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Make a $2 Adjustable Smartphone Car Mount in 10 minutes

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Picture of Make a $2 Adjustable Smartphone Car Mount in 10 minutes
Do you ever wander the aisles at store after store looking for just the right thing to hold your phone/GPS/mobile device while you're driving?  There are tons of these on the market but I've never managed to find one that worked in my oddly shaped Scion XB.  In California you can't mount anything to the window, and my window is far out of reach anyway.  Belkin makes a charger/mount that goes in the cigarette lighter but that puts the phone by my knee - definitely unsafe for driving.  Giant bean bag sliding around the top of the dashboard seems like a silly waste of space.  Some "cradles" are ridiculously larger than the device you're trying to hold.  Suction cups pop off at the most inopportune times. And who wants to put glue or holes in you car?

Luckily for me, the original (super boxy) XB has an assortment of odd "spaces" in the dash.  These make a perfect place to attach a rock solid, quick and dirty $2 mount that'll take less than 10 minutes to make from stuff you likely already have around the house.  This mount is adjustable and easily completely moveable/removable without harming your car in any way.  It can also be adapted to any hold any mobile device that weighs about one pound or less.

Note: PLEASE ALWAYS DRIVE SAFELY.  My mount works perfectly for me.  Your mileage may vary.
Do not attempt to use this mount if it in any way impedes your ability to drive with total concentration on the road or if it's use would be illegal in your location.  
The way mine is positioned it does not block my view of the road at all but is right at my fingertips and close enough to the windshield that I can keep my eyes on the road at all times.

 
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bn811592 years ago
I have a 2011 Scion XB
edjsage2 years ago
Great instructable!  I borrowed your idea to use coated wire in my version of a car mount here.  Thanks for the idea!
dchall84 years ago
Very clever.  I need to mount my GPS so that it's removable.  This might work!!
edjsage dchall82 years ago
You could give my design a try too if you are looking for something to easily slide your GPS in and out.
byoung32 years ago
i made a couple of additions in order for my ipad to fit on it... i didnt need the foam though, my opening just stretches. ill probably replace the elastics with something more sturdy and reliable
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akoutdoors3 years ago
funky lil cannon.... epic description... great 'ible!
a1ik4 years ago
Here is another approach www.a1ik.com/photos/v/projects/iphone-dock/ . It also charges the phone and connects it to the car's stereo and video, but it requires expensive cable. Ditch the cable and the cradle become almost free. Y can use photo tripod's head to attach it to your dashboard.
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niftycurly (author)  a1ik4 years ago
 It's very slick and pro looking a1ik.  How did you attach the tripod mount to the dash?
a1ik niftycurly4 years ago
I had to remove the central peace (black plastic) of the console, drill holes in the plastic, attached the mount using mechanical screws, and assembled everything back. I had to remove this black plastic anyway permanently attach USB power adapter behind it and organize the cables. Fortunately it takes just two screws and 30 seconds to remove or reinstall this plastic face.

P.S. I wanted to tell that I really liked the design shown in the original post. It is very simple and cheap and after all does what it is designed for.

That is a very slick design a1ik. niftycurly: I came up with a mount that works by wedging thin tabs into the seams between molding pieces on the dash. It doesn't require taking anything apart, screws or glue. Maybe it could be adapted for what you need. http://www.instructables.com/id/Custom-phoneGPS-car-mount-adapter/
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Coliopteran4 years ago
Very innovative and easy to assemble. I love the position right in front of the steering wheel. I couldn't think of a good way to mount my phone there in my car so I ended up putting it at about 3:00. I wish I had seen this earlier.
justin_4 years ago
xB1 owners unite! Haha, I am making one of these this weekend. I don't need a mount but I have always wanted to do something with those worthless dash holes.
this is a really neat idea but since I don't have an ipod yet until the 14th I won't know if it works for me or not but i am already building it.
kktmsrini4 years ago
Very nice
Dramanatrix4 years ago
 I made one of these for my phone (I have the Motorola DROID)...pretty easy, very cheap.  I couldn't find any self-adhesive crafting foam so I used foam with double stick tape and it worked beautifully.  Also the wire is a little tricky, but once you form the cradle that works for your phone it is very secure.  Thank you SO MUCH for posting this!!
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digimancer4 years ago
 This is functional.. But oh soo silly.. I dig.
Doctor What4 years ago
 Neat, creative idea!  Unfortunately I don't have any recessed areas in my dash, or I would definitely give it a shot!
My Jeep Liberty has no recessed areas, but it does have a large handle in front of the passenger seat.

I previously bought a bracketron thing from Best Buy that attaches to your vent, but my vents could not handle the weight, and they'd popout.

I thought about getting a $30 windhshield mount, but thanks to this tutorial, I saved myself $25 by getting a PVC Pipe, a 45 degree angle bracket, a T-bracket, a 90-degree bracket, 2 male adapters, and a u-bolt.

Pictures and a quick write up are here
mrfilbert4 years ago
Great information, as I have both a smartphone AND a 2006 Scion xB
FazJaxton4 years ago
Great idea!  I really need this for my satellite radio receiver.  You might be able to use some sugru or other moldable substance to make a really snug fit for your device.
niftycurly (author)  FazJaxton4 years ago
 I'd pondered some alternatives for that - I have access to a huge variety of tools and materials - but when the El Nino storms started this week I just needed to get a quick solution in the car and I was so surprised at how well the wire works that I thought I'd share.  Even if it does look wonky :)  
With a little more investment of time & $$ "friendly plastic", Thermoflex, Sculpey Bendy would probably work really well.  I considered casting a silicone mold as well. 
niftycurly (author) 4 years ago
 Thanks for all the positive comments everyone.  I really appreciate it as this is my first instructable and I really tried to make a it a quality one.  If you do happen to make one of these or have improvements please post a comment or pic  :)
firehiker4 years ago
don't use hack saw blades. they are NOT flexible!
I may try this when my suction mount finally gives out!
=)
fruitkid1014 years ago
Great Idea! I'm sure to try this.
Nice ! shame ive already built one out of pvc Yours probably would've suited better (i added aligator clips so mine clipped to an air vent
randofo4 years ago
I prefer to drive with these glasses.