Griffin Autopilot and Arkon Car Mount

I have been looking for a good solution for a car mount for my iPhone. I had originally purchased an adjustable mount, that sat in the cup holder. This worked for a short time, but after while the pressure clamps that the base sits in the cup holder wore out. I bought a suction cup style mount from the same company, and I didn’t like mounting it on the windshield, as a few times the suction cup would give way under the weight of the iPhone, and the entire clamp and adjustable arm would fall to the floor. Being paranoid of breaking the screen, this solution no longer worked for me.

I found an iPhone mount, that actually uses the bolt of the car seat to mount the arm to the floor of the vehicle. The quality is fantastic, and the gooseneck arm is very durable. This has got to be the most industrial feeling product I’ve come across, and it’s perfect for my needs. The clamp itself is made by Arkon.

 

Car Mount

Car Mount

 

The best word I can use to describe this mount, is “Industrial.” It’s honestly the most SOLID mount I’ve seen. Heavy and strong. Even the gooseneck is hard to bend, so once it’s in place, it stays there. You have the freedom to tighten all the bolts and brackets on the unit, to secure it and make it feel like a part of the car. You’ll get normal vibration, but this will help keep it in place.

I’m REALLY impressed with this unit, and I highly recommend it.

All you need to do to attach it, is loosen the passenger side seat bolt, and slip in under the bolt, and re tighten the seat down. Literally a 2 minute install. I was worried about the arms, because I use a case on my phone, and I’m happy to say, it fits perfectly with a little room to spare. The clamp that actually holds the iPhone is removable, and it seems to be universal, as the other clamps I bought from BestBuy can be used instead if I wanted. 

 

Seat mount

Seat mount

 

If you put an uncased (or naked) phone into the clamp that comes with it, I would say fully open, there’s about .25 of an inch on each side of play. There’s also another 8th of an inch in foam to hold it, so unless the case adds a huge amount of width to the phone, my guess is it would fit.

The phone holder full opening is 2 and 11/16 or 2.6875. The foam is just a touch over 1/8 of an each on each side. So, the naked iPhone does have about 1/8 on each side at it’s widest opening, and another 1/8 each side in foam. Good amount of space to handle a case. Something like the Otterbox may be too wide, but I’d say 90% of the options out there will work great.

I ordered it from The Mount Guys on ebay, and it arrived in about 4 days, for the low cost of $19.99.

With this, I didn’t want to charge the phone from the dock connector, and have another wire from the headphone jack to the Aux pot of my stereo, so I found that the Griffin Autopilot is a perfect Choice.

 

Griffin Autopilot

Griffin Autopilot

 

Technically, it doesn’t support the iPhone 3G, so when you plug it in to the phone, you get the warning message saying it’s not made for the phone. Ignore it, it works, perfectly with my 3G phone.

The Autopilot not only charges the phone, but has a built in aux output on the unit, to use the superior sounding dock for the audio output. 

Here’s the official statement from Griffin on the Autopilot…

A new twist to the classic car charger for iPod: Track Control. AutoPilot is a sleek, low-profile power adapter AND iPod controller that plugs into the cigarette lighter or power socket in your dashboard or console.

AutoPilot’s illuminated knob gives you controls for Play/Pause and Track Forward/Backward. Press play; you get tactile feedback that lets you keep your eyes on the road. It’s the perfect complement for iPod touch (or any iPod) while driving; you never have to glance down or touch the face of your iPod.

But there’s more to AutoPilot than “just” power and control. AutoPilot uses a line-level output jack to send the best possible sound from your iPod to your car stereos equipped with Auxiliary-In jacks.

You get fingertip control of the music, clean sound through AUX-IN, and you arrive at your destination with a fully charged iPod. The easiest way to control, charge and play your iPod on your AUX-In-equipped car stereo.”

 

The Arkon Mount, solid, industrial feeling, quality. BUY THIS.

The Griffin Autopilot, if you have an aux port on your car stereo, OR a cassette adapter, this is the perfect solution to charge, and play audio with only one connection to your phone. It also comes with the 1/8″ aux cable. BUY THIS TOO.

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