Instructables
Picture of Cheap and easy iPod (or gadget) car mount
IMG_0577.JPG
I recently bought an iPod touch and a protective case to go with it.
While using the iPod in my car, I really found it inconvenient to change tracks while driving. You can only skip songs after pressing the home button first, then swiping across the screen to unlock the player. First of all, I had to get the iPod from the passenger seat; I then have to fiddle with it until I have skipped to a song I like. And everything while not paying too much attention on the road, which actually is what I’m supposed to be doing while driving ;-).

So I thought about an iPod mount for my vent in the car.
I already had plans in my head on how I wanted the car mount to loo like and work when I stumbled over a (admittedly ugly not so pretty, picture 2) generic $10 car mount for electronic gadgets and thought I’ll give that a try.

Well, that didn’t go too well.
As I use my iPod with a protective case, it didn’t fit within the car mount. So I modified that one to make it fit. Then I wanted to attach it to my car’s vent and found out that the attachment fixture didn’t fit my vent. Well, here I go.

So I finally decided to put my car mount plan into action to get a car mount that fits my device perfectly while also being able to get the design I wanted (picture 1; I may have to update the car mount if I buy a Q-peel case or an armor-like case; I just love the look of the more bold cases).


Excuse me for not having image notes added so far, but I was working at a PC where I couldn't tinker with my internet browser's settings. So I couldn't save the notes and gave up.
I'll probably add the notes later, but if you have questions, you can also pm me. I'll try to help the best I can.
 
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Nicely made, I'm def trying this!
SavannasauR2 years ago
Oh man... I wish I was this handy!! This looks really professional!! I love it! If I could, I would definitely make one of these babies!!
Mike73 (author)  SavannasauR2 years ago
Go ahead and try it. It really wasn't difficult and it's a rather small project. If it's not coming out as expected, not too much time and money is spent. Just use some scrap wood.
As you need only real simple tools, it shouldn't be hard to make.
I might :) If I do I will post my result here!
htony2 years ago
Great iPod/iPhone holder, I can hear "The Gambler" playing now....
Mike73 (author)  htony2 years ago
I just love that song. Sometimes I just need a bit of Kenny Rogers.
By the way, I have to replace the rubber band by some wire eventually. Due to heat and cold the rubber got briddle and finally snapped.
dmb3213 years ago
love the rubber band part
Mike73 (author)  dmb3213 years ago
Yeah, actually, I found that pretty awesome, too.
But I guess I have to replace it with some wire. The rubber band just held up about 6 months.
With the heat and cold in the car, the rubber got brittle and now I have to fix my mount again.
nuckthebuck3 years ago
i think i might try this after i get a new radio/ aux input point put into my cd player so i will be able to listen to music off my ipod and not have to worry about wreaking. you may have found yourself saving numerous lives at a cheap rate. =D
Thank You So Much !!!!
joflynn3 years ago
Mine's not as pretty, but have you considered velcro? My civic had plenty of room for it, and i still get to use all my vents.

Love the rubber band trick though.
rustygray3 years ago
I started making them out of kydex years ago. It is a wonderful pliable when heated and solid when cool polymer.

Kydex. Heat gun. Imagination. Cool.

PS your ipod mount rocks!
Mike73 (author)  rustygray3 years ago
Thanks. I was thinking about some plexiglas bending, too. But if you check my "workplaces" photo instructable, you'll see I don't have that much of a "workshop" :-)
So wood is always a good option.
(I thought about making it at work, but my employer probably wouldn't like me spending my time on privat stuff.)
You don't need a heat gun, and shouldn't use one either. Heat guns can burn (aka: oxidize) the plastic. All you have to do is heat it in boiling water. No risk of burning when you heat it in the absence of oxygen.
irishjim683 years ago
Actually, if the iPod gets as hot as my DroidX does while operating, having the AC blow on it a bit will help to cool the thing. But when the heat is on, yes, keep it closed.
Mike73 (author)  irishjim683 years ago
I haven't had any problems so far. But my 4th gen iPod doesn't even get warm. But yes, if a device gets too warm, using the AC to cool it down would work.
exaran3 years ago
I recently made a similar mount out of sheet metal for my ipod touch. If you can make room for the charging cable, the ipod will stay "on" as long as music is playing and the power cable is plugged in. That way you can always see what's playing, AND have access to the skip buttons (no more need to swipe and enter the password)

I used 2 tabs on the bottom on either side of the charging port, and drilled a small hole in the right one for the headphone plug
How well did sheet metal work? I want to make something similar to this for my Droid X. Did you use any foam padding?
Well, it's way more functional than attractive, but it works great and was easy to make. I used some aluminum that was thin enough to bend easily by hand, but thick enough to hold the weight of the ipod. Then I just cut it with tin snips and bent it in a vice to get straight bends. My dash has slots for holding credit cards, so I just slide part of it in there to mount. I didn't use any padding, but my ipod case is leather
I dont need the mount, I just need to make an enclosure that lets me access everything while it's mounted on a flat surface.
Mike73 (author)  BadVanGoh3 years ago
Thanks for all the comments guys.
Did you think about a simple cardboard box with a cutout for the touch screen? Really easy and works fairly well. I made a box for my Zen mp3 player some years ago and it's still working well (the box, that is), even though I was using it heavily. I made a template in powerpoint, attached the printout to my cardboard and cut everything with a scalpel. I then taped all together with double sided adhesive tape. I can send you the template and some pictures so you get an idea if you want.
I kinda want this to be industrial strength, as I plan to mount it to a bracer of some sort on my wrist.
I made my enclosure/mount from one single piece of metal. Just make whatever you want out of folded paper, and then transfer the design to a sheet of aluminum and bend it up. Make sure you sand everything carefully if it will be against your body
Coliopteran3 years ago
I love the look of the wood mount... Simple yet elegant! I wish I had thought of it!
aldebaraan3 years ago
I like the look, very smooth.

One improvement here would be to alter the bottom mounting bracket to be two on either side of the slots, freeing up the port for charging or integration with a sound system.
Mike73 (author)  aldebaraan3 years ago
I had that idea. But actually, the headphone jack is on the right bottom edge. So I would have had to go with a non symmetrical design.
I know from my Zune that this differs from player to player. So for the Zune it would have been perfect.
A way to skip songs w/o having to open the home screen. While your music is playing, simply double-click the home button and it should come onto the lock screen with a menu at the top for the track,play/pause,volume e.t.c :)
Mike73 (author)  Callum Snowden3 years ago
Yep, I know. But I guess I leave it to not lock while listening to musik and using the Zune-theme-thingy-app.
I always had problems with changing volume while skipping songs, no matter if I use the ipod app or the double click one. It's just that you can't hit the skip button without touching the volume scale (at least I can't easily) and changing the volume as the scale is so close to the buttons. And while my car bumps along the street and I still have to watch out for the traffic, too, I often hit the volume instead of the skip button.
The Zune-theme-thingy has the operating buttons really nicely spread over the screen :-)
would you kindly direct me to this Zune-theme-thingy?
Mike73 (author)  Kirbsome!3 years ago
I surely will. Look for the Muzik app. I think it's a universal app working on iphone, ipod touch or ipad. And it should be $0.99 or Euros 0.79. It's not perfect, but the buttonspacing is great. And you can skip tracks by swiping the cover art to the next song (there ain't no buttons you can accidentally press while in the cover view mode).

Although it's far from perfect, it works very well in the car (been trying it for about 2-3 days now).
aritoner3 years ago
omg i own that ruler!!!!!!well not that one but one just like it...this is a nice instructable and out off all the ways i would have thought up in my head this one would probably never had come up...thanks for posting it
Mike73 (author)  aritoner3 years ago
I think I bought it a Michael's store. Great store anyway. We don't have those here in Germany...
rachl0093 years ago
coolio. you can double click the home button and it will bring up a screen with the pause/play, next song, and such buttons. much easier than pushing the home button, then swipe to unlock, then go to the next song. :)
Vermin rachl0093 years ago
You can also hold the home button until it beeps then say "next track" or any of these other commands: http://www.appchatter.com/2009/06/a-tour-of-voice-conrol-on-the-new-iphone-3gs-with-video/
Mike73 (author)  rachl0093 years ago
Funny. I didn't know that.
But I guess I still prefer the other way round as this option didn't show the band cover.
What I dislike in all those settings is, that the volume slider sits just below the buttons. So I "adjust" my volume setting often times rather than skipping a song (the sound output is so low on my car's stereo that I have the volume slider just below the next song button).
rachl009 Mike733 years ago
hmm on mine it shows the cover art when you do the double click move.
is there some way you could make an "external" controller for pause/play, next song?
I remember maybe 7 or 8 years ago, I bought a sony "car ready" pack that came with a tape adapter and a portable cd player, and it had a cable with a little round controller that could skip songs and pause/play so you could mount it somewhere convenient and didn't have to use the portable cd player to skip songs and such.
Mike73 (author)  rachl0093 years ago
I just downloaded and installed the Zune-kinda-app. I still have my old Zune and like the UI pretty much. But it cannot pull off tricks the iPod touch can. And I couldn't get my hands on a Zune-touch here in Germany (I guess that there won't be a lot of apps either?!?).
The Muzik-app has the buttons well separated, so I'll give that one a try during the week while driving...
rachl009 Mike733 years ago
pretty much like this http://store.apple.com/us/product/H1938ZM/A?fnode=MTY1NDA2MQ&mco=MTk0MjMzNzk
dombeef3 years ago
Go iPod Touch 4G!
RetroTechno3 years ago
Nice idea. I would suggest that instead of one big bottom bracket, you should have two smaller ones. That way, you can have access to the port for charging.
Mike73 (author)  RetroTechno3 years ago
I actually thought about that, but the headphone jack is just on the right beside the dock connector. So I would have had to go with a assymmetrical design with just one bracket to the left. And as the battery lasts about (at least, depending on whether I play games or not) 3 days. So I charge at home or at work and thought that I don't need the dock connector in the car.
And I guess that if I run out of juice, I probably won't have a charging cable with me ;-)