rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

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rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby cjp » Mon Sep 16, 2013 2:40 pm

Someone at work was selling a gently used 120GB Classic for $30.00. why? A headphone plug had broken off in the jack.

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I tried everything I could find online that people had done to successfully remove a partial 1/8" male plug from within the jack (aside from the 'glue on a stick' method, that sounded way too dumb to me), and nothing worked.

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Having done a fair amount of work on my original Frankenpod, as well as numerous ipod classic size/shaped ipods of friends and family over the years, i was not at all intimidated by opening it up to fix it. Replacement headphone jack assembly: $30.

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I was already not super interested in the UI on this model- a weird split screen design that you couldn't turn off. You couldn't get just a full screen listing of artists or songs or whatever, and I found that pretty annoying. Then I took it apart. Apple has clearly made a huge effort over the last few hardware revisions to really try to keep users out. This model was 20 times harder to get apart than my old mini, and probably 10 times as hard as it is to crack the previous classic design. Not just getting it open, but getting it open with out damaging it.

Its almost impossible to get this case open without seriously bending the back half of the shell. When I mistakenly put it all back together with out re-connecting one cable and had to do it all a second time, I decided I never wanted to open it again after that. If the battery or drive dies, it would be a huge pain to maintain it.

So, I decided to get it back together as nice as I could, and sell it.

You can see the two significant bends my ministrations left in it below:
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It only came with a case and the box.

I bought a plug for $1.50, and then sold it for $125.00 on ebay.

total cost of device plus refurb parts: $30+30+$1.50+$8.00 (to replace some screws I lost)=$69.50

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I decided to go back to what I liked in my old ipod. Got a used 2nd Gen 4GB mini with an aluminum case on ebay for $23.

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Refreshing to remember how easy the Mini comes apart. The only problem was getting out the protective plastic that covers the screen. Since I planned on painting this one, I had to break that out.

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buff buff buff.

I had originally tried some rattle-can plasti-dip to see if I could get a neat rubberized finish, but wasn't having good results, so I decided to rough up the case. Note, this is a pink one, that I had laying around after I bought it for parts years ago for Frankenpod v1. I started on this while waiting for the green one to arrive, and figured if I messed it up, I had another on deck.

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Down to bare metal.

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a thin base of black auto primer.

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base coat of krylon bronze.

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Tarting it up with some metallic acrylics

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Took out the 4GB micro drive.

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128GB Compact Flash drive.

Coulda gone for a lot more reasonable cost for like 64GB, but for some reason i just couldn't not make it as big as the version I rehabbed. I'm normally not such a size queen :)

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Now this little pod has 32x the capacity it was designed to have, yay!

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Replacement lens from china, $5.00

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I kept going with the metallics, then started doing colors and washes to get a nice verdigris look. Shown here just after the acrylic enamel clear coat. Still glossy.

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Test fitting. I was a bit concerned that the tight tolerances of apple design might cause me problems if I got too much paint around the openings for the display and click wheel, but everything seems okay so far.

I flipped it over too soon while the varnish was still tacky and took a little chunk out in the upper left there. Had to go back and touch that up and re-enamel the corner

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Now with physical distressing. Really going for that 'just dredged up from an Agean harbor look'.

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faux surface pitting. (spray on enamel, put enamel in the oven, wait to bubble, then sand the bubbles down)

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128gb, easily servicable, small form factor and nice aluminum case. Total cost to me, about $70. If I'd have gone for ~64GB or there abouts, I probably could have come out even, or possibly a little ahead. Oh well. Its pretty hilarious, and I'll never have to worry about not having a good selection of tunes. I'm going to call it a success :)

It looked cooler when I used the clickwheel from the green ipod, as the color of the font matched better. but that one had a small tear in the ribbon cable and wasn't working correctly, so I had to use the pink one instead. whatever.

It occurred to me that it would be even cooler if I'd thought of a way to weather the plastic of the click wheel too, but I couldn't figure out a way to do that and not endanger the functioning of the wheel. And I really just wanted to get the case looking different than the anodized green/pink that I had laying around, and get on to using it for actually playing music.

Now that I have a broken spare though, I might investigate taking the clickwheel apart more and see what I can come up with. Maybe something that I can rub on and clean off, like weathering chalk, or shoe polish or something. I'd be wary of anything else flaking or wearing, and fucking up the clickwheel clickyness.

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Any ideas on doing the plastic bits definitely appreciated!

Even with out a completely convincing affect on all the components, it was a fun little project.
goose wrote:Yes, it's always dangerous, however, it becomes much more dangerous when the most important piece of equipment you have, your brain, is not up to the task


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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby guitargeek » Mon Sep 16, 2013 3:14 pm

No recombination for the clickwheel, unless maybe some sort of dye, but I'd highly recommend that you rockbox that thing! Have you discovered 24-bit flac files? AMAZING!! That enormous drive will come in handy, the files are pretty big...
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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby cjp » Mon Sep 16, 2013 6:16 pm

I like the idea of rokbox, but I'm already using iTunes for my phone, so two management utilities seems like a pain.

Also, given the size/quality headphones i use, and the conditions under which I use my ipod (at the gym, in the car with tons of road noise, etc), anything over ~320vbr isn't really going to make much of a difference to my listening experience I don't think.

But I do like the idea of making a rockbox just on principle. :)
goose wrote:Yes, it's always dangerous, however, it becomes much more dangerous when the most important piece of equipment you have, your brain, is not up to the task


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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby Zim » Tue Sep 17, 2013 6:52 am

Nice project! I especially like the bubble pitting technique. Nifty.

As for the East Goatfucker, he suggested that I Rockbox my Sansa Clip Zip. I'm quite pleased. My listening is done mainly though $15 Sonys... hardly Hi-Fi headphones. But the difference in sound quality between the Sansa firmware and Rockbox was immediately noticeable, as in much better. You might even notice the difference in the car or at the gym. And that's without touching the RB sound settings. EQ's, Stereo Width, Crossfeed, fucking dithering, whatever the hell that is, and more.

Can't say it's exactly intuitive to use, but once you get it, it's fun to play around with. Rockbox has a dual-boot feature: turn the player on, it goes to Rockbox. Turn the player on while pushing another button, it goes to factory firmware. Hate it? Uninstall.

And that FLAC stuff? :shock: Play an MP3, then a FLAC version of the same song. Steak-Umm vs. filet mignon. Or for the pescatarians, StarKist vs. cedar-planked salmon.
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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby guitargeek » Tue Sep 17, 2013 3:09 pm

You guys need to invest in a pair of Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) earbuds and some Comply foam tips, probably around $50 for both on Amazon. I use mine when working with power tools, they're very comfortable and block most of the outside noise and give me really, really good sound. Revelatory, even!

A lot of classic albums are now being remastered in 24-bit audio (DVD quality sound). Pink Floyd has released Dark Side of the Moon, Wish You Were Here and The Wall, and every time I listen to them I am just stunned at how good they sound! I've been listening to these records for 30 years or more, and I'm hearing stuff that I had long suspected was in the mix but couldn't quite pick it out...
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Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby Thumper » Wed Oct 09, 2013 2:44 pm

guitargeek wrote:You guys need to invest in a pair of Skullcandy Full Metal Jacket (FMJ) earbuds and some Comply foam tips, probably around $50 for both on Amazon. I use mine when working with power tools, they're very comfortable and block most of the outside noise and give me really, really good sound. Revelatory, even!


I recently purchased a pair of Skullcandy "Titans". Prolly similar to the FMJ's as the "Titan" stands for titanium. Though the buds are not titanium they are made of metal (alu) and are also the BEST sounding earbuds I have ever purchased. I have tried Shure, Bose and other buds that I paid WAYYY to much for and these lil buggers are only $49 at Best Buy. Highly recommend!!!

I am now off to investigate Rokbox. I am not familiar with this one so hopefully I am headed for higher fidelity!



Super cool finish work on the case also!!
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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby SidVicious » Sat Dec 14, 2013 10:48 am

:cry: <--- Apple fanboy


still looks freaking awesome however.
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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby Bo_9 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 6:48 am

I've had a pair of titans for over a year. Replaced the Asyms that fit awesome under a helmet but fell apart quickly. When I go the Titans ($30) they were listed as a larger driver than the FMJ. I think they are both the same now. So far they are the best thing I've found in the sub-$50 range.
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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby Mk3 » Sun Dec 15, 2013 7:46 am

I bought blue tooth beats yesterday by scaring the hell out of a foreign national on his own soil in the local market....Buy Local!
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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby guitargeek » Mon Dec 16, 2013 9:11 am

What'd you point at him?
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Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby Mk3 » Mon Dec 16, 2013 11:56 am

Nothing, actually. I was in civilian clothes, and blending right in:

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Really though, I was advised that we (mericans) by no means have the corner on stereotypes, and are in fact big weenies these days in trying to avoid them. The locals are able to continue existing based in large part on their reliance of stereotyping. That said, while the local euro/russian tourists are viewed as rubes, my kind is apparently considered to be rubes that can kill you with their mind. It makes sense (somewhat) considering some of the epic stories they've heard of "water pills" and "magical food", plus whatever bullshit they've been fed directly by us and a whole host of other nonsense, coupled with the FACT that we are on average taller, and in my 6'4" stature A LOT taller.

I kind of like the over ear thing, but I might sell them at a profit on Ebamazon List when I get home, though if I don't they too will need a paintjob to be allowed to stick around
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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby guitargeek » Mon Dec 16, 2013 12:55 pm

Oh, I thought maybe you'd threatened him with bacon.

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6'4"? You're my height, but I'll wager in much better shape...
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Midliferider wrote:Wish I could wipe this shit off my shoes but it's everywhere I walk. Dang.
Pattio wrote:Never forget, as you enjoy the high road of tolerance, that it is those of us doing the hard work of intolerance who make it possible for you to shine.
xtian wrote:Sticking feathers up your butt does not make you a chicken
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Re: rebuilt ipod from the bottom of the sea

Postby Mk3 » Tue Dec 17, 2013 11:11 am

In an attempt to reconcile for my thread-jack, this is pure awesomeness:

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"...when someone asks you if you're a god, you say "YES "!

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