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Old 03-14-2008, 04:14 AM   #1
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Was wondering if any of you have contemplated or actually done an installation of a drop down LCD monitor for use with VMSpc. These are drop down monitors that click up to the ceiling when not in use. We are thinking of connecting a 12-15" one to the laptop as a 2nd monitor to display the VMS data. It would be mounted to the bottom of the overhead cabinet that sits in front of the driver. I've seen some pics of small monitors people have hooked up at dash level, but we want larger (for better vision) and higher to keep it from blocking view.

If you have done this, curious of what issues you have run into, especially any wiring issues. A good VGA cable is typically not that thin & flexible, and is also distance challenged, so wondering if issues there. I'm assuming the cabling could be run thru the upper cabinets toward the passenger side of the vehicle and down the plastic panel that runs down the side of the windshield. How did you bring it out there and how much play did you allow for the laptop. We do not have our laptop fixed on a mount, but keep it on a Miller table between driver & passenger while driving so would need enough play to accommodate that placement.

I am multiple posting this on different forums to get the broadest spectrum of experience. I thank you up front for sharing your experiences and for all responses.
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Old 03-14-2008, 04:14 AM   #2
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Was wondering if any of you have contemplated or actually done an installation of a drop down LCD monitor for use with VMSpc. These are drop down monitors that click up to the ceiling when not in use. We are thinking of connecting a 12-15" one to the laptop as a 2nd monitor to display the VMS data. It would be mounted to the bottom of the overhead cabinet that sits in front of the driver. I've seen some pics of small monitors people have hooked up at dash level, but we want larger (for better vision) and higher to keep it from blocking view.

If you have done this, curious of what issues you have run into, especially any wiring issues. A good VGA cable is typically not that thin & flexible, and is also distance challenged, so wondering if issues there. I'm assuming the cabling could be run thru the upper cabinets toward the passenger side of the vehicle and down the plastic panel that runs down the side of the windshield. How did you bring it out there and how much play did you allow for the laptop. We do not have our laptop fixed on a mount, but keep it on a Miller table between driver & passenger while driving so would need enough play to accommodate that placement.

I am multiple posting this on different forums to get the broadest spectrum of experience. I thank you up front for sharing your experiences and for all responses.
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Old 03-14-2008, 06:04 AM   #3
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I agree about having a large screen. I have my laptop on a swivel mount next to the driver's seat and view Street Atlas and VMSpc. If you mount a drop down screen from the ceiling you will have quite a distance to deal with making the screen seem smaller. Getting the screen closer and perhaps a smaller screen would be my choice. Perhaps you could mount it on the dash. Of course my first choice is the mount I have for my laptop.
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Old 03-18-2008, 03:55 PM   #4
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I have mine on my laptop on the dash. It works...

I do know John Canfield had installed a small LCD near the driver for his VMSPC, but I think I remember him saying that it was kinda small for that usage... He might jump in here...

I have tried to run my output from the laptop to my overhead TV, but found the video quality was too poor, and was much more distracting trying to look at the TV, where the laptop was in a decent viewing angle, and I run it in conduction with Delorme. I am now used to the layout I have, and it works well for me.

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Old 03-30-2008, 10:22 AM   #5
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I want to thank everyone that responded to my request for input. Although we initially were looking to put in a drop down monitor like they make for autos, we have changed our plan mainly because of the input we received from you. The VMSpc hardware connects to an old laptop that is dropped in the hole below the driver arm console (until we decide where is the best place for it). Found a 19" widescreen HD Dell monitor on the internet for $140 and a flip/swivel mount for about $70. This is mounted to the bottom of the cabinet in front of the driver. The mount will let us flip the monitor up against the cabinet, but not sure we will ever do that. It does let your turn the monitor for improved viewing, plus angle it down, which is helpful for the driver. The monitor plugs into an outlet in that overhead cabinet.

After further investigation of the drop down monitors....the resolution and monitor quality wasn't all that great until shelling out a lot more bucks than I wanted. I initially thought the monitor would run $200-$250, but to get high resolution in the drop down was $500+.

This solution was economical and the screen is very good and allows a good view of all the stuff you want to see at a quick glance and big enough that you don't need to dig out the bifocals (for those that need them). Plus part of the screen has a view of Street Atlas for the driver which is helpful. We have some longer cables on the way (thanks for the link) and as soon as they arrive, will have it installed where the wires are hidden and the install will appear more professional.

Thanks again for all the great advice, tips and suggestions. It made our solution perfect for us. I'll post pictures on our website in another week or two (whenever those cables get installed).
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Old 03-30-2008, 07:49 PM   #6
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Hi Donna,

I was one of the people that mounted the 7" monitor on the dash to display the VMSpc software. For my purposes it has worked out really well.



I know John Canfield was going to experiment with a 15" monitor overhead for the VMSpc software, but I don't know if he ever did. As a side note, I added a forward facing color camera on the roof that I can switch to for low hanging trees or obsticales in campgrounds. It does come in handy.

good luck, Sarge
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Old 03-30-2008, 09:28 PM   #7
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<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-title">quote:</div><div class="ip-ubbcode-quote-content">As a side note, I added a forward facing color camera on the roof that I can switch to for low hanging trees or obsticales in campgrounds. It does come in handy. </div></BLOCKQUOTE>
Sarge.. Can you post photos of this? It sounds very interesting!


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Old 03-31-2008, 02:51 AM   #8
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Hi Sarge,

I saw your pictures and write up before we did anything and actually tried to talk the primary driver into that option. However, he was very against anything smaller than a 12" screen as the smaller & closer required the reading glasses for him to view. As the screen grew, it's position had to change. A guy on the newmarowners forum had done something similar to what we ended up doing and sent some pictures. We are using an old laptop that would otherwise go unused and seems to work for this perfectly. Hope to have pictures before too long.

Thanks for sharing your solution. I think it is always so helpful to see a variety of other solutions before starting a project.
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Old 03-31-2008, 12:39 PM   #9
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Sure Mama, I will snap a pic and get it posted.

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