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Nimbus PDA Cradles

Overview
The Nimbus PDA cradles are the best option I offer.  I like them because the power/data connector is built into the cradle and the cable exits the back of the cradle.  Lower cost cradles that don't have a built in connector are not nearly as popular because the iPAQ connectors are somewhat fragile and easy to damage - especially since the cradles are often positioned over the pilot's leg.  The Nimbus cradles hold the PDA securely and are small and elegant.  They look and perform great in a sailplane cockpit.  This is the cradle I would use in my glider.  Models are available for many different PDAs.

Related Pages

Mounting Arm Options
Many mounting arm options are available for use with the Nimbus cradles.  The Nimbus cradles are compatible with RAM articulated arms and the GNeck2 goosenecks.  The RAM-GN3-238 adapter is used to attach the GNeck2 gooseneck to the Nimbus cradle.  You can see details on those items on the Mounting Arm Selection Guide page.

PDA Cradle Mounting Suggestions
Click on the images below to view larger versions.
 
PDA Cradle with 0.3 m (11.8") Cable, Panel Mounted DB-9f Connector, and Panel Mounted Gooseneck - My Favorite Option
This is my favorite option because it does not require the use of a 57 mm instrument hole and the panel mounted DB-9f connector and GnBase2 gooseneck base make it possible to remove the gooseneck and PDA very quickly and easily.  That is not possible when a 1 m cradle cable is run through the instrument panel.  Also, the panel mounted connector can be connected to either the PDA, or a PC without the need to get behind the instrument panel. 

The panel mounted DB-9f connector is the panel end of either a CAI-Pnl-0.5 or LX7007-Pnl-0.5 cable. The CAI-Pnl-0.5 cable runs from the back of a Cambridge 302 or Goddard PS-5a power converter or Borgelt PDA-PS power converter to a panel mounted DB-9f connector.  The LX7007-Pnl-0.5 runs from the back of an LX7007 to a panel mounted DB-9f connector.  The panel end of either of those cables mounts to the back of the instrument panel and is accessible through a small rectangular hole in the panel.  The short cable from the PDA cradle is connected to the panel mounted CAI-Pnl-0.5 or LX7007-Pnl-0.5.  The panel end of the CAI-Pnl-0.5 or LX7007-Pnl-0.5 can be mounted anywhere on the instrument panel - near where the gooseneck is attached to the panel. 

The gooseneck can be mounted directly through a 0.39" (10 mm) hole the panel and secured with the supplied nut and lock washer on the back side of the panel.   However, many pilots prefer the optional GnBase2 gooseneck mounting base which provides a more stable mounting point for the gooseneck and also makes it easy to remove the gooseneck at any time.  When the gooseneck is mounted through the panel it is tough to remove because it is secured with a nut an washer on the back side of the panel.  The GnBase2 mounts on the front (pilot side) of the instrument panel and the gooseneck screws into it. 

Parts List

  • PDA Cradle with short 0.3 m (11.8") power data cable to a DB-9m connector
  • GNeck2-Assy-Panel-DB-9 - Includes the items below:
    • RAM-GN3-238 adapter plate for mounting the cradle to the gooseneck
    • GNeck2 gooseneck in 3, 6 or 9 inch (7.6, 15.2 or 22.9 cm) lengths
    • GnBase2 Round gooseneck mounting base
    • CAI-Pnl-0.5 or LX7007-Pnl-0.5 extension cable with panel mounted connector

 

PDA Cradle with 0.3 m (11.8") Cable, Gooseneck, and Gn57mmPlateDB-9 Mounting Plate - Great Option
This is a great option if you have a spare 57 mm instrument hole.  The panel mounted DB-9f connector makes it possible to remove the PDA cradle (but not the gooseneck) very quickly and easily.  That is not possible when a 1 m cradle cable is run through the instrument panel.  Also, the panel mounted connector can be connected to either the PDA, or a PC without the need to get behind the instrument panel. 

The Gn57mmPlateDB-9 fits in a 57 mm instrument hole and includes a mounting hole for the gooseneck and mounting holes for either a CAI-Pnl-0.5 or LX7007-Pnl-0.5 cable.  The CAI-Pnl-0.5 cable runs from the back of a Cambridge 302 or Goddard PS-5a power converter or Borgelt PDA-PS power converter to a panel mounted DB-9f connector.  The LX7007-Pnl-0.5 runs from the back of an LX7007 to a panel mounted DB-9f connector.  The Gn57mmPlateDB-9 is designed specifically as a mounting point for the DB-9f connector.  The short cable from the PDA cradle is connected to the panel mounted CAI-Pnl-0.5 or LX7007-Pnl-0.5.  

Parts List

 

PDA Cradle with Gooseneck and 1 m Cable Run Through a Slot at the Side of an Instrument Hole - Popular Option
The images above show a neat trick for running a 1 m long power/data cable through the instrument panel without the need to remove the DB-9 connector.  Simply remove the nearest instrument and file a slot for the cable on the side or top or bottom of the instrument hole.  Then put the cable in the slot and re-install the instrument.  Alternatively, the slot can be at the edge of the panel where the panel meets the instrument panel cover.  This technique works great with a PDA cradle with a 1 m long power/data cable.

The gooseneck can be mounted directly through a 0.39" (10 mm) hole the panel and secured with the supplied nut and lock washer on the back side of the panel.   However, many pilots prefer the optional GnBase2 gooseneck mounting base which provides a more stable mounting point for the gooseneck and also makes it easy to remove the gooseneck at any time.  When the gooseneck is mounted through the panel it is tough to remove because it is secured with a nut an washer on the back side of the panel. The GnBase2 mounts on the front (pilot side) of the instrument panel and the gooseneck screws into it.  The power/data cable plugs directly into the flight computer or GPS flight recorder or Goddard PS-5a power converter or Borgelt PDA-PS power converter.  The downside of this installation is that the cradle cannot be removed from the glider without removing the instrument that the cable runs by.

Note: The gooseneck adapter plates are designed so that it is possible to route the power/data cable through the gooseneck.  However, the cradle is shipped with the DB-9m connector already attached.  You would need to remove and reattach the DB-9m connector if you decided to route the cable through the gooseneck.  I don't recommend that because it is difficult to do well and will probably reduce the reliability of the system (don't mess with a well soldered connector).

Parts List

  • PDA Cradle with 1 m (39.4") power data cable to a DB-9m connector
  • GNeck2-Assy-Panel - Includes the items below:
    • RAM-GN3-238 adapter plate for mounting the cradle to the gooseneck
    • GNeck2 gooseneck in 3, 6 or 9 inch (7.6, 15.2 or 22.9 cm) lengths
    • GnBase2 Round gooseneck mounting base

 

PDA Cradle with 1 m Cable, Gooseneck, and Gn57mmPlate2 Mounting Plate
The Gn57mmPlate2 fits in a 57 mm instrument hole and includes a mounting hole for the gooseneck and a slot for the power/data cable.  It would be used with a PDA cradle with a 1 m long power/data cable.  The cable is inserted into the slot in the plate before it is mounted in the panel so the DB-9 connector does not need to be removed from the end of the cable.  The power/data cable plugs directly into the flight computer or GPS flight recorder or Goddard PS-5a power converter or Borgelt PDA-PS power converter.  The downside of this installation is that the cradle cannot be removed from the glider without removing the Gn57mmPlate2 from the panel.

Note: The gooseneck adapter plates are designed so that it is possible to route the power/data cable through the gooseneck.  However, the cradle is shipped with the DB-9m connector already attached.  You would need to remove and reattach the DB-9m connector if you decided to route the cable through the gooseneck.  I don't recommend that because it is difficult to do well and will probably reduce the reliability of the system (don't mess with a well soldered connector).

Parts List

  • PDA Cradle with 1 m (39.4") power data cable to a DB-9m connector
  • GNeck2-Assy-Plate - Includes the items below:
    • RAM-GN3-238 adapter plate for mounting the cradle to the gooseneck
    • GNeck2 gooseneck in 3, 6 or 9 inch (7.6, 15.2 or 22.9 cm) lengths
    • Gn57mmPlate2 Mounting plate for 57 mm instrument hole

 


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Price

Lead-time

Nimbus-Cradle Nimbus Cradle for iPAQ Pocket PCs
This is my best cradle offering.  It is small, elegant and lightweight.  The power/data cable exits the back of the cradle so that it won't interfere with your leg in a cramped glider cockpit.  The power/data cable includes connections for 5V power and GPS data connections.  The price includes a shielded power/data cable in a variety of lengths.  I try to keep the 1 m long cable version in stock.  All other lengths have a 2 week lead-time.  The power/data connector is also included in the price.

Custom Built for Use in Sailplanes
These cradles are somewhat expensive because we take standard cradles and modify them for use in a glider.  We use shielded cable so the GPS data signals will not interfere with your aircraft radio. There is some labor involved in attaching the power/data cable to the very small iPAQ  connector and attaching the connector on the GPS end of the cable.

Models (select when ordering)

  • iPAQ 210 - for iPAQ 210, 211 and 214 series Pocket PCs
    Important Note: This cradle is different from all other Nimbus cradles because the connector in the cradle is a mini-USB connector which can provide 5V power only. Since the iPAQ 210/211/214 units do not have a serial port, a Socket Ruggedized Serial I/O CF Card is required if you want the PDA to communicate with a soaring GPS (such as a Cambridge 302, etc.).  The Socket Ruggedized Serial I/O CF Card plugs into the top of the PDA.  The Socket Ruggedized Serial I/O CF Card is not included with the cradle and must be ordered separately.  The DBCAI, DBLX, and RJCAI connector options (see below) are different for this cradle than for other Nimbus cradles because the cradle has a DB-9f connector available at the cradle for connection to the Socket Ruggedized Serial I/O CF Card's DB-9m connector.  The photos below show the cradle with the DBCAI modification.  Some of the photos show the optional GNeck2 gooseneck with mounting adapters and the required but not included Socket Ruggedized Serial I/O CF Card.  Click on the images to view larger versions.
     

     

  • iPAQ hx2000 - for iPAQ hx2100, hx2400 and hx2700 series Pocket PCs, Note: This cradle is not compatible with iPAQ h2200 series Pocket PCs such as the h2210 or h2215.
  • iPaQ h2200 - for iPAQ h2210 and h2215 Pocket PCs, Note: This cradle is not compatible with iPAQ hx2100, hx2400 and hx2700 series Pocket PCs.
  • iPAQ h3900 - for iPAQ h3800, h3900 and h5000 series Pocket PCs
  • iPAQ hx4700 - for iPAQ hx4700 and hx4705 Pocket PCs

Options
The cradle can be supplied with a variety of different data connectors

  • DBCAI - DB-9m connector for Cambridge 302, 302A, or GPS-NAV, or Goddard PS-5a power converter, or Borgelt PDA-PS power converter. Popular
  • DBLX - DB-9m connector for LX160, LX1600, LX7007
  • RJCAI - RJ connector for Cambridge CAA-127 panel adapter
  • USB "A" - Male rectangular USB connector, Great for use with the Socket Mobile Power Pack, includes 5V power connections only, no data connections, (+$10)
  • RJNanoPwr - RJ connector for LXNAV NanoPower cable

Standard Cable Lengths (custom lengths available)

  • 0.3 m (11.8 inches)
  • 0.5 m (19.7 inches)
  • 1 m (3.281 feet, 39.4 inches)
  • 2 m (6.56 feet) (+ $5)
  • 3 m (9.84 feet) (+ $10)

iPAQ 210/211/214

h2200

hx2000

 
h3900



hx4700

$155

In Stock
(DBCAI-1m)

2 Weeks
(other options)

Cumulus Soaring, Inc.
Paul E. Remde

8661 Connelly Place
Savage, Minnesota 55378
USA


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