Who enjoys cables dangling everywhere in their car like mom's spaghetti? No one. Besides, it's already 2018 and we were promised sky cities and flying cars a long time ago.
Now you can enjoy the perks of Wireless Charging for your phone in a Gen 3 Toyota Prius for as little as $40 in less than an hour and I'm going to show you exactly how anyone can do it.
Here's what you'll need to get started:
Note that #4 could be as simple as a USB adapter for the 12v Outlet in your car or a little more comprehensive like this instructable. Since I'm a big fan of the "OEM" look, I chose to attach a USB hub to 12V Outlet adapter to my 12V outlet INSIDE the center console so I could neatly tuck away all of the wires.
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Step 1: Create a Template & Begin Cutting
The goal here is simple - we are going to place the wireless charger in the center of the new Carmate Tray and use foarmboard to build up the space around. We're building up the space so that the phone doesn't slide off and the charger won't rattle while you drive. The charger I succeeded with and recommended is about 11mm high (or 7/16th of an inch in freedom units).
Each piece of the recommended foamboard is 5mm high, so we need two stacked for 10mm and we'll talk more about that last 1mm in a later step. In order to ensure the foamboard you're cutting fits neatly in new Carmate Tray we'll need to make a template to guide the cutting process. Thankfully the Carmate Tray comes with a small black foam liner for the center of the tray which we can use as a guide.
I traced my black foam tray liner onto paper so I could keep the foam out of harms way.
Cutting Your Foamboard
Let's not worry about cutting out space in the foamboard for the charger yet and instead focus on fitting the Carmate Tray first. For me, if the two foam pieces don't fit neatly in the tray or otherwise unsatisfactory I would start over - and thankfully there's probably enough to cut 20 individual foamcore liners. But hey, this is just text in an instructable; you do you!
I used a silver gel pen to trace the outline of the black foam liner from the Carmate Tray onto the surface of the foamboard. Once there is a clear liner use a box knife or hobby x-acto blade to carefully cut out the outline, following the center of the line as best as possible. You may find it's both EASIER and TIDIER to make multiple shallow passes over the line rather than trying to cut it all at once.
After you have two pieces which fit together neatly or at the very least are satisfactory, go ahead to the next step where we'll start figuring out the placement of the charger.
Step 2: Placing the Charger
The Dubious Planning Stage
Now you're ready to begin thinking about the charger. There are a few considerations to bear in mind:
- Where do I usually place my phone when it's in the center tray (because you're totally not one of those savages that texts and drives, right?)
- What's the easiest way to ensure when I place the phone in the center tray it's going to be reasonably aligned over the wireless charger?
For me the answer was the top, or forward most face, of the center tray. The idea is simple - I know I can butt the top of the phone against the front face of the tray and achieve alignment on the charger with very little effort.
Don't Make A Whoopsie
Bear in mind, on the iPhone X and indeed in most phones, the charging coil is placed at the CENTER of the back of the phone. You will need extra room so that your phone doesn't need to be impossibly placed at the very top of the tray.
Ready, Set ... One more step!
Once you have the ideal placement for your wireless charger in the center tray go ahead and trace the outline on to one of the foamboard pieces you have already cut.
You may find that creating references lines allow you to align the charger precisely in your ideal position on this single pieces of foamboard. I made reference lines by measuring an equal distance to two points on either side of the foamboard and then tracing straight line between the points.
I was then able to find the center of this first reference line and trace one more reference line at a 90 degree angle.
Reference Lines or Not
Whether you proceeded with reference lines or not, it's now time to begin cutting. If you were a smart cookie and added in the reference lines, you can now very easily and accurately cut space for the flat charge cable.
Carefully cut along the outline of your charger - reference lines weren't necessary but if you're slow and patient anywhere, this is the one that pays off the most. Let me tell you, if these cuts aren't precise the charger won't fit well in the foamboard and I can promise you'll be starting from scratch.
You can repeat this process for the second piece of foamboard, or attempt to trace your first piece onto the second and find it was an unsatisfactory waste of time. Don't let me tell you how to live your life!
If you now have two pieces foamcore cut and you have confirmed both the charger and the USB cable fit in neatly then you're ready to move on.
Step 3: Bringing It All Together
You're now ready to begin piecing it all together.
A Quick Note
I should come clean... I cheated a little. I have a few different types of double sided tape but two came in really handy - regular thin double sided tape and thick foamy double sided tape.
The regular thin double sided tape worked great to adhere both foamboard pieces together neatly after I checked that the charger and cable would fit well. Remember the extra 1mm I mentioned earlier? Yup. The thicker double sided tape.
A few smaller pieces of double sided tape were used to used to keep the foam liner which came with the Carmate Tray on top of the foamcore... and then I used a little more thin double sided tape on the bottom of the whole thing to keep it from rattling inside of the tray.
It's only cheating a little because you don't NEED the double sided tape to finish, but it did tidy up the end result. If you want to buy the same tapes I used you can buy the thin tape here and the thick tape here.
Sorry, not sorry - I'm doing me.
A Little More Cutting
I cut a small hole in the car mate to allow the USB cable to pass through, but if you don't mind USB spaghetti all over your car this isn't necessary. I recommend using a drill to start the hole and then squaring the sides with your knife. The goal is to allow the smaller part of the USB cable to fit through.
Slip it In
You know you wanted this all along, it's what you've been waiting for. It's time to slide the two foamboard pieces, with your charger centered in it, into the Carmate Tray. It's a nice fit, isn't it? Well if it isn't I recommend a few minutes of self reflection on the decisions you've made in this process.
Plug it In
Again, as noted at the beginning of this Instructible, I have already installed a small 4 port USB hub behind the 12V Outlet panel. This way I have USB for accessories that are installed but I don't have to look at some stupid USB ports. This is part of the reason I chose a flat USB cable - I can fit it in the gap of this panel without making the gap bigger.
Let me know if you liked the Instructible or if you have any suggestions or recommendations, please favorite this or leave a comment... Your feedback helps me know these Instructibles are useful and when there's room for improvement.
Thanks for reading and keep on doing you!