Introduction: Car Floor Mount for XM Radio or Mp3
I had been looking for a way to secure my portable XM radio in my car when I came across one of these. This is a nice setup since it is attached to the floor using the front left bolt of the passenger seat. The flexible goose-neck allows you to position the radio or mp3 player so the driver can easily see and adjust the player. Nothing is stuck to your dash or console and it does not take up a cup holder. All this for $25 plus shipping.
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Step 1: Going Cheap
Being a thrifty fellow I figured I could make one myself. The first step was to find a goose-neck that was at least 12 inches. The first thing that came to mind was a desk lamp so I headed off to the local thrift shop. When I was there I was surprised to see I had a selection of 3 to choose from. The first one looked good but did not bend well so there must have been something inside preventing it from moving. The second was cheaply made and did not have threads with a nut holding it to the base. Instead there were some metal tabs bent then screwed to the bottom. The third one was flexible and had threads at the base and the shade. $4.99 SOLD!
Step 2: The Goose-neck
This is what you are looking for. Notice the threads on both ends. Remember to save the nuts and washers from both the base and the shade. You will need these for your mount.
Step 3: Making the Bottom Bracket
I don't know where I got this strapping but it could have been at Home Depot. The pre-made holes were a little small but I was able to open them up ever so slightly with a drill bit. I cut off enough for two full holes and a half hole at either end. I thought about cutting the corners off with a hack saw at 45° angles but worried about how smooth that would be so I decided to bend down the two corners on the goose-neck end. Since the bracket sits between the seat rail and the bolt, it is off the floor, so there is room for the down bending corners.
Step 4: Finishing the Bracket
The bracket sits in a bit of a channel so I bent the seat bolt corners up at 45° angles. With a little more bending on the edges I was able to get the bracket to sit right in the channel. I then bolted the goose-neck to the bracket using one of the full holes in the bracket with the original nut/washer/lock washer that held the unit to the base of the lamp. Then I replaced the seat bolt with the bracket in place using the remaining full hole. This bolt must be fastened tightly for your safety.
Step 5: Radio Mounting Plate
I thought about buying a cheap holder and somehow attaching it to the threaded part of the goose-neck but once again I decided to go the thrifty way. I decided to cut two pieces of 1/4" board the size of my radio. One board had a hole drilled the same size as the thread on the goose-neck and the other had a hole drilled larger than the nut. This meant that after I glued them together the nut that held it in place would not protrude the top board so the radio could lie flush. This is where you use the second nut that held the shade to the lamp.
The power and antenna for my XM radio comes from the little black rectangle that is plugged into the side/bottom of the unit. This has a tendency to wiggle off after a while. To stop this the radio mount has a little wooden edge or shelf that the radio rests against. To stop the radio from bouncing right off the radio mount I fixed some Velcro strips to the face of the radio mounting plate and the back of my XM radio. Keep in mind of how your radio mounts in other bases. I did not cover the whole back of my radio because when I drop it into another mount on my desk the Velcro would get in the way. A small strip along the top edge is all you need. I did run into a problem with sticking the Velcro to the unfinished wood so I stapled the ends down. I may resort to sealing the wood later then re-gluing the Velcro.
Step 7: TA DA
Now the unit is complete. The goose-neck is plenty strong enough and does not bounce around. It offers just enough flexibility to get the radio to just the right angle and position. The mount is sturdy enough that when you touch the radio to make changes it holds the radio in place. I am truly amazed how well this worked. It cost me less than $6 but I did have some of the parts already. The only thing I am looking for is a plastic cover for the chrome goose-neck. I could use some flexible corrugated tubing or cable wrap but for now the radio floor mount rocks!
Step 8: OK, So Now That I Have Used It...
I think I will mod the radio mounting plate. I may remove the bottom lip, rotate the plate 180° and put the Velcro on the little black module that the antenna and power plug into. This will make the radio removal easier and the mounting plate a little smaller. When I complete this I will publish the final photo.