Introduction: Magnetic Car Mount for IPhone, Droid and Other Smartphones


Here's an elegant solution to to all of those out their who fiddle with their phones while they drive. Whether it be following Waze, looking up a restaurant on Google Maps, or dare I say texting, using you phone while you drive is dangerous - and I wanted a solution.

"Design is not just what it looks like and feels like. Design is how it works." - Steve Jobs

My requirements:
- no clips
- no stickers
- on and off in 2 seconds
- sturdy
- car/phone looks good when not in use
- 100% built by me

So I got to work and this is what I came up with. Enjoy my first Instructable!

Step 1: Ingredients

I don't have exact measurements for the parts that I used, I'm sorry! Good news is, I got everything at Home Depot in one isle. Even the magnets.

"Grocery List"
- 1 Corner Bracket
- 2 bolt (with nuts) that fit through the corner bracket
- 1 magnet with hole that allows the bolt to pass through
- 1 washer that does NOT let the head of the bolt pass through
- 1 washer that DOES let the head of the bolt pass through
- 1 tube of quick setting epoxy (I got 3200 psi)
- 1 smartphone of your choice
- 1 cheap plastic case for your phone

Tools
- look at the pic lazy



Step 2: The Case

The project consists of two parts
1) the case
2) the dongle

Since the case requires the use of epoxy, we'll get it out of the way so it can dry while we're making the dongle. 

Mini Steps:
1) center and outline the bigger washer (the one that the bolt can pass through) on the case
2) scratch up the surface so that the epoxy bonds better (scratching the surface increases the surface area the epoxy has to bond with)
3) mix and carefully spread the epoxy on the case
4) stick on the washer and let it dry!

Step 3: The Dongle

The project consists of two parts
1) the case
2) the dongle

Mini Steps:
1) stick the magnet to the bracket
2) stick on the smaller washer
3) insert the bolt
4) bolt on the nut to the back and tighten
5) attach the other nut and bolt to the other side for safe keeping till mounting

Step 4: Replicate, Mount & Enjoy!

Make a couple more for everyone in your family - they all work! After all, they do have to deal with a stupid metal dongle sticking out of the dash lol.

I didn't include the mounting process because we all have different cars! For those interested: I peeled off a couple parts from the console, just drilled a hole and bolted the thing on. I had to shave away some plastic on the inside that was getting in the way, but it all turned out great. 

Email me with any questions: jakemny@gmail.com

For those wondering: I'm an app developer... that's how i got iOS7.

Download my newest game Squares in Space and pleeaseeeee leave a review!
iOS - http://goo.gl/gEqdtw
Android - http://goo.gl/PjjV7F

Video:

Comments

author
2K1TJ (author)2013-08-11

Won't the magnet damage your phone?

author
shaddoty (author)2K1TJ2013-08-11

no phone circuitry is very solid compared to a computer or other things that get damaged by magnets. so far magnets havent hurt my phone and i have high power neodymium magnets

author
thelastflame (author)shaddoty2013-08-13

Indeed. I work in labs with electromagnets many thousands of times stronger then these and my phone hasn't had any issues when I forget about it in my pocket. For reference, these magnets will draw keys from 10 feet away.

author
cyberpigue (author)2013-08-13

Seems like you could use a single solid rare earth magnet button epoxied to the dash or mirror and epoxy a washer to the case like you did that just slides over the magnetic button, that way you'd have both magnetic and physical forces holding the phone, but still be able to twist or remove easily. Thanks for the ideas!

author
MarkC16 (author)2015-02-18

alot of good it does to post a video, then make it private so no one can see it.

author
keiron12 (author)2013-09-19

I would think several smaller magnets rather than one big would be more secure and less likely to cause damage to phone. Would prevent ability to turn the phone, but I'm wiling to sacrifice that for the knowledge that I'm not damaging my phone....

author
Redjeep0 (author)2013-08-14

Nice. I bought a Breffo Spiderpodium for about $20 on Amazon (I presume they are still available), and have it attached into the vents on my 3 series. No damage to car. Adjustable to anyone else's phone and/or if I change cases. Regular length cable will reach from the USB aux port in the arm rest up to mount (although then I have the 'unsightly cable' draped across my car.

author
weswelenga (author)2013-08-14

Hi, great instructable!! Only one cuestion, the magnet isn´t dangerous for the display or memory card? Saludos from Chihuahua, Mexico.

author
pmoreau (author)2013-08-14

Some phones have a Magnetometer (compass) chip that will be useless while in the presence of any magnetic field. As long as the phone contained NO ferrous material (metal attracted to a magnet) the compass interference would most likely go away as soon as the phone was pulled away from the magnet. If however, there was ferrous metal, it could leave the compass pretty much permanently affected.

author
pmoreau (author)2013-08-13

I wouldn't expect it to mess with the GPS very much but it will leave the Magnetometer (Compass) useless.

author
heibert (author)pmoreau2013-08-14

Absolutely. Almost all smartphones have a compass inside. It's very dangerous for it to store in cases with magnet locks and holders.

author
pdmitry (author)2013-08-13

strong magnetic field totally blocks magnetometers, so if using navigation while driving you will reduce the quality of navigation.. tested on quadcopters with hmc5883L magnetic sensor..

author
JustOneSaint (author)2013-08-13

A strong enough magnet WILL damage your phone and I have the background/knowledge (and the smart phone) to know. At the core of your smartphone is a Random Access memory chip. This chip can be wiped by any high power EMF source, including a strong magnet. It, however, will not affect the CD which is recorded by laser. My phone was wiped down to the Verison logo that is imprinted on the ROM chip at the factory and is not "volatile" memory.

author
kf4nxs (author)2013-08-13

May not damage the phone, but any apps that require the use of the internal magnet will be useless

author
Baldilocks (author)2013-08-13

Here's an elegant solution to to all of those out their who fiddle with their phones while they drive. Whether it be following Waze, looking up a restaurant on Google Maps, or dare I say texting, using you phone while you drive is dangerous - and I wanted a solution."
I'll look forward to meeting you professionally. Should I mention my work is in the rehabilitation of road trauma victims?
The 'be nice' policy prevents an honest evaluation of this!

author
jcougler (author)2013-08-13

I've done about the same project, I have a galaxy note 2, and could not find a dock I liked, so bought a universal one, used a bracket it came with, bent it, glued Velcro to both the bracket and my case on my phone, and finally stuck the bracket into a wedge between my CD player and dash. Works great! Might have to try the magnet now

author
mid_life_crisis (author)2013-08-13

It would look a lot less offensive if you invested in a little spray paint.

author

I did that at first! but it got all gross and started to peel. Any tips?

author
alexwhittemore (author)shmuley952013-08-13

Plasti-dip! While you're at it, do your kidneys, badges, and maybe wheels too, it looks stellar.

Props for not being afraid to cut up your bimmer :)

author
shmuley95 (author)alexwhittemore2013-08-13

no way! can you post a pic of something u've plasti-dipped?

author
alexwhittemore (author)shmuley952013-08-13

My wheels, you can see a bit of the kidneys too but I don't have a great picture of them. The real point is, if you don't like it, you can just peel it off easy as pie.

author

Hmmm, the picture didn't upload.

IMG_0551.jpg
author
shmuley95 (author)alexwhittemore2013-08-13

sweet. lookin good. You should mount this thing the same way I did, it looks great in the dash.

author
alexwhittemore (author)shmuley952013-08-13

It looks like it works great, but I don't have iDrive so I don't have that convenient overhang to mount on. I've got a custom clip hanging off the top of the dash trim.

author

Clean all the parts with denatured alcohol before assembling it. If it's peeling, there is almost certainly something coating it.
I also agree with the plasti-dip suggestion, but you still need to make it clean first.

author
dnyanesh (author)2013-08-13

I read somewhere that magnets mess with GPS circuitry on the phone. Did you experience any such thing?

author
shmuley95 (author)dnyanesh2013-08-13

Not really! I've made 2-3 long trips with the mount and Waze got me there fine. But who knows

author
TheShaggyDA (author)2013-08-13

Is your CD player no longer working, or is the bracket also magnetically mounted?

author
shmuley95 (author)TheShaggyDA2013-08-13

I actually took a piece of the console off, drilled a hole, then bolted the mounting piece on. Haven't used that CD player once!

author
cardesnr99 (author)2013-08-13

Self-stick magnets are widely available. No holes in my dashboard!

author
akuehnau (author)2013-08-13

Nicely done, but did miss the part where the mounting bracket is attached to the dash?

author
BigBearHostel (author)2013-08-13

It sounded like you were driving while filming!
It would be nice to try and put the magnet behind the dashboard shroud up high. One of the problems with using phone it looking down instead of looking up. How about mounted off the back of the rearview mirror or above wheel somewhere.