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Designing 3d printed phone cases with integrated usb peripherals (wifi, bluetooth?) + LiPo battery

Added by Roger Morris 5 months ago

Hi all,

A problem that I would like to address and find solutions to is the lack of ergonomics/practicality when using USB OTG wifi (bluetooth in the future?) and the increased energy required to operate in that manor.

A possible solution to both of these problems could be a 3d printed case designed specifically for the phones that are running replicant.The case would have the usb peripherals within it and would utilize specific, tidy wiring to connect them to the phone while drawing power from an ancillary lipo. It could be made to be easily 3d printed with easy to source/assemble circuitry.

There could be a 9-12mm deep compartment in the case where a 2000-4000mah lipo battery with accompanying charge/distribution circuitry would be housed in addition to a specific compartment intended to tightly hold usb peripherals. This would likely (at least) double the thickness of the the phone.The technoethical and thinkpenguin wifi adapters are 8.5mm thick alone. Their plastic casings could be removed to conserve a few mm of space. The galaxy s3 is 8.6mm thick and the galaxy note 2 is 9.4mm thick. I personally do not mind a device with around 20mm thickness but it could likely bother others.

I have seen various cables designed to enable USB OTG functionality while simultaneously charging the internal battery of devices from external power sources. Consider:
https://electronics.stackexchange.com/questions/34741/can-an-android-tablet-serve-as-usb-host-and-be-charged-simultaneously-through-a
http://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Cable-to-Use-OTG-and-Simultaneously-Charge-the/

Example of internal circuitry:

LiPo: https://www.adafruit.com/product/328
Charge/Distribution: https://www.adafruit.com/product/2465

I'm going to be trying something like this on my s3 so let me know if this interests you.


Replies (2)

RE: Designing 3d printed phone cases with integrated usb peripherals (wifi, bluetooth?) + LiPo battery - Added by Roger Morris 5 months ago

Here are some photos of an initial design for the case. The modified usb otg cable would plug into the phone and be threaded through the upper compartment into the lower compartment to connect to all the circuitry.

casephoto1.png View (42.9 KB)

casephoto2.png View (50.7 KB)

casephoto3.png View (65.5 KB)

casephoto4.png View (28.4 KB)

casephoto5.png View (31.3 KB)

RE: Designing 3d printed phone cases with integrated usb peripherals (wifi, bluetooth?) + LiPo battery - Added by Finn Ryan 5 months ago

This is definitely something I'd be interested in. I currently use an S2, and a while ago I had an idea like this to put the nano wifi dongle internals inside a modified phone case. I couldn't come up with a solution with my limited experience; I was also trying to figure out a way of including hardware switches for microphones and camera.

The extra thickness of an external battery would be an offput to me, but there could be a version that just makes the extra room for the wifi dongle internals.

I'd be very interested to hear your results.

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