1. futurecode's Avatar
    Hey guys. Got a little MacGyverish with my Otterbox a couple months back and since its working out splendidly I thought I would drop it on here in hopes that in may help a fellow frustrated Otterbox owner.

    I always loved the Otterbox Defender series case for the iphone. Im not a stickler for origonal form factor and love the protection it provided. I mean, Im not a construction worker, military personnel, or a hit man, so its not like my 3Gs is seeing a ton of rugged action, but I paid*5 bills for it and I'd rather be safe then sorry. Only one thing was keeping me from pulling the trigger on the case, that fricken oil slick effect that the plastic cover on the Otterbox Defender series produced. It was a deal breaker. I couldn't stand it for the life of me, to ruin the beautiful screen images the iphone produced was a sin so I just chugged along with my incipio case.

    One day a friend stopped into my studio with his 3Gs snuggled inside a Otterbox Defender case and we got to chatting about it and after I told him my hate for the oil slick problem and told me about the baby powder trick and how well it worked. Well, that was all I needed to hear and jumped on amazon and ordered away.

    Well, everything was peachy with the for a bit with the baby powder trick, but it only lasted so long and idea of that fine powder floating around in there and potentially getting under the glass was no good, and that is not mentioning the lost responsiveness the plastic cover gave. So, I got to brainstorming and this is what I came up with.

    Remove the Plastic screen. I liked the idea of the case being fully enclosed but to be honest, I have never had an issue with the screen being exposed, that thing is durable and have never seen the use for screen covers especially with the oleophobic covering on the 3Gs. Thing is though, once you removed the plastic screen you are left with a pretty big gap between the hard plastic shell of the case the screen which allows tons of debris to get inside the case and could cause scratches or worse. So I got to thinking, there has to be some way to pad the outer (or inner should I say?) rim*of the case to prevent debris from getting in. Well, after some trial and error, I think I came up with the perfect combination.


    Items Needed List:


    Otterbox Defender (duh!)
    Exacto knife (I used a scalpel but an exacto knife should suffice)
    Double Sided Tape
    Foam Socket Outlet Seal
    Tweezers
    Black Sharpie Marker
    Patience and a semi steady hand
    the understanding that if you try this and jack up your case or phone I'm not at fault!


    With the case open and the phone removed, First make a straight cut in the clear plastic cover of the case underneath the openings for the phone speaker and the light sensors (I figured this provided important protection and should be left). Once that cut was made I removed what was left of the clear plastic cover (Push out from the outside of the case but start from the bottom {by the home button} so you can flex back the plastic piece you are removing where you made your cut as to not peel up the section that covers the ear speaker and light sensors in case you didnt make a clean cut). You should be left with some sticky glue/tape like stuff on the inner rim of the case where the clear plastic cover touched the actual case. I just removed that by rubbing, balling, and peeling off with my finger. You should see a distinct indented area where the clear plastic cover part sat, that is where to lay the foam pieces. I then measured the inside of the case for the length and thickness of the foam pieces (forgot to save the measurements, sorry, should be easy enough to measure for you. Just remembers to leave room on each piece to accommodate for the corners as not to overlap pieces) Use the exacto knife (Be careful, Sharp stuff!) to make your cuts in the foam to match the measurements taken from the case. Once you have the pieces cut correctly (lay them where you think they should go to be sure as you dont want any gaps in the corners as to let debris and moisture in) Cut corresponding size pieces of double sided tape (Use the tweezers as these are pretty thin). Apply then tape to matching pieces of foam using the tweezers. Secure the piece of foam with tape attached to the proper section of rim on the case (make sure to apply decent pressure to secure). Use the exacto knife (again, be cageful, sharp stuff!) to trim any excess foam and/or tape that may be protruding. Once you have everything trimmed and to your liking color the viewable edge of the foam black with your sharpie marker. Let the colored foam sit for a bit (I waited 30 minutes) for the sharpie to dry. Insert phone into front part of case and make sure the phone is seated all the way down into the front part of the case then apply the back part of the phone( It was a bit tight the first time I put the back on, but the foam compresses to the proper thickness over time) assemble the rest of your case. Take a look and make any adjustments or trims to your liking. Done!


    You should now have a Otterbox Defender with about the same amount of protection (dust and moisture {on mine} does not penetrate the foam), but with that beautiful screen and sexy responsiveness.


    Ive dropped some pictures below to give you an idea of what the final product looks like, sorry for no procedural shots, never thought about it when I was making it!



















    Last edited by futurecode; 01-02-2010 at 08:41 PM.
    01-02-2010 08:27 PM
  2. cobra302's Avatar
    Very nice. The screen protector that's built in was always one of the reasons I didn't like the case itself.
    01-02-2010 08:37 PM
  3. scoutermike's Avatar
    What do you mean about the "oil slick"? I am new to the iPhone and am considering the Otterbox.

    Mike
    01-03-2010 11:07 AM
  4. Brickman's Avatar
    Great Job futurecode!!!

    I love it when people DIY it for their particular needs. That was a great solution for your need/"problem".

    I love my Otterbox as well. Unfortunately I AM one of those who needs the extra protection of the screen protector. I am in Construction and have three teenagers who are VERY active in school sports. When I first got the Otterbox I could not get rid of the "oil slick" no matter what I did! Until, I added am anti-glare screen protector to my iPhone first before I put it in the Otterbox. Now these are not the thin/flimsy ones. These are the thick anti-glare ones in the Apple Store or at the TiPB Store. They are very easy to put on since they are so thick. No air bubbles at all. I have absolutely NO "oil slick" look now! My screen stay perfect all the time.

    I do not offer this to diminish your solution, but only to offer it to those who feel like they still need the extra protect of the screen protector.

    Anyway, GREAT job!!

    What do you mean about the "oil slick"? I am new to the iPhone and am considering the Otterbox.

    Mike
    When you first put your iPhone in the Otterbox Defender case, it will look as though there is water or oil in between the Otterbox Scrren protector and your iPhone's screen. This is only visable when the screen is off. It usually disappears when the screen is "lit up" or on. It does not interfer with performance but it is distracting.
    01-03-2010 02:38 PM
  5. futurecode's Avatar
    Thanks for the kudos brickman.

    Actually, if forgot to mention the anti glare screen protector. I did use that for time as a solution to the oil slick issue, but two things irked me about it. I personally had even worse reduced responiveness with the anti glare screen under the clear screen protector, especcially towards the corners, and the second thing was how those anti glare screens make the iPhones dissplay look. I hate "dirty/pixelated" look those anti glares have, bothered me just as much as the oil slick. The quality of the screen is paramount to me. Glad it works well for you though.
    01-03-2010 03:08 PM
  6. cobra302's Avatar
    well I ended up getting the otterbox and sure enough I've got the screen problem. I'm using the baby powder trick and it's working pretty well. But the screen just doesent seem as responsive thru the front plastic. I'm thinking of taking it off. I'm just not 100 percent sure yet.
    02-10-2010 09:02 PM
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