Instructables

Magnetic Car Mount for iPhone, Droid and other Smartphones

Picture of 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!
 
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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!
2K1TJ11 months ago
Won't the magnet damage your phone?
shaddoty 2K1TJ11 months ago
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
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.
cyberpigue11 months ago
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!
keiron1210 months ago
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....
Redjeep011 months ago
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.
weswelenga11 months ago
Hi, great instructable!! Only one cuestion, the magnet isn´t dangerous for the display or memory card? Saludos from Chihuahua, Mexico.
pmoreau11 months ago
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.
pmoreau11 months ago
I wouldn't expect it to mess with the GPS very much but it will leave the Magnetometer (Compass) useless.
heibert pmoreau11 months ago
Absolutely. Almost all smartphones have a compass inside. It's very dangerous for it to store in cases with magnet locks and holders.
pdmitry11 months ago
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..
JustOneSaint11 months ago
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.
kf4nxs11 months ago
May not damage the phone, but any apps that require the use of the internal magnet will be useless
Baldilocks11 months ago
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!
jcougler11 months ago
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
It would look a lot less offensive if you invested in a little spray paint.
shmuley95 (author)  mid_life_crisis11 months ago
I did that at first! but it got all gross and started to peel. Any tips?
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 :)
shmuley95 (author)  alexwhittemore11 months ago
no way! can you post a pic of something u've plasti-dipped?
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.
Hmmm, the picture didn't upload.
IMG_0551.jpg
shmuley95 (author)  alexwhittemore11 months ago
sweet. lookin good. You should mount this thing the same way I did, it looks great in the dash.
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.
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.
dnyanesh11 months ago
I read somewhere that magnets mess with GPS circuitry on the phone. Did you experience any such thing?
shmuley95 (author)  dnyanesh11 months ago
Not really! I've made 2-3 long trips with the mount and Waze got me there fine. But who knows
TheShaggyDA11 months ago
Is your CD player no longer working, or is the bracket also magnetically mounted?
shmuley95 (author)  TheShaggyDA11 months ago
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!
cardesnr9911 months ago
Self-stick magnets are widely available. No holes in my dashboard!
akuehnau11 months ago
Nicely done, but did miss the part where the mounting bracket is attached to the dash?
BigBearHostel11 months ago
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.