Installing an iPhone Mount

As stated elsewhere on this website, The Navigation System is pretty useless.

In addition, updates seem hard to get and when you do get them invariable they are outdated.

Here in Florida, where sub-divisions spring up every 3 hours or so, and updated navigation system is vital if you do any kind of traveling. It might make the difference between getting where you want to go or ending up in a canal with pissed off alligators.

Thatís why, in todayís environment, one's smartphone is generally used for directions. The primary reason is that your smartphone's maps are ALWAYS updated. (or as least they should be).

The goal then was to install a smartphone holder in my Aston Martin. No small feat, as there is virtually nowhere to install the holder other that clipping it onto one of the HVAC vents on the dashboard.

For me, blocking one of the HVAC vents was unacceptable. The challenge was to find another solution.

I reluctantly decided to use the CD slot as it was essentially unused.

The process starts by purchasing a holder made specifically for mounting in the CD slot and compatible with my iphone. I purchased model MCM3 made by MPOW which seemed to meet both my criteriaís. (see photograph below)

Opening the package reveled the contents. (Photograph below)

The part that slides into the CD opening (Black arrow)

The "Ball" of the device that allows adjustability and connects the two parts together. (Blue arrow)

The part that holds the phone (Green arrow)

The button thatís pressed to release the phone from the holder. (Yellow arrow)

Finally a ring that's not attached to the ball of the CD mount? REALLY? (Red arrow)

We have a problem. The ring should have been installed BEHIND the ball of the CD mount at manufacture. I decided to do something drastic and read the instructions.

The instructions states (photograph below) that the ring (red arrow) should be pushed over the ball (yellow arrow) in order to assembly the mount. I had to read this again because I thought they were joking. Note however that the ball (yellow arrow) CAN be forced into the receptacle (green arrow photograph above). The plastic receptacle has some flexibility to allow this.

In the photographs below, I forced the ring over the ball and assembled both parts of the mount.

The next step is to put on the rubber pads that cushion the CD mount attachment "feet" that enters the CD unit (Red arrow photograph below).

Now that the holder was properly assembled; I inserted the "Feet" part into the CD slot in the Vantage.

In order for the phone holder to stay in CD slot, the middle part of the device is raised against the top of the CD slot by tightening the screw. (Photograph below) Use common sense here. Do not over tighten. Just tighten enough to prevent the device from falling out of the CD slot. There will be some slight up and down play, however if you can't pull the device from the CD slot you are OK. Note that if the rubber pads are attached to the "Feet" properly, they are the only part of the device that contacts the CD slot.

Photographs below show the device attached to the CD slot with the phone holder removed and then installed.

Photographs below show my iPhone attached to device. This is not an ideal solution, but, as the case where technology has bypassed an original design, its a compromise.

The good news is that the ball allows significant adjustability so the phone can be positioned in an easy to read position without blocking any of the HVAC vents. Note the second picture shows the phone can be positioned horizontally so the gearshift lever is unencumbered.

The great news is that unit is very easy to remove from the CD slot.

This solution was not horrible, it was a less than ideal, so I forged ahead with plan "B".

I had used those holders that attach themselves to the HVAC vents. While somewhat unobtrusive, they invariably blocked a large portion of the vent. In addition, the wireless charging capability of my iPhone negated me from using a small magnetic attachment.

As is often the case, I needed two mounts to meet my requirements.

Essentially I needed the CD mount for holding the iPhone and a vent mount that would actually clamp down on the vent blades. I also needed to lower the mount so that it did not block the vent.

I purchased another CD Mount for the holder and a vent clip on holder for the clip feature only. (Photograph below)

This holder has a unique feature. It has two fingers that, via a lever, clamps down on the HVAC vent blades, thus securing it to the vent. (blue arrows) In addition two "feet" (red arrows) stabilized the holder against the dashboard. (see photographs below)

The angle of the holder would not work in its present form. It stuck out too far, making the mount somewhat unstable. As usual modifications were needed.

The vent mount was cut away from the fingers portion and the CD mount was disassembled. (Photographs below)

Raising the attachment point at the vent blades would effectively lower the position of the phone's bracket. A 3 inch strip of aluminum stock was used. (Photograph below)

The finger attachment part of one mount is bolted to one end of the aluminum stock. (photograph below)

Next is to attach the bottom of the disassembled CD mount to the end of the aluminum stock. (photographs below)

With initial pre assembly completed, the aluminum stock was painted black and the project re-assembled.

Modified phone holder attached to center vent blade. Note lower position of phone, with minimal blocking of the HVAC vent.

None of these two solutions are ideal. If I had to choose I believe the modified vent mount is currently the best option.



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