Introduction: GPS Cup Holder Mount

About: I like to tinker and experiment with electronics, robotics, programming, and photography. Along with my latest interest in Steampunk.

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

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.

Step 2: Attach the Pad

A self-adhesive pad comes with the GPS unit. It is used to mount the unit to a spot on the cars dash with the GPS suction cup. Instead, we will mount the pad to a disc that is attached to the cup holder mount.

Make the disc using a 3-1/8 inch hole saw. The material can be plywood, thick plastic or in my case I had some phenolic material scrap from work. If you use plywood, seal it with paint or clear coat. This will help with bonding to the GPS self-stick mount.

Step 3: Tap Hole for Disc

Tap a 1/4 -20 hole on the top of the PVC cap.

Counter sink a hole on the disc in the middle and slip in the flat head bolt. Be sure the counter sinked hole is deep enough so as not to interfere with attaching the self-adhesive pad.

Use a little 5 minute epoxy to secure in the bolt to the disc. It will keep it from loosing up over time.

If you have a drill press, use it to start the tapping of the hole. This will keep the tapped hole perfectly straight. I just chuck up the tap and lower into the hole and twist it by hand.

Step 4: Screw in the Disc

After the flat-head bolt is mounted to the disc and the epoxy is cured, screw in the disc to the PVC cap.

Step 5: Bolt the Inside

Use a 1/4-20 nut and washer to secure the bolt and disc to the PVC pipe cap. Threading the cap makes a tighter assembly.

Step 6: Assemble

Put together with the short piece of PVC pipe and the bottom cap. Don't glue it together, just press fit.

You can even paint it to match you cars interior. I'm planing on giving it a flat black paint job.

Step 7: Stick on the GPS

Stick on the GPS with its suction cup to the top of your new holder. It is now ready to use.

Step 8: Travel Tip

You may be tempted to glue it together. Don't. When traveling through Airport Security, you may be asked to show what you got. To X-ray, it looks like a pipe bomb with a GPS trigger device! You can twist off the bottom and show there is nothing inside.

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