Phone Mount @ the Front of Console (Good for Ubering)

Discussion in 'Prius v Accessories and Modifications' started by gromittoo, Jul 20, 2021.

  1. gromittoo

    gromittoo Member

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    I have been doing Uber + Lyft + Doordash since 2017 when I purchased my 2013 Prius V two. One of the most important things as RideShare driver needs is a good phone mount. Most drivers use one of the following:

    1) A suction cup mount on the windshield.
    This option had two problems for me:
    - The first is that I may need to touch the screen to either accept or reject a ride request. It is very hard to accurately hit a button on the screen, if the car is moving. You only have 6 seconds to make a decision, so pulling over is not an option.
    - The second is more serious. I wear Bi-focals. In order to see the screen in focus, I would need to tilt my head back, taking my eyes 100% off the road. Not an option.​

    2) A mount that clips to the air vents.
    This option is problematic for any car that uses the middle of the dashboard for the instrument cluster and ventilation controls. These mounts don't hold the phone still enough for rideshare. It is OK to have your phone swing like a pendulum on curves if you are only using it for directions or music.
    3) A mount that sits on the top of the dashboard.
    This mount does not work because the dashboard is too far away. The seat-belt would prevent me from reaching the phone, when a new request comes in.
    What I wanted was to mount the phone between the end of the Console, and the AC controls. It took me a month of driving before I had a workable solution. My driver rating got really bad because I kept picking up my phone from the top of the console.

    The flat surface on the front of the Console on a Prius V is slanted backwards. This means you would need a mount that holds the phone at least 180 degrees from level. A dashboard top mount is designed to hold the phone 90 degrees off of the flat surface. A "gooseneck" style might solve the 180 degree problem, but they don't hold the phone steady enough.

    This is what I ultimately wanted:
    Finished01.jpg

    I eventually found what I needed to solve the 180 degree problem. Home Depot sells metal soap dishes that are designed to be mounted on a shower wall. The particular model they sell is flat enough that a Dashboard top mount can stick to it. This solves the 1st 90 degrees, and the mount solves the 2nd 90 degrees. They come in chrome, Almond or white. Chrome is a bad idea since sunlight will hit it and blind me. I chose white:

    Franklin Brass Futura Wall-Mounted Soap Dish in Chrome-D2406PC - The Home Depot
    SoapDish.JPG

    Here is a photo from my 2013. Yes the console needs a bath.
    001_MountInOldPriusV.jpg

    So now that I have a 2017 Prius V four, I need to add the same phone mount to that car. I took photos. Here is what I needed for my mount:
    - Futura Wall-Mounted Soap Dish in white from Home Depot.
    - qty:2 #10-32 bolts about an inch or so long
    - qty:2 #10-32 Nuts (Not self locking nuts!)
    - qty:4 Washers for #10 bolts
    - qty:2 Lock washers (optional, I did not use them)
    - SCOSCHE MAGWSM2 MagicMount Universal Magnetic Suction Cup Mount Holder for Mobile Devices (Amazon)​

    OK the first step is to remove the cupholder. This does not require any tools. While sitting in the drivers seat, grab the right side of the cupholder assembly, and give it some wiggling pressure. It should pop off pretty easily. Below is a picture from my old car, showing the cupholder removed. There is a wire that connects to the "EV + ECO + POWER" buttons. If you want to disconnect it, it comes off by pressing a small lever on the back of the connector.

    CupholderRemoved.jpg

    Next you need to mark where to drill the hole for the bolts. The left hole is 2 inches from the left outside of the console. The right hole is one inch to the right of the left hole. Both holes are 3/4 of an inch below the outside of the top lip. You can eyeball most of the dimensions although the distance between the holes is more critical than the rest. Also, you want the two holes to be close to level with each other.


    MarkHoles.jpg

    Next, you want to drill the holes for the bolts. I started with 1/8 inch, and then made them larger with a 7/32 inch bit. Don't worry about how the other side will look, the soap dish will cover the holes. I forgot to take a picture of just the holes.

    DrilledHoles.jpg

    The next step is to assemble the soap dish + soap dish bracket + bolts. I used regular washers between the bolt head and the bracket. If I had the correct size lock washers, I would have used them instead. I did not have any issue tightening things up in a later step.

    20210720_132634.jpg

    The next step is to attach the soap dish bracket to the soap dish. Note that the tiny set screw is what holds the dish to the bracket. The bolts need to be in place when the set screw is tightened. You cannot adjust this set-screw once the the whole assembly is attached to the console.

    SetScrew.jpg

    OK, now we can mount it:
    Mount01.jpg

    Mount02.jpg

    Mount03.jpg

    Next we plug the switch back in, and replace the cupholder + cover.

    ReplaceCover.jpg

    Install Suction Cup Magnetic Mount:

    SuctionMount.jpg

    Two Photos of my phone in the new magnetic mount: Finished01.jpg

    This is right where I want the phone. I can glance down through the bifocal part of my glasses. My head does not have to move, and my eyes do not have to refocus. And because my forearm is steadied by the console, I can press the "Accept" vs "Cancel" button without even looking at the phone!

    Finished02.jpg
     
    #1 gromittoo, Jul 20, 2021
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2021
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  2. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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  3. gromittoo

    gromittoo Member

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    That works if you are left handed.

    I really prefer the location at the end of the console for two major reasons:

    1) I wear bifocals. I cannot clearly focus on a phone screen, unless it is in the magnified lower portion of the glasses. This means the phone must be located below the the horizontal line of the bottom of the windsheild. My left eye is also the weaker one (even after cateract surgery).

    2) There are a lot of functions that I do without looking at the screen. A common example is to look up the passenger's destination after I already started the ride. To do that, I need a very steady hand to navigate beween apps and menus. Since my right forearm is laying on the top of the console, I can press buttons on the screen reliably, even when the car goes over a bump WITHOUT TAKING MY EYES OFF THE ROAD!​
     
  4. Air_Boss

    Air_Boss Senior Member

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    I'm not left handed, nor am I ambidextrous.

    The A-pillar location also encourages a full left-right mirror, road, and instrument scan, not fixating on the center stack.
     
  5. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Since you’re OK with a quick release magnet mount setup, I’ll suggest a variation to your setup:


    Since phone power/charging is important to a person using their phone all day, this kind of mount is very beneficial. Plus it’s so cheap I had no issues with unscrewing the upper magnetic phone mount section from the (less effective) suction cup bottom and screwing it back on to another style mount (CD mount) to work with my particular setup. You would screw it on to your armrest mount. The mags are VERY strong so it’s not going to fall off in day-to-day operation and sliding it down onto the power cable is very intuitive and smooth. Also, when (not if) the cable goes bad, it can be replaced.
     
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  6. gromittoo

    gromittoo Member

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    For some reason, Amazon Links don't show up for me. I googled: B07BQZM6XS, and see the Magnetic Mounting + Magnetic Charging mount on Amazon.

    Magnetic Charging is something I considered, but I don't like to let my phone charge above 80%. There is another feature: I can hang a plastic waste bag from the soap dish.

    I get significantly longer life out of my Cell Phone battery as a result of keepping it charged at between 40% and 80%. I have an app on my phone that chimes when I reach 80% (and every change above 80%). If it is conveneint, I unplug the phone, for a while. It would be harder to "turn off" the magnetic charging, rather than a simple unplug.

    All that said, I have to remember to plug it back in when it drops to 40%. I forgot Saturday night, and I reached 0%, which was embarassing. No passengers in the car, but it took me longer to pick up the next passenger.
     
  7. gromittoo

    gromittoo Member

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    Sounds like a very reasonable justification for the A-Pillar, but it would not work for me, as I outlined above.

    I went to UPS driver school. "To clear an intersection", I am programmed to:
    1) Check Left + Right Mirrors
    2) Look Left + then Right + then Left again.
    3) Check my side Mirrors again (anybody trying to pass my UPS truck?)​

    It drives my family crazy, and I am sure some passengers think I am nut too. I look like a hyperactive bird while I do it. I can't get the "Fives and Tens" out of my system. I have been told I bleed brown. I reach with my left hand to release / set the non-existant hand brake; I Pull in + Push out my non-existant truck mirrors. I also like my phone location, because it is roughly where the UPS "DIAD" sits in the truck.

    So I am a little crazy. However, this "To Clear an Intersection" from the 10 point commentary saved me from getting T-boned recently when a driver on the cross street was speeding through his red light.
     
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  8. fotomoto

    fotomoto Senior Member

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    Look closer. It’s a mag mount with a (wired) charging connector for apple (swap out cable for android; small screwdriver needed). If you didn’t want to charge, you’d (obviously) not slide it all the way down completely to connect.
     
  9. gromittoo

    gromittoo Member

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    That iBolt mount certainly would work, and it costs half as much as the SCOSCHE MAGWSM2 mount that I bought. I do have to say that the SCOSCHE mount's suction cup has not given me almost no trouble. I do need to replace my 2015 vintage phone in the near future. Not having holes in the soap dish means I can try other mounts.

    I did not mention that I have android, and I use a cable with a right angle plug on the end. This allows the bottom of the phone to be really close to the end of the console.
     
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