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AppleToTheCore.me

I'm a total Apple addict, as you might tell.

DIY iPod Dock

I need an iPod dock. I have the Apple Universal Dock for home, but I would like to have one on my desk at work. I can’t see myself shelling out another $40 for one. Sounds like build time...

I started with an idea. I used Google SketchUp to chalk up a prototype.

ipod_dock

ipod_dock_exploded

Supplies:

First I had to decide if the dock was going to simply charge the iPod, or sync and charge. This will determine what parts I’ll need.

I found a cheap on-the-go charger on the clearance rack at CompUSA for $2.

diyipoddock100_4141

If the dock is going to just charge the IPod, then this dock connector would be perfect.

diyipoddock100_4142

If I want the dock to sync and charge, then I’ll have to cut up an iPod cable. In this case, an old Firewire/USB cable from a 4G iPod.

diyipoddock100_4145

Dock Insert. Apple.com has a 3 pack for $9. I found them on clearance at CompUSA for $5. If you have a newer iPod, you can use the one that shipped with it.

diyipoddock100_4144

Wooden box: 99 cents at the craft store. I all need is the top.

diyipoddock100_4143

Balsa wood. Also from the craft store. I don’t have a picture, but you’ll need 4 board stands too.

diyipoddock100_4152

Construction:

Cannibalize the USB cable and got rid of all the extra filler as necessary. I had to do a lot of trimming due to the limited real estate of my enclosure.

diyipoddock100_4157

The enclosure isn’t very high, so I had to hot glue gun the connector at a tight right angle. (Also done to stop the delicate connections from breaking.)

diyipoddock100_4158

I cut away the Firewire cable/housing and removed the rubber “thingy” to be used later.

diyipoddock100_4150

Positioned the Dock insert and cut out a hole; Dremel to the rescue.

diyipoddock100_4147

Looks good, but I decided to orient the insert parallel to the edge in the final version. (I should have taken another photo, but it was sort of done as a last minute thing.)

diyipoddock100_4149

Drilled a hole in the back and inserted that rubber “thingy”. Again, on the final version, I decided to center it on the back.

diyipoddock100_4151

Cut a square piece of balsa wood to use as a base.

diyipoddock100_4908

Drilled holes for board stands.

diyipoddock100_4907

Cut another piece of wood, slightly smaller than the base. They’ll be glued together after painting.

diyipoddock100_4153

Hot glue gunned the board stands into the top portion.

diyipoddock100_4154

OK, now that everything fits together nicely, I took the whole thing apart and painted it. As you can see, I changed my mind on the orientation of the iPod.

diyipoddock100_4924

Now for the wiring. Cut the USB cable a few inches from the dock connector.

diyipoddock100_4929

Fed the cable through the hole in the back through the rubber “thingy”.

diyipoddock100_4928

Soldered the wires back together. Talk about micro-surgery!

diyipoddock100_4931

After soldering the connections, isolated them from each other with heat-shrink tubing.

diyipoddock100_4932

Hot glue gun the insert into the housing.

diyipoddock100_4935

Hot glue gunned the dock connector into the insert.

diyipoddock100_4940

Glued the two bottom pieces together and inserted the board stands. Finally, glued the board stands to the inside of the top enclosure.

diyipoddock100_4927

Final Assembly:

diyipoddock100_4943

diyipoddock100_4945

Nicely done. And if anyone at work steals it, I’m only out a couple of bucks.

diyipoddock100_4954