On project that has been on my list from day one was to mount my laptop where I could use it as a large screen GPS. I started out researching what others have done. The predominant solution not only for SMB's but for other 4x4 vehicles is to install a RAM mount.
For me, the RAM wasn't the way to go. I didn't care for its appearance or its mounting method,, which is either a floor mount bracket that interferes with access to the seats, or double ball type clamp that bolts down into the center console. The ball clamp is nice that it gives you articulation but but on the negative side, the single clamp acts as a moment arm that allows a lot of movement and vibration. Its also not in-expensive. Being the cheap, I mean thrifty person I am, I thought I could build a better mount for less than the cost of the RAM mount.
A few foam core board mock-ups and I arrived at the solution. My design uses common wood framing straps as a base for the platform. I used 2- Tee-straps and one angle bracket. One bugger weld and a few pop rivets later the bracket was done. I removed the ash tray and screwed the two T-straps into the front of the ash tray well and the center deep well.
The platform is a piece of 1/2" plywood with a dadoo groove to slip over the base bracket. It has 5/16" clamping screws to fasten it to the bracket. The sides of the platform is made from 1.5 x 1.5 x 1/16 aluminum angle with cutouts for the ports and CD-Drive. The hold-down clamps are from aluminum angle and attached with #8 clamping screws. To stabilize the screen I fabricated a little bracket that slips over the top of the screen, and attaches to my I-Phone mount. (upper left corner of last photo) I can quickly lower and lock the screen down when not in use, or to gain access to the in-dash head unit. The laptop and platform comes out in about 30 seconds leaving the base bracket in place.
This version is fixed in one location, but it would not take much to change it so it pivots side to side.
Material Cost: About $85
Time: 2- Weekends