I love my Switch, but there are a few design choices Nintendo made that I take issue with. One is the design of the dock. Why must it cover the screen? That’s scratched more than a few peoples’ Switch screens so far. So, discontent to accept a suboptimal solution, I went in search of a better one. Here’s what I found.
The kit requires you to totally dissect your Switch dock, removing two PCBs linked by a ribbon cable as well as a single LED on the end of a pair of wires. It’s a little dicey but doable, and the kit comes with all the special tools you will need to perform the transplant as well as extra screws in case you lose a few.
This was the initial result. The springy pad didn’t slide correctly and the dock didn’t charge the Switch or connect it to the TV. The bottom plate isn’t really designed to be removed once installed, but I pried it out with a knife and started over.
There we go! I had the damn thing in backwards, I just couldn’t tell because USB type C is reversible. I also had the ribbon cable plugged into the main PCB upside down. Having corrected both problems, the finished compact dock kit now works a treat.
If you’d like to play your Switch while docked, it’s possible to do it using a regular USB to USB type C adaptor. If you use the power supply that comes with your Switch, the Switch tablet screen will always turn off when docked.
But if you use a USB to USB C cable and wall adapter, the Switch detects it and complains that it’s not plugged into the TV (and that you may be using a non-branded power supply) but the screen will then remain on while docked.
This unfortunately means that the amount of power coming in isn’t sufficient to keep the Switch at 100% while playing. But it drains much more slowly, and it will recharge itself automatically when not in use without you having to do anything except leave it docked.
It now lives in the corner of my desk just below and to the right of my monitor. It’s a handy, fun little distraction for when I’m rendering video or waiting between posting articles. It’s about the most substantial “console” I have room or tolerance for in my life, and this custom dock kit really completes it imo.
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