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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
There have been a number of threads (some that I participated in) that discuss where/how to mount an iPhone or GPS unit in our car. I have the TomTom iPhone car kit and like what it does, including:
1.) best holder for the phone
2.) easy to get phone in/out
3.) enhances GPS accuracy
4.) charges phone
5.) supplies hard-wired audio-out feature
6.) And more...

What I don't like are suction cups on my windshield and the fact that when I had it mounted in the lower left corner of my windshield you could see the wires (audio and power) coming from the A-piller where I ran them up to the mount. Plus is was pretty hard to reach up there in the corner.

I wanted a solution that allowed me to easily see the phone (which I use for Gauges with an OBDII port Wifi adapter and TomTom GPS) - but wasn't too distracting, and that wouldn't leave permanent ugly wires or marks in the car.

This is what I came up with. I used the SUPER strong seek-arm magnets from several old hard drives I had laying around to make the TomTom iPhone car kit magnetically mount to the hood that goes over the cluster. I tried a few different locations but even though I wanted them to work (centered on the hood, in the middle of the cluster, etc) they were either to distracting or just wouldn't fit right.

I mounted it off to the side of the hood with the magnets and then installed a USB port under the hood. The single USB port supplies 5V power thats run to an adapter on the ignition circuit and analog audio connections that run into the AUX port in the center console. I use that for the best quality audio when I'm not just streaming my music/GPS voice directions/etc via A2DP Bluetooth audio.

Here is a link to the project pictures (62 pics/vids total):
iPhone Car Mount Project Gallery

Here is a brief YouTube video of the ease of use:

And here's a few pics from the gallery link above of the project in progress:
Test mounting magnets in center of hood:


Magnets located on top side of hood (center mount test):


The test rig (still using suction cup and steel plate w/ magnets):


May not seem like it in this pic, but its too distracting when really driving mounted here:


Trying other mounting locations/orientations (just not working):



Best placement that I found:




Building the magnetic mount:



Installed USB Power/Audio port in cluster hood:


Wiring up the connector (takes audio in and power from wires I had in the car):




Custom Power/Audio cable I made that goes from the port in the hood to the iPhone TomTom car kit:



The cable connection:



Finished Project:
















I've been driving with it for a few weeks and it's working great. When I want the mount removed I just unplug 1 USB cable and pull it off - and there's no evidence to anyone that there ever was something there.

The mount is very solid and secure - and I can reach the iPhone to change GPS locations if needed as well as holding down the HOME button to give it voice commands.

I'm considering this the best location I found for the iPhone/GPS mount of the many I have tried since I've owned the car. Maybe this will help others come up with some mount ideas that work for them!

--Geoff
 

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Awesome! I will definitely try this one out. You da man!
 

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Discussion Starter #3

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3.5L TT but wrong body
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Looks good man, nicely done!
 

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Joe-Shmoe
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The Tomtom kit is not cheap though... you find it worth it for the added quality of the GPS reception? Is the mount wiggling a bit under spirited driving?
 

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Discussion Starter #7
The Tomtom kit is not cheap though... you find it worth it for the added quality of the GPS reception? Is the mount wiggling a bit under spirited driving?
It wasn't cheap - you're right. But I added up the cost of a supported USB car charger, a mount, a way to get the audio out how I wanted, etc and yeah - it was worth it.

I will add that on the iPhone 3GS the answer was YES - It was a HUGE HUGE HUGE improvement over the built-in GPS. The iPhone 4 has MUCH better built in GPS though, so it's not *AS* needed but it is still an improvement.

I've tested some very spirited driving and went over some big time NJ Road bumps with my track suspension. It stays on there rock solid (you have no IDEA how strong those magnets are!!!) and poses no problems at all.
 

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Aww yeee
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Looks great!

I'm really loving those CF accents though
 

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on german Autobahn
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Nice and very creative solution Aces! :bowdown:

Its a pretty exhausting subject... so here is my planned solution

I bought this holder a few days ago and want to use it on the left dash near the hood.
My iPhone has a bumper and i don't want to pull it off every time i get in the car... so this is one of a few (if not the only one) kits that works with the bumper, is still passive and supports horizontal mount(as I'm using navigation too)! A round plate comes with this kit so that u can mount it short with the suction cup.
I haven't got my gen yet so I've no experience with the sync and ipod connection but I'm going to hardwire the dock from the armrest to my phone. Thinking that this should be the best solution to get best audioquality and a reliable sync.

Well ill see how this will work in my gen...
 

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「まんがをえ&#
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i hate having 2 cup holder only in this car since the OEM Ipod cable is so short i have to rest my phone in one while the other one is occupied by coin holder. So now I just ordered a floor mount 15inc holder for the phone with the cable extension, Imma be installing it under my seat and it would be great. Will post pics up.
 

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Retired Staff
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You should really focus on driving and not fiddling with your iPhone. ;)
 

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「まんがをえ&#
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lol well the stupid cable keeps coming undone cus of the iphone case, and having to loook over and pick it up from the cupholder to text (while at stop lights only!) is a pain in the ass. But sir I do not drive and text at the same time like some idiots I see out there lol.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
You should really focus on driving and not fiddling with your iPhone. ;)
I agree - for me, and for everyone! I put it there so I can see the Gauges with the Rev App, and TomTom for my GPS. I don't text or read emails or anything while driving - no one should!!!

Driving a motorcycle will REALLY make you see how dangerous it is out there. I watch every driver and try to establish eye contact. Most drivers are texting or distracted and have NO IDEA I'm there. My buddy said it best when he said "Riding a Motorcycle is like constantly looking for death - and TRYING to avoid it". Same goes for driving in the car. Let's all be safe!

Sorry for the rant - It was a particularly bad morning today with people texting while driving on the way into work... :)
 

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Only thing that concerns me is using powerful magnets around computer/phone devices. In my experience, it's not always a good thing.
 

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「まんがをえ&#
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Lol I agree with you on that, the moment that you have ur hands on the steering wheel you should not be looking anywhere except what's going on outside of your car and not inside. This is why having the phone in the cupholder is annoying because: 1) have to look down, 2) waste of cup holder space :p. So with this floor mount, I can see my GPS on the phone too while driving.
 

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Discussion Starter #17
Only thing that concerns me is using powerful magnets around computer/phone devices. In my experience, it's not always a good thing.
Maybe in the olden days... but the iPhone is completely solid state - meaning no moving parts, no drives that magnetically store data, no CRT screens that are effected by magnets, etc. Not to mention the magnets aren't really near the phone itself.
 

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Great write-up! Didn't quite follow everything, but I only scanned through it. This is a definite must for my GC.
 

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Sex Machine
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Maybe in the olden days... but the iPhone is completely solid state - meaning no moving parts, no drives that magnetically store data, no CRT screens that are effected by magnets, etc. Not to mention the magnets aren't really near the phone itself.
U should put those magnets on ur phone, take pics and show us that the magnets wont harm the cell. Gotta back up that theory of urs with the almighty Iphone lol. Any magnet around a circuit board will destroy it.
 
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