Introduction: Increasing New ITrip Range.

Picture of Increasing New ITrip Range.

This project is about increasing the range of the newest Griffin iTrip without even breaking it open. Very easy.

Step 1: Set Up.

Picture of Set Up.

Set up your work area. I got all the necessary tools and then some to do this.
Necessary equipment:
-Leatherman or equivalent
-small razorblade
-some form of tape. Electrial or duct.

Optional Tools:
-Wire clippers
-Needlenose pliers
-Cutting/craft board
-cold drink

Note: Keep the cold drink away from your project. You never know what will happen if you spill a drink on an itrip. The one i'm using survived a dip in vinegar. Long story.

Step 2: The Antenna.

Picture of The Antenna.

Now, you must locate and pull out the existing iTrip antenna. If you can't find it, then you are either using an older version of the iTrip, or mentally challenged. Use you small razor or another small object and pry the small wire out of it's recessed space. Be very careful and don't pull hard. You could pull the wire straight out of the iTrip, and that could be bad, considering that this iTrip is very hard to pull apart.

Step 3: Preparing the Wire.

Picture of Preparing the Wire.

Now, instead of buying wire, i've chosen to recycle an old pair of headphones. I cut a piece from the center that was fairly long, and cut off the jack. I'm putting those aside for another project if necessary. Now, since inside of this wire, there are three more pieces of wire, we cut what we need.

Step 4: Preparing the ITrip.

Picture of Preparing the ITrip.

Now you must strip the antenna without pulling it out. This is most easily done with the small razor. You must try to cut along the wire, then try cutting underneath, until there is little to no plastic sheath.

Step 5: Wrapping the Antenna.

Picture of Wrapping the Antenna.

Now you must wrap the twisted copper wire around the silver antenna wire. The way I did this was by passing the copper wire over and under the wire. It is at this point that I got distracted by Star War: Episode III. The scene was Anakin fighting Obi-Wan. That is why I have to re-use a photo.

Step 6: Finishing Up.

Picture of Finishing Up.

Now, I used three pieces of smaller copper wire and wrapped it around the silver antenna. I used the eletrical tape at this point. I cut the piece just shorter than the length of the antenna wire, then cut it in half. One half I put underneath the wire and wrapped it, and the second part I put over that, taping it to the side. Since the wrapped wire is larger than the recess in the iTrip, it won't fit. You must tape the antenna wire to the iTrip or else run the risk of getting something hooked on it, and possibly pulling it all out.

Step 7: Finished Product.

Picture of Finished Product.

Now is the testing phase. Before, I used to have to place the iTrip within a half-foot radius of the antenna of my radio. Now I have more than octupled(8x) the effective range of my iTrip. One step further back, and the fuzz starts setting in. Good luck in doing this on your own. It took me about an hour of hard work, so expect to take about that long.


Chevron36 (author)2008-06-19

Interesting hack. I was hoping for something that would increase range without the wire mod. But I'm guessing what i want would also take more power. From what i found Effective range depends not only upon the itrip but the receiver. I have mine playing across my house at the moment. Its in my room on my stereo (reception just fine except when i go into special places not between the radio and the itrip) 60 ft away is my stereo playing the itrip (no distortion) but between the two is a radio with (about halfway between) and its reception is terrible. Just remember to make sure your receiver is setup well before you go and mod your itrip.

kingfishmike (author)2008-05-13

do you think you could attach something greater / bigger/ mightier to make it crazy stong? like, useful strong?

Dark (author)kingfishmike2008-05-13

I suppose, but how big are you thinking?

kingfishmike (author)Dark2008-05-14

more than 30 ft, anyway... i guess i was just wondering if apple has (accidentally?) provided a tiny simple device that could replace some of the other bulkier traditional gear involved in micro-broadcasting: if you just rigged a real antenna to it, think there's a technological limit to signal strength? speaking hypothetically, of course; all within the letter of the law; for the moment (for the sake of understanding the gear) i am thinking only of the technological possibilities...

llamafur (author)2007-11-25

I did this but i used a longer wire (1 foot) and i didn't tape it. the antenna was soldered inside the itrip, then i tied a knot to keep the wire from being pulled out, i can get like 30 feet maximum

frickenhamster (author)2007-11-08

hey, can i jsut solder a piece of wire on to it?

thevadj (author)2007-10-14

WOO HOO!!! it works. YES I KNEW I COULD DO IT! yeah it still works after i slit the original wire. I don't have any solder around to fix it with so i'm excited. Little buzz, but its up and running at 87.0

mustardParty (author)2007-08-02

dude, cool guide! i have the iTrip, i guess 1 gen up from that, the antenna is in the same place, but it's different, it follows the contour of the backplate around the corners and -- but that's not really important! the point is i've seen a bunch of old guides for the OLDER iTrips the used to plug in on the top of the iPod, but this was the first that applied to my model iTrip. Just what i was looking for! works great! Much stronger signal in my car now, tough in LA with all radio wave pollution, thanks!!

Dark (author)mustardParty2007-08-02

No prob man. Just make sure to set it to the channel with the least audio pollution as well. I know that's probably difficult in LA, but that ensures that you get a better sound.

Dark (author)2007-02-27

I can say that I honestly have no clue what you're talking about.

dr_seltsam (author)Dark2007-03-01

Sorry, i mean the beautiful sheet metal filing cabinet with ball beared push loading drawer, Kardex ist the brand. It's a Faraday hull, where cellphones get less GSM signals in it. So the HF output power increase to the maximum. In that case you can measure the endurance of the batterie power in the worst case ;-)

Dark (author)dr_seltsam2007-03-02

Hm. Good to know for when I get my new cell phone. Thanks. However I do find your knowledge of file cabinets disturbing.

dr_seltsam (author)2007-02-27

Hey, you have a good "KARDEX" in your room! Inside a Kardex is a good place for test cellular phone standby time ;-)

e1mer (author)2006-11-26

So if I understand it, the half wavelength of 88.1MHz is
299,792,458 (m/s) / 88,100,000 (Hz) ) * 39.37 (in/m) ) / 2 = about 67 inches.

Shouldn't this be the length of the antenna?

jpegcritic (author)e1mer2007-02-07

yeah if you want to trip over your antenna. It'll resonate enough if you cut that by half... 30 inches targeting the lower general bandwidths of your FM spectrum.

Dark (author)e1mer2006-11-27

... Yeah, I failed intermediate algebra in high school. Twice. I blame this on the stupid idea to have classes that require extreme brainpower in the morning. Anyways, another way to make this work better would be to disconnect the antenna wire from your antenna/remove your antenna, that way the radio only picks up intermediate to short range transmissions, such as your iTrip.

akoncick (author)2006-12-19

what are the other wires used for? did u just wrap the other three around the original copper already around the silver wire?

naikrovek (author)2006-06-19

it is adjusting the resonant frequency of the antenna, as far as the radio waves are concerned. the most efficient transmission antennas are those that have an electrical length that is an integer multiple of the transmission wavelength. this is a 'hack' of an adjustment that gets the itrip's purposely poorly designed antenna closer to the resonant frequency of FM radio. it is purposely the wrong length to comply with part 15 of the FCC rules (that's a guess.) If you wanted to do this perfectly, you could pick a frequency, work out its wavelength, then create an antenna that is the exact right size and run the antenna up the back of the ipod to align the polarity of the antenna with the polarity of most FM radio reception antennas. as far as antennas that receive radio transmission: the bigger the better.

belenus (author)naikrovek2006-11-01

can you make an instructable for this? Because i understand what you are saying i just have no idea how to do it.

jpegcritic (author)2006-09-15

here.(image attatched) Not as good as if it were soldered, but way better than a human anntenna.

Dark (author)jpegcritic2006-10-30

interesting idea, but did it actually work?

jpegcritic (author)2006-09-14

better yet, use the wire and jack from the original earbuds (since they suck). Just cut off a bud, Use 1 wire. Make sure length is 30".

jpegcritic (author)2006-09-14

macfreak and all.... JUST cut 30" of wire, strip 1 end, and stick it in the headphone jack. When you don't need the extra antenna, pull it out.

Mz3FRS (author)2006-09-13

Nice work extending your range-The results speak for themselves in this case. I think the original problem may be with your radio's antenna rather then the iTrip's, as I use my iTrip in my car a good 7-8' from my antenna with no issues. I find the signal is even powerful enough to blot out my regular stations to listen to my ipod. Important thing is, you can now use your iTrip the way it ws intended.

macfreak4 (author)2006-06-21

I want to see someone who has one of these build a (bigger) resonant antenna to get kick-ass range, not just this pittly little "twist a 'lil wire har and yur done" stuff.

Dark (author)macfreak42006-07-31

... Then do it.

aiden120000 (author)2006-07-17


UltraMagnus (author)2006-06-20

now just make this itrip thing work with a decent DMP and it might be intresting!

Dark (author)UltraMagnus2006-06-20


UltraMagnus (author)Dark2006-06-21

digital music player

aiden120000 (author)2006-06-20

tell us the story of the viniger dip

Dark (author)aiden1200002006-06-20

Ok, so this used to be my friends iTrip. He works at subway. One night, he was coming over to my house so that way we could stay up all night playing halo 2. He decided to make his own salad. He doused it in vinegar. When he got home to get his box, he threw his ipod with the iTrip into the bag with his salad. He didn't check it until half an hour later. The iPod was all blinking and hot. Nothing showed up on the display. Because his waranty didn't cover water damage, he gave it to me. It came away with only the furthest side of the LCD not working. So if the last digit was one, then it wouldn't show anything.

mrtools (author)2006-06-19

can it be any kind of wire or only copper?

Dark (author)mrtools2006-06-20

I'm not sure. I've heard from other people that copper is the best for this, but otherwise, i'm not sure. Also, you could use thicker wire if you wanted. Simply cut the antenna, and then sodder in a thicker piece of wire.

KD5NRH (author)2006-06-19

IIRC, increasing the diameter of an antenna conductor should increase the bandwidth of the antenna, so maybe the original design isn't all that well tuned, and this mod is allowing it to work better in the desired range...

woodpecker (author)2006-06-19

electrically what is this doing? wrapping wire around the existing antenna can't change the impedance of the wire significantly, so we're not looking at an increase in efficiency. the radiation pattern might change, but would that really matter... anyone have an idea?

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