Tips on making a iPod Touch 2g LOD to RCA cable
May 28, 2009 at 3:41 PM Thread Starter Post #1 of 25


May 22, 2009
Hi, I'm looking for some guidance on making my own LOD to RCA cable for connecting my iPod Touch 2g to my home stereo and car. I'm looking for help in sourcing the parts, LOD connector schematics, and any information specific to a 2G touch. I'd like to aim for very good SQ and durability for $20-$50 per cable (1 @ 18" for the car, and one @ 4' for access to my home preamp) Thanks,

May 28, 2009 at 5:37 PM Post #3 of 25
-Buy four RCA plugs, preferably Switchcrafts because they simpley rule.

-Buy 24 feet of mini starquad. If you want ruggedness, go for Canare, of you want the best SQ, go for Mogami.

-Buy some iPod connectors, preferably the fat ones (and buy a few more than you actually need, you might fudge one up by accident) because they are easy to reopen and are IMO handier all around.

Solder the ground to pin 1 & 2, right to pin 3, left to pin 4 and make a bridge between 1&2 and 11 for iTouch 2G/iPhone compatibility.

That should be enough to help you out
May 28, 2009 at 10:15 PM Post #4 of 25
Basically, get all x2 Bonthouse's advice, but get some 1k resistors for porper touch 2g /iphone 3g compatibility. I forget the exact pins, but the IPOD LOD thread has all the info. here are some shots..

May 29, 2009 at 6:02 AM Post #5 of 25
Thanks for the info Bonthouse and, I managed to find some Neutrik RCA plugs locally (not near switchcraft quality, I'm sure) , pretty limited selection here in central Canada) I was just wondering where you get your Canare Star Quad, and what type (there appear to be about 4 different kinds (L-4E6S / L-4E5C) (L-4E6AT / L-4E5AT), and I assume they classify this as microphone cable. I found 2 sources in a quick Google search

Canare Corporation Of America Canare L-4E5C Miniature Star-Quad (0.189in O.D.) Audio Cable Bulk Audio Cable at
Canare Star Quad Black |

but the prices seemed vastly different, so I thought I best clarify what I should be going for. If you wouldn't mind sharing your sources for the Dock connector, as well as the model you recommend, I'd truly appreciate it. Thanks,
May 29, 2009 at 6:04 AM Post #6 of 25
x3 but use 68k ohm resistors because they also work with the iPhone in case you get one later.....pins are 21 to 15, bridged to ground.
May 29, 2009 at 8:40 AM Post #7 of 25
ah yes, 68k. I stand corrected.
I got mixed up with the older prototype values.
There is decent variance here too, so if you have a 66k or 70k, it'll probably work IIRC. You should be able to get some 68k's from a local electronics store, or from a university(or any other) lab if you find the right one and ask nicely. Ah, otherwise nudge joneeboi who's been active at the ipod LOD thread, lives in .ca, and is a great dude.
(though it seems like they've got it working without the resistor there. will test sometime. I can confirm that 68k def. works though, with touch 2g and iphone 3g, which were the picky ones to begin with)

I got my current stock of mogami/canare from markertek. The canare you listed would work perfectly. If you see yourself doing some later on, get a few feet of each. At their prices, 10~15$ will get you a nice few lengths of some different cable (starquad/mini starquad/canare/mogami). I got a bunch of RCA/mini jacks there too. Worth looking through their stock. They probably have good stock of heatshrink and techflex too, though I got mine from wirecare. If you dont need too much of some stuff, it's often worth keeping your source count lower.

As for the docks, I stocked up from Run by Hans (forum member), based in Netherlands, with great service. Being a little farther west than middle earth, you may find other sources quicker/cheaper, but I fall short with recommendations. Qables still gets my thumbs up for docks though =D

good luck.

You stated about 20$ per cable. That may be hard to get with 1 or 2 cables, cause of multi-source shipping, etc. but if you get yourself a nice little stock, it'll seriously bring down your average cost.. and there's something really nice about having some stock.. like being able to whip up something custom when needed. (or when you lose another one.. which is why I have so many, cause I eventually find them
May 29, 2009 at 6:08 PM Post #9 of 25
Well I've just placed an order with Markertek and Qables, still trying to source the resistors though. I'm really going to have to hone my soldering skills, but I'm going to give it a shot. I'm looking forward to the satisfaction of plugging in my first DIY LOD to my system and (hopefully) hearing the difference. I'm sure I'll be posting panic threads mid-construction to get me through the process. Thanks again.
May 29, 2009 at 10:27 PM Post #10 of 25
If you want an easy wire to work with, try Mundorf silver/gold, it's very thin and has compact teflon insulation so you won't crack a pin off.

I suggest doing right to pin 3, left to pin 4, and bend pins 11-15 together, solder bridge them and ground to this bridge. If you put the ground on pin 2 that just makes it harder. 2 grounds ofc cuz it's an RCA cable.

I also suggest pouring some epoxy between pins 3 and 4 carefully, at the point where they are most close together entering the connector body. This way, no solder can creep between them and short them. You can also put a dab of epoxy on each solder joint and then a little heatshrink to seal them, then immobilize them with hot glue. Be careful not to glue far to the left of pin 2, as you will make it so the side clippies can't bend in and out.

I also suggest the technique by which you start with 4 tinned, separate wires. I find this is easier than prejacketed or prebraided cable. You can move each one individually into the solder joint, from there you just have to have your hand steady. I suggest tinning the contact, the wire, then the iron then just press the wire onto the contact, easy enough. Then seal as above. Once the wires are glued and immobilized inside the connector you can have at it braiding them however, just be sure you have each labeled (i use black for ground, blue for right, nothing for left). People have told me otherwise, but i still think this is the easiest way - although if you are dealing with prejacketed wire it is helpful to use tiny alligator clips to handle the wires right near the tinned part, this acts as a heatsink plus you can use them to micromaneuver the wires into the solder joint.

Send me a PM if you get stuck.
May 30, 2009 at 1:20 AM Post #11 of 25
Resistors are easy to come by in my neck of the woods, your local electronics store should definitely stock them. 4c ea is the most you should be paying
- If you genuinely can't find any, I'm happy to shoot you a dozen or so at no charge if you cover the minimal postage (like $2!).
May 30, 2009 at 2:11 PM Post #12 of 25
Scooter, wow, that's exactly the step by step detail I'll need to have a shot at this. Excellent description and great tips. Too bad my supplies won't be here for another 2 weeks, I'm keen to get at it.

Goodtimes, should any 68k resistor fit in the LOD connector, or is there a specific type/size I need to specify when looking?

Thanks to everyone again.
May 31, 2009 at 2:33 AM Post #14 of 25
1/4w would be the most common, go no higher than 1/8w. Don't worry about metal or carbon, or the tolerance. I've used 5% with no hassles.
May 31, 2009 at 2:49 AM Post #15 of 25
don't you mean lower than 1/8 W? I've never seen 1/16 sold in stores 1/4 is the most common. But in this case the resistor is just a load it has no sonic considerations whatsoever. If need be find some resistors you can put together into 68kohm I'd assume its from 65 - 70k (since I've used 68k with 5% tolerance without problems.

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