Update on the dock/magnet trick


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  1. OctoMom

    OctoMom Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Not really a trick I guess but anyway.

    For those who do not know, Engadget found that the way the Droid knows it is in a dock and knows which dock it is connected to is because the docks have magnets embedded in them - you can see the demo here:
    How-to: hack your own DROID dock with magnets and cardboard

    Anyway, according to what they show, the difference between the car and the media dock is the spacing between the magnets. Well I've been playing around with my Droid and I found that the actual difference between the docks is polarity and you only need one magnet not two.

    Basically, just put the magnet in the same place and flip it to switch between modes.

    Anyway, I just thought this was interesting so I wanted to share. Since I can't find either dock anywhere (and I don't want the Verizon car dock from their website because of no recharge) I'm going to try to make my own docks.

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  2. spectrrr

    spectrrr Well-Known Member

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    Nice! Changing Polarity is a lot easier than trying to get fancy with the spacing.
     
  3. foothill17

    foothill17 New Member

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    Great find. I'll probably build my own docks also. Does the first photo show the location of the magnet? If not can you give some measurements or perhaps a template with measurements. I've not gotten the Droid yet so I'm trying to get a head start on building the two docks.

    Thanks for sharing!!



     
  4. OctoMom

    OctoMom Well-Known Member This Topic's Starter

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    Yes, the first photo shows the magnet (the little shiny thing). I found that it worked well about half way up the phone and just to the right horizontally (toward the camera).

    I'll try to take some measurements later but the area where it worked was large enough that anywhere near there it should turn on.
     
  5. foothill17

    foothill17 New Member

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    If you get a chance measurement would really help. Also does the distance from the phone matter.

    I won't be getting the phone for a couple more day, my bookkeeper (wife) doesn't want the phone purchase to hit in this billing cycle.

    Thanks in advance.


     
  6. x0SiN0x

    x0SiN0x Active Member

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    what type of magnet was used? I got one of these body glove cases for mine and the thing is a bit thick on the back. dont have any magnets to test with, but at work I have a set of them earth magnets (really strong ones) and not sure if too strong would be a bad thing even with the spacing.
     
  7. blazingwolf

    blazingwolf Well-Known Member

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    I would think that would be way to much. The little magnet on my case will make it work so it doesn't need much.
     
  8. taz55

    taz55 Well-Known Member

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    ok, so usually magnets near electronics and screens cause issues. But I know small magnets work on here. My question is how big is to big for this, and what size would be to small?
     
  9. jhughes23

    jhughes23 Member

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    There is an app called Dockrunner available in the market for free that will put your phone in the alarm-clock dock mode without having to place any magnets on your phone. And your droid already came with the the app "Car Home" to put your phone in car mode.
     
  10. Eurosteve

    Eurosteve Well-Known Member

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    Yeah Dockrunner!! Great app!!
     
  11. Trel

    Trel Well-Known Member

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    So, Star Trek was right, reversing the polarity really does fix things.
     
    skunkpbguy likes this.
  12. nattylife

    nattylife New Member

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    you know its funny, i kept seeing the multimedia screen popping up a lot when i left my droid on the counter and couldnt figure out why or how since i didnt own a dock. turns out my money clip has a strong magnet in it. once side activates the car dock while the other side activates the entertainment dock. it was bugging the hell out of me for so long since i thought my phone was defective. neat find
     
  13. barry99705

    barry99705 Well-Known Member

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    A magnet will not bother solid state memory or lcd panels. Unless you have one of those stupidly strong magnets they used on Mythbusters to change the course of a bullet, then it might screw up the magnetometer, not sure about that part though.
     
  14. JayBat

    JayBat Member

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    Be a little careful with the placement of the magnet. I think it's fine as long as it's as far as the end of the battery cover (where the groove it) but any higher may mess up the magnetometer. I thought I broke mine when I was playing around with the magnet trick and the compass and sky maps were basically stuck at a fixed position. A reboot seemed to have recalibrated it but now I'm a little more wary.
     
  15. jasg

    jasg Member

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    The magnet location is 1 inch from the bottom and 1.75 inches from the left edge (when positioned for dock use).

    I confirmed this by locating the magnet on a real dock - which has a magnet in the upper left corner of the 'tab' in the middle of the dock.

    I made a custom dock using these half-inch neodymium magnets (Promag #60001), which are strong enough to work with the Droid snap on gel cover. (The quarter inch Progmag magnets did not seem to be strong enough to use with a case.)

    As noted above, the polarity of the magnet controls display of multimedia and nav screens.
     
  16. gak001

    gak001 New Member

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    My Verizon phone holster for my Droid has a magnetic flap, and that flap actually sets off the different modes if I place the Droid on top of it. If it's centered on top of the holster, it goes into driving mode, and if it's off to the left by about a half an inch it goes into multimedia mode.

    I do have a car dock, but I'm debating if it's really worth the $30 to get the multimedia dock. We'll see; maybe next paycheck.
     
  17. jasg

    jasg Member

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    Here are two pictures of a dock that cost me less $3 - $1.99 for a business card holder from OfficeMax, a little superglue and one of the ProMag magnets I linked to above.

    Next step is to add a way to charge while in the dock. I'll post that when I complete the project.

    [​IMG]
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  18. GlassJoe

    GlassJoe Active Member

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    That is an awesome idea with the business card holder. I took it a step farther and mounted it onto a small piece of wood with a hot glue gun. I also cut out the area where the cable plugs in so I can charge while it is on there. I might order a right angle cable so I can move the card holder back to the center of the wood and permanently mount the cable in place.

    - $5 for the card holder from Staples ( don't have an Office Max near me )
    - $1 for the piece of wood from my local craft shop
    - $2.50 for a hot glue gun with 3 sticks of glue ( more than enough )
    - $2 for a small bottle of stain for the wood ( you can get small bottles of paint if you want for around $.50. )

    So for just around $10 I have a charging multimedia station that works with my phone case on. I had the magnets lying around so I don't know the price on them but I'm sure you can get some for very cheap. It's a work in progress so don't be too harsh, thanks jasg.
     

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  19. jasg

    jasg Member

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    Great minds think alike, you have described exactly what I am planning. I have the right angle extension cable, but haven't gotten around to finishing the wooden base yet. I suggest using black silicone rubber from an auto supply shop to hold the right angle extension in the wooden base - that will give it some flexibility when plugging the Droid into the mount.

    I'll post photos when I get the rest of the work done.
     
  20. GlassJoe

    GlassJoe Active Member

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    Awesome, I look forward to seeing it.
     
  21. shadowdude777

    shadowdude777 Well-Known Member

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    Wow, the business card holder idea is great. It didn't take me long to realize that the docks are activated by magnets but I never bothered with them because the official dock is a rip-off and I couldn't find an easy way to hold the Droid (I'm not going to go out of my way to have another clock on my desk). That idea is just simple enough to be worth it for me, though. :)
     

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