IPhone Gadgets (lamp, Fan, Docking Station, Etc...)




Introduction: IPhone Gadgets (lamp, Fan, Docking Station, Etc...)

I'm a huge fan of gadgets so I decided to make my own gadgets for my iPhone 4.

This instructable will work with all the iDevices having the old 30 pins dock connectors. If you have an iDevice with the Apple lightning connector, don't be sad I'm sure it is quite easy to manage reading this instructable and doing few more researches on the internet.

The gadgets have been really easy to make and I used a lot of old stuffs I already had, so it only cost me 1€ for each dock extender.

In this instructable I'll show you how I made:

-an iLamp

-an iFan

-a docking station

-and others to come!

Step 1: Know the Dock Extender and Its 30 Pins!

Surfing on the internet I found several documents explaining the use of each pin of the iPhone dock, for example here, and I then realized I could make a lot of things knowing this!

Before to start, make sure you understand correctly the connections between input and output pins, and which is the 1st pin, the 2nd pin, etc... until the 30th pin.

My method to recognize the pins? Here it is:

-Remove the plastic on the dock extender.

-At the male part of the connector, notice the notches (see the picture) and place them face down. It has 30 pins like on the drawing I added, with the 1st pin on the left and the 30th pin on the right.

-Now see the female part of the connector: you can see on the upper part of the circuit 30 pins! On the right the 1st, on the left the 30th. It is inverted because it is the other part of the connector!

-Now that you know where to find each pins you will need to solder wires. But there is a problem: at the female part, the pins are too small and impossible to solder (well, for me and my soldering iron it was...), and at the male part where you can solder, the pins are not at the same position: some are visible on the upper face of the circuit, and some on the lower face! Therefore I followed each connection starting from the female part, to the male part of the connector: and I solder my wire here!

As you can see on the pictures:

You can solder pins 1, 3 and 11 on the upper part; and pins 2, 4 and 18 on the lower part. You don't remember what are those pins for? Have a look again on this page. On the pictures I tagged all the pins I used, so during the following steps, you can go back here to see which pins I am talking about!

Step 2: The ILamp

I first made this lamp thinking about my friends having an old iDevices without flashlight (old iPhones before the iPhone 4, old iPods, etc...)... Moreover this was a kind of test, to see if the realization of an iPhone gadget was possible.

Here is how I proceeded:

-I first removed the plastic on the dock extender

-Then I soldered the wires on the interesting pins (pin 1 for the ground and pin 18 for the 3.3V). This is the trickiest part, because it is really small, but don't be afraid I made it with an old and broken soldering iron.

-For the third step, built the circuit. For instance on mine I added a green led indicating the lamp is plugged, a switch for a white led as you can see on the pictures. Once built, you'll notice that to send curent, your device has to be activated, for example press the home button. The output voltage is about 3.2V, therefore make sure to add some resistances to get suitable curent and voltage for the leds. I used random leds that I found, so I had to use a voltmeter and a ammeter to find an adapted resistance. But if you know the the curent and voltage supported by the led, calculate it!

-Then comes the packaging. Use your imagination to find the perfect one: this maybe? Or this? I used a small plastic box I found, then I painted it in black.

-Once the circuit was correctly placed in the box, I filled it with an hot glue gun, then closed it!

Your iLamp is done!

Step 3: The IFan

After the lamp, I wanted another gadget that would be "useful" for me (because my iPhone 4 already has a flashlight...). As I had an old laptop completely disassembled I thought to use some of its pieces, and I found its fan!

It is supplied with 5V, so I give it a try with the 3.2V supply of the iPhone dock, and it worked!

So here is what I have done:

-Remove the plastic and solder the desired pins (1 and 18).

-Add a switch to the wires.

-This time I kept the plastic of the dock extender and I added the switch on it.

-Then I used a petri box (yes, I'm a biologist...) as fan box.

-I glued the dock extender and the the petri box, and I drilled holes so the wires could pass through the petri box.

-I soldered all the wires from the dock extender to the fan.

-Then I glued the fan base to the petri box.

Your iFan is done!

Step 4: The Docking Station

Then just after the iFan, I won at a raffle something called "iPhone docking station"! But it was a fake one, my iPhone couldn't even fit on the dock and there was just a phone connector for the music...

Therefore I decided that I would make a real iPhone docking station with it!

This gadget is different from the others because the pins you'll use are not the same (ground (pin1) and 3.3V (pin 18) for the previous gadgets, while here you need the audio ground (pin 2), the audio output right (pin 3) and left (pin 4) channels, and another ground at pin 11).

Here is how I proceeded:

  • Power supply

-For the iPhone you just need to connect your usb cable to your charger at one part, and to the dock extender to the other part.

-The station needs 5V... And the iPhone charger provides 5V! That's perfect, so I soldered a wire to the red wire (5V) in the iphone usb cable, and a wire to the black wire (ground) of the iphone usb cable.

Thus both of the iPhone and the station are fed with the iPhone charger.

Just to warn you: I guess that the curent provided to the iPhone is then a bit lower, because the charger has to feed both the station and the iPhone. So the iPhone might be charged a bit slower... Does it affect the battery? Well I don't know, so if you do it you might take some risks for your battery, and I don't want to be responsible for that!

  • Audio supply

This step is just to replace the phone connector with the dock extender.

-First cut the phone connector, you'll find 3 different wires: 1 for the left output, 1 for the right output and the ground. Get rid of the phone connector you don't need it anymore (I mean you don't need it anymore in this instructable, but keep it for another one).

-Connect the left output of the station cable to the pin 4; the right output to the pin 3; and the ground to the pin 2.

-Then there is a kind of security: if you want to use the station speakers, the pin 2 and the pin 11 have to be connected together! Therefore I added a switch between them so I can choose: if I just want my iPhone to charge on the station, I use the switch OFF. If I want to charge my iPhone AND listen to music on my station, I use the switch ON.

-Connect the USB iphone cable with the dock extender. On the dock extender the pins used now are: pin 1 (ground for power supply), pin 2 (ground for audio), pin 3 (right output), pin 4 (left output), pin 11 (ground for audio) and pin 18 (3.2V)!

Your docking station is ready!!

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    5 Discussions


    6 years ago

    Do you have to have the resistor on the ILamp


    6 years ago on Introduction

    Simple, Clear, Money friendly, well done! Thx i will build my own!


    6 years ago

    This is very useful for me thankyou. Do you know how many volts is the output of pins


    Reply 6 years ago on Introduction

    Hi! I'm glad if you found it useful. The voltage provided by the iPhone is 3.3V!


    6 years ago

    For lightning devices you can use the lightning to 30pin adapter