Mobile Phone Dash Mount From Scrap

About: I am Married to Beth, I am an Architect and have four wonderful children

Make a dashboard mount for your mobile phone from and old harddrive and a tuna can

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Step 1: Things You Will Need

You will need:
1 some side cutters
2 some scissors
3 an old hard drive
4 a tin food can (I used a tuna can because it had flat sides)
5 tools to dissasemble the harddrive (varies with the type of harddrive)

Step 2: Open Up Your Hard Drive and Recover the Magnet

If you open the harddrive you will usually find a couple of powerful magnets which make up part of the head drive motor.
The magnets are usually glued onto a peice of steel with a couple of holes in it, if you have a modern car you may want to leave the plate on and use the holes to screw or cable tie the magnet to your dash

Step 3: Fit the Magnet to Your Dash

This was very esy for me as my Landy (1959 Series II SWB petrol) has a steel rail at head height which was perfect just to stick the magnet to.
You may neet to be a bit inventive using cable ties, double sided sticky foam etc.
Make sure the position does not interfere with driving, the cables are easy to get tangled up in! (so experience has taught me)

Step 4: Cut a Piece of Steel to Fit Inside Your Phones Case

My old phone had enough steel in it to stick to the magnet without any steel but my latest phone is made entirely of plastic!
Cut a peice of steel from the side of the can using scissors, you will probably need the sidecutters to get through the rim, or else use a can opener to take the rim off.
As you can see from the photos I have shaped the metal to press between two plasic lugs on the inside of my phones rear case. If your phone won't do this you might need a little double sided tape to secure the metal.

Step 5: And Use!

The phone should now sit securely on the magnet, if the steel in the phone is thick enough you should even be able to dial without holding the phone (my last phone would)
Plug it in to charge and attach your headset (or turn on bluetooth if you are flash and with the times)

Step 6: Don't Throw Away the Hardrive Bits!

I have found the board on the back of most hard drives to be a usefull source of scavangeable components (EEPROMS, RAM, passives etc.) In fact if you look at my synchro record project you will see scavanged capacitors on the board.
The case when emptied will also make a usefull electromagnetically shielded project case.

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    13 Discussions


    5 years ago on Step 6

    how can 10,000 people view this badass instructable and i am one of only 6 favorited?


    8 years ago on Introduction

    i miss my '69 - 109 LWB pickup... u must have sonim xp1 mobile phone....:-)


    11 years ago on Introduction

    do not use this magnet method on an nokia N95 as it attracts the slide mechanism in the phone and so your screen turns sideways whenever its mounted. plus these magnets attract strongly to camerass in camera phones. i stopped using mine as i feared for the long livity of my auto focus on my phone.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    I learned to drive on one of those. From dust to dust, they are the most ecologically friendly cars on the planet, fun to drive and will go places no chrome and painted SUV will ever see! Land Rover, the best 4x4xFar!! Happy Mudslinging!!


    13 years ago on Step 4

    you can do this with a broken xbox or xbox parts, i used some shielding from the inside of the case and it is quite thin. not sure if it is as strong magneticaly, but you get the magnet and the part for your phone in one box.


    13 years ago

    If you can't scrounge up a few 250 MB hard drives for free, you are just not trying. If you hate the effort it takes to take them apart, you are on the wrong site. Besides, you need all the screws you remove to sort into all those baby food jars and aluminum scrap prices (the hard drive case) are at an all time high.


    13 years ago

    I always get there in one piece - just a bit shaken and deaf. I could have bought a magnet, but I am pathalogically adverse to spending money. Pete