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Monday, 10 March 2014

DIY GPS mount

Thanks to my friend Pat Brennan in Ireland for this:

Here's something that might, or might not, be of interest. Briefly, our pal Ger Duhig -- you might know him,, had bought a no-name Chinese GPS last year for about €160 and remains very pleased with it. Samsung processor, all the right sort of internal kit, just like the branded ones apart from the no-branding. I wanted one, as I've got no sense of direction. Ger's UK supplier had gone AWOL, but Ger found me another, in Stockton-on-Tees. Fine, so I bought one for me and one for Frank Swords (Pan European ST 1300 man, whom you probably know from our rallies, and who has no credit cards!).

The hardware came by DHL within two days of dispatch. That's two days to Bray from Shenzhen, China!

Installing the mapware off the separately-supplied CD was easy enough but refining it for the 4.3" screen size was a little beyond me, so I got Frank Swords' son Greg -- an absolute genius, he runs his own computer business -- to spend ten minutes sorting it out.

Fine ... but how to fit the mounting bracket to the Skorpion? The factory has a lot to answer for in my opinion, fitting those oh-so-clever Paolo Tarozzi bars. Anyway, it had happened that just before Christmas my gas central heating "boiler" had gone belly-up, so I needed a new one really quickly. Just what I needed five days before Christmas, a bill for €1,800! But in the process the installer had managed to omit carrying off a few offcuts of (roughly) 22mm o/d copper tube. These bits struck me as potentially useful. I rarely throw anything away and so have a house full of junk, a fact that alone would disqualify me from Good Housekeeping awards.

To begin with, I soldered two 8mm i/d washers inside one end of a short section of copper tube (photo #2). In the other end, I cut off a separate copper-tube section, reduced the diameter till it would fit inside the main tube, and soldered it inside that tube (photo #3). Then I sliced the end off the redundant bar-end weight (I'd discarded those weights earlier, having fitted Halcyon stainless bar-end mirrors instead). The washers and copper insert weren't to add strength, merely to locate the tube in place on the handlebar. See photo #1 for all the components. (The small metal piece at lower right is a chunk I'd needed to hacksaw off the old bar-end fitting.) For soldering I used plumber's solder and Fry's Powerflow Flux, and a small butane blowtorch for heating. Definitely not a job for my usual cored solder and a 25W Weller electric soldering iron!

The remaining photos show the installation in place.

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