My original plan for the instrument panel was to use two Dynon HDX screens. As the panel design progressed, for a number of reasons I chose to use one HDX screen and an iPad running foreflight.

I mounted my iPad with a mount and power supply from Guardian Avionics. I originally just bought the actual mount and installed it in the panel. My plan was to hide a USB port behind the panel where I could plug in the iPad. After speaking with Ryan from Guardian at Oshkosh, I decided to order their full system (minus the mount since I already had that.)

Here's what a complete system looks like when it arrives:



It consists of the mount, a power supply module, a power cord, an audio cord, and the pins and D Sub connector which the installer builds. Don't worry-it literally takes 5 minutes to build the connector.

When the mount is installed in the panel, you have a very nice and professional looking installation:




Here is why I bought their power supply instead of buying a cheapo USB port and mounting it behind the panel. The first reason is that some cheap, or "non-aviation" USB ports can cause static in your radio. Ryan also discussed with me that plugging the iPad into a USB port means that the iPad is charging all the time. So if you put the iPad in the plane and let's say it's 95% charged, and you are going on a long flight with it plugged in, it can overcharge and overheat. There's no way for the iPad to stop the charge once it's fully charged. With the USB module that Guardian makes, it is 'smart' and it knows when to stop charging the iPad. I believe this is better for the battery and for reducing the heat.

The other small advantage to using their charging unit is that it has another USB port on the front (the iPad power cord gets hardwired into the back of the unit with 5 wires). There's three wires for the cord, and a + and - wire.

Obviously you can mount the little box anywhere you want, and most people mount it in the panel. I chose to mount mine on the side of the center console just because when I have my phone plugged into it, there are no cords getting tangled in my lap.



Here's the back side of that little cube. It's about 1.5" by 1.5":



Admittedly, the mount and the electronics to power it are not inexpensive, but I think it's an excellent system and worth every dollar spent. Another thing to consider is that with their mount, you can not use the charger cord that comes with your iPad. The mount is designed to hold a cord that has a larger 'head' on it that fits snuggly in the mount.

What I like about the Guardian Avionics mount is that the iPad slides in and out in less than a second. It's super easy to take it in and out. So if you are on your way to Oshkosh and stop for fuel, you can take your iPad into the FBO, log on to the WiFi and update your weather, NOTAMS, or flight plan. Then bring it back out to the plane and snap it back in the panel.

http://www.guardianavionics.com