I recently purchased a small bluetooth dongle, and although its small size is quite impressive, it makes it very easy to lose and somewhat difficult to remove from the USB port. This instructable will show my attempt to fix these little annoyances, as well as to create an interesting and convenient case for the dongle. Ok, lets get started...
Step 1: Tools and Materials
Here are the tools and materials that will be needed:
- Exacto knife
- Dremel (not required, but will make some steps easier)
- Small Bluetooth dongle (mine is an Interlink Nano)
- Glue stick
- Highlighter cap (or similar plastic tube)
- JB weld
Step 2: Preparing the Glue Stick
The first thing to do is to get the glue stick ready to be used.
Twist the bottom of the glue stick until it is extended as far as it will go, and then pull out the glue out. There will probably be a plastic piece attached to the glue when it comes out (the glue holder). Keep this, but chuck the glue. Disassemble all of the parts of the glue stick and rinse well with warm water to remove any glue left on the pieces.
Using the dongle as a guide, cut the screw piece to a length that allows the dongle to fit within the tube without poking out the top (when the tube is attached to the screw/base).
Step 3: The Highlighter Cap
Remove the cap from a skinny highlighter and make sure the one you have is the proper size. To do this, bend the clip part out of the way, and shove the open end of the cap into the "glue holder' part. If it is the right size, it will take a bit of force to get it in, and will fit snugly so that it will not come out on its own.
Once you are sure you have the right sized cap, cut off the clip and then cut the cap about 4 cm from the bottom (the open end). You will now have a tube that is 4 cm long (it will be trimmed down more). The two ends of the tube will probably not be the same diameter, so remember which one was the bottom.
Stick your new tube into the glue holder, and put the glue stick parts back together and use the dongle to make sure the highlighter tube length is good. When the dongle is next to the glue tube with its top flush with the top of the glue tube, the top of the highlighter tube should be in line with the place where metal meets plastic on the dongle (a little below that line is better than above). At the 4 cm it will be too long, so trim it down until it is at the desired length (3 cm ended up being good for me).
Next, cut a notch into the top of the highlighter tube for the dongle to sit in so that the top of the highlighter tube lines up with the start of the metal in the dongle. The dremel will help a lot here, but it can be done with just the scissors and exacto knife. All of the pieces can now be put together at this point to make sure that it looks and works the way it should before JB welding it together.
Step 4: Stickin' It Together
Ok, all of our parts are ready now, and it is time to stick 'em together.
First thing to do is to mix up a small amount of JB Weld (you really wont need much). With your mixing tool (I used a pen cap that i did not need anymore) spread some JB onto the bottom of the dongle. Stick the dongle into the notch on the highlighter tube, making sure that it is centered and straight. Then spread a bit of JB on the dongle and tube at the notches so that it will hold better when cured. Another way to provide extra support is to put something into the gaps between the tube and dongle, I cut out some small pieces of black foam and stuffed them in the gaps with a bit of the JB weld.
Now put everything in a safe place where the JB weld can cure without being disturbed. If you put the highlighter tube into the glue holder this will help to keep the assembly upright so that it will not roll around
Well, it is pretty much done at this point (once the JB weld has dried and cured completely). Just put the parts together and try it out. Twist the bottom, like you would with a normal glue stick, to extend and retract the dongle
I plan to at least paint the glue tube (as soon as i get some paint), but I also had the idea to paint the glue stick cap red and the base/screw gold or silver, so that when it was all put together it would look like a shotgun shell (it is already the right shape). For now though I will just keep it looking like a glue stick.
If you have problems with the highlighter tube coming out of the glue holder when removing the dongle from a port you can always JB weld or superglue those two parts together. I have also considered making a away to prevent extending the dongle past the length needed to plug it in. I also hope to do a similar modification with a USB flash drive in the future.
Anyway, have fun with your new device, and go ahead and get creative with the decoration.