Laptop mount looking good

I’ve been playing around for a while to come up with a mount for the nav station laptop computer that would be an improvement over simply sticking 3M Industrial velcro to the bottom of the machine and the top of the plywood table. The goal was two-fold: hold the laptop more securely and to raise the computer above the nav station table such that I could lay out a chart without the laptop getting in the way.

I tried using the RAM computer mounts and their mount raised the machine too far – they are intended for mounting a laptop in a police car, and in a car mount you have lots of vertical space below the machine; not that useful when you actually want the reverse and wish to set the machine just above a working surface.

I was thinking of a plywood plate attached to an aluminum bracket with velcro on the plywood – that made the machine hover above the table by 2″ – plenty of room to slide a chart underneath. I had some aluminum ‘L’ channel and chopped off a couple of 2″ lengths, cut some slots through the nav station top (the back edge is fixed, the main section is hinged – so slot is in the back edge, the part furthest away when sitting working at the table), and thru-bolted the aluminum angle brackets to the back edge of the nav station plywood (which is actually a partial bulkhead). Plywood plate uses machine screws to attach solidly to the aluminum ‘L’s.

laptop mount of floating plywood

laptop mount of floating plywood

How to attach laptop to plywood? I stuck more velcro down, and this at least raised the computer up enough to use the charts. Then voila! – use string and a spring to hold the machine down even better. Result: four small eye bolts, 80# spectra fishing line, and a spring from the hardware store – it works great. Eye bolts prevent the machine from moving laterally (as does the velcro), and the string and spring provide enough downward pressure that the machine does not lift.
spring and 80# spectra provide pressure to hold the laptop down

spring and 80# spectra provide pressure to hold the laptop down

aluminum L brackets thru-bolted hold up the plywood

aluminum L brackets thru-bolted hold up the plywood

That was the last project I wanted to complete before heading off to Baja – we’re done now. Time to watch a movie, should be a good evening and relax.

Baja weather thoughts-

the weather has been quite benign of late and we’re about to get our first early-winter storm coming through. Come next week it’s supposed to rain through mid-week courtesy of a large Low moving up towards Washington – and then the GFS model calls for the Low to move north and High to set up to the southwest. Could be nice to mellow breeze down the coast next Saturday. Will be interesting to watch the model as we get closer to heading out.


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