Fixing the Samsung
Galaxy Tab Stand

Tablet stand   Lift tablet off

So I have a Samsung "Galaxy Tab 2 10.1" tablet. It's nice, overall, but after a while I noticed it doesn't sleep well. Fully charged, you can use for hours at a time. But if you set it down asleep, and pick it up the next day, the battery is half empty. I mostly use the tablet on a nightstand for reading, and plugging it into the charging cable before going to sleep was annoying. So it was time to find a convenient dock to set it on and keep it charged.

The first dock I tried, Samsung's, was terrible. First, the tablet didn't seat fully in the slot, so it wobbled from side to side. That can't be good for the connectors. Second, it was so light that picking the tablet up off the stand became a two-hand affair; one to hold the dock down, the other to lift the tablet off of it. Clumsy. It went back.

The next dock I tried was a generic no-name model. At least the tablet rests securely on it, but it still had the issue with being so light you had to hold it down to lift the tablet off. It also has a power indicator light. Normally these are helpful. But by your bedside, an innocous little power indicator turns turns into a blinding searchlight in the middle of the night when your eyes are dark-adapted.

Fixing it.

Rather than continuing to shop for docks, I figured the generic dock was fixable. It's easily opened up by prying out the rubber feet on the bottom; you'll find screws hidden underneath them.

First, the indicator light. I spliced a switch in the a wire connecting the LED. Rather than just disconnecting the LED, I added a resister so the "off" position is just really dim. To get it as dim as possible, I went all the way to the back of the resistor book - a mega-ohm. (Yes, the best solution would be to add a photocell and have the brightness adjust automatically. I didn't have time to get that working.)

Switch install

The next issue was the weight. The manufacturer made a pathetic attempt to add weight with that little chunk of metal screwed on the inside. It maybe adds about as much weight as a nickle. Useless. In order to add some serious heft, I found some 3/16" lead wire in the fishing section of a sporting goods store. By bending it into shape with pliers (lead is very ductile) and tacking it down with foam mounting tape, I was able to stuff it full of heavy metal. Problem solved!

Lead wire  Lead wire in stand

Finished stand