says that in regard to something blocking the driver's view...

(12) A portable Global Positioning System (GPS), which may be mounted in a seven-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield farthest removed from the driver or in a five-inch square in the lower corner of the windshield nearest to the driver and outside of an airbag deployment zone, if the system is used only for door-to-door navigation while the motor vehicle is being operated.

If you take advantage of this consider having a printed hard copy of the law as some law enforcement officials are not fully aware of this. I've been stopped once and fortunately could cite the vehicle code provision.
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Old May 7, 12, 8:55 am   #4
 
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Might not work in ANY car, but does in many... I never liked mine on the windshield. I bought a 2" PVC coupling at the hardware store, then glued the flat disk that came with my Garmin GPS to the top. This fits any cupholder and gives a nice flat surface to attach the suction cup to.
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Old May 7, 12, 10:54 am   #5
 
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I'm sure glad you guys posted this, because I'm traveling to CA for the first time later in the year, with my Garmin GPS, and I had no idea that there were any sort of restrictions on windshield mounts. I typically put my GPS on the center of the windshield, low down, close to the dash, so it doesn't obstruct my view.

Thanks for the link to the code, Zarf. I will be sure to print it out with my other travel docs prior to my trip.
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Old May 9, 12, 8:00 pm   #6
 
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I use a beanbag mount, which can be put anywhere on the dash, for my Garmin.

But it comes from Garmin so it has a ball which docks into the back of the Garmin.

There are generic bean bag mounts, which just have a smooth surface area on the base, where you can attach the suction cup in the holders.

I haven't tried this kind of setup but have been thinking about getting something which can hold a smart phone and one of these bean bag mounts:

http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-D...I134ZERK7DZ4FV
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Old May 9, 12, 8:45 pm   #7
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudship View Post
I use my Android phone as a GPS. I have a suction cup mount for use when I travel, but California (and I guess Minnesota as well) don't allow windshield mounts. What is a good alternative mount for these states? I need something that will hold an HTC Evo, be portable (not permanent mount), work in any car, and take up the least amount of space in my bag. Suggestions?
Assuming you're talking about the OG Evo 4G (e.g not the Design or 3D or the keyboard one or the LTE one coming in 2 weeks), I use the Seidio Evo car kit, which is massively overbuilt but very nice. I used to couple it with a fairly heavy beanbag mount I bought at Best Buy for cheap, and it worked well that way.
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Old May 12, 12, 7:03 pm   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by wco81 View Post
I haven't tried this kind of setup but have been thinking about getting something which can hold a smart phone and one of these bean bag mounts:

http://www.amazon.com/AmazonBasics-D...I134ZERK7DZ4FV
I've been happy with my generic beanbag mount (looks very similar to the one you linked to). It works great with the suction cup mounts that came with two different GPS units I have used.
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Old May 12, 12, 10:07 pm   #9
 
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I haven't reviewed California's obstructed vision statute, but some states (such as Michigan) have an exception for cars with out of state plates. If you are the type to attach such devices to your window, grab a car with out-of-state plates if have status and can grab the car of your choice. It might give you a defense.
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Old May 13, 12, 2:44 am   #10
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I did buy a load of hands free kits for family as Christmas presents for my family when the hands free restrictions came in in the UK. The best of them attached to the air vent and then had side grips you could extend outwards and the top one moved up so that it could take most phones. Sadly I've not seen them since and this is the closest I could find.
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Old May 13, 12, 8:31 pm   #11
 
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I found this one: http://www.amazon.com/Kensington-Uni...dp/B003SE6LD0/. I haven't yet had a chance to test the vent mount, but the window suction cup works well - in fact too well - couldn't get it off the windshield even by releasing the lever and pulling on the tab!
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Old May 21, 12, 4:57 pm   #12
 
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So I tried the went mount. It worked OK. Kinda complicated - two little spring loaded hooks, which are difficult to get in and take off especially in a dark garage. I had a Honda Accord this time, it took a little finagling to get them in. But it held it in place, which is what I needed. I definitely like using my phone as a GPS instead of a dedicated GPS.
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Old May 22, 12, 12:01 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cloudship View Post
So I tried the went mount. It worked OK. Kinda complicated - two little spring loaded hooks, which are difficult to get in and take off especially in a dark garage. I had a Honda Accord this time, it took a little finagling to get them in. But it held it in place, which is what I needed. I definitely like using my phone as a GPS instead of a dedicated GPS.
Aside from not having to carry an extra device when you travel, are there any other advantages? In my experience, the GPS in smartphones is far less accurate than a dedicated unit and can show you as much as a quarter mile (.4km) from where you actually are. Not great for precision door-to-door navigation, though it's often sufficient for many people.
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Old May 22, 12, 4:44 pm   #14
 
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Well I have a Garmin and I'd have to spend about $100 to update the maps, whereas Google Navigation is free.

Plus instead of $100 for new maps (which are a pain to update, at least on the Mac), you can get a 7-inch Android tablet with GPS.

You can also invest in offline GPS apps. for use overseas, if you won't be buying a data plan.
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Old May 22, 12, 6:59 pm   #15
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by WillCAD View Post
Aside from not having to carry an extra device when you travel, are there any other advantages? In my experience, the GPS in smartphones is far less accurate than a dedicated unit and can show you as much as a quarter mile (.4km) from where you actually are. Not great for precision door-to-door navigation, though it's often sufficient for many people.
To be honest, I found my phone to be more accurate than my GPS. Additionally (importantly) it seems to work even in garages, under tree-lined streets, and in the city where my Garamin had problems picking up the signal. Lastly, it allowed me better accuracy with destinations. Keeping my PS up to date was just too costly and much of a challenge. And when I need to, I can switch to satellite view or even go look at another map using another application without loosing my directions.
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