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Thursday, June 6, 2013

A DIY GPS screen glare solution

There's a lot to love about having a GPS in your car. They're convenient, usually accurate, and some models even offer real time traffic assessment and will direct you on the fastest route possible even when that means using side streets and frontage roads that run along the highway.

But here's the one thing I hate: Screen glare. I"ll be driving along when all of a sudden the sun reflects off the screen just enough to obliterate the map image. Boo. This does me no good.

Since I'll soon be on a long road trip to pick up The Glampette (my tiny travel trailer) the time was now to finally execute my idea for a solution.

It's a screen guard that cost me about $1.00 and took less than 10 minutes to make.

First I used a piece of black felt to make a sample of the guard. I needed to make sure the material was long enough to shade the entire screen. Just sit in your car and position your GPS to be in full glare. Then cup the fabric around the top and two sides and pull it forward towards you until the shadow it creates blocks the glare to the bottom of the screen. Pin or mark the fabric and measure from the back end of the GPS so you'll have enough foam to secure around it.

Once I determined the length I went to a local craft store and purchased a piece of black craft foam. It cost about $1.00 for a 9"x12" sheet. You can cut it with scissors or use a x-acto knife or rotary cutter with a metal edged ruler on a self-healing cutting mat.

Attaching the foam was easy peasy. I use a weighted dashboard mount to display the GPS. The case has two slits cut in all four sides to run cords through so I simply slid the foam into place and cut two slits on each of the sides and the top. I then ran a black wire tie from the outside in and twist-tied them into place.

When not in use I've been folding the foam sides inward toward the center of the screen the folding the top section down. I can then zip up the carry case. The foam may take a few seconds to expand when I reopen it for use but this seems to not be a problem.

That's all it took. I'm going to try to figure out how to fasten a glare guard to a suction cup, windshield mounted GPS for hubby. He said he needs one too but it'll be more challenging. I suspect velcro will be involved. Once I figure it out a solution I'll post a second tutorial about how I was able to make one for windshield use.

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