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) =)