HOW-TO: DIY media/car dock

nite 0wl

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How to make your own Droid dock from a cardboard box.

You will need the following:
1(or more) small magnets (small, flat rare earth magnets work well)
1 corrugated cardboard box
tape (I use electrical tape)
a sharp knife, metal straight-edge and pen/pencil/marker

#1: Cut a flap off a medium sized cardboard box and mark off the following shapes:
1 Large rectangle (about 5" x 4" is good, much smaller and you won't be able to make tabs or fit a normal USB cable into the Droid while it's 'docked')
2 equilateral triangles 3.75" on a side
1 small rectangle 5" x 1.25"

When you cut these out you should have something that looks like this (I trimmed off two of the corners of the triangles on the 'front'):
imgp1132.jpg
 
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nite 0wl

nite 0wl

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#2 (Magnet placement)
imgp1136.jpg

The small shiny circle on the back of the Droid in the photo is a rare earth magnet in position to activate the dock mode. Depending on the polarity the Droid will switch into either Car or Multimedia dock mode.
Figure out which way you need the magnet to face to activate the mode you want then place a piece of tape between the Droid and the magnet (sticky side facing the magnet).

Getting the magnet in position on the carboard:
place the taped magnet in position on the Droid and align the 'top' edge of the Droid with one of the long edges of the large cardboard rectangle from step 1.
Carefully lower the cardboard onto the Droid so that the tape grabs onto the cardboard. This helps make sure the magnet will stay in the right place.
 
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nite 0wl

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#3 (make it stand)
If you notice the picture in step 1 shows a number of slots and notches cut in the pieces.
Most of these aren't strictly necessary but make the finished dock sturdier than just joining the parts up with tape.
Only one of the holes are really necessary, the small square cut out of the thinner rectangle. Without this you won't be able to fit the cable into the Droid while it's docked.
imgp1132.jpg

If you don't mind the extra effort making the tabs is a good idea since the Droid isn't exactly feather-weight.
If you decide to forgo cutting the tabs then you will be able to trim the two rectangular pieces by up to half an inch.
 
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nite 0wl

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#4 (Final Assembly)
imgp1133.jpg

Here you see the finished product. The two triangular pieces are on the sides with the large rectangular piece tilted back at a slight slope to keep the Droid from falling off or tipping the whole thing over.
The small rectangle forms a shelf in the front for the Droid to rest on and the small cut of is placed against the back on the left (between the black tape and the USB cable in the photo) this should align with the USB port on the bottom side of the Droid when it is docked so that a USB cable can be plugged in without changing the alignment of the magnet.
 
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nite 0wl

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#5 (Enjoy your very cheap dock)

imgp1134.jpg

Place the Droid in the dock and thread a USB/charger cable in through the holes in the dock.
Now sit back and enjoy all the features of the $30 dock with something you built for less than bus fare.
 

Cloppy

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Things made out of cardboard always work better then the original. Awsome DIY man! Ill have to try and make one myself
 

mach330

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can u take a pix when you spray paint the carboard black? :)

awesome work.
 
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nite 0wl

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Things made out of cardboard always work better then the original. Awsome DIY man! Ill have to try and make one myself

I'd like to see how yours turns out, maybe you can even figure out some improvements.

can u take a pix when you spray paint the carboard black? :)

awesome work.

I was considering using colored electrical tape for decoration. It would also probably help reinforce some of the weaker areas and provide a bit of extra protection against slippage and scratching.
Rest assured though, I will be sure to post a photo of any changes/finished versions I make.
 

Poomwah

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wow, that is totally cool, you have inpired me. I have some left over aluminum sheet metal out in the garage. I think I'm going to use your design and make it out of metal. Then I'll spray the whole thing with flexible rubberized bumper coating. Thanks for the inspiration :]
I'm not going to use the magnet though... found an app called dockrunner that does the same thing as the magnet on the media dock
 
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nite 0wl

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I'm not going to use the magnet though... found an app called dockrunner that does the same thing as the magnet on the media dock

While dock runner does replicate the function of the magnetic dock, why would you opt not to use a magnet and free up some space for other apps?
 

Poomwah

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thanks night owl

I guess there were two reasons I wasn't going to use a magnet, laziness and ignorance. It seemed easier to use the app then to mount the magnet (like I said, LAZY), but I hadn't thought about the extra space I could free up.
thanks for that heads up night owl
 
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