Tape Measure From IPod Headphones

Ever needed to measure something, but did not have a tape measure handy? Next time, use your iPod headphones!

Just add inch marks to the headphones' cable, and you'll have a 31" long measuring tape that's always with you, with no extra weight or clutter.

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Step 1: Tools and Materials

Soldering iron or other heat source.

Step 2: Make Inch Marks on the Headphones' Cable

The first mark will be on the connector. I used red marker on 10th, 20th, and 30th inch.

Step 3: Heat the Marks

We're not done yet! The marks can rub off and stain your clothes later, and you probably don't want that.

To make the marks last longer, heat them up so that the ink diffuses better into the external surface of the cable sleeve. I used 25W soldering iron, but pretty much any heat source will do.

Hold the cable right on top of the heating element of the hot iron, rotating the cable slowly. Don't let the cable touch the iron! You want the hot air ascending from the iron to make the external surface of the cable's insulation soft, but not melt it. Usually 20 to 30 seconds should be enough, but you might want to experiment a little on an extra bit of cable to determine optimum time.

Step 4: That's It!

Carefully wipe the cable with a piece of cloth to make sure the marks stay permanent and won't run. That's it!

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    6 Discussions


    10 years ago on Introduction

    I think this is a very good, simple idea. I never would have thought of that


    12 years ago on Introduction

    What about using a silver paint marker instead of the black? It might look a little better. You could add that to a black earbud cable, too, for those who dislike the standard Apple ones for whatever reason. Better yet, how about silver and gold paint markers: one for inches, the other for centimeters? I'm not sure if the solvent in the paint will damage the soft plastic cable insulation, though... Probably not.


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Wouldn't it be just as easy to carry a tape measure? I carry a 12-footer a lot and it takes up just about as much space as my ipod. Plus, it's like, accurate, and stuff. Also, i stopped using ear buds for the following reasons: They sound awful, they are uncomfortable to wear, you might as well carry a sign that says "I'm carrying a very small, very expensive piece of audio equipment. Please mug me."


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Schweet, I got a pair of iPod mini ear buds I never use, cuz the Mini broke (got a Video now 30g)


    12 years ago on Introduction

    Creative. I like it. I do occasionally need to measure an item and never have a tape measure or ruler on me.