Heavy Duty Land Rover Tablet Mount (Universal)


A Non Damaging Dashboard Mount for Tablets (or anything else)

When my HTC Flyer tablet dropped out of its contract it was still a very useable piece of kit, in fact I wouldn't have upgraded had I not begrudged paying the same for something I now own. Once my new tablet arrive (a rather excellent Samsung Note 8.0) I decided to finally make good on my decade long obsession with car pcs and digital mapping.


I knew I no longer needed to go to the complication of fitting PC power supplies, remote base units and touch screens and all I really had to do was get power to the tablet and mount it on the dashboard. I currently use a windows suction mount holder for my phone but to be honest I really don't trust or rate them. This mean strapping a far heavier tablet to one did not appeal. The mounts were also very expensive and looked quite weak - I am sure for a normal car they do the job rather well but my Land Rover is called upon to bounce over rough terrain!


I sketched out a design in my notebook that I thought would hold the tablet securely. I then transposed that into Powerpoint - a program not known for its CAD like design, but it allows you to quickly brainstorm ideas and move pieces around. I ended up going through 3 different designs just working in Powerpoint.



Design 1

Design 2

Design 3



It quickly became apparent that Design 2 was going to be the best design, the others moving the tablet too far out from the windscreen for easy viewing and also restricting access to the switches below. When I got to the workshop on Saturday the first piece I made was the bracket that fits in the hole the ashtray would normally go into. I took some 1 inch box, drilled through it and place a long bolt. I then welded the bolt to the box section so it remained in place. This could then be slotted into the ashtray hole at an angle, straightened and then centred to give a method of holding the steel plate firmly in place. No extra holes needed to be drilled in the dash and the ashtray can be put back into place returning it all to stock appearance.


Dashboard with ashtray removed.

Steel box with welded bolt.

Box section in place inside dash.


Now that the box section was sat in place I needed to make the top part of the bracket that would sit on top of the dash and through which the bolt would pass and be tightened. For this I used a large piece of plate steel I had - it is about 5mm thick. The plate was curved and I measured and cut a piece 5 inches. This ensured a gap was still present between the plate and the glass of the windscreen. Once the plate was cut I drilled a hole and test fitted it on the dashboard.


Steel plate cut to shape.

5mm thick steel plate.

Test fitted to the dashboard. Thing won't budge.


After I tested the plate and bracket and it became clear it was going to hold firm no matter what punishment I put the vehicle through I had a platform to start making up the tablet mount. I drilled and tapped an M10 hole just slightly in front of the fixing bolt. This hole still passed through into the hole left by the missing ashtray. I then screwed in a long M10 bolt and rested the tablet against it to work out the preferred angle.


Long M10 bolt in tapped M10 hole in plate.

Allen head chosen just for neatness.

OS Maps (No GPS as indoors)


Once I had confirmed the tablet could be viewed from both seats I needed to add the two pieces that would clamp the tablet in place. The volume button sits on the top edge of the tablet so that mount would need to fit around it, whilst the bottom has no functions on what so ever. The charging port is in the right hand side edge of the tablet and the audio jack the left hand side so nothing would be restricted by the brackets. I welded a piece of angle in a V shape on to the front of the steel plate. This allows the tablet to sit in securely. The rubber cover on the tablet adds grip against the brackets and prevents damage to the tablet case.


Lower Tablet Bracket 1

Lower Tablet Bracket 2

Lower Tablet Bracket 3

With the angle welded in place all that was left was to fabricate the top bracket. This would also use a piece of angle, but would use only an inch long piece. This would keep the volume buttons accessible when it is in the mount. To make the top bracket I got a large repair washer and bent one lip up to 45 degrees in the vice with a hammer. I then welded this washer to the angle. Sadly I didn't get a picture of this, but will take one and add it eventually. The washer was put on the M10 bolt and the tablet sat in the lower piece of angle. The bolt was screwed in by hand and the top bracket clamped the tablet in place. The tablet could not move!


Brackets in place. Camera being tested - useful for recording drives.

Testing with a movie - Quantum of Solace.

Daniel Craig.


With the tablet mounted I now needed to look at getting power to the tablet. To do this I fitted a bank of three cigarette sockets and two USB ports to the side of the centre dash. These run from the second battery via a spare switch on the dashboard. They provide power to the tablet and the phone (using its windscreen mount). The unit is fused with a 5 amp fuse (the phone and tablet pull 3 amps total).


3 Power Sockets and 2 USB ports
Total 5 amps (USB = 2 x 500ma Ports)

Illuminated Switch powering the power sockets and USB ports. Runs from second battery so can be left on when parked up during trips.


So that is it - I then set the tablet OS maps to display in night time colours and went for a drive. The GPS tracks my position and can follow my routes for greenlane outings. I also set the camera away recording and recorded a 5 minute drive home. During the day I think it would be clear enough to make out number plates, at night my HID lights somewhat overpower the reflective tape on number plates.


I will now use a flap disc and paint to make it look all pretty.


Night Time Driving with OS Maps

(Turned off the auto map rotation shortly after)

Video of Nighttime drive taken from the tablet camera.






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Tech Write Ups
--- Land Rover Crane
--- Heavy Duty Tablet Mount
--- HID Headlight Upgrade
--- Paint Job 1
--- Homemade Searchlight
--- Homemade Radiator Muff
--- K&N Air Filter
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Cooking Oil Conversion
--- Introduction
--- Components
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--- Twin Tank Installation
--- Testing
--- Conclusion

Graeme Shorten - L4NDROVER.CO.UK - g@l4ndrover.co.uk
Copyright 2014