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Make an iPod nano dock out of an iPod Mini dock

Picture of Make an iPod nano dock out of an iPod Mini dock
Explains how to easily convert an old dock meant for an ipod mini for use with an ipod nano (both the first and second gen once).

Why?
If you like me had an iPod mini and got the dock for it left over, and now bought a iPod nano and quite frankly think that $29.00 is overkill for a dock this is for you.

Is it hard?
It's quite easy, the hardest part is to re-shape the shell of the dock to accommodate the adapter and all that needs is a dremel, sandpaper, a file and some time.

Parts needed:
iPod Nano
iPod Mini Dock
iPod Nano Universal Dock Adapter (comes with the iPod nano)

Tools needed:
Dremel or saw
File
Sandpaper
Gluegun or other good glue

Time:
Less than 30 mins
 
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Step 1: Opening the iPod mini dock

Picture of Opening the iPod mini dock
Open the dock
The white upper part is kept in place with teeth on all 4 sides, you need to gently pry the white plastic outwards to free it from the grooves, something flat and hard is ideal, dont pry too hard or you will hurt the plastic.

Step 2: Mockup of the parts

Picture of Mockup of the parts
adapter.jpg
mockup.jpg
mockup2.jpg
Mockup
Time to mockup the parts, all parts needed in the project already fit nicely together, except the white shell, we will get to that later.

First get the ipod mini dock's "guts" (picture 1), add the iPod nano universal dock adapter (picture 2) and place so the hole in the adapter sits around the dock connector of the guts, your result should look like picture 3. Make sure to orient the adapter correctly, add your nano and make sure it all fits (picture 4), if the dock is in working order the nano will make a sound when connected to it, even if the dock isn't plugged in into something.

You could use the dock in this state, but having the guts visible doesn't appeal to some people (including me).

Step 3: Modifying the shell

Picture of Modifying the shell
Under the shell
This is a view of the shell you removed earlier, yes I'm in the garage now, it's powertool time!

Pulling teeth
Remove the teeth I told you about earlier, I used a knife to shave them off, if you go with the design I did you can keep the teeth in the "back" (where the dock port and line out is located), but the rest has to be removed.

Making holes
Remove the whole indentation meant for the mini, I did this using a dremel and smoothed out the inside with sandpaper, it has to be flush with the rest of the inside, doesn't matter much if it's abit thinner than the rest but it has be flat.

Keep it steady
Remember that while using powertools it is essential to fixate the object you're working on, it's dangerous to hold something yourself while using most powertools, if you put it into a vise or similar, wrap the sides that touch the vise with paper to avoid marks, also dont clamp down too hard or you risk breaking the shell, it's a piece of thin plastic not a piece of solid metal/wood, take care.

Extend the hole
You also need to extend the hole somewhat, if you place it topside up and the hole facing your way it should be extended about 0.5 cm (0.2 inches) on the right side (since the nano's dock connector is in the left part of the device not centerd like the mini) I did it using a round file slightly smaller than the hole, check with your nano + adapter + the dock guts to make sure it fits.

Step 4: Final assembly

Picture of Final assembly
Tilt
The adapter you've added into it has made the internal parts a bit higher infront than they where originally, and in the back the shell has to be at it's normal possision to clear the ports, the solution is to tilt the shell backwards, so the adapter fits underneath and the ports are clear in the back, it looks quite nice, laid back style. :)

Glue
Once it all fits like it should, get a glue gun and apply some on the bottom of the adapter, and some on the metal part of the dock guts to fixate the shell, make certain it's not visible after you've put it all together.

Result
The picture shows how mine turned out, you can see that the nano adapter's indentation clears the hole I made in the shell and the ports work with the slight tilt.

Step 5: Done!

Picture of Done!
finnished3.jpg
Done
Now you're done! Marvel at your money saving contraption.
Ummmm, dude. the iPod in the pictures on the final page doesn't look like a nano. In fact, it looks like a mini.
Ummmm, dude. The iPod in the pictures on the final page is a Nano. In fact, it resembles the Mini, but it is much thinner.
its completly a nano. i have a mini still. nothing like the pic.
Except that the screen is colored, and it is a completely different thickness/width from the original hole. It's a 4gb silver nano.
It's a second gen nano
SolaDude7 years ago
Thanks for the great instructions! I have done a modification of my own thanks to your input.
Modified iPod Dock.jpg
mailmanbam7 years ago
its a nano minis have a white middle
CpHarding8 years ago
nice - i did something similar for my dad's gf, but rather than removing the clips( teeth) and raising the shell, using a very small file- and a lot of patience, i made a hole in the top on the dock shell, so that the nano adapter could sit flush with the dock shell. this looks like much less work thou!!!