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My Droid Turbo isn’t waterproof, and I didn’t want to have to keep stopping to put a bag over it, or put it in my pocket, when it rained. I wanted a weatherproof phone mount that would hold my phone (which is inside its own armored case), allow me to be able to manipulate the phone without removing it from its case, and I wanted it to be easy to remove from the case when I stopped somewhere and wanted to take the phone inside. I wanted the phone to be powered up by the bike while I was riding, so the micro USB connector had to also be protected. I’m sure there are commercial versions of this, but I like to make my own stuff. Since I do a lot of projects, I always have odds and ends laying around, so the only thing I had to buy for this one was an 18” x 18” sheet of 1/8” ABS plastic from TAP Plastics, a piece of vinyl cloth from Hobby Lobby, and the miniature draw latches. You could do it with a 12” x 12” sheet, but I bought a big enough piece to also make a weatherproof box for a GPS. You could probably scavenge the vinyl cloth from something like the plastic bags that comforter sets are sold in, but I got a yard of it for four bucks; that’ll be enough for a lot of future projects.

The project was made using simple hand tools. I don’t use a saw to cut ABS sheet; it’s easier to use a tool called an Olfa knife, which deeply scores the plastic so you can cleanly snap it along the score line. The rest of the tools are things like hand files, a drill, an x-acto knife, a coping saw, sandpaper, etc. My most sophisticated tool is a small tap and die set, which I used to thread the base of the ball mount

I won’t go thru a step by step of building the box; there are photos of it under construction in the link to the photo album. The box was formed from the 1/8” ABS, and all the joints were solvent bonded and reinforced. I use SciGrip 2354, but solvent cements like Plastruct and Weld On work too. Solvent joints are very strong when done properly, and I’ve never had one fail on any of my projects. Where possible, the joints were sealed with outdoor clear silicone weatherproofing caulk. That’s actually overkill, since a properly done solvent joint shouldn’t leak, but I wanted to make sure the phone was protected. For the face frame, I glued a piece of the vinyl cloth to the back of the frame with E6000 cement, then drilled holes around the perimeter of the opening. The vinyl cloth was then sewn to the face frame for extra strength. Clear outdoor silicone caulk was then spread over the seam between the vinyl cloth and face frame to waterproof the seam.

The case opens from the bottom; this provides the most protection against rain. The bottom door has a rubber gasket that gets pulled tight against the base of the phone case when the draw latches are closed. The small square box attached to the door is a weatherhead box for the power cable. It provides an extra layer of weatherproofing, since now there isn’t a large hole at the bottom of the phone mount in order to allow the power cable to attach. The hole in the weatherhead box is just large enough to allow the power cable to enter.

The ball mount was made in my usual manner; a base cut from a piece of 1/4” thick, 1” wide hardware store aluminum stock, a 1/4” machine screw, a piece of 1/2” aluminum tubing, and a threaded 1” plastic ball from McMaster Carr. I think the threaded balls are something like a dollar apiece. They are completely compatible with the standard RAM sockets.

I can’t call the box 100 percent waterproof; if I submerge it, water can still enter the box through the tiny gap where the power cable passes into the weatherhead box. I could seal this, but then it would be more difficult to attach the power cable to the phone when I slid it into the box. As it stands now, though, I’m totally confident that the box can be put through a driving rainstorm and the phone will remain protected (I tested it in the shower). The phone can be manipulated while still inside the box, so it can still stay dry and protected if I have to make a call when I’m out in the rain (not while riding, of course).

If you’re an “I wonder if I can make it instead of buy it” sort of guy, like I am, maybe this will jump start your own project.

Here's the link to the rest of the photos: http://www.stromtrooper.com/members/41909-rcinnc-albums-homemade-weatherproof-cell-phone-mount.html
 

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