Ghetto Packaging IPod Dock





Introduction: Ghetto Packaging IPod Dock

About: I'll save you 5 minutes of your life and point you to my blog instead: Hope you enjoy! -dragontail

Tired of spending money on an iPod dock that should have been included with your iPod? Here's a quick and easy way of building your own using nothing more than a cardboard box and duct tape =)

In the near future, I'll post some more images up on my blog /dragonomics. Feel free to check it out sometime =P!

Before I start, I'd like to mention that this was not my idea, the credit goes to this guy. Here goes my debut on Instructables - please have fun =P

What you'll need:

> Cardboard box or packaging box of some kind. (You should be able to open the box without damaging the exterior)
> iPod dock adaptor (the plastic thingy that came with your iPod)
> iPod USB cable (or firewire, if you own an older iPod)
> Duct tape/ tape of your choice (always handy)
> Knife, scissors (for cutting)
> Pen/pencil, ruler

Step 1: Preparing and Gutting the Box

To start off, you'll need to source your box. Try to find one that you can open easily without wrecking the box. Remember the box will form the base of the dock. I decided to use the packaging from a Logitech Quickcam Express box (came with my Dell laptop AFAIK). You'll need to basically empty and remove the contents of the box you are going to use. Remove any excess flaps and bits of cardboard from the interior using the knife.

Step 2: Planning the Cut (part Uno)

Plan where the iPod adaptor will stick out of the now gutted box. This should be on the top of the box. I decided to make mine at an angle for "artistic value" =)

Draw around the adaptor with a pen or pencil. Please note that you cannot just cut this out, as the adaptor will simply fall right through the hole! I'll dicuss how to sort this problem out the next step (you'll most likely have worked this out - it's not rocket science =P)

Step 3: Planning the Cut (part Dos)

The adaptor is wider at the top (this is the side you see when your iPod sits in the adaptor) than at the bottom.

To make sure the adaptor won't fall through, we are going to make the hole the same size as the bottom of the adaptor - ie. smaller than the top of the adaptor. Since it's difficult to draw around the bottom of the adaptor as it's curved, the best method is to estimate it (see the pencil marks in the image below). The ruler helps here =)

Step 4: Making the Cut

Pull out that handy knife and cut along the inside of the lines. It is always better to make the opening smaller than you need. This is because if you make the opening too big, then you're stuffed, but if you make it too small, you can always make it bigger. I found it easier to make an incision with the knife, and then cut the rest with a heavy pair of kitchen scissors. Be careful not to cut towards yourself (more likely to cut yourself that way).

Once that's done, test fit the adaptor to see if it fits. Adjust the size of the hole if needed. Try to get a compact fit.

Finally, secure the adaptor onto the box along the inside with tape. Make sure the adaptor is securely fastened onto the box.

Step 5: Unbarbing the Cable

The end of the USB recharger cable that clips into the iPod will have 2 "barbs" which enables it to "click" when attached to your iPod (this is to allow a secure attachment). Since we will use the cable in this project, we will have to remove the barb mechanism - otherwise we would have to open the dock and unattach the iPod manually every time we wanted to diconnect it!

The way to do this is by tightening a rubber band around the release catch of the barbs (see image). Test this by inserting the cable into the iPod and taking it out again. The barb shouldn't interfere and "click" any more.

Step 6: Adding in the Cable

Using the knife again, cut a hole in the side of the box (preferably the back of the box facing away from you). This is for the cable to come out of the box. Feed the cable through the hole.

Step 7: Securing the Cable

Now attach the cable to the adaptor so that the iPod connector coming out of the USB cable is poking out of the hole in the adaptor. This is difficult to do, and I had to try several times to line it up correctly. You should end up with a nice fit (see first image).

Once the connector is lined up, use plenty of tape to secure the cable in position (see second image). You don't want it falling out half way during syncing, do you?

Step 8: And There You Have It!

The title is lying, we are almost done =) The key here is to test the setup - if the cable isn't lined up right, then the iPod won't connect. If it doesn't work, readjust the cable until it works.

And thats it basically! That wasn't too bad was it? Okay, it looks pretty cheap right now in a cardboard box, so go ahead and decorate it! Print out some funky graphics and cover the box to hide it's humble origins ;) I liked the "ghetto" look of it, so I decided to leave it alone =D

As I have said before, I don't get credit for the idea, I got inspiration from engadget.

I hope you enjoyed this Instructable! Please feel free to comment, (good or bad) =)



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    21 Discussions

    building another dock from an old dead box speaker i had in my car, gonna use it for charging/aux in the car, i'll put pic's up when im done :F

    Ok i got the pix of the iBoaT here they are ;] hope ya like it i'll post a instructable on it soon maybe one day xD

    5 replies

    ok i will be ready to bomb it(oh no there goes plan #5454554 >:D)

    my plans of world domination have been renewed! I will take all the iPods in the world,and sell them for $100000 without dock adapters or boxes.(oh no there goes plan #5454555)

    hey man i just had a kick ass idea and this is how i made my iBoaT it looks wicked man i took the top of the box i made and cut that out then i found my old lego boat which is basicly solid plastic and hollowed out the center so there was a free space i traced around it and cut that then i duct taped the whole thing after that i waited a day cuz i was lazy and it was getin late enyway after that i took it and designed it with electrical tape orange, and black so then i made letters sayin iBoaT in blackductape and a little wavy thing underneath after that i took the whole thing and superglued the whole top so its shiney and will stick enyway looks wicked man all i need to do now is get some more black tape and strip that layer i already put down that i kinda screwed up and need to re-tape it because i put a few fingerprints of the way i cut myself pritty deep doin this cuz i got super glue on my fingers and the only way to get it off is to scrape it off with a knife i was usin a box cutter and it cut me badly so dont be retarted like me but the finished result was awsome it works too :) i'll have some pics up soon just dont know when -Tvman

    2 replies

    Gimme a shout when you get them photos up, that sounds pretty cool. Not the superglue bit though, that just sounded painful :/


    11 years ago

    Good Job, I'll probably do this but not in a cardboard box, probably a project box I have. Good job though :P

    2 replies

    Hey thanks =)
    Let us know how that goes with the project box

    LOL quarter pound dock nice i just made mine from the box mine came in :) looks cool im gonna put ducktape all around it and write stuff on it or draw on it if i get bored cool man this was a great instructable i checked the prices at target and suck for docks 40 bucks =/ so i was lookin for a cheap alternative and here it is :D cool insturctable man

    The quarter pound dock:


    11 years ago

    hey, i created one from your instructions, except i used a smaller box and taped it all with black electrical tape: unfortunatly, after a while, the cable didnt want to connect with the iPod, so i gave up on it. it was a fun little project..

    1 reply

    Hey Mark9, love the idea of covering it with black tape! Sorry to hear about it not working, though at least you had fun =)

    i did almost the same thing but i didnt use carboard i used a cement block=) i made a spot for ipod in block then holes for cords. i pull cords through reconnect them to speakers and presto! a SUPER industrial ipod dock that has anti-steal written all over it!

    1 reply

    That must be fully indestructible =D! Must have had access to some power tools?


    11 years ago

    nicely done home boy rofl :)