Let me introduce now my new helper for the traveling employee.
As a technician in on site service i had to use every day my laptop computer to finish the job by writing a report. Not every customers place offers a table or similar to sit down comfortably. So i back down in my nutshell and write on board.
The space between the steering wheel and my "sixpack" is too short to place the lap - top my laps top. In this position it's impossible to write on the internal keyboard. So i placed my laptop on the co-drovers seat and wrote with my wireless keyboard. At least not so comfortable and ergonomic as sitting face to face to the display.
Why not clamping the laptop upside down on the Steering wheel and write with the BT Keyboard? With this i sit face to face with the display and have no stupid laptop squeezed between my belly and the steering wheel.
- A wireless keyboard with integrated touchpad. Logitech K400 for example.
- being able to reverse the screen 180 deg. I had to push TAB+AltGr and one of the page up/down arrow. Works sure on most laptops.
- of course a laptop which hinge is tight enough to keep the heavy part of the laptop with the keyboard on top side in position.
a handy unit which can be mounted on the steering wheel and keeps the laptop in place..
Step 1: Let's Build It.
Machines and tools:
- a 3d Printer or printing service
- a CNC router or some nice person with one.
- common wood and mechanical tools.
- printing filament which is heat resistant enough to melt not in a heated car in summer.
- Plywood 12mm thick 334x244mm minimal
- 3 and 4 mm screws, nuts and washers. I made the parts not fitting exactly to normal screw lengths. So you may shorten the screws.
For the build shown in the photos before, you need to print :
1 pc arm_var.stl
2 pcs craddle_var.stl - the part includes a support which has to removed after print.
1 pc fork and fork_nut.stl - fork_nut also contains little supports in the nuts holes to break away after print.
2 pcs clamp_var.stl
6 pcs clamp_laptop.stl
the other stl craddle and clamp wheel are non adjustable versions if you don't need an adjustable holder.
Also yo have to mill the board.stl on the router. A 3mm mill will do the job precise enough.
Step 2: Parameters and Variables
I also have attached the original fusion360 file. If you are familiar with it you can change some parameters like the thickness of your laptop display for larger clamps or the wood. The orginal clamps have 12mm distance and load my Dell Laptop display with a little play.
I couldn't guarantee that all parameters can be set widespread without leading in conflicts or destroying dependencies.
Otherwise let me know if you need some larger display clamps and i will submit them here.
The board has slots to adjust the size of the displays surrounding bevel and the position higher or lower on the steering wheel.
The steering wheel clamps could be adjusted to compensate the angle of display. I figured out that a reversed lcd display will result in bad exposure when it's tilt backwards like the common steering wheel.
Step 3: Assemble and Use It.
Mount the 6 display clamps with 3mm screws into the slots on the front of the board. Place a washer each between the nut and the wood on the backside. Take care that the screws heads not reach out of the clamps and scratch your laptops case. I used cheese head hex screws. Also take care that the screws are not too long and scratch the airbags case on the wheel.
Assemble the 4mm nuts in the arm and the two cradles. For a perfect fit i tow them in with a screw to their end position.
Mount the arm on the top with 4 mm screws. Let the screws head point in the slots on the frontside. Use a oversized washer (4mm hole 11mm) between the screw and the wood.
Click the two forks over the arm and fix it wit two 3 mm screws and nuts. Tight the screws after you have found the ideal position.
Finally mount the two cradles in the bottom slots right and left like described at the arm part. Screw now the two clamps on the cradles with short 4mm screws and 11mm washers. Those clamps can get adjusted in angle and a bit in height. Adjust them also that they will slip tight over the steering wheel.
If all parts sit in their place you can fine adjust it in your car for the first time. Fix all that the unit sits tight but not too tight that you will ripping the steering wheel from the rod.
The unit is only for use in a standing and turned off car. It has to be removed always before driving ;)