The ZipDock





Introduction: The ZipDock

My friend asked me to make him an ipod dock/charger, and this is what happened. I think that it turned out pretty well, despite being made from parts that were found laying around the house.

Step 1: Get Your Stuff Together...

First of all, go around the house scrounging old electronics and stuff. You'll also need to "modify" a ziplock, so use one that you don't need.

Stuff -
2 small speakers
A cable to connect them to the iPod
Square ziploc (pictured)
An iPod to try it out on

Tools -
If you make your own cables - wire strippers, electric tape
Suggested - A hole-cutter attatchment for a drill (this is just to make things easier; a sharpie would work too).

Step 2: Cut Speaker Holes

Use a dremel to cut a hole to fit your speakers. To mark out mine, i used a hole cutter the same size as the cone on the back of my speaker (see other photo).

Step 3: Attach Speakers

I used little screws, but most anything would work. If you use hot glue, be careful not to get any in the speaker. Again, do the same on the other side.

Step 4: Almost Done

Put an ipod in, and mark out where the click wheel and headphone jack are with a sharpie. Also put a dot about 1cm down from each corner of the ipod, and about 1mm away from it (where the elastics are). Take it out, and cut out holes for the clickwheel and headphone jack with a dremel. Also cut a hole for the headphone jack to get out of the ziploc (second picture). Don't worry about the elastic bands for now.

Step 5: Holding the Ipod

To keep the ipod in place, cut two slits going across the dots you drew in the previous step. Push elastics halfway through them, and slide the iPod into them. Then, pull the elastics up and over (or under) the entire setup. If anyone has a better idea of how to hold the iPod in place, please post it on the comment board.

Step 6: Finished!

To use it, simply plug the headphone jack into the iPod and flip it over (second picture). When you aren't using it, it all folds up into the ziploc!



    • Creative Misuse Contest

      Creative Misuse Contest
    • Water Contest

      Water Contest
    • Clocks Contest

      Clocks Contest

    22 Discussions


    11 years ago

    good job. thats pretty cool. oh and it might not look good. but an idea(keep in mind im from the ghetto so i dont mind much for looks haha) but if you really only wanted this for everyonce and a while than you should cut a slot at the bottom where you charge it, and just make the slot kinda like a trapdoor. with some tape to make sure it doesnt open easily and the iPod fall out. this way you dont have to worry about the crap in the container getting broken while you try to take out the ipod?

    2 replies

    v2 has an integrated charger; doesn't even need to plug into a computer. Takes 4 AA batteries. I'll post an instructable soon...

    great idea, im trying to do something similar. Can someone please email me at to tell me how to hook up a small speaker, so I can plu it into my ipod to listen to my music outloud? Thanks

    The new one has an amplifier inside it, and the iPod/Zen/Etc is on the outside by a cord. I built my own version of a mintyboost a while ago, with 4 AAs and a voltage regulator. It's what I had lying around.

    I have actually done a similar project to this except on a much larger scale. I used a 16 quart igloo cooler an old car stereo and speaker, a tractor battery, and some cleverness to make an amazing boom box that easily hooks into my ipod. Great for weekend at the lake or the park or anything outside that can be more fun by the addition of music.

    How do you plan to amplify the sound? I've done something similar to this but I couldn't figure out how to amp the sound without having to buy anything special.

    1 reply

    I really need to update this... this doesn't even exist anymore. Right now, the sound is amplififed by a simple circuit from a cheap iPod amp. A small headphone amp would work too. Anyways, the new one is much better. It's louder, rechargeable, has more speakers, and some cool lights and switches. Also, it's covered in camo duct tape, which is unbelieveably cool.

    I was wondering what cords you use to connect the speakers together, and then to the iPod. Sorry if this seems like a weird question, I'm sort of new to this stuff.

    2 replies

    Headphone plug --> insulated wires --> amplifier circuit --> more wires --> speakers.
    Once again, I don't use this anymore, and it was a good concept but not a very good machine. Maybe I'll put up a picture of the new one on my blog at some point,

    Okay. Sounds good. I'm currently working on a new one of my own. I started out with probably the most basic idea for one of these systems, but now I've "improved."

    Thats pretty cool! But isn't it hard to get at the IPOD underneath it all? like, if you want to change songs or something? Maybe you could cut another hole in the bottom to accessthe control panel? Though, judging by the fact that you can just plug it into the ipod, I guess that you're not neccessarily going to keep the Ipod in there All the time. lol How's the sound quality, by the way? I set up a similar plug for a slightly bigger speaker, and the sound is great, but just really soft.

    6 replies

    If you look at the whole thing, you'd see that there's a hole to access the click wheel.

    I think what Neodudeman was asking was if you wanted to take the ipod out of the docking station, you'd have to dig under all the electronics to do so. Wouldn't it be easier to attach it to the lid instead and fill around and under it with something like styrofoam to give it a solid surface to lie on. That way you could just unplug the wires, take the lid off and take the ipod out. One other thing about this design that could also use some impovement is how close the speakers are to the ipod. The magnets in the speakers could damage the ipod (The screen, the memory, etc). Just a thought.

    Thats what i was going to say about the magnets.. i give it a week or two before that ipod is shot.

    In the new version, the iPod is outside of the case. Inside, there is now an amplifier from one of those cheapo ipod docks, as well as a couple new speakers. The hole where the click wheel was is now filled by a speaker, and there's a new one on the front. The cord comes out a hole on the back, and plugs into any mp3 player.

    I forgot about the speakers.... the hard drive is sheilded pretty well, and it has no impact whatsoever that i can tell.

    I've modified it so there's almost no wires in there, and it's actually pretty easy now. I'm currently adding an amplifier and a battery charger. It just slides in and out, and you can keep iPod accessories and stuff in there.

    Try to patent the thing, you could sell these things man, "the affordable iHome"