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DIY – Nexus 5 Qi Magnetic Car Charging

Qi is one of two main wireless charging standards. Qi support is on the LG made Nexus 4, Nexus 5. The 2013 Nexus 7 also includes Qi support.

The concept of wireless charging is a simple one. Plug in a pad or plate of some sort, and simply lay your device on top of it, and using the power of induction it will charge. It’s amazingly convenient and something that I won’t do without in any devices that I buy in the future.

One area of my life that i think would also be improved with the use of wireless charging would be my car, and with the price of Qi charging mats/plates/disks/orbs… being at an all time low i thought i would investigate.

Looking around amazon, eBay and such like i found myself sift through the 100’s Qi chargers but out of the mist i came across this two examples of what could work for me.

Qi Grip
Qi Charging with side gripping arms

Qi Charging with suction cups
Qi Charging with suction cups


They both offer Qi wireless charging and both looked usable to a degree, but why would I want wireless charging if i still needed to mess around mounting my phone. I then thought about the official nexus 4 charger I have that has inbuilt magnets so the phone would stick and alight right for charging, but this would only work without a case the magnets aren’t strong though to work though even my SPIGEN slim ultra fit case. Only option would be to make something work not only for Qi charging but would magnetically hold the phone in place.


I opted to order a cheap £15 disk style charger and a set of 8mm x 1mm N35 magnets with 3M self adhesive tape on back. One thing that might not work is the gap between the Qi charging coil and the phone, from testing I’ve found 3mm to be its most working distance so hopefully adding 2mm worth of magnets won’t affect the charging capability.


Qi Disk
Qi Charging Pad

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 15.34.55
8mm x 1mm


For best effect i opted to attach 6 magnets in a hexagonal arrangement to give best magnetic hold vs interfering with the induction charging and to stop movement of the phone when turning around corners. 


Hexagonal arrangement on Qi charger.
Hexagonal arrangement on Qi charger.

Same hexagonal arrangement as the charger.


Tip: Place the case on top of the charger and the magnets will find their own place, then just press firmly to stick.


Once you have both sets of magnets stuck down your done. As you can see from the next picture the gap between the charger and case isn’t much but the neodymium magnets I’m using are more than able to hold together.


Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 15.42.21
1mm air gap and 1mm gap inside the case.

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 15.49.50
Back of the case and charging plate.


Then all that’s needed it to stick the charger on to an empty area of your car dash or could adapt a car charger with suction mount to add the ability to rotate the charger 90 degrees for landscape.


Pro Tip: Arrange the magnets in an octagonal arrangement you will gain the option to have the phone both portrait and landscape. (Found this out after i had stuck mine down doh!)

Screen Shot 2014-04-24 at 16.27.51


2 thoughts on “DIY – Nexus 5 Qi Magnetic Car Charging

  1. The 3m tape they came with seems to be more then enough to keep them stuck. I was thinking at the time I could apply a thin layer of clear glue to help but didn’t bother in the end.

  2. did you have to secure the magnets to the charger? Or do they stick well enough where it’s not an issue?

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