DIY ipod dock/speaker - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 9 Old 01-20-2009, 08:16 PM - Thread Starter
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Has anyone tried building their own ipod docking station/speaker? I, for some reason, want to try this with some drivers and a cross over from parts express. I figure I can cannibalize an ipod cable to act to charge the ipod as well as send the signal to the amp. I would rather not reinvent the wheel so I am putting a call out tto anyone wo has tried this out. Does anyone know a source for a speaker amp (something that would be used to internally power a speaker, something like what an active speaker would have)?
Thanks
Mike

"If I could just say a few words...I'd be a better public speaker." - H. Simpson
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post #2 of 9 Old 01-20-2009, 08:29 PM
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Considering that the docks can be had on ebay for less than $20, I'd forget cannibalizing the cable and just modify the dock. I have modified the cables and connectors and the dock is easier to work on.
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post #3 of 9 Old 02-01-2009, 02:12 PM
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Just buying a cheap dock might be a better idea, but it you want to get really deep into into it....

A design class at Cornell designed something like an Ipod dock from scratch.

http://instruct1.cit.cornell.edu/cou...l45/index.html

They found the pin out for the Ipod connector and the Linux Ipod people had already hacked what Apple calls the Apple Accessory Protocol, which basically tells what 0's and 1's you need to send the Ipod to command it.

As for the source for a speaker amp, I'd ask the speaker guys about that, but I'd imagine that you'd just bias the coil in the speaker with a DC voltage and then the music signal from the Ipod would just modulate it.

Also, if you're going to hack an Ipod cable, you're still going to need to have the right voltage to send across the cable. Ipod charges on 3.3V so unless you can find a transformer that steps the wall voltage down to 3.3V, you'll need to set up a little voltage divider. And if you're going to be using a microcontroller to command the Ipod, then the microcontroller will most likely take commands at 5V, so you'll need an amplifier to take the 3.3V Ipod commands to a 5V command that the microcontroller can use.
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post #4 of 9 Old 02-01-2009, 05:48 PM
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oh, and www.SparkFun.com has breakout boards for the Ipod connector...
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post #5 of 9 Old 02-23-2009, 11:37 PM
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My suggestion for a DIY iPod dock/speaker: buy a sick BOSE SoundDock at Good Will or eBay and tweak it. Bose SoundDocks have good sound and a nice design in a compact enclosure.
Many SoundDock fails, but are easy to repair: my comments will focus on the SoundDock [SD] failure modes, based on the forensics of five SD's that failed within three years.
Main failure [5 out of 5] was due to the SD iPod Connector [SDiPC] that seems to be more fragile than other iPod connector e.g. drugstore $9 iPod dock connector. The SDiPC uses thermoplastic as insulator/guide between the 30 pins; these guides peal off easily, exposing the pins that will be bent sooner or later for lack of support. The SDiPC is secured to the printed circuit board [PCB] by metal tags soldered to the PCB; these thin tags break easily due to the strain of the iPod insertion. Bose does not offer replacement parts, but Ridax in Sweden sources at a reasonable price+shipping the parts [iPod connector, surface mounted 0.5mm] that Bose should have been supplying.
Another failure [3 failure out of 5 i.e. 3 SDs had two failure modes] is the Power connector for the +/- 18VDC power pack: the connector can be inserted the wrong way, and becomes loose during use because it lacks any lock or strain relief. The problem can be solved by re-inserting the plug and jiggling it until the SD works. Good engineering could have avoided that problem. Hot glue will solve that issue.
The SD uses the iPod connector as signal source & ON/OFF switch; this make the SD extremely hard to debug and to use once the SDiPC has failed. Good engineering would have built [a] some kind of diagnostic mode with LED/LCD output to ascertain the status of the SD i.e. power ON, signal present, etc. [b] an auxiliary input e.g. jack to spare the SD the fate of a $300 device that works but cannot be used: dumpster or [light] boat-anchor. Fortunately, it is quite easy to add a power LED and and added AUX line.
Hope this helps.
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post #6 of 9 Old 03-31-2009, 07:30 AM
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I'm actually considering something similar, but rather than a dock, use an Airport express wireless adapter to stream the music wirelessly and control via iTunes remote on an iPhone.

Basically a boombox style stereo setup with 2X5.25's and 2X1" tweeters and a small amp, plug the airport directly into it... just getting started on DiY, seems like a good starter project.
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post #7 of 9 Old 04-02-2009, 05:16 PM
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post #8 of 9 Old 04-02-2013, 05:25 PM
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Hi im looking for some details about well known speakers to put in an iPod dock, as i am building my own iPod dock for my research project.
Thanks
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post #9 of 9 Old 04-02-2013, 07:38 PM
 
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Quote:
but I'd imagine that you'd just bias the coil in the speaker with a DC voltage and then the music signal from the Ipod would just modulate it.

That's quite an imagination wink.gif
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