From the DIY drawer: Galaxy S II + case tiltpod pivot

I posted my tiltpod review a couple of days ago, and several commenters agreed with me that the lack of pivots (/adapters) for non-iPhone phones is a major problem. The thing about the tiltpod is that it’s so unique that if you like the basic concept, you can’t just go out and buy a competitor that does support more devices – not unless you’re willing to compromise, especially in the size department. As such, I’ve been trying to make my own pivot for the tiltpod, one tailor made to fit my Galaxy S II with a case on. After a few tries, I got one that works beautifully.

My custom-made pivot uses the metal pivot pat from the iPhone adapter, combined with the epic material that is Sugru. Sugru is easy to form out of the package, but hardens into a rubber/silicone-like material after a day or so exposed to air. What I did was to form some Sugru into a shape that has the metal pivot on the bottom, and a “gripping hand” shaped around my Galaxy S II’s case on the top. Since I primarily want to use the tiltpod as a stand, I went for an adapter design that utilizes gravity to hold the device in the adapter, meaning it really only works if the device is tilted backwards. The original iPhone adapter instead grips both sides of the phone firmly, which is possible to do with  Sugru creation as well, but will end up blocking parts of the screen. Doesn’t matter for taking photos, matters for watching video.

So, to the method I used for shaping the Sugru. Back in June I bought a cheap Galaxy S II dummy off eBay, giving me a device that’s identical to the S II but doesn’t care if it gets wet, Sugru’d, or otherwise mistreated. Combined with one of the $1.30 cases I keep around (and use daily), I had an exact duplicate of what my phone+case combo actually is, without having to worry about messing with it. I dipped my finger in some olive oil, smeared a nice layer on the parts of the dummy/case I needed to form the Sugru around, and formed the Sugru into an adapter.

I let the initial mess dry, then cut it into the final shape,, added some more Sugru here and there to make it more robust, cased in the pivot at the bottom, and let it dry again. The olive oil made sure the Sugru didn’t actually stick to the dummy or the case, so when it was all dry, I had a perfect mold of the phone and case. The resulting adapter works surprisingly well, and is even capable of holding the 4.2-inch Galaxy S II in portrait mode.

Obviously, having multiple spares of the case you use, as well as a dummy of your phone, isn’t standard. With the case being $1.30 and the dummy $5.59, however, it’s not exactly the most expensive “tools” either, especially if you use them for multiple DIY projects, like I have. You could try to do this by covering your actual device with plastic while you shape the Sugru around it, but don’t blame me if it goes wrong.

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Andreas Ødegård

Andreas Ødegård is more interested in aftermarket (and user created) software and hardware than chasing the latest gadgets. His day job as a teacher keeps him interested in education tech and takes up most of his time.