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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
I had this in my '04 EX, but never got around to taking a pic. Here's a few pics of the stand in my new SC:







The tray can accommodate up to a 17" laptop and sits on a double arm setup, so it can be moved into numerous positions. The main pole is telescoping, so it can be raised or lowered to a suitable height. The base is heavy and bolts in with replacement front seat bolts (I had to get longer bolts and add a spacer to each in the SC, because the seat rails are longer than they were in the EX). There is also a quick disconnect on the main pole, so I can remove it easily when not needed.
My next project is to come up with a place to mount my power inverter and my external hard drive and I'd like to get an extra set of power cords and usb cables so I don't have to remove them when I take the laptop out.
 

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how nicely does it swing into the center for the driver to use for navigation software. ?

we have some great setups at work for the toughbooks, but i have a 15" widescreen that i use at home. looks good in the E.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
I could swing it right in front of the shifter, or even part of the way over the drivers seat. I do use navigation software, as you can see HERE, but I normally have it positioned just to the right of the shifter and angled towards me so I can just glance over at the screen (I use a 14" Widescreen).
 

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Installation

Hi Jake_62,

I must say, nice car and set-up. I am looking into purchasing a ram mount and installing it into my 2005 Honda Element EX, but before doing so, I'd like to know what is involved in the installation and how difficult it is. More specifically, do I have to remove the passenger seat? Would you mind sharing your experience with us? Thanks very much!

PT
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 · (Edited)
platinum said:
Hi Jake_62,

I must say, nice car and set-up. I am looking into purchasing a ram mount and installing it into my 2005 Honda Element EX, but before doing so, I'd like to know what is involved in the installation and how difficult it is. More specifically, do I have to remove the passenger seat? Would you mind sharing your experience with us? Thanks very much!

PT
It really is only about a 10 minute job. You only have to remove the 2 front bolts and washers on the seat and then install the laptop base with the new longer bolts and spacers that they include.

You can order the base by itself (RAM-VB-135MH1), or the whole system (RAM-VB-135MH1-SW1), as I did. Hint: I got mine from gomobilenow.com, which stocks it. They want $194.95 for it, but I called them and asked them to match the price from getfeetwet.com, which does not stock it ($147.76) and they did. :D Free shipping, also.

the quick-disconnect and the screen support are optional, but worthwhile items and not very expensive.

Don't see too many michigan people around here. :rolleyes: We need to have a meet.
 

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Hi Jake_62;
Have you come up with any good ways to hide/camouflage your computer (or do you trust the Element's 'security system'?
My Doberman in the back would be some deterrent, but if I install a pet barrier (to keep him off the driver's seat), it sort of negates the 'watch dog'.
 

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It really is only about a 10 minute job. You only have to remove the 2 front bolts and washers on the seat and then install the laptop base with the new longer bolts and spacers that they include.

You can order the base by itself (RAM-VB-135MH1), or the whole system (RAM-VB-135MH1-SW1), as I did. Hint: I got mine from gomobilenow.com, which stocks it. They want $194.95 for it, but I called them and asked them to match the price from getfeetwet.com, which does not stock it ($147.76) and they did. :D Free shipping, also.
Well, I just bought the identical mounting for my laptop and discovered that the base is solidly designed but poorly built. The black paint was riddled with large pea sized bubbles and scratches which someone tried to paint in with a black marking pen. I could live with that but the holes for the seat bolts are drilled about a half inch out of position and won't fit. The flat plate at the base of the upright is warped from welding and I'll need to stick some washers between the base and the upright post to keep it from wobbling back and forth. Once installed, the upright comes up right in front of the passenger seat so no passenger once installed.

Basically, wouldn't recommend this mounting to anyone as shipped - a real disappointment considering the good reviews here.
 

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Thought I'd update the last post. Email to Ram Mounts asking about the holes in the base was ignored. I went ahead and drilled new holes for the seat bolts which just barely allowed enough clearance for the heads of the replacement bolts included in the kit - and at that, had to use a thin wall socket and a wobble extension along with a good ten minutes of failed attempts to get the threads started. I would NOT want to take this base back out and replace it very often.

There were 4 extra flat washers included for something else and I used those to place between the upright post and the warped base to keep it from wobbling around.

Once in place, the next headache was that the upper upright post uses a 2 piece aluminum expanding wedge to hold it in position. The problem there is there's nothing to hold the wedge steady so that it can expand. Turning the knob only makes it spin around and around inside the tube.

With a LOT of fiddling at it, the stand finally locked in place and it is a good solid mounting. The passenger seat is blocked, but since the Element has no way to manually shut off the passenger air bag, I'd rather have passengers in the back than risk decapitating someone with an airbag propelled laptop.

Running the "no drill, seat bolt mount" base between the two center seat bolt holes would've been a far more attractive design and would've left the passenger floor area clear for feet. Why Ram Mounts chose to do like they did is a mystery and I'll probably end up cutting a new base plate from a foot or so of angle iron and only use the upright pole section.
 

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I find it really odd that you've been having so many problems Desina...
I have the exact same mount in mine, and have had it thee for going on 3 years now....
Took me 10 minutes to install - pulled out the existing seat bolts, and lined up the brackets and bolted it all back together again...didn't even need the supplied bolts...
paint looks almost as fresh as the day we installed it too....
never have any problems with any of the connectors, and the whole thing is rock solid, always....
I haven't even bothered to take it out - thee is more than enough room for a front seat passenger, and the tray, and plenty of clearance above it for the air bag, since it comes out of the dash....

I'm thinking that they sent you the wrong one....did you verify the part numbers with the one listed for an E??
 

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I'm starting to wonder if they sent the wrong one too, or if they even make one that fits the '08 models. I see you have an earlier model. Lookup on the seller I bought it from as well as the two (now one) sellers on Ebay lists it for all years but the lookup on the Ram mount site points to some sort of bulky tripod mount instead of the upright post version. Other than that, I bought the same one shown in the previous posts.

The right one or not, the actual mount that I got is poorly built and like I described. I wouldn't call it a piece of junk but it's sure not what you'd call a quality product either. It's a utility tool and it's utility grade and that's about the nicest thing I could call it. You're wrong on the airbag placement though. There's no way for a passenger to squeeze around or under this thing and not have it directly in front of the airbag and I've dealt with enough airbag survivors to get a healthy respect for what they can do.
 

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I'm starting to wonder if they sent the wrong one too, or if they even make one that fits the '08 models. I see you have an earlier model. Lookup on the seller I bought it from as well as the two (now one) sellers on Ebay lists it for all years but the lookup on the Ram mount site points to some sort of bulky tripod mount instead of the upright post version. Other than that, I bought the same one shown in the previous posts.

The right one or not, the actual mount that I got is poorly built and like I described. I wouldn't call it a piece of junk but it's sure not what you'd call a quality product either. It's a utility tool and it's utility grade and that's about the nicest thing I could call it. You're wrong on the airbag placement though. There's no way for a passenger to squeeze around or under this thing and not have it directly in front of the airbag and I've dealt with enough airbag survivors to get a healthy respect for what they can do.
The one Jake showed is for an 07 SC, and mine is an 03.
I haven't looked at the RAM site lately, but the only difference I can see is if the SC is configured slightly differently to allow for the centre console. Looking at the pics, and having been in Jake's E, and having a mount, I don't recall any difference at all (mine even looks exactly like his, shown in the pics he provided). I don't know what you mean by a 'bulky tripod mount'...these have a flat bar that mounts to the front of the seat, and 1 pole on the left side going up. There is a connecting arm, with 2 adjustable pivot points that the tray attaches to.
I can raise, lower, and move it around in petty much all directions. I have no problem at all putting it at a height that is lower than the dash, and plenty of space for a passenger. My wife and I have traveled extensively exactly like this. If the air bag were to deploy, the worst it would do is close the laptop as it comes out over the tray.

Sorry, but I really suspect someone either pulled a switch on you, or sent you the wrong one. Additionally, this is a fairly strudy, attractive piece of equipment - and trust me, after 20 years in the Army, I've seen my fair share of cobbled together utilitarian crap. (speaking of which, as an aside, I saw the exact same RAM Tough tray on the bridge of the USS Eisenhower last fall, as I have in my E)

Can you post some pics of what yours looks like?
There's not much use of me posting pics of mine, since, as I've said, it looks exactly like what Jake has already posted...
 

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The one Jake showed is for an 07 SC, and mine is an 03.
I haven't looked at the RAM site lately, but the only difference I can see is if the SC is configured slightly differently to allow for the centre console. Looking at the pics, and having been in Jake's E, and having a mount, I don't recall any difference at all (mine even looks exactly like his, shown in the pics he provided). I don't know what you mean by a 'bulky tripod mount'...these have a flat bar that mounts to the front of the seat, and 1 pole on the left side going up. There is a connecting arm, with 2 adjustable pivot points that the tray attaches to.
I can raise, lower, and move it around in petty much all directions. I have no problem at all putting it at a height that is lower than the dash, and plenty of space for a passenger. My wife and I have traveled extensively exactly like this. If the air bag were to deploy, the worst it would do is close the laptop as it comes out over the tray.

Sorry, but I really suspect someone either pulled a switch on you, or sent you the wrong one. Additionally, this is a fairly strudy, attractive piece of equipment - and trust me, after 20 years in the Army, I've seen my fair share of cobbled together utilitarian crap. (speaking of which, as an aside, I saw the exact same RAM Tough tray on the bridge of the USS Eisenhower last fall, as I have in my E)

Can you post some pics of what yours looks like?
There's not much use of me posting pics of mine, since, as I've said, it looks exactly like what Jake has already posted...
The shape of mine looks the same as the pictures and I bought the same model number. I think that they did leave it deliberately in front of the passenger seat to clear the center consoles on the SC's. The build quality is bad on the bracket especially. I think I've described the rest of it.

I'll get some pictures as soon as I can find what I did with my camera last. I still work for the govt and the cobbled up, poorly built junk we get for equipment is just as bad as you described. We've got enough ex-mil personnel to get plenty of comments on it. For same reason, mine own personal tools (like the camera) tend to wander away from time to time.

On the air bag though, you're scaring me. The only info I've been able to get about where the airbags deploy was a slow motion video of an '07 crash test but it clearly shows that the passenger air bag doesn't end up only above the top of dash. It extends several inches below the windshield level and at the speed they come out, it wouldn't just close the screen on your laptop. If your wife is lucky, the screen will hit her flat when the bag shears it off of the computer and smashes it in to her at something close to 100mph. If the bag hits the base of the computer too, that'll smash out & down angled at her belly and neither possibility is on my "want to do" list.
 

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On the air bag though, you're scaring me. The only info I've been able to get about where the airbags deploy was a slow motion video of an '07 crash test but it clearly shows that the passenger air bag doesn't end up only above the top of dash. It extends several inches below the windshield level and at the speed they come out, it wouldn't just close the screen on your laptop. If your wife is lucky, the screen will hit her flat when the bag shears it off of the computer and smashes it in to her at something close to 100mph. If the bag hits the base of the computer too, that'll smash out & down angled at her belly and neither possibility is on my "want to do" list.
hmmm...I don't know, but I don't think so....

If you look at the pics Jake put up, my mount sits almost the exact same, and the computer itself, attached to the tray doesn't move. It's held in from the bottom, on both sides, and isn't about to slide forward or side to side. The only thing that sticks up, is the lid of the laptop, and it only comes up into the deployment area of the airbag by a few inches....
Yes, the airbag comes out, and down, but it would push the lid of the laptop down, in it's natural closing position, and out of the way for the airbag to deploy above it...

I can see what you are saying, but, unless you have the mount extended all the way up, I can't see how it would go as high as what you are describing...even at full height, the base of the laptop is still well below the plane of the dash....

I'll have to look into this further, but I don't think it's as bad as your describing....
 

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If you have your laptop mounted as high as the last picture shows, it'll take the full force of the airbag. The screen will be torn off of its hinges and blown back at full speed. The laptop base will probably go forward and down as the bag comes down at it.

I don't think you understand the force or the violence of an airbag deploying. A pen in a shirt pocket can leave a nasty welt on the skin. Glasses usually leave bruises on the face. If the driver's arm is in the way when the bag in the steering wheel goes off (which is why modern steering wheels are designed to place your grip towards the bottom) then you'll end up with a broken arm. The good part is that it's still better than hitting the dash and windshield.
 

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Here is a graph showing deployment speed of an air bag.

Figure 6. An even more useful graph shows the data plotted in Figure 4 as envelope velocity (mph) vs. throw (in.). This form of data presentation is especially valuable for analyzing occurrences of injuries alleged to have been caused by deploying envelopes. Note that the air bag normal-axis throw peaks at a further distance than its final inflated state position at 0 mph. This is a common characteristic of vehicle air bags, and is due to the folding pattern combined with the furling effect of the inflating cloth envelope.


That said I plan to get a RAM mount for my netbook. the goose has a single mounting slot. NOTE: I will never have the netbook mounted if someone is sitting in the passenger seat.
 

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Thanks! I was told that the surface of the bag would throw anything in front of it at about 100mph and your graph shows slightly higher. I suppose there's some loss to inertia or the tech who told me was generalizing.

Here's a good clip I just found on youtube of an idiot setting off an airbag under an aluminum wheel. Watch where the wheel goes when it comes back down.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SJKWZKiHcVQ
 
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