Gear I've tried and endorse.......

GPS & Jotto Desk

I've been using a GPS, or Global Positioning Unit for about ten years and find them to be a very useful navigation aid. Recently I purchased a GPS V (Five). It connects to a laptop and with or without the laptop is one of the nicest navigation tools I've ever used.

It was a pain, however, using the laptop in my truck. The laptop gets heavy and hot after a while and finding room to set it down in the cab was a pain. I considered building a bracket to hold it. Then, while reading  PC Magazine I saw an ad for the Jotto Desk. I visited their website and was pleased with what I saw. I placed an order and received the unit in 3 days, ground freight!

 It bolted up to my truck, a Dodge Dakota in about five minutes and was ready to go. It allows the laptop to be configured for different situations and still be able to access it from different positions inside and outside the truck.

Being a ham radio operator it was also important that the laptop not bury all the radio gear I have installed on my dashboard.  The Jotto desk solved this problem, too.  It lifts the laptop up above my radio gear, allowing easy access.


For more info on the Garmin GPS V, go HERE.

For more info on the Jotto Desk, go HERE.



This is how the unit looks parked
between the driver and passenger seats.
This is how I like it when traveling solo.
Notice the coffee mug, light controller switches and
radio gear are still accessable.



Two important features I like.

1. I can still reach my coffee cup and my radio gear.
2. The laptop is secure and out of the way of the airbag.
The screen is in front of the airbag in the passenger position,
but would be pushed out of the way if the bag went off.
Here it's set up for a passenger navigator. Here are a couple of views of the actual jotto desk.
This shows the 400 amp power inverter
I use to power the laptop and my telescope
The unit bolted to the tracks of the passenger seat.
I loosened 2 bolts,  slid the base behind the bolts and tightened them back up.
It was that simple to install.

And the seat still moves all the way forward, too,
even though it looks like it won't in the photo.


Here the unit is extended all the way to the right.
You can actually stand outside the vehicle and use the pc.
Here is the GPS V attached to the dashboard.
To the left is the antenna, which I removed from the unit for better satellite coverage.


Here's a shot with all my gear in it...All set up and ready to go at my favorite observing site in Birmingham, Ohio.
How do you like that view of the western horizon?



And last, but not least, here's a shot of me with the Dodge Dakota that houses all the above.