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Sunday, February 20, 2011

Hacking data ribbons

I wonder if I could splice wires into a data ribbon by sticking a very fine needle through the plastic and making contact with the conductor inside, then connecting that wire to something else? Seems plausible, right?

The occasion for this wondering is that my Bose soundstation ipod dock has finally kicked it. It was already not working with the iphone 4, and its finally stopped working even with my old iphone. The symptom is that it keeps disconnecting (apparently) from the phone, making the phone stop the music and display the message "this device is not designed to work with the iphone...". The fact that this lovely piece of equipment has no 3.5mm jack makes this problem render it effectively broken.

SO: my thought is that I should be able to wire a 3.5mm jack into it somehow. I opened it up, hoping to find some place where the input gets converted from the 30-pin ipod connector to just the left and right channels, but alas, there's no obvious place. Except at the ouput to the speakers, but I assume that if I want some amplification it'll have to be somewhere a little further back.

I've found the circuit diagrams for the 30 pin connectors online, and it looks like the lines of interest are 1 (ground), 3 (left) and 4 (right). My hope is that I can just do the operation I described above at the outermost connection point and solder those wires to a female 3.5mm jack. I know of no reason why this shouldn't work. I will update.