Mounting a computer or tablet (In your 4WD)

Thursday, Feb 11, 2016 at 19:10

Baz - The Landy

Photos and story, Baz – The Landy

A catch-cry in the corporate world, which I am firmly entrenched in, suggests that any goal or destination needs a plan; a roadmap of how you are going to get there.

Mind you, despite the ultimate goal or the final objective rarely changing from year-to-year, and that would be, make more money, the powers-to-be usually require a new “road map” each year showing how we are going to get there…such is life in the corporate world!

But what about the “road map” when we are Out and About – Having Fun?

For the most part I grew up wandering the bush with a compass in hand and a bunch of paper maps with lines drawn all over them. And in my flying days I had similar, even with the advancement of GPS technology I still haven’t been able to give-up my paper maps and compass!

Having said that, "The Landy" is fully equipped with GPS tracking equipment and I have used the VMS product running Oziexplorer software. Although the VMS has had its limitations given it only runs a “light” version of the full Oziexplorer program I use on my laptop and the screen size challenges even those with 20/20 vision.

On my recent trip into the Western Deserts I was able to view the Panasonic Toughbook in action, a robust laptop that could almost survive anything thrown at it, after all it has its genesis in the US Military.

I didn’t risk asking Mrs Landy could I purchase a new one, but managed to get approval for a reconditioned unit from the finance committee. Yes, that is Mrs Landy, and I had one shipped from a Melbourne based seller for a fraction of its new cost.

It can be turned into a “tablet” type arrangement and I use it with a wireless keyboard and also elected to have a solid-state version, which is extremely fast when loading up.

It also comes with a built-in GPS.

Where to locate the unit so it would be accessible to both driver and navigator in the front seat, but without comprising comfort and of course potential air-bag activation in the case of an accident had us put the thinking caps on…

I looked at a variety of products available over-the-counter, but none were likely to survive the corrugations of our outback roads so I set about looking for a custom made product. I settled on working with the team at Industrial Evolution, a Sydney based company specialising in making computer mounts for police vehicles.

The owner of Industrial Evolution, Brett Franzi, was pleased I made contact as he had not had access to the more recent batch of Toyota 76, 78, and 79 series vehicles and my request provided the opportunity for a design template to be made.
Why did I go with the in-dash mount?

It is securely attached to the dashboard and centrally located and whilst it does take up some real estate in the central dash location, most alternatives would have done so also.

Importantly, it meets the ADR Standards.

Fitment is a straightforward process and would easily be achieved by the most basic of handymen (that’s me!).

The proof is always in the pudding, so to speak, and road tests so far have proven the Panasonic Toughbook, combined with an in-dash mount from Industrial Evolution, to be a great partnership…

You can find more information on Industrial Evolution by visiting its website..

But hey, I never leave home without a map and compass as they’ve never been known to fail!

Oh, and don’t worry, I not getting paid to write a review, the company had its hand in my wallet – but mind you I’m not complaining, Brett and his team provided the perfect ergonomic solution for “The Landy”.

The cost, well it will depend on what items you purchase, but don't expect too much change out of $500.

Just in case you were wondering “Baz – The Landy” came about as a consequence of owning three Land Rover Defenders, but as you can see this has now changed...

And yes, thank you, I've recovered fully from the experience!

But “Baz – The Landy” reference has stuck...!

Cheers, Baz – The Landy, Outback Australia…
“Those who don’t think
it can be done shouldn’t
bother the person doing it…”
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