Picture of GPS cup holder mount
A GPS mount made from PVC pipe fittings to fit the cup holder in your car. The prices of GPS units have drastically come down this year. So I bought a Tom Tom One 125 from Fry's Electronics. Next thing I learned, in California, its illegal to mount one on the windshield!
After searching the Web, I found a type of mount that can be used in the cup holder of your car. They cost about $20 buck for such a piece of plastic. Thats when I decided to try and make my own.

This is an ideal project for those with tools, as most Makers do anyway. With just a few tools and a bench, you can fix and make things that can save you money.

Step 1: PVC pipe components

Picture of PVC pipe components
Three inch PVC pipe is a little wobbly in the holder, however, a 3 inch pipe cap is just the right diameter.

Parts you will need:

1 piece of 3 inch PVC pipe, 2-7/8 inch long.
Two 3 inch PVC pipe caps.
One 1/4-20 flat head bolt about 1-1/2 long.
One 1/4 inch nut and washer.
Epoxy cement

3 inch disc, 3/8 thick made from plywood, plastic other material. The self-adhesive pad that comes with the GPS is attached to this disc. If you can find a PVC pipe cap that is flat on top, the disc is not needed. Mine was curved and needed a flat surface.


Hack saw to cut the pipe.
3-1/8 inch hole saw.
1/4-20 tap and #21 drill bit.
Countersink bit.
file to remove flash and sharp edges or sandpaper.
Drill press, if you own one.
ajensen271 year ago
i like this but im going to put a taller pipe to get it to dash pad level and give me room to hit my radio controls and not make (any more) holes in my dash
ander4 years ago
Not to be a wet blanket, but: I don't think it's safe to be looking down at your cup holder to check your GPS... The whole idea of having it at dash level (even if it's not attached to your windshield) is that your eyes stay at traffic level.
brosee5 years ago
Finished product.
$8 total. (didn't have any spare parts laying around)
Many thanks for the great idea. Went with Velcro instead of the mounting system I linked before.
Ps. My brother in-law is now making his as well.
I'm watching the inventor of the "GPS Pal" describe this very thing on "Pitch Men" on Discovery Channel. I can't believe he got a patent.
botronics (author)  RichardBronosky5 years ago
I saw the "GPS Pal". 20 bucks for a piece of plastic!
brosee5 years ago
 One million thank you's for this one. I have been searching for a way to mount my Archos 5 in the car for days. With some slight modification on the pad, i can get this to work 100%. I will be mounting "Pro Clip's Move Clip" in place of the GPS suction to a wedge shaped piece of wood. www.proclipusa.com/brodit-device-holder/proclip-move-clip/move-clip-kit-(1-male-and-1-female-plate)-213093-13975.aspx
This is going to save me a lot of money in the end.

Thanks again.
botronics (author)  brosee5 years ago
Send a photo to us after you make it.  I took mine through airport inspection to West Virgina with no problem.   Just leave it dis-assembled so it don't look like a b0mb. If its loose in a cup holder, you can put a sock on it.
MarkInMLB5 years ago
Great idea!  Did something similar to this using a "tall" aluminum can (Green Tea, as I recall) and filled with lead shot and beach sand for stability.  Glued a mounting disk to the can top for the suction mount, and it doesn't move in the console cup holders.  Also has the benefit that it raises it up a bit more conveniently (although still not quite the HUD it was intended to be).  All that, and it's so heavy, you could defend yourself with it!
Heartofgold5 years ago
I like this idea, I'll be making one up for myself this weekend. Thanks fro the info.
botronics (author)  Heartofgold5 years ago
If you do, send a photo!
boxofish6 years ago
great idea! i'm gonna do this for sure!
why getting so trouble, go to www.gpscushion.cn and find a GPS cushion(dash mount)!
I know i sound stupid, bit how do i load an instructable, i cant find out how
botronics (author)  tmuterspaugh6 years ago
Go to the top and click on "Submit" Read the instructions. You can also do a slide show by loading just photos.
ef.cool6 years ago
awesome idea! I have yet to get a suction cup mount for my GPS -- all I have at the moment is the one that came with my GPS that you permanently mount to your vehicle. Can't stand permanently affixing something. This sounds like an excellent solution. Also -- the way my dad gets around the CA law is he mounts it on the driver's side window. Not a big fan as I have to move my eyes too far from the road. Thankfully I live in SC where its legal to ride your motorcycle without a helmet...
botronics (author)  ef.cool6 years ago
Vehicle Code 26708 also included the side window.here
well then... that's useful. thanks
Manatee6 years ago
This will be handy when Geocaching! Check out geocaching.com Thanks
Spokehedz6 years ago
Adding some sand/salt/rocks/whatever to the PVC will let you use quite a lot more devices with this. I'm thinking that this might be very useful indeed... A couple of quick mods, and I may have a very nice solution. Kudos.
jts10126 years ago
Great idea. I made one in 10 minutes and the only thing i changed was I shaped the bottom of the disc to match the curve of the top cap and I added a ziplock bag of sand to give it some weight to hold it in the cup holder. It doesn't shake at all. My gps has a taller mount that would move when on a bumpy road. (I live in upstate new york)
frikkie6 years ago
And there was lightbulb...Great idea man!
DrBlind6 years ago
this is so sweet, if you used a screw cap and end you could put your unused change in the holder ;)
botronics (author)  DrBlind6 years ago
Or cut a slot on the side and make it a bank to store loose change.
that would be awesome.
CaseyCase6 years ago
Illegal to mount on the windshield in California? WTF! Glad that I don't live there anymore.
asp55 CaseyCase6 years ago
Pretty common law in a lot of states actually. The full law (in California) is that you can't put anything on your front windshield that would obstruct your view of the road (stickers, things hanging from your rear view mirror, and of course GPS units) with the exception of within a 4 inch square in the bottom right and left corners.
gormly asp556 years ago
>>"Pretty common law in a lot of states actually." Thats is SO sad... because it makes so much more sense to put electronic devices with small screens in the lower part of your car.. like a cup holder, right? Politicians, can't live with em, can't boil them in oil. LOL, I like the instructable no doubt, but this is a serious road hazard.
asp55 gormly6 years ago
Problem is that the law predates small screened car electronics, and is thus really directed at decorative things like stickers, fuzzy dice, and other things that would block your view of the road.
asp55 asp556 years ago
Top corners too I believe... but I'd have to verify that.
botronics (author)  asp556 years ago
The Terminator just lifted the ban in California. You can mount the GPS on the wind shield, but only on the lower right or left corners. Read it here.
jongscx6 years ago
I love Step 8... the same thing happened to my 20 NiCD battery pack for my extra-long laptop battery pack... apparently the TSA has something against long tubular objects held together with electrical tape and have wires sticking out of it...
botronics (author)  jongscx6 years ago
I'm thinking of just using a 1 inch hole saw and bore out a inspection hole on the bottom cap. I wanted to paint the holder. Once its painted, it might not come apart.

Your story reminds me of the time my son and I took a robotic snake through airport TSA, They held up the plane till they could figure it out. I was the last one to board with 4 TSA agents looking it over. The robotic snake is shown here.
Sparky426 years ago
Good job!! I did something similar from a plastic cup for my MP3 player and transmitter. Better than having to chase them around the passenger seat. Next thing to do will be to heat up the soldering iron and put the transmitter and power supplies (xmitter and player) into the cup and wire them so there's only one cord coming out instead of having a splitter for both.
iKill6 years ago
i saw an infomercial and something like this cost like 20 bucks!!! what a rip off those infomercials are
botronics (author)  iKill6 years ago
You probably could find a olive jar or something that is just right in size in your refrigerator. Fill it up with dried beans for weight.
rerat botronics6 years ago
Or just leave the olives in there:)