ideas for a Lightning car dock?

Discussion in 'iPhone Accessories' started by meistervu, Mar 21, 2014.

  1. meistervu macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2008
    #1
    So I just installed a new stereo with an aftermarket face place which has a bit of extra space that I can drill into and mount a (probably DYI) iPhone 5 car dock. The stereo has a USB input that can connect and charge an iPhone.

    I would like to be able to insert the phone into it, not mount the phone and connect the cable. It probably be good to have some side support, but one hand operation for inserting and removal would be nice.

    I thought of buying a cheap dock, or a Lightning adaptor and make butcher up something to make it work. But if you have seen any thing that may give me a head start, I would appreciate it.
     
  2. Zmanbaseball2 macrumors 68040

    Zmanbaseball2

    Joined:
    Aug 24, 2012
    Location:
    New York, USA
    #2

    Maybe find a car mount with a 90 degree arm and cut off the piece that holds the suction piece. Put the piece in a hole where you want it. Put a screw through the piece and secure it. Maybe that will work?
    Just an idea. It may sound confusing on what described.
     
  3. hharzer macrumors member

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    Jun 18, 2013
    #3
    If your iPhone is naked, I'd suggest that you use the bottom part of a case. Some case are made of two parts so they can be used in combination with a dock, for example.

    Use this to hold your device, and fixate a lightning cable to connect it. You could build a small socket where the cable is located and glue the case as a holder on top of it.

    I something similar a while ago, it is possible.
     
  4. meistervu thread starter macrumors 65816

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    #4
    That is a great idea. A cut off bottom part of a case is a good starting point.
     
  5. DaleC macrumors newbie

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    Mar 21, 2014
    #5
    iPhone Dock

    This may sound weird, but the one thing that has encouraged me to stay with my Droid are my docks. The phone snaps right into the car dock, is securely held at a great angle for car apps, charges, connects to my audio for streaming and looks great. When I get home, I drop it into a similar dock and it becomes a "smart home alarm clock" that also streams hi-res video/images via HDMI to my plasma and audio to my stereo.

    I can't believe I can't find a similar solution for the iPhone 5s. The best I have found is the ProClip for the car and some pretty good home docks. NONE of them equal the Motorola docks for my Droid X2.

    If I could find docks like the ones for my Droid, I would switch to the iPhone tomorrow and pay a couple of hundred bucks for the docks. I like them THAT much.
     
  6. mofunk macrumors 68000

    mofunk

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    Americas
    #6
  7. meistervu thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #7
    On second thought, I have a Belkin Lighting dock for my desk and it holds the iPhone pretty securely. However when I try to shake the Belkin dock, I feel the phone being knocked around a bit, and I think eventually the connection may be damaged, so it's probably a good idea to have side support as well.

    So again, the idea of a case with a lightning to 30 pin adaptor (more surface area to work with) is the best idea so far. I just need to find a solid case that is suitable for the mod.
     
  8. hharzer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    #8
    I made q quick mock up of my idea which I combined with your idea. I have a case that's separated into two parts and a Belkin dock.

    I attached images of the concept. It's pretty solid fastened in the case, and when the case is glued or fixed to the dock, it should hold the iPhone secure

    (Sorry for the image quality, used my iPhone and iPad for this pictures )
     

    Attached Files:

  9. meistervu thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #9
    Thanks for taking the time to post the photos. Your setup looks like it would work well. I will look for an appropriate case on Amazon.
     
  10. meistervu thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #10
    It's time to place my bet. I ordered a dock and an adaptor from Amazon.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    Each is under $8 and free shipping with Amazon Prime.

    My plan is to fabricate a metal bracket, glue the dock or adaptor to it, attach the metal bracket to the top of the car stereo housing (I will need to cut a small slot in the stereo face kit - the plastic spacer that cover the extra space between the stereo and the car stereo space).

    I have a JVC KW-R800BT which has 2 USB ports, one in front, and the other in back. The back port currently has a BT dongle which is tiny and so I think I could move to the front, and use the back USB port for the dock. That way I can run the dock connector (USB to 8 pin) through the face plate which give me a cleaner look. Above the stereo is a good location for the dock as it places the phone higher for navigation.

    I wish there were a dock or connector like the one I ordered but with a lightning connector for the back so I only need to drill a small hole for the face plate.

    [​IMG]
     
  11. meistervu thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #11
    Well, the docks and adaptor arrived. I am not sure either one works. They both require a lot of effort to insert the phone, more so than typically can be done one handed, unless the dock is attached to a solid surface, like on top of the dash board. The other problem is that the stereo/headphone plug takes over the sound output, so I would have to use a patch cable and conned it to the aux in of the stereo. Worst of all, that means I can't use the digital connection feature of the car stereo available through the lighting-USB cable. I may be able to make it work by modifying the dock or connector. Even if I resolve that problem, the amount of effort required to insert the phone remains.

    Then I saw this Belkin TuneBase Hands-Free with Auxilary Cable

    [​IMG]

    It looks really good, BUT I am not sure if its Lighting connection is fully functional, i.e. it will talk to my phone and my stereo the way a standard Lightning cable should. If it does, and that the built in microphone at the base doesn't interfere, I am set.
     
  12. hharzer macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 18, 2013
    #12
    Hm that's not good.

    You said that you don't want to mount your phone and plug it in afterwards. What about attaching the cable to the bottom of the car mount? Say, put your phone into it, plug your cable in and then measuring that system so you can make a little thingy to fasten the cable, so it kind of works like a dock? That's probably less hassle, isn't it?
     
  13. meistervu thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #13
    Ideally it would be a dock that is robust enough for urban use. I thought of using a case and and attaching a Lighting cable to it. Then I saw the adaptor and dock with both audio plug and Lightning connector and thought that it would be better than just having the Lightning connector alone for holding the phone. But the effort require to insert the thing defeat the purpose of one hand insert, and I am not sure it's good for the connectors in the long run.

    I now may consider using a mount and a plugging in the cable seperately as you mentioned. The advantage is that I already have a mount that I really like.

    [​IMG]

    I only need to mount the phone when I use Maps, which is about a few times a month. Unless I can come up with a nice dock solution, I would rather use the Kenu mount which I can remove, than putting up with an eyesore every time I drive.
     
  14. takeshi74 macrumors 601

    Joined:
    Feb 9, 2011
    #14
    Seems like an awful lot of trouble to go through. ProClip has mounts where the 5/5s can be inserted one handed. The Lightning to 30 pin adapter is required but it remains fixed in the mount and is connected as the phone is mounted. I realize ProClip doesn't fit everyone's budget but it is an off the shelf solution. If you pair it with a Panavise bracket you'll have something securely fixed to your vehicle.
     
  15. meistervu thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #15
    No, cost is not an issue. The problem with Proclip solution for my car is that it places the phone below the dash level which is really bad when you navigate. I try to keep my eyes on the road as I drive.

    There are better solutions out there for me once I give up the idea of a dock.
     
  16. skeeyee macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Apr 2, 2014
    #16
    make your own

    I had a similar situation with my stereo in my car. I made my own holder out of aluminum that slides into the space below my deck and holds the aux and power cable ( my deck doesnt have a usb plug). all i have to do now is set my phone in the cradle when i get in the car and its ready to go. Ill post pictures of it soon. It was super easy to make though and cost me nothing.
     
  17. meistervu thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #17
    Yes, I am tempted. I am pretty handy. I want something that either looks good or minimal.
     
  18. 7thson macrumors 6502a

    7thson

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    May 13, 2012
    Location:
    Six Rivers, CA
    #18
    Please do post pics. I made a prototype cd mounted iPhone holder from wood, but want to refine it to aluminum or maybe plexiglass. My pics are in my profile. I'm really curious to see what you came up with.
     
  19. meistervu thread starter macrumors 65816

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    Jul 24, 2008
    #19
    I checked out your pics. I love DYI stuffs. Sure, I can search the web for something cheaper, but there is no feeling like making something yourself. I believe we are what we made, not what we bought.
     
  20. 7thson macrumors 6502a

    7thson

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    May 13, 2012
    Location:
    Six Rivers, CA
    #20
    Same here. Almost bought this:http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00DPMNNUO...UTF8&colid=1S70RN2MN4PZW&coliid=IT3EBVK5KVVGS, but got a notion to do it myself. This thread got my attention and I'm excited to see what you put together. Others too, hopefully.
     
  21. Jamalmartinez macrumors newbie

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    Mar 7, 2014
    Location:
    D-town
    #21
    I got a few good ideas from here thanks guys!
     
  22. Nikhil72 macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #22
    I have the belkin, works quite well. iPhone is stable and music and talk function all work through the aux. the unit has a button to activate Siri on it as well as answer calls. It works well with my naked iPhone and with cases that don't cover the top or bottom. I like it because it keeps everything nice and clean.
     

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