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The Apple diyMod: My Take on the Famous iMod [56k killer] Featuring 3G, 4G, 5G and nano 1G!

post #1 of 2976
Thread Starter 
As many of you are aware of the iMod, I won't bore you with the details. Some of you may be aware that there are DIY "iMods" scattered throughout the world, and RedWineAudio is not the only to provide the world with the sonic beauty of the Wolfson Micro WM8975 CODEC. The details I will bore you with are about how I DIYed my own iMod. I was a bit hesitant to share at first, but this little bit of handiwork has landed me my second eargasm. The first was with the HF-1s at the first Edmonton Meet. I didn't think it was right to hold this to myself, so here are the very revealing pictures. Right now, the diyMod is mated with my Millett Hybrid MAX, and I'm sitting in a perpetual eargasm headphone Nirvana (not that I believe in Nirvana or anything). These pictures were taken after the fact, but are quite revealing. I realize that oicdn just started a thread about this, but I wanted more exposure and an easier to reference title for the thread. I didn't think it was fair to hold back this treasure.

The iMod site says Vinnie uses Black Gate NX Hi-Q Non-polar caps. The datasheet for the WM8971 says that a lineout require 1uF and 100ohms in series with the left and right channels and the stereo jack's ground goes to ground. I couldn't find a good place to solder the ground wire to, so I jabbed around the inside while listening to some music to make sure it would work. I think I wired it to the clicking mechanism, and music gets clicky when I use the click wheel. The clicking sound of the click wheel was subsequently disabled. It was only on because my friend enabled it; I never use it. I didn't have anything that would fit into the iPod, so there is a huge extension on the outside. That would be one advantage of the iMod over the diyMod, but I get way more props this way.

"What the heck is wrong with your iPod, Jon?"

[Explanation ensues.]

"Dang, that's really cool, Jon. Do one for my iPod video."

The iPod video is a different beast, but we'll see how that comes along. Looking at the 1G iPod nano, it should be similarly simple to do this mod while connecting the caps outside of the original casing. And dang, I gave away my 1G iPod in France too. Hm.

Total cost of the diyMod: $20.

--------------------

Please see The Collected diyMods - Jonathan P. Le.

To download the old first page, go to:

RapidShare: Easy Filehosting
MEGAUPLOAD - The leading online storage and file delivery service
post #2 of 2976
great post.

I do however, wished you posted a Ipod 5G instead

Really, the recent 5Gs, modding them is not really hard. Afterall the headphone amp is integrated into the CODEC/DAC itself, all you need to do is swap the output caps.
post #3 of 2976
Wow, thanks for sharing
I don't see you mentioning breaking the original signal paths, so I guess the lineout is unaffected by this mod. But I wonder if leaving the original paths intact (parallel w/the new lineouts) has an affect on the SQ. Probably no biggie but I'd think that's affect the output impedance the Wolfson sees at least...
Thanks again for great pix, etc.
post #4 of 2976
Thread Starter 
I could have left the lineout signal intact, but that was actually part of the learning process. I was getting some really weird fuzzy sounds, so I thought that if I got rid of the elements at the place of my soldered wires, that would fix it. Turns out I had not properly grounded the stereo jack, so that fixed it. At any rate, I think I disconnected the lineout, but I haven't actually checked. The headphone out does still work, if that's any consolation Will report back after school.

I'm going to try the 5G diyMod for a friend. In the mean time, the rest of you DIYers can take confidence in doing it yourselves. iFixit: iPod, iBook, & PowerBook Parts and Accessories and ifixipodsfast.com have great guides on opening your iPods. ifixit has a pictorial guide, and the guy at ifixipodsfast.com has video tutorials. I couldn't stand listening to his accent after a while though. I was going to take a look at my dad's 5G iPod but he walked in while I was trying to disconnect the LCD screen from the logic board and understandably freaked out. He got a 3-year warranty on the thing, so neither of us wanted to mess that up (I didn't know until after he walked in and yelled at me.) =T

After seeing that picture of the 1G nano, I'm still kicking myself for having given it away. Having a really slim, portable diyMod nano would have been awesome.
post #5 of 2976
Yeah, you posted the same thing here:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/who...od-mod-269406/

I'm curious as to who's done the mod without having an external "wart" on thier iPod, no offence.

Intresting none the less.
post #6 of 2976
Quote:
Originally Posted by oicdn View Post
Yeah, you posted the same thing here:

http://www.head-fi.org/forums/f6/who...od-mod-269406/

I'm curious as to who's done the mod without having an external "wart" on thier iPod, no offence.

Intresting none the less.
I did it to my IHP1x0. There's more room in that one.
iMod iRiver, DC problem - MisticRiver :: For iriver Enthusiasts
post #7 of 2976
Thread Starter 
Yeah, I was wondering how Vinnie fit those Black Gates in the iPod case. I don't really know how to picture some of the NX Hi-Q's ~4 x 7 mm dimensions. With the [Tic-Tac] case though, I could use slightly better caps without having to regard real estate as strictly. I'm wondering if it matters whether or not I go polar or non-polar. The datasheet has the signal entering the positive side of the cap, then it says to use film caps. After that point, it all just comes down to an issue of "this capacitor type versus that," doesn't it?
post #8 of 2976
Quote:
Originally Posted by joneeboi View Post
Yeah, I was wondering how Vinnie fit those Black Gates in the iPod case. I don't really know how to picture some of the NX Hi-Q's ~4 x 7 mm dimensions. With the [Tic-Tac] case though, I could use slightly better caps without having to regard real estate as strictly. I'm wondering if it matters whether or not I go polar or non-polar. The datasheet has the signal entering the positive side of the cap, then it says to use film caps. After that point, it all just comes down to an issue of "this capacitor type versus that," doesn't it?
here is a picture of Vinnie's imod caps inside:




as you can see he just glued the NX Hi-Q's caps in the corner and that's it.

I've done mode to my 60GB photo by actually incorporating two NX Hi-Q caps and four resistors in the phone jack PC board. pics latter!
post #9 of 2976
Thread Starter 
Interesting. That used to be on the iMod site, but I never even bothered to look into the details. It's no longer up, so good catch on that, vvs. Part of why I went the drilled-hole path is because I want to still be able to use the headphone jack. If only a headphone jack could be drilled into the diyMod. That would be pretty leet. I'll admit that that is some mighty clean work up in vvs' picture.

Some pics of your work would be pretty cool to see, vvs.

edit: It seems RWA has traversed the drilled hole path too.
Red Wine iMod (iPod mod) &#8212 HiFi Blog
post #10 of 2976
so, the 20 bucks you spent on the diy mod, is it fairly easy to do? Or does it take a lot of experience with electronics? Seems like everyone would start diying rather then going to imod and paying $200.
post #11 of 2976
Thread Starter 
You know what they say, it costs $1 to tap the furnace and $19 to know where to tap.
post #12 of 2976
but not everyone wants to risk a 350$ ipod and prefers to pay 200$ for the guarantee that the modification will work flawlessly for a long time.
post #13 of 2976
double post
post #14 of 2976
Quote:
Originally Posted by joneeboi View Post
Looking at the 1G iPod nano, it should be similarly simple to do this mod while connecting the caps outside of the original casing. And dang, I gave away my 1G iPod in France too. Hm.
what do you mean with that 1G ipod nano there ? can i do this DIYmod on my 1st GEN nano ? please explain, thx...
post #15 of 2976
Quote:
Originally Posted by iQEM View Post
what do you mean with that 1G ipod nano there ? can i do this DIYmod on my 1st GEN nano ? please explain, thx...
If you never did DIY at least several simple projects I would suggest just enjoy it as is.
If you do can hold the iron and just need some clear instruction be prepared to buy few more nanos before you achieve result.

The problem is that the pads of the PCB unbelievable fragile and will break off as soon as you try to move or bend the wire! I know because I was there and not ones before found solution.


Also if the 1st gen nano doesn't support lossless format you won’t get that "big jump" in SQ as you get with 4gen ipod.

edit: it actually support apple lossless!
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