Suspended Cradle for Amazon Echo Dot

Introduction: Suspended Cradle for Amazon Echo Dot

Recently I have been gifted an Amazon Echo Dot and have been greatly satisfied, but there is one thing that has been bothering me about it. I have recently converted over to the Echo Dot as my primary alarm clock, but I have found that my old practices of alarm clock placement simply do not work. If you like placing your alarm clock across the room so it forces you out of bed, then say hello to cranking up the volume and yelling across the room "Alexa turn off the alarm". This simply will not do at 5: 20 am. In order to make my family members happy or future roommates happy, I have created the perfect placement of the Echo Dot to reduce voice amplification from your voice and ideal alarm volume for those early mornings.

Supplies

- Paracord

- Lighter (for melting ends of paracord)

- Scissors

- Ruler

- Thread

- Sewing needle (any style)

Step 1: Determining Lengths of Rope.

Because the Echo Dot is a circle we will need to find the circumference to find the length of our first piece of rope.

Circumference = 3.14 (pi) * diameter

  1. Measure across the center of Echo Dot to find the diameter

- The diameter is roughly 3.5 inches (no need to be extremely precise)

- After multiplication (3.14)(3.5) = 10.99in or roughly 11 and 1/2 inches

2. Determine how long you would like your Echo Dot to suspend/ hang from whichever surface you are mounting to. (entirely customizable for your design)

- For my location, I will be mounting it to my headboard, thus only requiring about 6 inches.

- You will need a total of 4 suspension strings at your desired length.

3. Next, you will need 2 cross-sectional supports for the bottom of the cradle

- To determine length make these 2 ropes (.5) inches longer than the diameter

- Resulting in 4-inch cross members to support the Echo Dot

Step 2: Fusing the Ropes

Heres the tricky part.

Before you proceed please note. If you are a young crafter and have not been taught the art of melting rope with a lighter please have an adult or someone who knows what they are doing to help you out!

1. First, grab the rope that you will be shaping into a circle as the hub for the connecting supports.

- Our goal here is to melt both ends of the frayed paracord and create a simple butt joint to connect the ends together.

Tip: I recommend hanging the ends of the paracord slightly off an edge to free up one hand.

2. Now grab the lighter, when you go to melt the paracord alternate the flame between the 2 sides in 1-sec intervals.

- Make sure to melt the white internal strings to a glob covering the end of the rope

- Once the 2 ends are sufficiently melted join the 2 ends together with some pressure

Safety Tip:Then with one swift lick of your index and thumb finger, shape the hot plastic squeeze out into a smooth finish (This will prevent the fingers from getting burned)


Step 3: Melting Ropes Continued...

Congrats you made it through the tricky part!

Now, this next step will just be melting the rest of the existing frayed edges on the other ropes.

A Gracious Tip: When melting the ropes, rotate/spin the rope to ensure the internal white string and the outer sheathing is melted at the same rate to result in complete bondage between the two layers


Step 4: Sewing Time!

Now possibly for the hardest part, Threading a Needle!

- In this section, the method of attaching all the strings together will be sewing/lashing techniques.

1. Choose any color of thread you so desire and thread the needle.

- You will need no more than 10 to 12 inches of thread doubled over for each joint.

- When making the knot at the two loose ends of the thread be sure to complete the loop knot at least twice (three will give some extra insurance) :)

Step 5: Main Structure (Starting the Lashing)

  1. To begin, place one of the cross members across the main body as straight as possible

- The pieces should overlap just enough so you are able to start the needle at the top and connect to 2 pieces

2. Pull the thread all the way through making sure the knot at the top does not pull through

- Now we are going to be creating an X lashing over the top of the knot, securing the 2 paracord ropes together

- Complete this cycle three times. Make sure to keep the lashing tight

Step 6: Main Structure (Ending the Lashing)

  1. To end the lashing pass the needle horizontally through the lashing, but don't pull all the way through

2. Pass the needle through the loop that was made with the thread to create a knot

- Do this twice to three times to fully secure the knot

- Complete this step on both the exterior and the interior of the circle

3. Repeat on every joint (including the center cross-section joint)


Step 7: Finished Results (Main Body)

To begin the next step, flip over the body so cross members are on the bottom and the full circle is visible on the top

1. We will now begin attaching the suspension supports

Step 8: Suspension Supports

Place each suspension support to the right or left as shown in the picture above

  1. Complete the same lashing techniques previous for the rest of the joints

Step 9: Mounting

There are different methods of mounting for every different surface

For mine, I will be fusing two of the paracord supports together on each side

- If you're skeptical of the bond holding between the 2 cords, reinforcement can be provided by more lashing around the joints

Step 10: Finished Product

  1. When setting up the Echo Dot make sure the 4 microphones are facing you as you are lying on your back

2. Make sure the cross-sectional ropes are not covering up the microphones

3. Experiment with the placement of your suspended Echo Dot to mitigate bumping your head when you sit up

Now reap the benefits of having the alarm close in proximity resulting in ample volume to wake you up while not disturbing others in the morning. This also has the benefit of whisper mode being more effective because of the close proximity.

Enjoy!

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