This project was inspired by the awesome features on my Android phone. I love having almost any information or capability at my fingertips while I am traveling, albeit only when it is safe to take my eyes off the road. I started out by looking at the commercial solutions for cell phone mounts. The window suction cup mounts don't appeal to me because it would make the phone far too out of reach and also make my black phone absorb too much heat in the sun. The same goes for the dash mounts. I bought a vent mount for about $5 at a local electronics store, and although it held the phone like it said, it was too close to the side window (being the only vent suitable in my car) causing too much glare. Also, with winter coming up, i don't want to stick the phone in the direct line of a heart source. That left only a cup holder option. The versions in stores and on the web are nice but with one major drawback: you lose the ability to hold a drink there. So with a lot of instructables inspiration I decided to make one to my liking.
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Step 1: Materials Needed
To get started gather up your materials. I had this store bought vent mount handy. It's padded and holds any phone or media player securely. On the rear of the mount is a removable piece that was used to hold the vent attachments. This is a helpful feature because it allows me to take it off and adjust without the bulk of the entire mount.
I rummaged through my closet to find the perfect coat hanger. I liked the feel of the thicker wire because I thinkit will stand up to the bumps and jolts of the road better with a weight on the end of it. It is stiffer than a regular hanger, so not as easily bent into shape.
I found that a pair of tin snips worked great on the thicker wire.You may want to use a hacksaw or some other cutting device. I didn't really use the hammer as I was able to bend the wire over my knee. Maybe an anvil and hammer would have produced sharper corners. Finally the tape measure is used to figure out just the middle of your cut wire and at what lengths to cut it to in the cup holder.
Lastly is the fasteners used to hold the wire in place. These are more ideal than velcro because velcro can eventually wear out. These will too, but the package claims it will last three times longer. The teeth of the fasteners are shaped like zippers and seem to really hold well. The box states it will hold up to 2 lbs. per inch of material. That was twice what was claimed on other brands.
Step 2: Cut the Hanger
Cut the hanger as close to the hook area as possible so to get the longest usable length. Then straighten out the wire and mark the center point.
Step 3: Insert Wire Into Mount
Insert the wire through the removable piece on the back. Place the wire so the center mark is in the middle. This will give you the greatest positioning flexibility later on. You may have to find another way of attaching the wire to your specific mount.
Step 4: Bend the Wire
Please be careful in this step not to damage the area where the wire goes through the holes. This bend will keep the mount in place. I used my hands to make the bends. Again, please be extra careful of the fragile posts the wire goes through.
I ended up bending my wire so it overlaps near the midpoint of the length. i don't know if this will cause the whole mechanism to torque later on. You may want to just bend them so they are straight down, but I have not had any problems yet.
Step 5: Position in the Cup Holder & Bend Wires
Next I found where I wanted to locate my phone mount in the cup holder. Several questions to ask yourself first though. How high do I want the mount to be? Is there anything going to be in the way in the cup holder?? Will the wire and mount be clear of essential driving apparatus?
I found the approximate height of where I wanted the final mount to be. Then I bent the bottom the the wires to make that height happen. The wires resting on the bottom of the cup holder were about an inch too long to fit, so I had to cut them down with the tin snips. This turn at the bottom also gives extra support to the overall mechanism when there is weight on it.
Step 6: Attach Fasteners in Cup Holder
The fasteners come with an adhesive on the back of each piece. Just peel and stick inside the cup holder. I put one strip on the bottom and the other strip on the side of the holder. These should be pretty strong anchor points as they are both relatively smooth area in the holder giving the adhesive the greatest surface area to stick to.
On the bottom I kept the two wires apart so I could have three points where the fasteners attach to each other. Make sure you press down firmly to get a good lock.
On the side position i moved the wires so the crossover went under the fastener. Hopefully this will keep the wires from torquing and turning the mount above.
I might later on install some sort of coaster so any condensation from cold drinks won't foul up the adhesive below.
Step 7: Drive and Enjoy!
That's it. Now you can have your phone within easy reach and won't lose a drink position. When bending the wires to your desired final position, I would suggest you hold onto the top fasteners because they will pull off with the force needed to bend the wires.
Please let me know if you have any helpful suggestions or modifications for a future version.