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Subtle Phone Mount


I'm not a fan of the windshield-mounts that block vision or the long gooseneck mounts that takes my eyes away from the road so I tried a bunch of alternatives.

#1   Amazon This was used on another car and actually fit the stock Alpine head unit (INE-S920HD) very securely. Unfortunately, the large bottom bulge blocks the top of the Alpine's display. It's functionally okay since the top of the stereo's screen is not critical but it still bugged me. (This is actually a great mount and I now use it when traveling in rental cars.)

#2   Amazon This one had a thin bottom but the top thumbscrew would not clear the dash. Replacing it with an M6 set screw allowed it to fit. The mount worked well in another car but with the Alpine, I could not crank it tight enough without feeling like something expensive was about to snap. Here's a pic of the replacement set screw partially and all-the-way in: 


#3   Amazon I got this at the same time as #2; the thumbscrew was also replaced with an M6 setscrew but the screw hump still blocked a tiny bit of the Alpine's screen. I wanted to like #3 but then I noticed the dangling charging cord would obscure my view of the stereo screen--this shouldn't be a big deal but it really started to bug me.

#4   Amazon This mount is pretty good--almost as secure as #1 and just as easy to tighten but the dangling charger cord really started taunting me.

#5 My winner is a combination of two mounts and the combination does not block my view of the stereo (although it does partially block the passenger's view), is very secure and sturdy, is relatively inexpensive (excluding the costs of my experiments), and has no dangling cords in front of the Alpine.

  • The Base is from this   Amazon product.
  • The Cradle is from #2 above ( Amazon). (#3 also fits this base--I did not try the others.)
  • The Total Amazon Prime cost was $22.

Installing the Base

The mounting plate from the  Amazon base is slightly larger than the space on the radio fascia. (Because I used another cradle, I discarded the magnetic holder that came with this base.)

The mounting plate is pre-scored so with the help from some pliers (sheet metal vice grips work well), bend either the top or bottom portion off (I preferred taking the top side off). The plastic snaps apart at the scoring.

Optional but suggested: The radio fascia is almost-but-not-quite flat. Using a small plier, I slowly bent the corresponding corner so it was curved-in just a bit to match the curvature of the radio fascia. The resulting bend is very slight but enough to make the two surfaces mate just a tiny bit better.

Remove the protective-paper from the preinstalled double-sided tape, stick the base on the fascia trim, and attach the phone cradle to the ball. I also used a black charging cable and wedged it between the leather and the lower edge of the fascia–there's enough room for my average sized cable to be held in snuggly.  Using nylon interior trim tools, it’s easy to push the cable in further to be mostly out of sight.

Really Low Profile Lightning Cables

In a final act of obsessiveness, I ordered another low-profile right angle lightning plug. The one on the right is a typical standard right-angle cable from Amazon. The left one is much more compact. The cable tucks in the space between the leather and plastic fascia–it's hidden & secured in place well. It's a bit pricey at $25: Right-Angle Lightning Cable | Lilitab

And here’s the finsihed mount.

The original version of this article appeared on LotusTalk and was written by the founder of HethelSport.

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