Mobile Car Phone Holder
After having my mobile phone with the Google sat nav app on my drivers seat for a couple of trips, I decided I needed something slightly safer and bought a plastic holder in a motorway service station, which broke within a couple of months. Around the same time a Dutch friend of mine mentioned a wire mobile phone car holder on his blog.
I liked the simple wire design, but thought Euro 9 for a bit of wire was a bit expensive (yes, I'm thrifty cheap). Having a look at some photos on the manufacturers site, I made one myself.
Free or very cheap
My initial mobile phone car holder I created from a wire coat-hanger (the ones you get from the dry cleaners). This worked perfectly fine, but the white coating chipped of during bending and it looked a bit DIY.
Version 2.0 I created from 2mm/3.5mm garden wire. As I had some lying around I can't remember where I got it from, but in the UK it's available from:
Make sure you go for the thicker wire, rather than the thin (smaller than approximately 1mm) stuff. As you only need approximately 50cm wire the total costs comes to less than GBP 0.10.
Before you start DIY-ing, make sure that the vents in your car/van/lorry/truck/18 wheeler are horizontal, because the holder won't work in vertical slotted vents.
I've made this holder to fit a Samsung Galaxy SII, but it should be easy to apply to any other model mobile phone including iPhones. Just make sure to note where any buttons and charger connectors are on the sides. The first version I made had the top supports too high up, making it a bit tricky to use the lock and volume buttons.
To create the mobile phone holder you need a pair of pliers and a pencil.
Cut about 50cm of wire
Start in the middle of the wire with a 90 degree bend.
Allow enough room for the centre button (and usb charge point underneath, and add another 90 degree bend.
Bend both wires 90 degrees down
Add two more 90 degree bends to complete the bottom rest.
Angle the back wire to roughly 45 degrees
Mark the edges of the mobile phone with pencil
Bend 90 degrees up
Bend the wire across and create the side holder. This only needs to grip the phone a couple of millimetres.
Now create the left hand grip
You know the grips are at the same level when the bend wire matches the level of the other side.
You have now almost completed the phone holder.
All that needs doing is create the hooks for the vent. I ended up bending the support wires a bit for the best viewing position. I recommend to not cut off the ends too short initially and experiment what fits your vents and seating position best.
Tips & tricks
The initial coat-hanger based holder I made worked quite well, but it had the side grips really high up. (See picture before cutting the final bits off) This meant that my phone was quite low down on the vent. In my current version I've got quite short lengths going down from the grips and I've made the grippy bits smaller too.
If the holder doesn't grip your phone enough squeeze the two sides together a bit more.
To position your phone holder into the vents simply squeeze and turn the holder until its in the vents.
Disclaimer: this is a free tutorial and please use common sense. It worked for me in my Volkswagen T5 campervan, but that doesn't guarantee it will work for you. If you break your car's vents it is at your own risk, I can't be held responsible. Do try this at home!