Introduction: Gorillapod Cradle for a Mobile Device (Pocket PC, Phone, Media Player, Etc.)
This Instructable will show you how to make a cradle for a hand-held device such as a Pocket PC, phone, media player, etc. which will attach to a Gorillapod, a flexible tripod made by Joby, using a sticky-back clip accessory. It could be used without a Gorillapod or sticky-back clip with a bit of thought and ingenuity, though.
I had bought this accessory pack, which includes a suction cup as well, to hold my Pocket PC on my desk, as they don't seem to sell official cradles any more. The cup would probably be fine for a smaller and lighter device, but my iPAQ 214 is rather bulky and too heavy for the cup. So, inspired by Nylanan's iPhone stand made from a hotel room key, I created this:
Step 1: Tools & Materials.
I'll organise this list into necessities, and handy items.
* 3 or more old loyalty cards, or hotel room keys, or false credit cards that come in the post, etc. (the stiffer the better.)
* Super glue to stick the cards together (plastic glue or duck tape might work.)
* A Gorillapod with a sticky-back clip or something else to mount the cradle on (A wooden or wire frame was the next thing that came to my mind.)
* The device you want to make the cradle for (You need this to shape the cradle correctly.)
* A permanent marker (a ballpoint pen or soft pencil is the next best thing.)
* Duck tape.
* Any leads you may want to connect to the device (Chargers, sync cables, etc.)
* A file or sandpaper.
* A ruler.
Step 2: File Down the Surfaces.
If a card has writing sticking up on it as in the photo, which it most likely will, wear it down with the file or sandpaper until it is reasonably flat. This step creates quite a bit of dust, so you may want to do it on newspaper or, in my case, an old and evil maths paper.
Step 3: Bend the First Cards.
This is a tricky bit to get right, so spare cards are useful to practice on or experiment with here.
Put the device face-down on the table and bend a card around the edge. You need to leave enough room to overlap with the other card, and bend around to the front if you like. A ruler or straight edge can be helpful to get a clean bend.
Then do the same for the other card, but with a bit more length at the side of the device, as this will overlap the other.
Step 4: Glue and Add the Clip.
Make sure you've got the cards arranged in the way you want. Try holding the cards together yourself and checking that they hold the device when on its side.
Once you're happy, use the permanent marker to mark where the top card should go relative to the bottom card. This will guide you when gluing, as the glue will set almost instantly.
Open the tube of glue. (If you haven't used it for a while, you may need to clear the tube by poking a needle or something down it.) Then put a few strips of glue on the lower card and put the top card on it so that it lines up with the mark you made earlier. Hold them together for a few seconds until they stick of their own accord.
Lastly, peel the backing off the sticky-back clip and stick it to the back of the glued cards. This should probably be nearest the centre of gravity of the device if it is heavy like mine, as this is where the Gorillapod attaches. The stand should work for landscape mode now, in the case of my iPAQ.
Step 5: Bend (and Possibly Cut) the Last Card.
I wanted to be able to use my iPAQ in portrait mode too, but I still wanted to access the ports, so I decided to split the last card and use half of it for each side. If your device has ports in another location it would be much simpler to keep the card whole. You might want to check the next couple of steps to make a decision.
Here, I bent each half at an angle to fit the iPAQ best, and bent them around the front too. Bend your card or half cards to suit the device (using the ruler again if it helps). Don't forget that we'll be fixing the ends of these cards underneath the other two, so you'll need a bit more height than normal. Don't worry if the ports are still partly covered, as we'll deal with that in a minute.
Step 6: Temporarily Fix the Card.
Use some Duck tape to temporarily fix the last card so that we can test the cradle, and then try picking the cradle up and check that it holds the device properly. Also, mark the position of the card as we did a with the first two.
Step 7: Make Room for the Ports.
The 24-pin port, which is the main one I use on the iPAQ, was partly blocked off, so now we need to trim the card.
First, take a lead that uses the port in question (preferably the one with the bulkiest plug), plug it in, and compare to the card to get an idea of how much you need to cut away. You might want to take some measurements.
Next, mark the part that needs removing onto the card and cut along the sides (you probably want to remove the duck tape for this part). Then bend it up and cut again (the images explain this). Compare it to the port or plug and cut further if need be. When done, file it down for neatness.
Step 8: Glue the Last Card.
Now, glue the last card onto the back of the first two, using the marks you made in step 6 to line it up. As before, hold the two surfaces together until they stick.
Step 9: Smooth Rough Edges, and Generally Smarten It Up.
Finally, make the cradle smart. File any rough edges or corners, cut off bits of card that are covering buttons, and things like that.
Step 10: Finished!
You're done! Attach it to the Gorillapod and you can fix the mount wherever you like.
If you make any modifications to the design that you'd like to share, I'm thinking that I could put some modification steps on the end of this Instructable, so put them in the comments feed, preferably with a photo.
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