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DIY: Center console mount for Tablet owners.

OPTaiva May 3, 2013

  1. OPTaiva

    OPTaiva New Member

    Hello everybody,

    I thought that I would share my journey to find the best (subjective opinion) tablet dock to my A3.

    The car in question:
    2013-05-03 22.02.40.jpg
    MY 2007, A3 3.2l with DSG, but sadly no MFSW and just Concert II+ without Bluetooth.

    First a short story:

    The quest started by me surfing the Net and reading what kind of options there were for 10'' tablets.
    I came across a reasonably priced (as in cheap) tablet arm that mounted to the seat rails and decided to try it. It had also received positive feedback in Amazon. Link to the manufacturers website.

    When I got the dock and tried to install it, I found out that the mount does not fit to the A3's seat rails. It was too wide... but no problem. Just brake out the angle grinder and chop pieces off the mount and drill new holes for the bolts. Problem solved!

    I drove a short time with the original mount and saw that it bounced just too much on the Finnish roads. I strapped it to the center console with zip ties and it helped a bit, but unfortunately the wobbling was not my only problem with the mount... It was also situated too low and it was in the way of the passenger.
    So I made a extension to the arm that lifted the tablet nearer to my field of vision (and zip tied the result again) but this solution was not ideal as it continued to wobble and bounce and be in the way.

    Final product (as of now):

    The solution that I came up with to this problem looks like this:
    2013-05-03 21.47.20.jpg
    The dock is made from 20 x 30 mm welded steel furniture profile and cut up Arkon mount.

    It does not obstruct any of the controls of the car, but it does prevent the usage of CD's. Well you can listen to them but you can't change them. No problem for me because I just own only one CD and it's in the unit.
    The second "problem" is that the center vents are behind the tablet, but I haven't noticed any problems with this... Situation might change during the summer, but I doubt that.
    Also if someone knows that the mount will be in front of deploying Airbags, I will be forced to alter the design and that would be a huge disappointment :(

    Now I have a 10'' navigation unit with a resolution of 1920x1080 and always updated maps. Also when I get around to install a Bluetooth module (maybe a Parrot MKI9200) to the stereo, I will be using Spotify as a music source on my trips. Rather nice if I may say so!

    If someone is interested about blueprints of this mount I could draw them up... I just winged this together by eyeballing the angle and appropriate lengths of the profiles so the prints could be uploaded sometime in the future.

    Here are additional pictures of the mount:

    2013-05-03 21.48.36.jpg
    The highly sophisticated mounting mechanism ;)

    2013-05-03 21.48.21.jpg
    Dock without tablet.

    2013-05-03 21.49.24.jpg
    Arkon mount is cut and glued to the welded profile. Tablets power is fed through the profile by extended (cut and re-soldered) charger cable.

    2013-05-03 21.46.51.jpg
    The "power plant" of the tablet.
    A 300 watt inverter that gets power only when the car is running. This is achieved by a relay system I made into the fuse box. Inverters power is fed from the 12 volt socket in the center console and through the cubby hole.

    So there it is and my goal is achieved. Tablet does not wobble and it is situated just where I like it to be. It's not obstructing my field of vision but with a quick glance I can see the map and traffic information.
    If I notice any bouncing in the mount, I can always weld another side to the mount so it would be symmetrical and have two mounting points.

    Thanks and have a nice weekend!


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