There's a cable situation on my desk. I'll not go into the full extent of it now*, but I reckon I can fix some the problems with Lego. This Mother's Day, I filled a biscuit tin with grey and white bricks from my childhood stash when I was home visiting.
My first project was to build a dock for my iPhone. Nothing fancy, just something I could easily sit my phone in to let it charge while I'm working.
Building a structure to hold a phone isn't difficult, but keeping the stupid Lightning cable in place is a bit of a fiddle. Like lots of things from Apple, it's tiny, smooth and featureless - not the easiest when your materials are also tiny, smooth and featureless. No cheating with cable-ties or paper clips or any of that nonsense either.
Voila! My patented cable-holder. It works like a charm. The connector can't push down because of the little clasps, it can't pull out because the grey pegs lock the cable in place, and it can't rotate because it's held tight by part 4590**.
As an added bonus, the wee peg system forced me to leave the front of the dock open to save space. I think the exposed cable looks neat.
The rest of the dock is less inspired, but it'll do for now. I've jazzed it up with grass and flowers (and a parrot), but when I get over the novelty, I'll likely strip things back to a simple white block that matches my desk.
Hey look, I'm writing this post.
To take strain off of the Lightning connector, the phone fits snugly in a trench between the flat grey plates. The whole thing is also tilted slightly by a couple of 'feet' at the front so the backboard takes some of the weight. When I have another go I'll try to make the phone sit at more of an angle.
1. I'd like to lose 1 brick's worth of height. This might not be possible because of the size of the Lightning connector, but I think a flatter dock would look better.
2. The front is a little busy because I used a ton of flat white bricks to hold my cable-holder together. I bet I could simplify this with another go.
3. I need more flat plates for the top. I know I've got tons of these back home but I forgot to bring them with me. Right now I'm compromising by filling the gaps at the back with four studs and they drive me insane.
4. As most of this Lego is 20+ years old, it's a little grubby. The white bricks in particular don't look great (they've yellowed - some worse than others). I guess I could buy more or rebuild in grey or black or something.
5. After Googling for 'Lego iPhone dock' I found this. It's similar to my dock (but nicer) and it makes me jealous. Mine'll be prettier when I've got a better selection of bricks.
Writing 600 words on this stupid thing is maybe a little much, but I'm trying to break a spell of writer's block so even if nobody reads this, I feel better for having written it. If you did read this, um, thanks.
Next up... USB cables.
* ...but I might later.
** Brick 4590 took a long time to identify for writing this post. How the hell do you Google for a specific, weirdly shaped Lego brick? You Google for 'LEGO Plate 1 x 4 Offset', that's what you Google for.
UPDATE ON 18th Nov 2015: I've discovered that someone made a .lxf file (a digital version of a LEGO construction) for my iPhone dock that's more-or-less accurate. Cheers momijis200, whoever you are.
Go: view / download the file on the LEGO Digital Designer page if you want to build your own.