4

How can I maximize the life of a phone and minimize my total cost over the lifetime of the device while factoring in malicious cats?

My wife's Moto X4 is repeatedly knocked off her nightstand/bed by our cat, and have gone through several cables where the metal connector on the USB-C side of the cable gets bent at about a 45 Degree angle, the internal connections get broken, and the cable no longer works. Are there any recommendations on how to prevent this from happening?

I did see a similar post referencing micro-usb connections, but since this isn't something that I can simply adjust unplugging behavior (we've tried, the cat doesn't learn very quickly)

Side View of damaged USB-C Cable

Front view of damaged USB-C Cable

  • Put the phone into the nightstand drawer? – Stan Jun 6 at 13:44
  • @Stan I think when it is in the nightstand drawer, my wife doesn't hear the alarm in the morning. – Cinderhaze Jun 6 at 15:24
  • … with the drawer open. – Stan Jun 8 at 0:30
7

Hang the phone up so it can't be knocked down.

Here's a short YouTube video with very simple instructions.

You cut the top of an empty plastic bottle (from lotion, shampoo, household cleaners or whatever) in a way that you can fit your phone inside and have a tab on top that fits between your wall socket and your charger.

When you charge your phone, first pin the phone hanger to the wall socket with your charger. Then put your phone inside so the cable faces up! Most pictures show the phone sitting inside the hanger upright, which bends the cable if it connects at the bottom.

Image source

In this image you see that the bottle should be longer than the phone. If it had been just a little longer, the phone would fit inside without leaning against the charger and bending the cable at that end.

  • This is brilliant; a true life hack – Caius Jard Jun 4 at 3:18
  • In our case, the outlet is across the divide next to the bed, and it is desirable to have it reachable from the bed. We may be able to fashion something similar to this that can hang off of the nightstand drawer knob, or from between the mattress/boxspring – Cinderhaze Jun 4 at 14:48
  • 1
    @Cinderhaze This might mute the alarm sound somewhat. Be sure to put the phone in the container with the speaker at the top in order to be heard better. – Stan Jun 13 at 15:06
3

Get a wireless charging case that fits the phone (similar to the one pictured below). This will allow you to protect the phone while also charging it wirelessly so that if it gets knocked, the connector will remain undamaged.

Charging case

  • 2
    On the plus side, wireless chargers are great for charging more slowly which may help extend battery life and keep temps down. A slight problem with this suggestion is that if the cat knocks it off early on in the night it may not be fully charged in the morning – Caius Jard Jun 4 at 3:20
  • A similar solution would be to use some kind of magnetic USB-C cable. Somehting like this. There are many different approaches from various manufacturers. The problem about the charging being interrupted by the cat still remains though. – Alex Jun 5 at 6:32
  • @alex - We did end up purchasing a magnetic USB-C cable, and the cat yanked on the cord and it just popped out of the phone (no phone flying off the bed), but if the cat were to paw the phone, it would probably still fall - we may try to incorporate Elmy's idea above to house the phone, with the magnetic cable to allow it to pop off if it falls or is yanked – Cinderhaze Jun 5 at 13:24
  • The phone cited doesn't have built-in wireless charging, but many phones do and wouldn't require the added case, just the charging base. – Allison C Jun 19 at 20:08
2

Use a magnetic USB-C connector, like the one in the image. However, the phone itself may still crack if it is repeatedly knocked off. Perhaps the cable / connector was what kept your phone safe until now - just saying.

enter image description here

1

I had a similar problem except it was me knocking it off.. once upon a time I had tied a loop in the charger lead near to the USB c end, and would hang the loop onto the wall charger itself, the phone dangling from its charger connector and hanging in mid air

Now that we’ve replaced the bedside table with a bigger one that makes it difficult to get to the outlet I just plug the phone in and lower it down onto the floor at the side of the cabinet, leaving the wire to run over the top of the table. When retrieving the phone I pick it up by the wire, like hauling in a fishing net

All in the simplest life hack I can recommend is to put the phone on the floor (it can’t fall any further!) somewhere it won’t be trodden on during a bleary eyed mid-night trip to the bathroom

0

Interestingly, if you've ever seen the product called "Sugru" - they specifically have this as one of the suggested uses for the product. I've used it for this purpose myself and it works well.

You use it to form a reinforcing sleeve around the plug end of the cable, forcing any bend in the cable to take place over a larger diameter and therefore be less damaging.

  • The problem is not the cable bend having damage, but the place where the metal plug itself connects into the rigid 'block' at the end of the cable - I'll see if I can add a picture to my question when I get home – Cinderhaze Jun 4 at 14:46
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    I see. Yes, this is a completely different problem. – Lefty Jun 4 at 22:09
-1

Avoiding the problem is the first and most effective hack.

Put the phone in a cup to amplify the volume; then, put the cup into the half-open nightstand drawer beside your wife for the night.

Benefit: You don't even have to remove the storage cup when your wife removes the phone for the day.

Benefit: Any glow from the phone won't be visible to disturb healthy sleeping illumination.

Benefit: It can't be pulled, kicked, or pushed off the top of the nightstand by your service animal. It's stable unless there's a catastrophic natural disaster.

Benefit: Nothing more to buy or make.

Benefit: It works for your problem.

Good luck.

  • Sorry, but I always find these answers very useless. If im having a kid by surprise I dont want to hear that I should've used a condom, I know that, but I want all the info I need from now on – Mario Garcia Jun 13 at 14:30
  • @MarioGarcia Sorry, but your comment has astonishing logic using a remarkable example. If avoiding the known consequences of a situation isn't useful, I'm sure you'll enjoy your large family. : ) In my experience, closing the barn door after the horse has bolted is equally useless. But, you know that. Notice that the question asks how to protect the piece from damage. But, you know that. – Stan Jun 13 at 15:01

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