Instructables

Android GPS bracket. 2nd apps for suction cups. I Made it at TechShop.

Picture of Android GPS bracket.  2nd apps for suction cups.  I Made it at TechShop.
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Background:
      Here are some current facts: A significant population still drive very old model year vehicles.  New vehicles with factory installed GPS continue to gain popularity.   Large Android phones are very popular these days.  Garmin GPS phones are great and you hear kudos from Garmin GPS owners.  Google map Navigator requires costly internet subscription. 
      For reliable supply of the suction cups, Buy from ebay seller 1megadeal from Florida.  He sold them 24 pcs for just $7 with free shipping.  All 5-stars to this small American sellers. I attached the item picture.

Project Ideas:     
     Having said all the above; nonetheless, here's a project idea.  I am making a bracket which use a suction cup on each side.  This would hold an Android GPS device firmly in place and visible to driver during the trip.  I personally think this is safer than the driver holding the Android GPS.  This could be helpful for some people.
      I choose the Samsung Galaxy NOTE ii for illustration of the idea because it has large screen and fit my dashboard just right.  Also, it has the very long battery life.  The microUSB plug extends sideway toward the center console is close to the 12v source /  cigarette plug..

Results:
     I completed the bracket part and assemble of the suction cups (see photo).  I should have used 104% for scaling factor.  I temporary used sand paper and widen and add large radius to the entry of the entry.  The suction cup rubber is stiffer (good feature) than I originally anticipated... thinking I could easily squezzed in with the narrower channel.
    I will have to test and report back other improvements, if any.  Mark as favorite so you could come back to this instructables.

Design Consideration:
 
     I will make a U-bracket.   The section thickness is 2mm.  The suction cup is attached and pulled upward on the front end (facing the dashboard).  On the rear end (facing Android Samsung Galaxy Note II, the suction is push down from the top and slide horizontally by about half an inch.   The channel is also make smaller to keep the suction cups in place.

Test Results Update:
      I was able to try the GPS bracket.   The U-channel is not strong enough and the Android was shaking during the drive.   The weight of the Android is too heavy and the suction cup is not holding the Android well.    The Android is tilting sideway if the suction cup is not attached exactly horizontally centered.  Note that the shape of the dashboard panel is slightly concaved.  The shaking, rotating, the weight of the Android and the concaved glass surface could be compounded and  caused the suction cup to fall out.
If the power cord (expanding coil) is attached, it does add to the problem.  It would add pull force the Adroid down and off the glass.

Revisions & Improvements:
      Further improvement is needed.  The open U-shape need to be made a closed channel to eliminate shaking.   The number of suction cup could to be doubled for the next trial.  Use of sticky rubber pads on both side might be a better solution.  The bracket could be made taller so the the based is rested on a flat surface. 
      The original U-shape was made to avoid adding support during build.  The part could be printed sideway and adding rafter during the 3D printing.
      Trial #2 would be just doubling the bracket (I happen to have printed 2 brackets already).  Tape the top portion to create a triangular channel to reduce shaking.  A support would be added to the base.   This would verify effects of the factors.
      By taping up the open top to make it triangular closed end section, it stop the shaking.  By using a different cable to elimate the tension from the power cable, I was able to complete my 1 hour travel without the Android falling off.  By the tilting effect is still  there.
     Trial #3: The last design still used 1 suction cup per size.  The base rest on the horizontal surface on the dash.  The Android rest on the U-channel.  Both interfaces are considered line interface.  Together with 1 additional point (suction cup), it form the 3rd point that assures no rolling effect.  The power charging cable now is not pulling the Android (see main picture).
      I made a final revision that could fit my Android without taking out its jacket.  Additional photos would be posted.

Disclaimer:
       Reader assumes all responsibility to replication of above project.  No guarantee is expressed or implied to successful replication of this project.  The author is not responsible for any physical, vehicle and personal damage and injury resulting from this instructables.   Always follows safety expert advice and follow local, regional, national, state and federal requirement, rules and guidelines on vehicle operation.
       Safety is always top priority.
Diy_master1 month ago

good idea!

could it be improved :)

I also use this place to navigation :)

bhvm1 year ago
Nice idea,
But Kind of Hinders the gauges.
Wish it could be re-positioned somewhere better! How about the top of Instrument hood?
John_TS_DTW (author) 1 year ago
Thank you for your suggestion. I did have update to 2 cups per side. But I revert back to 1 side and woiuld like to test this prototype first. It is a low frequency swinging and shaking problem rather than the hard vibration from road and suspension stiffnesss. The U Shape and thin section is simply too week. When I tape up the top, the shaking was eliminated

I revert back to 1 suction cup per side and keep the top section. The reason why I did not closed the top is because I am afraid the part won't build in MakerBot. But with the new version of the software installed. The top section was 'bridged' without need of support (see picture). The closed section should be enough to eliminate the shaking.

With 1 suction cup per side, there is practically 1 line (base) + 1 point (suction cup) to prevent the rolling of the Android device to one side. The line is rested on the flat surface of the dashboard. This would prevent rotation of the bracket. On Android side, there is also 1 line (u channel) + 1 point (suction cup), the would also prevent rotation of the Android.

Thank you for your feedback. I greatly appreciate it.
lime3D1 year ago
I can solve your strength and vibration problem.

Rather than a U shape, just use a single flat piece of material with 2 of your suction cup holes side by side. Install one suction cup from the front, and one from the back.
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