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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
I received my Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS today. I am very impressed with the quality of the unit. I am going to now make a custom steel bracket that will attach under the head liner above the rearview mirror. I am mounting the unit so that I will have access to the GPS controls. I don’t want it mounted over on the passenger side of the vehicle. I design and plan everything out in it’s location for driver access. I want to be able to scan the GPS while driving on the trail, etc. Once I design the mount, I will post some pics of the progress and dimensions for anyone else that would like to mount theirs in the same way.





I just finished making a prototype mount for the location. Here are some pics. The finshed mount will be made out of thicker steel, I used some thinner steel I had laying around in my shop to make the temp one out of.


This is the location I chose to mount mine, it's in easy reach and you can see the display.


A blury picture while I hold it up to the mounting lcation to see how the fit will be.


Mounted up in the desired location.





Well there you go, It's very bulky in the rear of the unit where all the cables go, these will be ran under the headliner out of view. In the pictures no cabling is hooked up to the unit.

I decided to make this my Install thread. I designed and built a mount for the GPS for the vehicle. The Lowrance unit comes with a "White" colored puck antenna. This will work great on all the other FJ's except the TRD SE's; because of the Black roof.

I was talking on the phone with Larry (uphill) about our Lowarance units. I told him I had made and mailed out a GPS bracket for him along with new hardware for mounting the unit. He wants to mount his in the same location as myself. I explained to him that I used a new product made by "Tool Dip" they make a rubber coating that you dip your tool handles in. I have used this product for years for all kinds of projects. I explained to Larry that they had a new product out instead of dipping, it's in a spray can. I decided to use a rubber coating instead of spray for more durability and since it's inside up next to the head liner the metal won't tear it up.

Well during our conversation I explained that I was going to have to paint my GPS Antenna Black to blend into the roof, that I didn't want it sticking out on top because it's white. Larry said you should use the same Black rubber coating that it would provide even better outside wear then black paint would, I agreed, that it would stand up alot better then the paint.



This morning I decided to go ahead a coat the GPS Antenna with the Tool Dip Spray. here is a pic of the unit.



I am waiting to install the Antenna unitl my ARB Half Roof rack comes in this Tuseday and my Custom One-Off BAJA Light bar arrives sometime in the next two weeks. Once these come in, I'll have a better idea on where I want the Antenna to be placed on the roof along with how and where I'm going to run all the wiring for the lights and antenna. I'll post up when everything is in. :)

I also updated the first page of the build site (The RAPTOR) so that it's easier now to follow the build along with many new pictures. :)
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Very nice! Looking forward to your mounting process. I am picturing something like a fold down TV that you see soccer moms put in for there kids. :)
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Nice! I really want to see how you end up mounting it.
 

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Discussion Starter #4
Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Thanks Guys, :)

I just finished making a prototype mount for the location. Here are some pics. The finshed mount will be made out of thicker steel, I used some thinner steel I had laying around in my shop to make the temp one out of.


This is the location I chose to mount mine, it's in easy reach and you can see the display.


A blury picture while I hold it up to the mounting lcation to see how the fit will be.


Mounted up in the desired location.





Well there you go, It's very bulky in the rear of the unit where all the cables go, these will be ran under the headliner out of view. In the pictures no cabling is hooked up to the unit.

I'll post more as the project progresses. :D
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

I like it. Good line of sight yet not blocking to much of the windshield.
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Thanks guys, I think it's going to work out great myself. :D
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Don't worry about the rear view mirror. You won't need it :D.
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

You mean I had a rear view mirror?...Damn Tony, I never notice one before..:lol:
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Mike,

As usual you are leading the charge! I'm looking forward to seeing your final install.

BTW, is that a CB I see mounted below your radio? If so, would you post an image of it?

cheers,

dale
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

good going mike, I'm very envious! ;-]]]
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Thanks guys :)

And Dale yes it is a CB, check out the build site for an explanation and pics :D

Just click on RAPTOR on my sig :D
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Mike,
Where did you get the 540C?
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Mike how is the map coverage on it? How is the Topo detail, all that.. compared to a PC? I am jealous because my PC is really getting beat up.
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

It's going to be hard to beat the display of a PC. Todd, I thought you've gone to a tablet? I seem to recall you saying something like that.
 

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The Laughing Member
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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Mike, that looks great up there!! :bigthumb:

A couple of Q's (since I'm getting ready to intall a Garmin 276C that I just received yesterday):

How's the viewing angle from the driver's seat? Will it be swivel-able within its mount??

Also, what are you going to be doing GPS antenna-wise??
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Yes, I ditto LandcruiserSteve on GPS antenna question. Are these two while blobs I see in your post photo the GPS antennas? One of them must be! They're bulky it seems. Either way, it would be interesting to see where you'll mount it/them.
Good job on location of GPS inside car. One serious limitation on the FJ seems the amount of free space once can mount things, but I guess that gives room to all of this creative mounting stuff you guys with tools and spare metal this and that can come out with.
 

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Discussion Starter #19
Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Mike,
Where did you get the 540C?
Lowrance GlobalMap Baja Off-Road GPS with Topo Maps for ATV, 11747 - FotoConnection.com

Mike how is the map coverage on it? How is the Topo detail, all that.. compared to a PC? I am jealous because my PC is really getting beat up.
10 x better and more accurate then the PC. Todd, I'm like you, I've been using MS Streets & Trips along with Delorme Street Atlas for years now in my vehicle running them on my laptop. I'm a bit spoiled when it comes to viewing size. I have the Ram Mount vehicle mount for my laptop, I will be selling this here in a few days. I ordered the extrap detailed map coverage for this unit. I noticed that it has a lot more accurate detail of creeks, dirt roads, topo info, etc. I was playing around with it last night, temp hooking it up. The backlight on the creen has 4 different brightness settings, I was a little woried on how dim I could make it while driving at night, not distroying my night vision. It is able to get very dim, dimmer than your dash lights on the vehicle. I have to install my Snorkel this afternoon, once done, I'm going to run over to Home Depot and buy a small piece of steel to make the brackets. I'm making abracket for Larry (uphill) also, he wants to mount his where I'm mounting mine. I talked with him on the phone last night about the unit. I'll show more pics when the mount is complete.

It's going to be hard to beat the display of a PC. Todd, I thought you've gone to a tablet? I seem to recall you saying something like that.
I have been doing the same as Todd for years, the only bad thing about running a laptop GPS is, you have to turn your head 90 degrees everytime you want to look at the screen. The way I'm mounting this unit, will alow me more "Driving" control while still being able not only to view but to have access to the GPS controls.

Mike, that looks great up there!! :bigthumb:

A couple of Q's (since I'm getting ready to intall a Garmin 276C that I just received yesterday):

How's the viewing angle from the driver's seat? Will it be swivel-able within its mount??

Also, what are you going to be doing GPS antenna-wise??
Thanks Steve, The view from the Driver is perfect, even the passenger will be able to see the GPS. As far as the Antenna goes, it is a white round puck about 2" high, and 4" in Dia. it will be perminatly mounted on the roof of the vehicle. I am not mounting it yet, because I have a custom made BAJA style light bar being made right now and my ARB Half roof rack is being shipped to me. Once I mount the rack and light bar, I will then figure out where I want to mount the Antenna. I don't want to drill a bunch of holes in the roof. I will have to run all my lighting wires along with the GPS cables, I will use one location to penatrate through the roof. I'll post when pics and why the location that I choose.

Yes, I ditto LandcruiserSteve on GPS antenna question. Are these two while blobs I see in your post photo the GPS antennas? One of them must be! They're bulky it seems. Either way, it would be interesting to see where you'll mount it/them.
Good job on location of GPS inside car. One serious limitation on the FJ seems the amount of free space once can mount things, but I guess that gives room to all of this creative mounting stuff you guys with tools and spare metal this and that can come out with.
I'm not putting the RV mirror back up, with just the GPS unit up there gives me more windshield viewing without it. Plus I have to many sticker on the back windshiled anyways. I hardly ever use the RV mirror.

No, I found a better price than that at fotoconnection, $349 See above link
 

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Re: Just Received My Lowrance BAJA 540c GPS Today

Air2Air said:
...how is the map coverage on it? How is the Topo detail, all that.. compared to a PC? I am jealous because my PC is really getting beat up.
This is exactly why I went with this unit. It is very rugged and the view rivals that of a PC. I really wanted to go with a PC but space is tight (at least if you want to have full control from the driver's seat) and I felt almost any PC would get the snot beat out of it in a short period of time.

The topo maps are excellent. There is something like 40 steps of zoom-in.

The down-side: The UI on this unit is clunky and cumbersome. Downright archaic IMO. The screen is not touch screen. Everything is done with buttons and they are burdensome. There is no keyboard. The first time you try to type a name with that clunky UI you will want to scream. It looks/feels like the controls on a 1970's era analog TV transmitter.

BTW, I think there is a much better way to mount this. And my method keeps your mirror intact. I will post some pics when I get back from my latest travels.
 
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