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by Patrick Lenz.
Original Post: Lightning Adapter for Elevation Dock
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I was one of the 12,521 backers of the original Elevation Dock on Kickstarter. When my docks finally shipped in early October, I had already been using my iPhone 5 for more than a week. Thus, turning the precision machined pieces of aluminium into paperweights.
On November 5, ElevationLab announced the availability of their Lightning Adapter for pre-order and I ordered two of them. The adapters, which still hover around delivery times of 2-3 weeks, shipped on November 20 and were delivered to my doorstep on Monday of this week, which actually isn’t too bad given they had to travel from Portland to rainy Germany during the Thanksgiving holidays.
The installation process is straightforward. You unscrew the base plate using one of the two included hex tools, rip out the 30-pin connector with its little circuit board and rubber cover, and screw the shiny, anodized red adapter into the dock in its place with the other hex tool.
Base plate without Lightning cable
As with all car mounts I’ve seen so far, the Lightning adapter doesn’t actually come with a Lightning connector (or cable for that matter). You have to re-purpose one of the spare cables you will likely have accumulated ever since you’ve started to notice in just how many places you had the luxury of charging your previous phone.
When you re-mount the base-plate into the dock, you have to pretty heavily bend the end of the Lightning cable to fit it in place. This is likely in part due to the fact that the cable isn’t bolted onto anything in the adapter itself. So in order to not yank out the cable when you lift the phone out of the dock, it actually has to be clamped into the base at a 90 degree angle.
Lightning connector fitted into Elevation Dock
After re-assembly of the dock, it was time to test how well it would hold up to the promise of one-handed operation. In the original Kickstarter pitch video, they rightfully mocked the dock Apple made for the iPhone back in the day with its tendency to lift from the table in its entirety whenever you tried to pick up your phone.
Long story short, even given its noticeable weight, the Elevation Dock has a similar problem with the friction built into the iPhone 5’s Lightning connector. Grabbing just the phone will lift the dock as a whole off the table and even rocking the phone will not get it out easily. A bit of a countermove of resting your pinky on the dock behind the phone itself and a slight wiggle is usually enough to separate the two, though.
While not ideal with an iPhone 5, the Elevation Dock is still a great accessory and I do appreciate ElevationLab’s efforts to make their original product survive the retirement of the 30-pin connector.