Bluetooth Clip

No matter the build quality or brand, the Bluetooth earphones don’t last long and I’m forced to buy another pair. A few pairs later and anyone will be fed up with the inevitable death of Bluetooth earphones, usually after a year or two. Don’t get me started on tiny disappearing earbuds.

By repairing what I own, I want to increase sustainability and reduce my impact on the environment in small incremental steps. Or least changing my habits to avoid or lessen planned obsolescence.

My thought process was to decouple Bluetooth from the earphones. Basically carry around a dongle where I could hot-swap AUX devices. There’s not much I can change about the mass production of either items. However, separating them at at ensures one lasts longer, if I can find a way to protect it from normal wear and tear.

Bought this WOCBUY Bluetooth receiver but it didn’t come with any kind of clip to attach to clothing, since its use case is more likely to be car-oriented. And I have the DIY-audacity to solve all my problems. You might be thinking:

Why doesn’t he just buy wired headphones and be done with it? Seems a bit excessive, no? ?

Well, that’s not how I operate at all and to know me is to know my love for tinkering.

Luckily, I had wire lying around from another project and borrowed a vice from the Toronto Tool Library. I could also 3D printed my solution but I wanted to have something in my hands ASAP to avoid any procrastination on my part.

Sketched out a few ideas for the clip. After a few tries, I decided to bend the wire and figure it out along the way. Using the measurements from my caliper & with some pliers, I carefully folded the wire at the marked points.

Once I was happy with the folds and initial fittings, the clip was popped into a toaster oven for about 30 minutes to soften the metal somewhat. From there, it was a bit easier to manipulate the wire into the needed shape.

Once the clip was closer to completion, I noticed the receiver was getting a bit scraped up when fitting it in so protection would have to be included. After a quick trip to the hardware store, and a helpful idea from a clerk, I added heat shrink tubing to the filed down clip. Had to cut them down into smaller segments to easily slip them unto the winding wire. Another quick trip to the oven and the clip is done!

Now with this clip, it’s easier to travel hands-free and avoid accidental presses in pockets and bags.

It’s not a masterpiece but it gets the job done. With all the planning I did, the ‘mechanism’ to secure the dongle didn’t become apparent until I sat there and saw the results.

And since I was fully prepared to start over with another version, the pressure to perfect my design was almost eliminated. Though now that I know a bit more about metal forming, version 2 of the Bluetooth clip is already brewing behind my eyelids ?

A quick video overview