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Custom DIY Dock for phones with cases or extended batteries

OP jonagpa

9th January 2011, 08:07 PM   |  #1  
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Update 18Jan2011: I was not 100% happy with the way the dock looked, it did not looked well finished and was not very smooth. the plastic is actually very hard to sand, it would take some serious time doing it by hand and with a sander or dremel the plastic heats up to much and melts. The perfect solution is to add plaster, I had some in the garage and you probably do too. This was easy to do, just cake some plaster all around your dock, make sure that you only put a thin layer on the part where the phone will sit, you don't want to change the shape of that. after it dries take some sand paper to it and make it baby butt smooth. After getting it the way you want grab a damp paper towel and clean all the dust off, I also found that this does a good job getting rid of some hard to reach imperfections that sand paper could not. Once the dock is all clean its ready to be painted, don't forget to tape off the micro sd plug.

I am really satisfy with the way the dock looks now, here is a pic of it.
the only down side to this is that if you drop it, you will most likely chip off the plaster so keep it safe. If you guys have any ideas as to something better I could of used let me know because I will be making another dock for the second fascinate in the house.

After adding plaster


Hello everyone, I will attempt to give a step by step instruction on how to make your own custom dock. It does not matter if you have a case (any) or an extended battery this method will work for you.




This is not the cheapest method, or the easiest or the fastest or the safest and the dock wont look as good as the OEM dock, but at the end you will have a dock that fits your phone perfectly and that is what really counts.

Materials

1- AMACO Friendly Plastic Pellets, the 4.4 oz bottle prob has enough for this project but its $12.5 and you will need to pay for shipping (on amazon). I think the best deal out there is the 28 oz bottle, it has a lot more than your going to need but after you realize what you can do with this stuff you will be glad you got the bigger bottle. here is the link Amazon.com: AMACO Friendly Plastic Pellets, 28-Ounce, Ivory: Kitchen & Dining

2- Plastic wrap. You will need to wrap your phone and case to protect it against hot plastic and water.

3- Pot, stove, water.

4- Small chopping board or something else thats flat, to flatten the soft plastic.

5- Cooking thermometer, to measure the temp of the water.

6- Micro usb cable, if you will not be using the OEM usb cable make sure that your computer recognizes the phone, some usb cables don't work for some reason. I made the mistake of not checking and the cable i bought on ebay does not work with my laptop, not a prob for me because dock will be in bedroom.

7- Cold water in a bowl.

8- Dremel tool with sanding attachment to sand plastic. If you don’t have the dremel or something similar its going to be a challenge to put details on your mold.

9- Spray paint of desired color (optional)


Guide

1- Read the instructions on how to use the plastic pellets. I am not responsible for any damage you do to yourself or your phone. You will be dealing with hot water, you can burn yourself or get your phone wet if you’re not careful.

2- Fill the pot with water and bring to a temp between 140 F and 150 F.

3- Get your phone ready, turn off your phone and take the battery out. You will need to protect your phone form hot plastic and a little bit of water. I suggest you wrap your phone with plastic wrap (look in the kitchen) then put the case on and wrap it again. Don't over wrap because this would add bulk to your phone and it will change its size.

4- Plug in the micro usb cable to your phone.

5- By now the water should be hot enough, check the temp and drop some plastic pellets in, enough for plastic to cover the micro usb cable plug to the phone. The pellets should turn clear when they are ready to be molded. I did not have a thermometer so I just had the water below the boiling point. the water should hot but not enough to burn you if you were to dip your finger for a sec or 2.

6- Take a spoon and scoop out the plastic, start molding the plastic around the usb connection, make sure to press in plastic in between the plug and the case, this would make a sort of key so when you slide your phone in it will only fit one way, this will prevent any damage to the usb during normal use.

7- Let the plastic cool, you will notice that it will start to turn white again. It should take about 10 mins for it to be stable enough for you to unplug it and put it under cold water. It is very important to make the usb part of the dock first, if you try to make the rest of the dock first in my opinion is harder to get the usb part later.

8- Drop some more pellets in the hot water, enough to make the cradle part of the mold like in the picture bellow.

Once the pellets are ready take them out and roll them into a ball, grab the chopping board and press the ball to flatten it. Make sure to put plastic wrap in between to prevent the soft plastic to stick.

9- Plug in the micro usb and make sure the molded plastic fits. place your phone the on top of the flat soft plastic. This step is one of the hardest. You need to mold the plastic around the left side of the phone by the volume rocker. This is important because it will create a sort of track for you to slide you phone in. Also keep in mind that you will want the 3.5mm audio jack and the cameras uncover. Keep molding it around the back of the phone and on to the plastic of the usb plug. Don’t worry if there is a lot of extra plastic you will be able to but the excess with some scissors but try to and smooth as possible this will make it look nicer at the end.

10- Let the plastic cool on your phone, this will guarantee and exact fit, don’t try to get it off your phone or you might end up bending or twisting the plastic. After about 10 mins it should be cool enough to get off your phone without bending. Run in though cold water to finish cooling it off. You should end up with something similar to the picture above but with a lot of excess plastic, start cutting all the extra until you have the basic shape you will want, again remember that you might want the audio jack or camera uncovered.

11- Start sanding all the sharp edges and making the mold look the way you want it, I rounded all the corners and made it a curvy look. It’s up to you. Also make it look smooth, focus on the front of the mold and not the back as that will probably be covered. A good technique is to dip in the mold in hot water for a few seconds. the mold should be tacky but not soft. Start rubbing your hand trying to buff out all the imperfections. Make sure the mold still fits on your phone, is very easy to mess it up.

12- Once your happy with the way your cradle looks is time to find what is going to stand on. There are many things you can use, you can even mold yourself a stand. I wanted it to be heavy that way there was no chance of the phone tipping over or sliding around easily on my nightstand. I could not find anything around the house that was the right weigh or size. I ended up finding a rock on my back yard that had the right characteristics, it had 2 flat sides to I knew I could work with it.

13- I used the rock as the stand. I molded plastic all around the rock making the flat sides flatter and made sure it would not wobble. Again make it look nice, and smooth.

14- Once your happy with the way the cradle and the stand look is time to put them together. Melt some plastic, enough to cover the parts of the cradle and stand that will be touching, you will use it as glue. Dip the stand and the cradle to make them tacky. Put the melted plastic on the stand where it will be connected to the cradle. Press the pieces together and hold it for a min or two, then run it through cold water. Your almost done!

15- Make the newly added plastic smooth and put some finishing touches to the dock, your prepping it for painting.

16- Paint the dock your desire color. Make sure not to paint the usb connection you might clog it.

You’re DONE!!!!
ENJOY YOUR NEW DOCK!!

If you found this helpful don't forget to hit the thank you button!


if you have any questions just ask

here is all the pics i took

Last edited by jonagpa; 18th January 2011 at 08:18 AM.
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9th January 2011, 11:01 PM   |  #2  
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I didn't read through it yet, but from the looks of it looks very nice. I dont have a use for it. However, i know many will.

Good job.
10th January 2011, 01:52 AM   |  #3  
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thanks, I do love it so far very functional.
10th January 2011, 05:52 PM   |  #4  
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Very novel idea, and good use of moldable plastic, very nicely written tutorial! Props!

I could see this being a nice way to have an Audio AND charging dock for a car though. Build in an audio cable as well, and buy a universal phone mount that has a removable phone holder (many do, check out semsons.com ) - mold your "dock" to the mount without the phone holder, and voila, instant car dock with audio and charging capabilities. I might give this a go sometime.

However, I would suggest that just getting the Verizon / OEM kickstand case, as a viable/easier alternative for a desk cradle - having the kickstand is like having a dock built into the phone - and IMHO it's also the best case around for our devices (and one of the best kickstand cases for any devices ever). You can get Samsung/OEM charging cords, just like stock with the funky connector, off ebay in 4' and 6' lengths for just a few $'s. I have one plugged into every one of my PC's and cars.
11th January 2011, 04:33 AM   |  #5  
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So does it go into the dock app automatically?

Sent from my sch-i500 Showcase using XDA app
12th January 2011, 06:29 PM   |  #6  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Protonus

Very novel idea, and good use of moldable plastic, very nicely written tutorial! Props!

I could see this being a nice way to have an Audio AND charging dock for a car though. Build in an audio cable as well, and buy a universal phone mount that has a removable phone holder (many do, check out semsons.com ) - mold your "dock" to the mount without the phone holder, and voila, instant car dock with audio and charging capabilities. I might give this a go sometime.

However, I would suggest that just getting the Verizon / OEM kickstand case, as a viable/easier alternative for a desk cradle - having the kickstand is like having a dock built into the phone - and IMHO it's also the best case around for our devices (and one of the best kickstand cases for any devices ever). You can get Samsung/OEM charging cords, just like stock with the funky connector, off ebay in 4' and 6' lengths for just a few $'s. I have one plugged into every one of my PC's and cars.

I thought about that before, I decided to build the dock because I wanted to stop messing with wires. the dock just sits there ready to go, all I have to do is slide my phone. best example, the other night I realized I forgot to dock my phone, it was one of those times where you were about to fall sleep and you realize you forgot something, normally you will have to fing the cord and try to plug it in to your phone, in the dark is not the easiest thing to do specially if all you want to do is go back to sleep, with out even looking I reached over grabbed my phone and docked it, that simple. I really like not having to grab the usb cord and plug it to my phone. to me that is worth the effort.

I do agree with you that the case with the kickstand is one of the best, too bad I already spend 20 on my seidio case.
12th January 2011, 06:31 PM   |  #7  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elijahblake

So does it go into the dock app automatically?

Sent from my sch-i500 Showcase using XDA app

sorry i didnt get back to you sooner, kinda busy these last couple of days.
to answer your question, no it does not go to the clock app or dock app, if anyone knows what I could to to make it do that please let me know. thanks
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12th January 2011, 07:09 PM   |  #8  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jonagpa

sorry i didnt get back to you sooner, kinda busy these last couple of days.
to answer your question, no it does not go to the clock app or dock app, if anyone knows what I could to to make it do that please let me know. thanks

there's several people trying to figure this out... I remember one was even going to buy a dock and tear it apart, never heard anything else about that...

Someone tried magnets, but said that didn't work..

So it looks like it's probably something built into the actual dock..

Guess you may could get someone to write an app that makes the desk app auto open when your phone is plugged in and tilted in an angle???? (prob only work if rooted though) I'm talking about stuff way over my head, so..
12th January 2011, 10:04 PM   |  #9  
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The official dock probably has one of the pins on the usb connector shorted out or connected to the 5v power to tell the phone that it's docked...

Sent from my Samsung Fascinate
12th January 2011, 11:00 PM   |  #10  
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pfredd

The official dock probably has one of the pins on the usb connector shorted out or connected to the 5v power to tell the phone that it's docked...

Sent from my Samsung Fascinate

that's exactly what I thought but with one having the OEM dock its hard to tell, if someone that owns a dock and has a multimeter could they check continuity between pins and give us the info we might be able to figure it out.

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