01 September 2009

How to build a burglar-proof holder for your car GPS system

After our Navman was stolen from our van parked in our driveway, we resolved to never leave it in the car again. But as an electrical contractor, we are always on the road or at unfamiliar job sites and it is a hassle to always take it out even when we are away just for a few minutes. So finally we designed and built this burglar-proof holder for it.

  • GPS must not be able to be seen from the outside
  • GPS must be secured in a way that would deter the most determined thief
  • GPS must be positioned in a way that it can be easily used
  • GPS controls must be accessible
  • GPS must operate in the normal manner
  • GPS to be locked into position
  • GPS to be identifiable and PIN secured
  • GPS power cable to be concealed in a permanent position.
What you need to build it:
  • 3mm mild steel plate
  • 6 1/4 nuts and bolts
  • Felt (to prevent scratches and reduce vibration of GPS)
  • High tensile lock
  • Jigsaw, metal jigsaw blade
  • Welder
  • Grinder
  • Paint

How to build it:

Step 1 Cut the metal with the jigsaw according to the shapes shown in the image. Measurements should be as per your satnav system. Leave some space for the felt to go in before the satnav. Remember to leave a hole for the power button as shown and also for the charger and any other button that needs access.

Step 2 Weld the cut-into-shape metal plates together to make a box with one side open for the satnav to slide in. Make sure the lower rear section of the satnav is open so that GPS signals are received.

Step 3 Cut out the backing plate and clamp to the holder. Drill six well spaced bolt holes. Drill the vehicle plate as required. Weld six nuts on the backing plate. Fit the backing plate behind the panel of the vehicle and bolt the holder through the vehicle panel and through the backing plate.

Step 4 Paint the box and stick the felt on the inside.

Step 5 Cut out & paint "padlock fill plate": a separate piece of metal that will fit onto the right-hand side before the padlock is fitted.

Step 6 Slide the navigator in the holder and put on the high tensile lock.

Step 7 Rewire the satnav so that the wiring goes behind the vehicle panel and is out of sight. You may need to extend the original power cable to do this.

What’s for sure, nothing you can do with totally guarantee the GPS will never be stolen. Its all about making the task of stealing it so hard that it is just easier to move onto softer targets. Despite the doubts of family and friends, the GPS is still in position and I can rest easy that it is safe and secure.

If you are interested to know more, leave a comment and I will try to answer your questions.