I wanted a dock for my phone (samsung i9000) for the office and wanted it to fit with the theme of the company. I decided to use a hard drive as the base and a stick of ram for the docking ports. The phone is charged via a custom USB to molex and the audio output is on a 3 pin header (located on the master/slave selector pins)
I initially wanted it to have usb data so I can copy data between phone and computer but the phone didn't really like the way I have set up the ribbon cables and molex interface so it does not allow me to transfer data. Charge only. This is not a big deal for me but if you want data on the dock, the molex connectors must not be used. I used the molex because it looks way cooler than a usb cable directly on the stick of ram.
Step 1: Get Materials
Hard drive. (I used a old broken one that was made in 2001)
RAM, I used a old ram (SD ram made in 2001)
Micro usb male
3.5mm headphone 3 or 4 pins male
Epoxy (black preferred).
Torx screwdriver T6
Drill and drill bits
Eye goggles and mask
I did not have black epoxy but wanted a black appearance. I used some toner from a broken laser printer and mixed it in with my blue/red epoxy to make it black. careful with the toner particles though it will go straight through a standard face mask because it is so fine.
Step 2: Drill Holes on the Ram
Measure where the micro USB and 3.5mm plugs are on the phone and cut holes on the ram where these ports are located. Drill first then use a rotary tool with a diamond tip (small as possible) to get nice a square shape cut.
Sorry I didn't take a final picture of the ram with the two nice holes. the picture shown here is my first try, I stuffed it up so started again. the pics can be seen in the finished dock in the final steps.
after drilling the holes, test the size fits and slot the phone and ram together to see if everything fits nicely.
I found it easier to remove the RAM chips then drill. I did this using a heat gun, a pair of 'helping hand' alligator clip thingie and tweezers.
Step 3: Glue Ports to Ram
First use masking tape to mask the areas next to the phone ports, this will prevent phone glued to ram in case it drips. Use epoxy to glue the micro usb connector and the 3.5mm jack on the ram while it is connected to the phone to ensure the correct fit.
when allowing epoxy to cure, set the phone vertical so it does not sag in one direction which will make it look weird. I used a diy phone stand for this.
if the masking tape is leaving residue, use some methylated spirits on a cotton cloth to wipe it off.
Step 4: Wiring
Take the circuit board off the hard drive and disconnect the molex port using a side cutter. also, cut 3 pins from the slave/master pin. make sure to leave some metal for soldering so don't cut too close to the plastic.
Use a ribbon cable (originally wanted to use shielded usb cable, but molex only has 4 pins. shield and ground are not supposed to be joined together directly.) and solder +5v and the ground and find a way to route it to the other side of the circuit board. I used the same location where the hard drive reader head is connected. Rip the old ribbon cable out and replace with the new one. I had to drill a hole to route the cable through. The audio cable was done exactly the same but with 3 cables (L+R+gnd). I also used some epoxy at the solder joint to make sure it is strong and won't rip when I pull on it.
Sorry didn't take pics here I forgot. but heres a picture of the final thing to show you an idea. also, the wiring is very simple so I believe there is no need for me to draw a diagram because I didnt even need one for myself. there are usb (normal and micro) pinouts which needs to be noted for correct connection. they can be found here:
Also, I got some info here: http://forum.xda-developers.com/showthread.php?t=820275 to make the phone in 'home dock mode' so everything is in landscape when it is docked. the instructions are on that link.
Step 5: Cut the Hard Drive
remove the tip plate on the hard disk to reveal all the components inside.
to mount the ram strongly to the drive, I had to make a slot using an angle grinder. The location of the slot may vary with your phone. In the picture, I show you where I cut in red. The cut will also cut through the circuit board.
Step 6: Insert Ram to Hard Drive
The cut on the hard drive should be able to slot the ram inside. if not, then grind a bit wider. plug the phone in to make sure the angles, etc are to your liking. This should be done on the edge of the table so the parts of the ram sticking out can be marked and cut.
Cut the ram to the markings and then slot it in the hard drive again (With phone attached) to make sure the fittings are good.
Reinsert the torx screws on the hard drive so it lines up the phone and prevents the phone from moving around. I used some plastic washers to prevent scratching the phone while docking and undocking.
Step 7: Glue Ram to Hard Drive
I think after the epoxy has cured it will be strong enough for normal use. I added a bit more when the phone is removed just incase.
I downloaded an app called dock clock which is nice for showing the time, etc. while docked.
add some non slip, rubbery pads on the bottom of the hard drive to make it more sticky on the table so when you press the screen hard, it will not move the whole thing.
If you don't like finger prints on the hard drive platter, when work colleagues touch it, you can spray an anti-corrosive clear coat on the platter (first remove it). it wont be as shiny, but won't get ugly when finger prints stain on it.
Sorry this instructable is not very 'instrutablly', I have very limited time available so I only spent 1 hour doing this write up!
Please watch the video to see how the dock performs in terms of stability when using it.