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A Ram Mount fitted on the control yoke of an American Aviation AA-1 Yankee and used as a handheld GPS holder
RAM Mounts is a division of the USA company National Products, Inc. Based in Seattle, Washington, the company was founded by Jeffrey D Carnevali.
The company's primary product line is a patented ball and socket system, originally known as "Round-A-Mount", abbreviated to RAM Mount. RAM also makes vehicle laptop mounts used in law enforcement vehicles.
Typically the ball and socket mounting system consists of three main parts, usually two base plates and one double socket arm, made from marine grade aluminum. Various device cradles for GPS sets, Cell phones or PDAs can be attached to those three main parts. One base plate attaches to the surface that is being mounted to and a double socket arm attaches to the mounted base plate. On the opposite end of the arm the second base plate attaches. The three components are interchangeable for many different combinations and mounting situations.
RAM has different ball base sizes for different applications. The company offers mounts ranging from light duty to heavy duty mounts.
RAM mount sizing
RAM uses letters to dictate the ball size:
- RAM-A-XXX (XXX represents different numbers for various parts) uses a 9/16" ball and is rated to support up to 2 pounds. These "A" size mounts are designed for mounting model cars, airplanes, and other small items.
- RAM-B-XXX is rated to support up to 5 pounds using a 1" ball. This size is designed for mounting GPS devices, cell phones, PDA's, mp3 players and other mobile devices.
- RAM-XXX designates a "C" size mount. This "C" size is rated to support up to 10 lb (5 kg) and uses a 1-1/2" ball. This size is used in mounting slightly larger electronic devices and is the size that is used in RAM's Vehicle Laptop Mounts. This ball size is also appropriate for industrial mounting applications with mounting bases for forklifts and other machinery.
- RAM-D-XXX. The fourth ball size is the "D" size which is rated to support 15 lb (7 kg) and has a 2-1/4" ball diameter. This ball size and mounting components are used for heavy duty applications and locations with severe vibrations where extra holding power is required.
- RAM-E-XXX The newest and largest RAM Mount is the "E" size mount, which is rated to support up to 30 lb (14 kg) and has a 3-3/8" ball. This would be used to mount heavy electronic components, including TV sets.
The fundamental component of the RAM mounts is the rubber ball and socket system. The rubber ball absorbs a big percentage of the vibration that is transferred from a mounting location to the equipment that is mounted, saving the device from being damaged by shock. Also the socket system allows positioning of the mounted unit any position.
RAM makes cradles for specific devices with the majority of the cradles tailored to GPS units. They also have custom cradles for many other devices. Some electronic device manufacturers supply RAM Mounts with their equipment, such as mobile phones, PDAs, GPSs, echo sounders etc.). Companies that do this include TomTom and Lowrance Electronics with its Airmap 600C.
In 2009, as a result of increased consumer demand for smaller, highly portable laptop computers, RAM introduced the Tough Tray II, a small cradle that accommodates mini-laptops, netbooks, tablets, and UMPCs.