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Mod Your 5G Video iPod With Internal Bluetooth

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Picture of Mod Your 5G Video iPod With Internal Bluetooth
Here's the long awaited 5G Video version of my iPod BT Mod! If you're tired of the headphone cord? We've all seen iPods die an early death because someone got their cord tangled up while on the treadmill or something and the iPod goes flying!

Sure you can buy a $50 BT adapter and plug it into the dock connector. But what if you wanted an integrated, OEM-like solution? Something that on the outside would look like it came from the factory, like Apple should have done?

Follow along and don't forget to check www.iPodHackers.net for more details and info on other iPod hacks!

You might also want to check out my first iPod BT Instructablebefore you start on this one.

For Sale on eBay! I'm selling one of these babies on eBay so if you don't want to build your own, here's your chance to own it! Click Here for Link
 
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Step 1: Materials and Tools

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Ideally, you will need the following items:

Small Phillips Driver
Small Flat Screw Driver
Plastic iPod Opening Tool
One or two 3mm LEDs
Xacto Knife or Razor Blade
Compact Flash to 1.8" ZIF IDE adapter. Get it from Tarkan
Fully ATA compatible Compact Flash Card (2Gb min). I've had good luck with Transcend, Sandisk and Adata but others may work as well.
5th Generation iPod Video. If you use an iPod with a bad drive, just make sure that the unit is otherwise fully functional.
Drill and small drill bit (optional)
Bluetooth headphones (A2DP)
Universal Bluetooth Adapter*

Step 2: Opening Your iPod

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Note:

Before you get started, know that there is a good chance that you will completely brick your iPod if you don't know what you're doing! Make sure you are comfortable with the complete disassembly of your iPod. Don't come crying to me when you screw up and break it!

Although this is a "how to", you still need to figure out a few things on your own. If you are not comfortable with complex electronics, don't try this!

Moving on:

There are literally hundreds of DIY guides and tutorials on how to properly open up your iPod, so I won't go into it here. I will assume that if you're actually willing to do this hack to your iPod you already know or can easily figure out how to open it up. Just use a plastic tool and take your time.

Be careful, when you finally pry it open the two halves will still be connected via the battery ribbon cable. Disconnect the battery ribbon cable as shown as well as the the headphone jack cable and separate the two halves.

Step 3: Replacing the Hard Drive

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If you have not yet changed out your HD with Flash, you can check HERE for instructions to do so.

You can still perform the mod with a 30GB HD, but you will need to use the larger 60/80 GB back cover to allow room for the BT adapter.

As for the CF card itself, you can use any size card from 2GB to 32GB depending on your budget. Remember, it must be fully ATA compliant. I've had good luck with Transcend, Sandisk and Adata but others may work as well.

Anyway, install the card into the adapter but don't install it into the iPod yet.

Step 4: Disassembly

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Note: If you want to add a status LED to your project, you will have to continue to completely disassemble your iPod.

Remove the six screws holding the plastic front panel from the metal frame and pull apart.

Remove the logic board from the frame. Be careful with all the sticky tape and be extra careful removing the ground "strap" that wraps around the top of the frame.

Pick a spot along the center rail of the frame and drill a hole just large enough for your 3mm LED. It will hep to use a center punch and a high-speed drill with a sharp bit to do this.

Yes, this will cause your CF assembly to stick up but there should still be enough room in the case. If you kept your HD, then good luck...

Step 5: Preparing the Bluetooth Module

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There have been a lot of questions regarding the type of Bluetooth module used in this mod. Just about any universal module will work, some will be easier than others to wire up. Don't use a dock-based module, finding the correct connections in it will be extremely difficult.

Unlike my 4th Gen BT hack, here I used an older module from Billionton mainly due to its small size. Another difference between the two is that in the Jabra and others like it, you will need to either pair it before you close up the case or allow for a way to access the module's switch.

Prepare the BT module as shown and solder the power and audio terminals to the appropriate locations on the ipod. If you want a status LED, you'll want to solder leads to the SMT LED pads so that you can route your LED to the frame.

Notice that you will likely need to flatten the "bubble" part of the LED to make it fit into the frame without sticking out too much.

Step 6: Reassembly

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Once you have wired up the BT module, install the CF adapter. Carefuly thread the BT power, ground, LED and audio leads around the CF adapter and position it as shown. Use a little bit of tape to keep things in place. You might also want to glue down your wires so they don't break off.

The kind of wire you use also makes a big difference. If the wires are too large, you will have trouble closing the case. I used wire wrap wire the first time around but found it was too fragile and kept having to repair broken connections. 28g or 30g "soft" wire works best.

Step 7: Test & Restore

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Carefully put the iPod pieces back together but don't snap closed just yet.

Plug your iPod into the PC using the dock connector. If iTunes does not automatically open up, do so now.

If you're also installing a CF card, iTunes should recognize your iPod and will give you the option to restore the iPod to its original settings. Click OK and wait for it to finish. The pictures below show you what to expect during the restore process.

If you're keeping your HD or have already gone through the restore process, go ahead and test out the BT functionality: Turn on your headphones and set to pairing mode. Turn on your iPod, make sure the LED status light is on. Play a song on the iPod and pair with the headphones. The pairing process will be different for different modules, so see your BT module manual for specifics on this.

Step 8: FAQs

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Here are some of the most frequently asked questions I've received about this hack:

Can I transfer songs wirelessly to my PC using this mod?

Can I control my iPod from my headphones?

How much will it cost?

Will you do the mod for me? I'm willing to pay big bucks.

Do you sell iPods already modified?

Please visit www.iPodHackers.net for answers and more information on this and other iPod hacks.
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Mikkun2 years ago
I'm looking into doing this mod, however, I do admit that I'm a dunce with soldering connections. If anyone can help update this mod, or post an instructable that has all the instructions, please message me if you have managed to upload it. Thank you
Will This Effect My Jailbreak
smencer7 years ago
How does using the BT impact the battery life of the iPod?
fstedie (author)  smencer7 years ago
It all depends on the module you use but yes, it will use up more of your battery. I recharge mine pretty much everyday so it doesn't really matter to me. However, keep in mind that if you change out your HD for flash, you'll be gaining battery life there.
and if you are using CF you should have the room for a hi cap LI POLY battery from the 4g series. Which would give you about a 370% increase in battery life + CF = 400%. http://eshop.macsales.com/item/Newer%20Technology/BIPOD1350MPH/
are you sure these work in the 5g ipods
Mikkun4 years ago
do you still remember the model number of this bluetooth module?
hakeem430204 years ago
Does this work with the new ipod classics?
look at the last slide before this there are three. the blue wire is audio ground.
ur link is dead
Smokabowl4 years ago
Everything you need, is here people http://pinouts.ru/PortableDevices/ipod_pinout.shtml
cotton7 years ago
my broter puled my clam shel ipod shuffle out while sinking and killed it i got it to work againand i hate the updated firmware
The ground goes to the frame doesn't it always? As far as the actual DC+ all you need is a multimeter, a new battery in your ipod, and some patience.
mat314kid5 years ago
Can you please tell me where the power and ground go to? I have my board all wired up, have completed the flash card upgrade, just finished tribooting IPL, RockBox and the Original FW. All I need now is to know where to solder the power and ground because I can't find my multimeter anywhere and really don't have the money to go spend $30+ on a new one.
wvufan88666 years ago
where does the ground for the audio go to on the ipod? and where do the ground and power go to on the ipod that were on the top right of the bluetooth mb?
I second this request. This guide is useless because it leaves out these 2 critical steps. They show you disassembly, reassembly, but leave out where you actually solder the bluetooth power and audio wires. PLEASE FIX THIS GUIDE. IT IS USELESS IN IT'S CURRENT STATE!!
fstedie (author)  pledpfldfpldfp5 years ago
No need for insults, this instructable is not useless, tons of people have successfully modded their ipods with this guide. 

As for the power & ground, it was left out on purpose.  If you can't figure out where to solder these two then you probably shouldn't be doing it...
Mike89135 years ago
 does this enable you to sync with your computer via BT?
Hey, I am looking at modding either a 5G or 4G ipod with the compactflash internal ssd and then adding a FM transmitter. My problem is though that I can not find the internal voltage that the ipod runs on anywhere on the internet. I need this because as I have the larger version of both these ipods I wish to add an internal fm transmitter (belkin tunecast 1 or equivalent) for use in the car. I know that most electronic devices run at 5v and was wondering if the ipod has a dc-dc transformer in it to transfer the voltage from the 3.7v lithium cell. Am I right to assume that the dc-dc converter only turn on when the ipod is on? If so I will just use a voltage divider to supply my 3v input for the FM transmitter. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Robert Springer
MaltiK6 years ago
Must use up to 50% more power... so you will need to tether this baby, which will make the fact that its bluetooth kind of useless... because your wiring it up.
Wouldn't the constant exposure to the bluetooth give me cancer? I usually keep my ipod in my pocket the entire time. Im thinking long-term, I'm 16. So I don't wanna die at 50 or 40.
i dont think bluetooth gives you cancer
Nope.
wat do u mean by nope. nope as in it doesnt give u cancer or nope as in ur wrong
Doesn't give you cancer.
Everything gives you cancer. Starting with breathing. You just have to make your choice and take your risk. I don't mess with radioactive materials, or XRays, or asbestos, or tobacco, etc... But as for radio transmission using a low range transmitter like BT... The risk is so low, it's not worth worrying about - probably comparable to getting struck by lightening. Twice. In the same place.
not trying to rip on you in particular but to the general population...it drives me crazy when people say the higher number and then the lower number lol i.e. "50 or 40" or oh go put the cookies in for 15 or 10 minutes...its 10 OR 15 MINUTES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHH lol
Sorry mate but its a difference of opinion. It may annoy you, but try venting it somewhere more appropriate.
i agree, this is not the place to vent about it lol, but i do think that is lower to higher numbers.
I felt this was pretty appropriate considering this is a fun site for people and i thought I made it pretty clear it was a joke...I realize different people and places have different ways...lighten up
Have to agree. It just goes against grammatical convention. Just don't get me started on -Lack of capital letters -No space before ellipsis -Lack of quotation marks for direct speech -Overuse of exclamation marks -Etc -Etc Lol
I think thats microwave radiation and cell phones, bluetooth isn't powerful like cell phones
potato4137 years ago
how much are the clear front panels and where do you buy them?
For a 5th gen video they're only 10 bucks with a tool kit and everything else you need.
get em at http://www.rapidrepair.com/shop/ivue-ipod-crystal-case.html

just be warned, if you live outside of the us, they only ship international priority so you'll end up spending 30 bucks on shipping.
joly7 years ago
Really good tutorial! I might try it! but what do you mean by : CF card fully ATA compliant
fstedie (author)  joly7 years ago
fully ATA compliant means that the card will look just like a hard drive to the iPod.
Derin fstedie7 years ago
or in other words:CF is fully IDE
Derin Derin7 years ago
or sata
Derin Derin7 years ago
no not sata sata dosnt have 50 pins(i counted)
Redgerr Derin7 years ago
lol, thats a lot of counting :O
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