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  1. #1
    Senior Member peteypk's Avatar
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    DIY Spreader-Bar Portable Device Holder Hammock Accessory…

    I don't know about you, but I guess you could call me a pseudo-tech junkie -- I find that lazing in my ENO DN hammock into the night-time affords me a bit of time to catch-up on movies and TV shows on my iPhone. Do you do this too?

    The trouble is, I hate that I have to hold my iPhone up, or futz with trying to prop it up, to watch something before I conk out for the night...… well, I think I have found a solution that works for me!

    A while ago, I came across a cheap lightweight aluminum telescoping easel at my office that no one was using (nor will ever use again). I grabbed it and set it in my cubicle in hopes to utilize it one day.



    Well, as I was sitting at my office cubicle yesterday, I turned and spied the easel tucked away in a corner and…… a-HA!!!

    I thought to myself…
    Why not take a single leg of the easel to create a telescoping spreader-bar? And then combine the two adjustable board-holders to use as clamps to hold my iPhone?

    So, I grabbed the easel, went back into my group's work area/lab, and took a few minutes to disassemble it. With a drill to punch out some aluminum rivets, a wrench, and a screwdriver, I pulled apart the easel. I took one leg with a board holder, remove the rubber foot from another leg, slid off the other board holder from another leg, added that board holder to first leg, and capped the end with the rubber foot. Then, I found some semi-soft foam with adhesive on one side, I cut to size, and adhered them to the board holders so they would provide a secure hold on my iPhone when clamped in…… and violà!!! (fyi: violà = French for "there it is")



    I couldn't wait to test it out when I got home!

    The workday ended…
    I commuted home…
    had dinner with the fam…
    played with the kids a bit...
    put the kiddos down for bed…
    had just enough daylight to hit my backyard…
    setup my ENO DN in the steel stand I got off craigslist…
    lay in the hammock…
    and then inserted my jury-rigged (improvised w/ materials on-hand) hammock spreader bar...

    Notice, I did not insert this spreader first before getting in the hammock -- I would be wary of making use of this particular spreader-bar for something like a "bridge" hammock without appropriate reinforcements to the hammock. I got in my hammock first, and then spread the bar with sufficient tension to hold a portable device and itself up, eliminating any potential of damaging my hammock.

    It actually works *better* than expected!

    The initial concern I had was how low or close the bar would end up being in relation to my body laying in my ENO DN hammock, and whether or not I'd end up having to cock my neck, or lay differently (uncomfortably), in order to view anything on my iPhone.


    (can you guess what i was watching?)

    To my pleasant surprise, the adjustable spreader-bar was able to be set plenty high enough with sufficient tension against the sides of my ENO DN -- because the DN is wider, my weight - plus - bar tension created a really nice, "walled" space for me to lay in. My iPhone is able to be securely and snugly clamped with a little bit of viewing angle wiggle room should I need it, and I can rotate the spreader-bar as needed to adjust the tilt angle. I even shimmied and wiggled and readjusted my positioning to see how it would hold, and it stayed in position just fine!

    Now, I can watch stuff on my iPhone hands-free and in comfort!






    I suppose there are a millio… er… ok… maybe a hundred-and-one different solutions, but I rather like mine! How would you solve it differently?

    I haven't tried the spreader-bar with my wife's tablet or any other gadget, but I suspect the principle applies and should work with most portable devices.



    THE DETAILS:
    ¾" light-weight aluminum tube, telescoping
    34" collapsed, 65" extended
    2 rubber-capped ends
    3 pieces of plastic hardware
    (1 for locking tube, 2 for clamps)
    The guesstimated weight is just about 1lb.

    Last edited by peteypk; 06-28-2012 at 09:36.

  2. #2
    Senior Member Fish<><'s Avatar
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    I like the solution to your problem. You have a very inventive mind. I like it, keep those ideas comin...

  3. #3
    Senior Member BrianWillan's Avatar
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    If you have a ridge line for you hammock, you could rig up a cradle for your phone/tablet in a similar manner. One of the local hangers just has such a device for his iPad that even has an adjustable tilt angle to it.

    Good use of an unused item.

    Cheers

    Brian
    Good judgment comes from experience, and often experience comes from bad judgment. - Unknown

    Eastern Great Lakes Trip Planning Announcement thread. Subscribe to keep informed on upcoming group hangs in this area.

  4. #4
    Senior Member DivaB's Avatar
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    It's a nice solution. I had my android for this past weekends hang and tried to read a book on it.......too many bugs and all kinds were attracted to the light and fluttering all over my bugnet. I will not be taking it back out in buggy seasons.

  5. #5
    Senior Member peteypk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fish<>< View Post
    I like the solution to your problem. You have a very inventive mind. I like it, keep those ideas comin...
    Thank ya!

    Quote Originally Posted by BrianWillan View Post
    If you have a ridge line for you hammock, you could rig up a cradle for your phone/tablet in a similar manner. One of the local hangers just has such a device for his iPad that even has an adjustable tilt angle to it.

    Good use of an unused item.
    Very cool, and thanks! I've thought about a ridgeline setup, but I'd have concerns with the device dangling and rocking back and forth as I fidgeted in the hammock.

  6. #6
    Senior Member peteypk's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DivaB View Post
    It's a nice solution. I had my android for this past weekends hang and tried to read a book on it.......too many bugs and all kinds were attracted to the light and fluttering all over my bugnet. I will not be taking it back out in buggy seasons.
    I hadn't thought too much about the bugs being attracted to the glow from the device, but isn't that what the bugnet is for? ;-p

  7. #7
    Senior Member old4hats's Avatar
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    Way to go. Most of the things that make life easy came from someone having an idea, trying it out, someone else tinkering with it/improving it, someone having a better idea, etc. Our hammocking community is a good example. Keep on thinking.

  8. #8
    Member
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    I could see using an adjustable hiking pole with the sharp end covered with one of those rubber knobs.
    "This is the greatest wisdom—to seek the kingdom of heaven through contempt of the world." - Thomas à Kempis

  9. #9
    MAD777's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by adam.skinner View Post
    I could see using an adjustable hiking pole with the sharp end covered with one of those rubber knobs.
    Let the design iterations begin! (I love HF)!
    Mike
    "Life is a Project!"

  10. #10
    Senior Member DivaB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by peteypk View Post
    I hadn't thought too much about the bugs being attracted to the glow from the device, but isn't that what the bugnet is for? ;-p
    Yea....but I found it more than a little unnerving hearing and seeing them all on that bugnet wanting in

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