Steelie

Splodge together a phone mount made for a car dashboard and some Sugru and get a rock solid, detachable and posable smartphone mount.

Problem

The need to securely attach my iPhone to my wheelchair in an extremely secure manner.

Solution

The solution is to use the Steelie iPhone Mount and attach it to a wheelchair using Sugru.

Recipe

  1. You will need a Steelie, a phone, some Sugru, and a suitable place on your wheelchair to mount everything.

  2. Clean down the wheelchair display and the back of the phone with the wipe provided in the kit. Attach the magnet to the phone and hold firmly while it sets.

  3. Squidge a whole packet of Sugru around the base of the Steelie and press it to the display. Smooth the Sugru down and leave for 24 hours to set firm.

  4. I put my magnet off centre to give me the best angle to see both the phone and the chair display. The downside to this is that my phone will always slide back to portrait mode, because of gravity. I compensated with a small ledge for when I want landscape-phone, see step 4. You could choose to put your magnet dead-centre and this means you can have both landscape and portrait modes easily, but it will be less easy to ANGLE the phone (because of, erm, trigonometry) towards your face, as you can see in the pictures.

  5. So…optionally: model a small lip or ledge of Sugru.

  6. Bomb it around town!

More

What Is the Steelie iPhone Mount?

So - My new phone is actually less of a worry because I can use the voice control to phone for help even if it falls to the ground, but the old one – if it fell on the floor I would have to just yell at random passersby for assistance and hope they didn’t nick the phone! (No one nicked my phone. It’s ok. ) So getting a really secure mount was a massive priority for me.

Trying to find a reliable mounting system for my phone was proving to be annoyingly difficult. I went through so many different mounts with so many different problems, broadly:

  • too flimsy, made of plastic etc
  • weird mounting systems that didn’t really work, like tension bands with no tension
  • too complicated and fiddly so carers didn’t/couldn’t engage with it
  • mounting systems that seemed to work (only to see my freaking iPhone ping off and die under my chassis)
  • weird clamp systems that couldn’t be attached to my chair easily or at all
  • mounts too large to be stable (when you try to move around in your chair)
  • table mounts/holders so you couldn’t take your phone out with you
  • insanely expensive (one cost more than the phone!!)

But then I found this cool idea: the Steelie from Niteize. It’s basically a metal knob that you can attach to anything and a corresponding magnet which attaches to your phone. I’ve had one of these things sitting on the Omni screen on my wheelchair for ages and it’s been bouncing around over the cobbles of West Yorkshire without a hitch. I don’t think I can give it a higher bounce rating than that! Total cost less than £20 (inc the two packets of Sugru).

The really good thing about this is that it doesn’t get in the way of my Omniscreen and it doesn’t get in my way while I’m in (or getting in or out) of the chair. I don’t have to teach a new carer how to use it (it’s obvious), and it’s not got anything that can be broken off or that protrudes as you go through a doorframe etc. It’s not another piece of equipment to manage, is what I’m saying.

Steelie + Sugru = Love!

As you can see from the pictures I’ve used Sugru to attach the Steelie to my wheelchair just to be double trouble sure that my phone doesn’t go flying off as I’m crashing about the place. The stickers that come with the Steelie are pretty good, but mine were pulled off a few times by things that car drivers probably don’t usually contend with. The second time, my carer caught a sling loop around the fixing as they were sending the hoist up, and my actual (428lb) chair lifted off the ground for a moment before the sticky unstuck. Good going. Sheesh. But sticking it down with Sugru really does mean that that thing is not moving.