RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount


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WingAdmin
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RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Thu May 30, 2019 8:56 pm



Last month I wrote about my experience with the RAM Mount X-Grip, in the search for the perfect mount for my phone on my Goldwing. As I mentioned, I have replaced my satellite radio and GPS units with a cell phone - it's waterproof, the maps never need updating, and it can stream music or play MP3's. Using Android Auto, it will also read my text messages. In the near future I hope to wire it into my bike so that I can operate it by talking to it through my helmet headset.

My experiences with the X-Grip were less than stellar. On my very first trip out, I hit a small bump on the road, at which point the X-Grip launched the phone into my lap (fortunately). It has a rubber stretchy thing you can use to give it extra hold on the phone, but that takes a long time to take on and off, and it obscures part of the screen. Most annoyingly, the X-Grip arms continually pressed the volume and power buttons on my phone.

Next I tried the RAM Mount Quick-Grip, and wrote a review about it here. It was MUCH better than the X-Grip, but it still took time to connect and disconnect the wires every time you wanted to use it, and the small plastic arms looked a bit fragile to me.

So here's the phone mount I ended up using: the RAM Mount GDS Dock, which I bought on Amazon for $35. This is a completely different idea when it comes to mounts: not only does it securely mount your phone, but it also connects it to your bike automatically.

How it accomplishes this is by using a custom case to fit your phone. In my case, I used the Samsung S7 GDS Case, $30 on Amazon.

Here's the mount and the case as they arrived:

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The mount has a well at the bottom with a set of springy pogo pins that make contact with the phone case. The well is "D" shaped, to prevent you from installing the phone backwards.

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The bottom of the rubbery case has a set of electrical pads that make contact with the mount's pins.

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Inside the case is a small connector for the phone. In this case, this S7 case has a micro-USB connector.

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The top of the mount has a springy arm that gets pulled outward when the phone is installed.

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The back of the mount has a wire, which has a female micro-USB connector. You would plug your charger into this. It can also be purchased with a USB-C connector.

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The first thing I had to do was remove the old case from my phone.

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The RAM case is nowhere near as high tech or quality of my Spigen case. Whereas the Spigen case has a hard shell, and a soft, shock-absorbing TPS interior, the RAM case is just a soft rubbery wraparound - it would protect against most bangs or falls, but definitely not as well as the old case. That's OK, as this phone is only ever going to be used on the bike.

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Installing the phone into the RAM IntelliSkin case, you angle the bottom in first, so that the connector slides into the phone.

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Once installed, the case wraps around the phone. Holes in the front allow sound to reach the microphone on the bottom of the phone.

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There are drain holes in the case to allow water and moisture to escape should it get wet. I explicitly picked the S7 for my bike, as it is a waterproof phone, and won't be harmed by rain.

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The top of the case has a hole to expose the noise-cancelling microphone in the phone.

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The case simply drops into the mount, and the connection is made. This connection passes only power - no audio. Again, this is fine, as I'm using Bluetooth for audio on my bike.

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Once installed the springy arm on the top of the mount holds the phone very firmly in place. The phone cannot slide out sideways, as the bottom of it is resting in the well of the mount.

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The ball mount (an extra $10 from Amazon), mounts on the back of the GDS mount.

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I decided I didn't want the ugly green sticker on my mount, so I peeled it off.

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I installed the mount on my right brake reservoir using a RAM Mount Clutch Reservoir Mount and a short swivel arm for maximum adjustability.

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Installed on my GL1500, the highly-adjustable mount holds my phone at the perfect position.

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The USB wire on my bike already reached out to the mount, so what to do? I just wrapped the GDS mount wire around the mount a couple times, then plugged it in.

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As soon as the bike is switched on, the phone receives power. I have the phone configured to automatically power up, connect to Bluetooth, and run Android Auto, without having to touch it.

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At night, the phone dims itself down, and the mount holds it in just the right position.

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Putting the phone in the dock and taking it back out couldn't be simpler, and takes literally seconds with just one hand - and no wires to connect or disconnect!





I'm finally satisfied. The mount is extremely solid, the phone doesn't budge even on the bumpiest roads, and the convenience of being able to put the phone in and take it out without having to bother with wires is huge. I highly recommend it!

Pros
- Solid
- Easy to use
- No wires
- Pretty much unbreakable

Cons
- Must use their case
- A little more expensive
- Cases available only for popular phones



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AZgl1800
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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by AZgl1800 » Fri May 31, 2019 1:14 pm

Installed the Android Auto app.

reading customer reviews, it seems to have some idiosyncrasies that annoy a lot of people.
One such, is the Screen must be 'ON' to receive Notifications?? ( my Note 4 does not )

You mention 'Power up', does that mean the S7 you are using does not have an Internal Battery anymore? ( the S7 has had a mixed review in the past with battery failures )

Have you ever used the Note 4 or equivalent, is the S7 any better?
the Note 4 is restricted to Android 6.x now

a question on Data Consumption. How heavy is this effecting your Data Plan?

Verizon is stingy with Data, the max they allow me on Shared Family data is 8gB
that is damn near nothing in today's world.
and they don't allow Hotspots to have Unlimited data at all, on any plan that I can ascertain... spent a lot of time last night trying to get more data, I am down to 700KBytes left for the next 25 days. ??
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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Fri May 31, 2019 1:55 pm

AZgl1800 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 1:14 pm
Installed the Android Auto app.

reading customer reviews, it seems to have some idiosyncrasies that annoy a lot of people.
One such, is the Screen must be 'ON' to receive Notifications?? ( my Note 4 does not )

You mention 'Power up', does that mean the S7 you are using does not have an Internal Battery anymore? ( the S7 has had a mixed review in the past with battery failures )

Have you ever used the Note 4 or equivalent, is the S7 any better?
the Note 4 is restricted to Android 6.x now

a question on Data Consumption. How heavy is this effecting your Data Plan?

Verizon is stingy with Data, the max they allow me on Shared Family data is 8gB
that is damn near nothing in today's world.
and they don't allow Hotspots to have Unlimited data at all, on any plan that I can ascertain... spent a lot of time last night trying to get more data, I am down to 700KBytes left for the next 25 days. ??
I'm curious to see what they have changed in the next release of Android Auto that supposedly will be out in a week or two. It apparently changes a LOT.

As for the S7, it definitely has an internal battery...but I hardly use it. Here's what happens:

- The bike turns on. This supplies USB power to the phone.
- The phone starts charging
- The Bluetooth interface in my bike starts up
- The phone sees the bike Bluetooth, and connects automatically
- Android Auto sees that the Bluetooth is connected, so it starts itself up and turns the phone on, and unlocks the screen

The end result is that the phone turns on, unlocks itself and starts Android Auto when the bike turns on. When the bike turns off, the phone shuts itself off.

I had a Note 4, but that was...quite a long time ago. The S7 will run rings around a Note 4 in terms of speed and capacity, as it has a processor several generations newer, and more memory:





As for data...I haven't the slightest idea. I have unlimited everything on my account, so I just let the thing use whatever it wants. A lot of the data usage (at least for maps) can be mitigated by downloading the maps into Google Maps beforehand for offline use. I do this as a matter of course, so that I have all the maps locally stored on my phone. That way, if I am travelling somewhere that I don't have cell coverage, I still have GPS guidance. The only thing you lose then is traffic guidance.

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by AZgl1800 » Fri May 31, 2019 7:07 pm

What carrier, and what plan do you have?

I'm trying to offset the costs of my internet use, and beginning to wonder if being with VZW for 20+ years is worth it anymore,

they do not seem to be willing to accommodate today's needs, as compared to other carrier's advertisements. what stops me from changing, is the cost of replacing my CDMA phones over to GSM.

I use to have a 15% discount being employed with the Fire Department, but they stopped that when I retired.... piss poor customer relations IMO.

a friend of mine has a permanent Unlimited Internet on his VZW phones because he is ex-military. but, when I looked last night, VZW has dropped that plan.
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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Fri May 31, 2019 7:18 pm

AZgl1800 wrote:
Fri May 31, 2019 7:07 pm
What carrier, and what plan do you have?

I'm trying to offset the costs of my internet use, and beginning to wonder if being with VZW for 20+ years is worth it anymore,

they do not seem to be willing to accommodate today's needs, as compared to other carrier's advertisements. what stops me from changing, is the cost of replacing my CDMA phones over to GSM.

I use to have a 15% discount being employed with the Fire Department, but they stopped that when I retired.... piss poor customer relations IMO.

a friend of mine has a permanent Unlimited Internet on his VZW phones because he is ex-military. but, when I looked last night, VZW has dropped that plan.
I've been on T-Mobile for years now. I'm on the "One" plan.

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by MikeB » Fri May 31, 2019 11:28 pm

I do not believe Android Auto uses any of my data at all. We are using Verizon and my wife and I have been using Android Auto since December of 2017. My data plan is not impacted at all. The only way the data gets used is when I tether my computer to the phone. I do that frequently when on the road. It is safer than using someone's free wi-fi.
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Tacoma, WA, USA

nick2681
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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by nick2681 » Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:17 am

What ball mount/handlebar mount are you using?
1989 GL1500

Former Rides:
1982 GL500 Interstate
1980 GL1100

First Ride: on the back of my late grandfather's 1985 GL1200LTD

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Sat Jun 01, 2019 10:41 am

nick2681 wrote:
Sat Jun 01, 2019 7:17 am
What ball mount/handlebar mount are you using?
I installed the mount on my right brake reservoir using a RAM Mount Clutch Reservoir Mount and a short swivel arm for maximum adjustability.

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by bhawthorne » Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:13 am

I’ve been searching old posts but can’t find the answer. Do you have a recommendation for a Bluetooth adapter? I’m driving a 2002 GL1800. I have an aux cable (which I need to replace with a shielded wire as it picks up RF from the ignition system) and a power port in the left dash compartment and I’ve been plugging my phone into that, but I want to mount the phone on the handlebar, which means plugging a Bluetooth adapter into that aux port.

Any hints as to a good Bluetooth receiver?

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:25 am

bhawthorne wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:13 am
I’ve been searching old posts but can’t find the answer. Do you have a recommendation for a Bluetooth adapter? I’m driving a 2002 GL1800. I have an aux cable (which I need to replace with a shielded wire as it picks up RF from the ignition system) and a power port in the left dash compartment and I’ve been plugging my phone into that, but I want to mount the phone on the handlebar, which means plugging a Bluetooth adapter into that aux port.

Any hints as to a good Bluetooth receiver?
I hate to say this, but no. I never found one that did exactly what I wanted. So I designed and built my own. That's not really going to be in the realm of possibility for most people.

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by rexliggett » Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:33 pm

I to have had my phone land in my lap using this mount. Am going to see if it does better with the tether. Also, I have tighten the device has much as I can, yet while riding the phone will move sideways. Am going to try some glue and see if that keeps the phone in place. Any suggestions? I bought this thing at the dealer and it was like $75 bucks.

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:10 pm

rexliggett wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 3:33 pm
I to have had my phone land in my lap using this mount. Am going to see if it does better with the tether. Also, I have tighten the device has much as I can, yet while riding the phone will move sideways. Am going to try some glue and see if that keeps the phone in place. Any suggestions? I bought this thing at the dealer and it was like $75 bucks.
When I talked about having the phone land in my lap, that was with the X-Grip Mount. I have had no problems whatsoever using this GDS mount. Is that the one you're talking about having problems with?

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by DarthJ » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:10 pm

I use the X-Grip for my phone, both on the bike and in the cage. Now, My S8 has a Pelican phone case on it, and the tether will hold that in rock solid without being in the way (for me, anyway) Only downside is finding a skinny plug to listen to music/GPS, because the hole they have is very small
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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by rexliggett » Mon Jun 03, 2019 12:20 pm

The x-grip mount is the problem.

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by pease » Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:57 pm

WingAdmin wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:25 am
bhawthorne wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:13 am
I’ve been searching old posts but can’t find the answer. Do you have a recommendation for a Bluetooth adapter? I’m driving a 2002 GL1800. I have an aux cable (which I need to replace with a shielded wire as it picks up RF from the ignition system) and a power port in the left dash compartment and I’ve been plugging my phone into that, but I want to mount the phone on the handlebar, which means plugging a Bluetooth adapter into that aux port.

Any hints as to a good Bluetooth receiver?
I hate to say this, but no. I never found one that did exactly what I wanted. So I designed and built my own. That's not really going to be in the realm of possibility for most people.
Building my own BT adapter might be within my ability, but before I try I'm curious as to how your bespoke version differs in capability from something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/TaoTronics-Bluet ... B013QJ0W8Q
Note that I'm not advocating this particular adapter, just wondering how yours differs from something generic like this. Thanks (both for the review and for this info)!

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Wed Jun 05, 2019 8:04 pm

pease wrote:
Wed Jun 05, 2019 1:57 pm
WingAdmin wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 10:25 am
bhawthorne wrote:
Sun Jun 02, 2019 7:13 am
I’ve been searching old posts but can’t find the answer. Do you have a recommendation for a Bluetooth adapter? I’m driving a 2002 GL1800. I have an aux cable (which I need to replace with a shielded wire as it picks up RF from the ignition system) and a power port in the left dash compartment and I’ve been plugging my phone into that, but I want to mount the phone on the handlebar, which means plugging a Bluetooth adapter into that aux port.

Any hints as to a good Bluetooth receiver?
I hate to say this, but no. I never found one that did exactly what I wanted. So I designed and built my own. That's not really going to be in the realm of possibility for most people.
Building my own BT adapter might be within my ability, but before I try I'm curious as to how your bespoke version differs in capability from something like this:
https://www.amazon.com/TaoTronics-Bluet ... B013QJ0W8Q
Note that I'm not advocating this particular adapter, just wondering how yours differs from something generic like this. Thanks (both for the review and for this info)!
I built mine from a bluetooth-module-on-a-chip with a microcontroller. I connected wires that actuated "answer/hang up/listen" and "previous next" buttons and ran them out to my handlebar. I built a buffer circuit to inject the audio from it into my stereo, and a second buffer circuit to hook up my helmet mic to its input (which did not work and needs redesign because of a flaw in my circuit design).

Once I get it fully working, I will have music and GPS instructions in my headset from my phone, can make Google do things like make phones calls, play a music source or route to a new destination on the GPS just by talking to it, and take or place calls on the phone through my headset.

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Fri Aug 09, 2019 10:38 am

I had declared this mount the "perfect" mount, after having the RAM X-Grip launch my phone into my lap on the freeway.

To my surprise, the other day when riding over a particularly brutal set of railroad tracks, I had this GDS Dock do the exact same thing - I hit the tracks with my front wheel, and felt my phone land in my lap.

The problem is that the weight of the phone pushes up against the spring, enough that the bottom of the phone comes free of the mount, and the spring then pushes the phone out of the mount.

I have made a slight modification to my mount. I took a small piece of ABS plastic, and using some 3M VHB tape I mounted it to the front of the GDS Mount:

Plastic mounted to GDS mount
Plastic mounted to GDS mount

When a large bump is hit, the phone can no longer be ejected, because it does not jump up high enough to get over this piece of plastic. Problem solved.

The phone can still be removed (obviously), you just have to lift it a bit higher:

Phone lifted over plastic to remove
Phone lifted over plastic to remove

So I'm still going to recommend this mount, but suggest that you may want to make the same modification if you have it mounted to your handlebars.

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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by C-dub » Fri Aug 09, 2019 11:07 am

I thought I had hit some rough spots. You guys sure you're not doing some of that enduro stuff on your wings?

I've had my iphone 8+ in the x-mount for about a year now, IIRC, and it hasn't budged once. I normally use the included rubber thingy to keep it extra secure, but have forgotten to strap the corners down a few times without any issues. Not knocking any of your setups since they do look really nice. I might even go to something like that if I also want to plug mine into charge while riding. So far, I have little use while riding since I still use the onboard nav system. I really only have my phone mounted to be able to determine if I need to take a call, which I can do while riding in my headset, or stop to answer a text. Otherwise, I'll ignore the call or wait until the next scheduled stop to answer whatever.
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Re: RAM Mount GDS Dock Handlebar Mount

Post by WingAdmin » Mon Aug 12, 2019 2:26 pm

600 miles of riding this weekend, and I twice had the phone bump up out of the connector, but the phone was held in place with my modification. I actually didn't notice the first time for a few hours until the phone started bleeping that its battery was about to die, and realized that it wasn't seated properly. I think I might add a couple more ABS panels on the sides to keep it from moving laterally, which will be the final fix, so the phone can't bump out of the connector.



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