Intro: Prototype IPhone Car Mount
My goal was to make an object that would hold my iPhone in my car. I wanted to do it in under 5 minutes, and give a launch point for improvements.
Step 1: Materials List and Costs
2 Hangars - $1.99, with clean shirts. Remove shirts.
1 roll vinyl electrical tape - $0.99
1 iPhone, PDA or other device - $0 - $850 + tax
1 Alfa Romeo Spyder (optional) - $2,500 to $14,900
Needle nose pliers
Step 2: Create Base
Remove the cardboard from the hangars, check out the end of the hangar. Squeeze with pliers, add tape to protect the PDA.
Bend the hangar to create the base. In my case, the hooks are about 3.5" apart. The attached photos are pretty instructive.
Here's the first decision you have to make: What buttons on the side do you want to keep free? Mine are on the top, so I didn't care.
Step 4: Cross Piece
Second decision: Figure out what buttons and/or ports you want accessible.
Take hangar #2 and hold at a right angle (in a spot where you get to access what you want), and tape the two in the form of an X. Again, the photo should help here. Use plenty of tape, and work it both directions of the X.
Step 5: Finish Cross Piece
I was looking for a way finish the cross piece elegantly with only bends, but that would blow my time limit.
This is a third decision point - again, do you want buttons, dock, power or other parts of the edge accessible?
I snipped the hanger, taped a second X, bent a second hook, and taped the end where I snipped. (Tape is to protect device; with elegant bends, that may not be necessary, but see epilogue.)
NOTE: Do not bend wire hangar with PDA in place. I only put it there after measuring about 5" and bending to check the fit! You will notice the end is not yet taped, creating the risk of a scratch.
Step 6: Check Out Your Work
Mine looks like this now. It would work as a desk stand as-is. Front and back view attached. My work is nearly done here, but yours probably isn't. You'll see why in the next step.
Step 7: Mount to Car
This is the part where you have to customize (unless you have an Alfa). I took the top of the hangar, and plopped it into the defroster vent. A quick bend to the contour of the dashboard, and then done!
You will have to figure out the best place for your mount, and will have to bend the hangar and/or add hooks or velcro (I recommend using the heavy-duty stuff that holds the FastPass to your windshield, as standard velcro seems to unstable, depending on weight). Again, see the epilogue for suggestions.
(apologize for the dash photo being sideways; camera illiterate)
Step 8: Epilogue
This was a bit tongue in cheek, but I wanted to do this in 5 minutes. I did the work in 5, but the documentation took more than that. I also met my goal of keeping it inexpensive and accessible to those with only simple tools and small junk boxes.
This is tight enough to hold it on winding roads, large enough to take a case.
First suggestion: If you don't trust the tape to keep you from scratching, use ear plugs or the cardboard from the hangars. Cut and tape where you worry you could do damage. You could also use these to give some friction if you need it.
Step 9: Other Suggestions
Check out the photos I made of another mount I created using items from my junk box, and my VW (https://www.instructables.com/id/Refined-iPhone-Car-Mount/). This one looks more finished, but took about 20 minutes, rather than 5 on the prototype coat hanger one.
This uses 3-wire 15 amp yellow electrical conduit, plus a few inches of the black and red strand. I used the same trick of taping the raw ends for scratch protection. You'll see this mount is more difficult, had to be measured specifically for the car, and is probably a lot more useful and/or universal. Enjoy.