Smartphone Hack For Adding Magnet Power Dock

Here’s a neat hack for making a magnetic charging mount for a cell phone. We know what you’re thinking, but this is definitely not a traditional contactless charging system. Those use magnets but in a different way. This hack involves putting a couple of magnets onto the case of the cell phone, and a couple more on a charging base. You then wire these magnets into the power inputs of the USB port, and a USB cable onto the base, so putting the phone on the base magnets completes the circuit. The magnets themselves become the charging contacts.

It’s a neat idea, but makes us wonder what this will do to the compass sensor in your phone or your credit cards if they are nearby. With these caveats, it is a neat hack, and could be easily adapted. Want to make a vertical cell phone mount, or a way to attach (and charge) your cell phone to the fridge? This can be easily adapted for that.

35 thoughts on “Smartphone Hack For Adding Magnet Power Dock

  1. What I find interesting about this solution: You could build a magnet- grid charging station (e.g. + north pole, – south pole); even if you place your phone misaligned it may re-align itself and also wrong polarity should unlikely since the “wrong” magnets (station, phone) repel each other. My rating for this video: Good idea, but this video screams for a 3D printing solution.

        1. This. Pop one under the back and you (probably) dont have to modify the backing. Not to mention no magnets sticking out and as long as your soldering is good, no chance of being connected improperly. That way you’ve got wireless charging from generic QI chargers, sure you’re limited to probably no more than 1A but hey, for the convenience and safety its worth it.
          Heck, even toss a QI charger in your laptop, desk, wherever and you’ve got a beautiful and functional charging setup.

        2. those $2 ebay deals will set your house on fire.

          good deal? think again.

          they are known to get very hot and when built ‘to a price’ like that, they are really not very safe at all.

          seriously. this is one place you won’t want to pay bottom dollar.

      1. Not good as this one. I like this much more. Ok i will not do this to my phone but i would be werry happy if this idea gets to phone industry. This seems to me as verry simple and convinient design. It would need some improvement, but hey prototype is allways little bit rough made.

  2. The issue of the compass and credit card could be fixed just with ferrous pads on the phone instead of magnets, and just have magnets on the charging section. Doing that, however, gives no polarization, so either the phone should not physically fit on the charger if it is backwards, or be protected. You could use a diode between the phone and charging pads and boost the charging voltage, or use a MOSFET for active rectification.

        1. USB allows for some wiggle room on the power supply. I think between 4.4v and 5.25v is allowed by USB 2.0. A schottkey diode would only drop the voltage 0.2v. Should still be enough to charge the phone. Since the dock is custom built you can ensure the setup actually charges the phone.

    1. Just forget the magnet and 3D print a charging cradle (or modify a phone case as a charge cradle) and that way you always connect to the charger correctly and don`t have to worry about dreaded magnetism! On he other hand if you want to hack an old laptop (one with an SSD HD) you could use a couple of neodymium magnets to whip up a DIY magsafe power supply.

      1. LOL! That is funny. :)

        Can anyone explain to me why imgur links don’t seem to work? I have to add [www.] To get the link to work. I’ll admit I’m an idiot when it comes to anything involving coding.

  3. Sensoria use magnets for charging the anklet on their fitness socks as well as for connecting the anklet to the sock. It’s a great idea that works well in a controlled environment but you do get quite a few disconnects when you actually run with it on the road.

    1. fitness…
      Wow. :O

      I’m not sure whether to make fun or congratulate them!
      I kind-of want to buy a pair of super-socks now. I didn’t know that was a thing.

      [kirchnet] Have you tried these? Are they worth it?
      I’m being serious here, it looks interesting. I can’t imagine wearing them but I’m not a runner either.

      1. @[notarealemail] I bought the Sensoria in their Kickstarter/Indiegogo/whateveritwas. As I said, they work well as long as you sit at your desk or walk around the house. For charging the anklet the magnets also work just fine. But running 5K with them is a frustrating experience because the anklet keeps disconnecting and simply stops at less than half way. I guess the magnets aren’t strong enough to maintain electric contact under frequent foot impact and sock fabric moving back and forth. A classic connector may provide more reliable electric contact than magnets.
        Overall I would not recommend the sock other than for curiosity value, but IMO they are priced a little too high for that. My old low tech Scosche heartrate monitor is totally uncool by comparison but it’s reliable, surviving 5K without a single disconnect.

        1. Well, interesting tech anyways. You know almost everything will be connected 20 years from now, I just didn’t know socks!
          Very interesting though. Thanks for the reply. :)

          Connected clothing might be the future, but I will probably be one of the last to wear it!

          If an LED t-shirt that lights up the path I’m walking on and requires no effort to charge, then I will buy it. Lol.

      1. Oh, here another start up who fails at estimating costs and time of mass production! How the **** they expected to be able to make a thousand of cables shipped within 2 months? 2months is standard delivery time for low cost China shipping.

  4. I like your idea. It seems verry good connection. How ever i would rather use feromagnetic plates on phone insted of magnets. Somebody maintioned not to influence compass. For me biger problem would be fine metal dust. For dok is ok becouse in office or at home i never have this dust problem, but phone i take everywhere.

  5. I don’t get why there are no cellphones with the system classical DECT/wireless phones use, simply having two large contacts on the bottom and a cradle with matching contacts and you just drop it in and bob’s your uncle. no fiddling and always contact.

    1. The 2 big contacts require a lot of space (relatively speaking), the phone is already pretty packed…Also, that only works with a cradle, there doesn’t seem to be that much of a demand for them…

      1. With all the years and all the cell phones made I’ve never seen it done with a cell phone, and EVERY damn wireless phone uses that system.
        And yes there is plenty of room, especially since 5.5″ and above is now the standard screen size, and the contacts would be on the outside and part of the case so it does not take real space inside like some other connectors.
        And as for the cradle, you can make that simple and you can use the mini USB as a travel backup since a phone inevitably needs USB anyway.
        And it’s also weird that they after years came with ‘contactless charging’ which also requires you to put the phone on a predetermined charger, so that makes it even weirder, why design a whole system like that and put coils in phones and have a poor power transfer efficiency when you could just do the cradle?

        I still find it curious.

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