Otterbox 2600 as iphone case install - Stromtrooper Forum : Suzuki V-Strom Motorcycle Forums
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post #1 of 13 Old 04-04-2010, 03:51 PM Thread Starter
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Otterbox 2600 as iphone case install

Someone asked about this over in the thread on german decals so I thought I'd post some notes about it.



A while back I decided I'd like to mount my iphone on my Strom. I have the Navigon GPS app and lots of music, audiobooks etc. on it. I had a few requirements:
  • Power the phone
  • Hold the phone securely
  • Be useable in any weather
  • Visible, useable iPhone display
  • Fit the iPhone + case, so I wouldn't need to keep removing and replacing the phone's regular case.
Note that this doesn't include audio output -- I use a Bluetooth receiver for that.

Housing - Otterbox 2600

The biggest issue with those requirements was finding a housing. The Otterbox 2600 best fit the bill. It's a generic PDA case with a film front through which you can still use the phone's capacitive screen. It's not rated for submersion, but is sealed for use in wet/dusty environments. The box comes filled with several foam sheets which can be mixed, matched and trimmed to fit your device. Minor drilling is required to add a mount and pass through a cable.

Mounting (i) - Rick's Above the Dash GPS Mount

This mount is detailed in a thread here. It uses some of the windshield mounting hardware to provide a RAM ball on the front side of the dash, in just the right spot.

Mounting (ii) - RAM iPhone Mount

I started with the basic iPhone mount kit (RAM-B-149Z-AP6U), and ended up going a different route. First, using Rick's GPS mount you don't need the bottom piece which would go around the handlebars. Second, I found the arm was too long for good placement of the phone; it put the phone just a bit too far forward of the existing gauges.

The actual parts used are:
  • RAM 1" arm (RAM-B-201U-A)
  • RAM diamond mount plate (RAM-B-238U) - this goes on the Otterbox
  • RAM locking knob - to make it a tiny bit harder to wander off with the mount; doesn't provide security for the phone itself
Power

I added a 12V socket beneath the fairing, powered off the factory heated grip adapter using Eastern Beaver's adapter. I won't detail that install. To provide USB power I used a mini 12V USB adapter from Meritline:



This is handy because a) it's small enough to barely stick out of the 12V socket, and b) it also connects the data lines on the USB socket so it'll actually charge an iPhone. Check any 12V to USB adapter you're considering to make sure it'll do that; many won't.

Install - Adapting the Otterbox

(I haven't detailed the install of the mounts because that's very simple and also well covered elsewhere.)

The Otterbox 2600 won't mount directly to anything. It comes with a fabric/velcro strap but that isn't useful for this application. I drilled the back to mount the RAM diamond plate. There's plenty of foam depth to accommodate the nuts inside the case without interfering with the area where the phone will actually sit, so I was able to just make small cutouts in the bottom layer of foam. Since it's a ball mount exact placement of the plate isn't functionally important.

For the cable I decided to cut the back of the box and feed the cable straight through. That meant cutting a hole large enough to push the dock connector through. That was a Dremel job. I used a carbide milling piece but I suspect more or less any abrasive piece would work on the plastic. Expect melting and the need to trim/file bits of burnt plastic around the hole. I cut the bulk of that hole so it would mostly be covered by the installed mount plate, with just small space for the cable to exit the case. This means the case can't be removed from the bike without disassembly. There are options which would make for a neater setup by building a dock connector into the case, but I decided that was too much trouble for this go around.

As you can see in the pics most of the opening is covered by the RAM plate, and I filled it with Silicone sealant. I also put a grommet around the cable but on reflection I'm not sure that's a good idea. The grommet has lips intended to hook over something much thinner than the Otterbox, so isn't too stable.

The foam is easy to cut to fit. I made a channel for the charge cable and an L-shaped ridge to hold the phone, which makes sense when you're putting the phone in (or taking it out) with the bike on the side stand.

Does it work?

Yep. Fulfills the basic criteria above, and I'm happy enough with it so far. It sits at a good glance position, which is just right for GPS use, and lets me charge the phone in any weather.

Shortcomings / Is it right for me?
  • The Otterbox 2600 is big. There's plenty of space in there besides the iPhone, and it's a big old ugly chunk of plastic above your instrument panel
  • It partially obscures the warning lamps on the dash (see above)
  • No audio out. Easy to remedy with cable choice, but I didn't need it
  • Not easily removable. As discussed above. You could make it so with a little more effort so you could swap the more svelte regular RAM iPhone mount in as required
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Last edited by craig1984; 04-04-2010 at 05:13 PM.
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post #2 of 13 Old 04-04-2010, 07:49 PM
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Nice job. I don't have an I-phone but I do have a GPS that needs mounting. It is not waterproof. This would fit the bill if the Nuvi fits, I shall check. Thanks again.

Edit: Just went ti the Otterbox site, they don't have the internal dimensions. May I task you for those?

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Last edited by sct ptersns twn; 04-04-2010 at 07:58 PM.
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post #3 of 13 Old 04-04-2010, 09:25 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sct ptersns twn View Post
...Just went ti the Otterbox site, they don't have the internal dimensions. May I task you for those?
Approximately 6" x 3.25" x 0.9", though that's a quick ruler job so if your Nuvi is close let me know and I can try to be more precise.
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post #4 of 13 Old 04-04-2010, 10:44 PM
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I use an aqua box for a nuvi, they also make other sizes and a smaller one for the iphone.

http://www.gpscity.ca/ram-mount-wate...olt-mount.html




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post #5 of 13 Old 04-06-2010, 01:22 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maggot View Post
I use an aqua box for a nuvi, they also make other sizes and a smaller one for the iphone.
Do they have one that works with the iPhone screen? It was my understanding that you couldn't actually use the phone when in an Aqua Box on account of the flex screen being too thick. But if they have one that works it'd certainly be easier than the Otterbox route.
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post #6 of 13 Old 04-06-2010, 03:04 PM
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I haven't tried one as I don't own an iphone. Friend has an Iphone and I can try it.


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post #7 of 13 Old 04-06-2010, 04:16 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by craig1984 View Post
Do they have one that works with the iPhone screen? It was my understanding that you couldn't actually use the phone when in an Aqua Box on account of the flex screen being too thick. But if they have one that works it'd certainly be easier than the Otterbox route.
From what I've seen and read...no, it won't work with the iPhone.

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post #8 of 13 Old 06-17-2010, 09:27 PM
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Here is the GPS mount:





Here are the handle bars turned all the way to the starboard side:


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post #9 of 13 Old 06-17-2010, 11:51 PM
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Here's a question for the OP:

is that 12v mini usb adapter waterproof? Where did you put the power outlet, exactly? I'm thinking the electronics in the usb adapter might not like getting wet. I'm going to be using a hardwire USB power adapter (the usb adapter is in a box, also not waterproofed, but I can remedy that).
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post #10 of 13 Old 06-18-2010, 08:53 AM
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Craig,

I happen to have an Otterbox 1900 case that I use with an iPaq. I originally purchased the case for doing geocaching with my PDA, and after I got the Wee, purchased the motorcycle mount for the box.

Several things first, I know you didn't like the size of your 2600, but the 1900 has several ports to allow for things like power cords, head phone wires, etc to get into the box. Second, the motorcycle mount doesn't go directly onto the box, but is a cradle that it securely sits in, and then that mounts to the ram ball.

Ok, I just checked Otterbox's web site, looks like they are not selling the 1900 case anymore. Well, I guess everything I just said doesn't mean a whole lot if you can't get the equipment anymore.

Still, I think the 1900 is a bit bigger than the 2600, so you may not have liked that anyhow.

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