iPod i killed my iPod...

Scarlet Fever

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Jul 22, 2005
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I made a (slightly modified) battery charger for my iPod using an old firewire cable, but the dock connecter on that got crushed. It still works, but i fear it will break soon, so i tried to make a new one.

I thought it would be a great idea to use a USB extension cable, because they are cheaper than iPod cables, and i wouldn't have to disect my USB to Dock cable to do it.

When i cut the cable, i found three wires; a black, red, white and a green. I figured the green wouldn't be power, and the black probably would be, because it always is. In the iPod cable, one of the power cables was white, but the consumer standard is red. I tested all combinations of red, black and white with a voltmeter when connected to my iPod, but i couldn't get anything to work.

This is where my inexperience with electronics shows. I plugged the cable in to my iPod, and tested it with the 12V (8 x 1.5V) battery pack. I tried black with black, red with red, and i didnt get anything. Then i tried black with red, red with black, and the iPod clicked, reset, and the battery meter went down from fully charged to drained. It started getting really hot, so hot i was concerned it could catch fire. I left it to cool, and now it doesn't respond when i press buttons, plug it into the wall charger, switch the hold. I short-circuited my (relatively) new U2 iPod, and the battery or the power unit seems to have killed itself.

If i take it back, what do you reckon my chances are of getting a replacement? I don't think i'll be trying to make battery packs when i dont know my positive from my negative again :p
 

dornoforpyros

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Oct 19, 2004
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Calgary, AB
:rolleyes: well if you tell them the truth their going to laugh at you. I suppose if there's no obvious damage to it visually you could probably go into a store and cry yourself a new one. But it's rather dishonest considering it was your own stupidity that broke it.
 

deepy

macrumors regular
Jun 28, 2006
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lol! this is like the kinda things i tend to do. when it works, it makes me feel clever lol. guess it went the opposite way for you. good luck getting a replacement but i really wouldnt tell them the truth!
 

pianoman

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May 31, 2006
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i'm all for honesty, but that would put you out $300+. so it's up to you whether you want to tell them the truth, part of the truth, or none of the truth.

i think if you tell them what really happened, your chances of getting a replacement will be nonexistent.
 

MattyMac

macrumors 68000
Oct 6, 2005
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NJ/NYC
Honesty usually pays off for me...good luck with your situation though. I'm sure you will make the right choice.

Very sorry to hear about your misfortune however:(
 

macEfan

macrumors 65816
Apr 7, 2005
1,210
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eek... that's not good!

Yes from now on for DC electronics:

+ = red
- = black
greeen = ground :D
 

mkubal

macrumors 6502a
Jul 22, 2002
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Tampa
The fact that it got really hot doesn't bode well. As you suspect, you've likely got yourself a broken iPod. But I didn't see in your post that you had tried to reset it. Just hold down the center button and menu button for a few seconds. If your lucky the iPod might come back to life. Sorry if you've already tried a reset. Good luck.

http://docs.info.apple.com/article.html?artnum=61705
 

fivetoadsloth

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Aug 15, 2006
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Well, you could trry to get it repaired, if it is just the battery and soundslike it probably is, you can get one for about $100 and maybe pay a bit extra for someone to do it for you, unless you want scarlet fever vs u2 ipod round 2.
 

pmackin

macrumors member
Oct 25, 2004
49
0
Chennai , India
Email steve an tell him what happned .. i'm sure u'l get a spankin new one :D ..
jus kiddin ... i'd jus take it to the store an play dumb .. this kinda tinkering needs to be encouraged ..just my 2 bits .
 

steamboat26

macrumors 65816
May 25, 2006
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Arlington VA
I would try to get it replaced for free, but if they open it up, wouldn't there be someway that the apple techs could find out that you fried your ipod?
 

Jasonbot

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Aug 15, 2006
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The Rainbow Nation RSA
Firewire is 12V USB is 5V, these must not be mixed up. SImply putting a USB port on a 12V firewire charger is most definately NOT COOL! I have been doing research after countless pages and stuuf I decided I'm making 3 chargers. one 12V firewire, one 9V step down circuit(USB), and -if i can- a 3.5V Boost regulator USB circuit. When I get all the parts, and the batteries, I'm goanna make it!
 

Scarlet Fever

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Jul 22, 2005
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I've taken it back today, and the report says the problem is that it isn't responding, and they are calling it dead. I didn't lie to them, i just didn't tell the whole truth :p I hope they don't find out too much though...

I do feel bad, though, because i love my Macs, and to rip them off a battery or a power unit for an iPod seems dishonest. I'll repay them by buying a Mac Pro and an ACD some day :D

Jasonbot said:
Firewire is 12V USB is 5V, these must not be mixed up. SImply putting a USB port on a 12V firewire charger is most definately NOT COOL! I have been doing research after countless pages and stuuf I decided I'm making 3 chargers. one 12V firewire, one 9V step down circuit(USB), and -if i can- a 3.5V Boost regulator USB circuit. When I get all the parts, and the batteries, I'm goanna make it!
Hmm... i didn't see that...
The FW Charge says it outputs 13V, but the USB only 5V. How is it that i can charge it normally with the FW without frying it? I can understand how reversing the power flow like I did would cause a few problems.

mkubal said:
But I didn't see in your post that you had tried to reset it. Just hold down the center button and menu button for a few seconds.
I forgot to mention it doesnt work at all. No response when i push a button, not even when i plug it in to get charged. Thanks for the heads up anyway.
 

ReanimationLP

macrumors 68030
Jan 8, 2005
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On the moon.
Yeah, the USB iPods are 5V.

You cooked it to death.

BTW, the power cords are the red and black ones, green is ground, and the white is for the actual data.
 

Scarlet Fever

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Jul 22, 2005
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ReanimationLP said:
Yeah, the USB iPods are 5V. You cooked it to death.
I cooked it when i reversed the power flow. Is it safe to charge it using the FireWire charger (and ultimately a (safe) 12V battery-powered charger)? Or should i be buying a new battery pack to hold 3 batteries (3*1.5V=4.5V)?
 

Jasonbot

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Aug 15, 2006
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Hmm... i didn't see that...
The FW Charge says it outputs 13V, but the USB only 5V. How is it that i can charge it normally with the FW without frying it? I can understand how reversing the power flow like I did would cause a few problems.
Yeah, FW is pretty flexible, 12, 13 same diff.

But for USB which is 5, giving it 13 is a BIT MUCH!!! giving it an extra 8V is definitely goanna fry the thing!!!

Check this site for battery packs
http://home.speedfactory.net/tcashin/ipodbattery.htm

This is a pretty well done 3.5 boost converter pack
http://home.speedfactory.net/tcashin/ipodbattery.htm

And this is a 9V step down
http://www.instructables.com/id/EO7VZ73NWXEP286ZV3/

G.Luck!!!!
 

ipodcentral112

macrumors regular
Jun 21, 2006
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ipodcentral112 said:
When you bring an ipod inm the mac genious' never open it up so chances are you are fine!
I once asked them if they were trained to open the units up and they said no so im guessing that they arent even allowed!
 

Scarlet Fever

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Jul 22, 2005
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ipodcentral112 said:
I once asked them if they were trained to open the units up and they said no so im guessing that they arent even allowed!
its not like it takes a lot of training to open up an iPod. I did with my 3G iPod, and i could have changed the front panel, battery, HDD, and logic board if i wanted to (and had the parts), and I have no Apple qualifications (yet!)
 

MattyMac

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Oct 6, 2005
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So, any more updates?

Did they give you a new one directly at the store, or are they sending it in??

Let us know.

Glad you were honest...hopefully
 

Scarlet Fever

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Jul 22, 2005
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MattyMac said:
So, any more updates?
I took it to Streetwise yesterday (monday), and they said it was dead. They gave me a call today, saying it's ready to be picked up. Im going in to pick it up tomorrow. I'll update this post with the solution.

As said before, I told them the issue, and i have a feeling they knew what i was doing that broke it, but they know me and replaced the stuffed parts under waranty. i've spent so much money at their shop i've more than made up the difference.

When i got my first iPod, the 3G one, i had enough money on my birthday to get one, but the Apple Centres couldn't do one with the Education price, and i couldn't wait the weeks it took to ship from the Apple Store, so i scraped a bit more together and went to Streetwise. It was $20 cheaper than the RRP, but $30 more than the Edu price, but i figured i'd rather be $30 out of pocket than wait weeks until it came. I had that iPod until a fat kid kicked it when it was in my pocket recently, and the HDD broke.

If you live locally (Melbourne, Australia), I really recommend you go there. They have great discounts on stuff, even Apple hard/software, the people there are brilliant, and the shop is massive compared to other Australian Apple stores.
 

iMeowbot

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Aug 30, 2003
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Scarlet Fever said:
The FW Charge says it outputs 13V, but the USB only 5V. How is it that i can charge it normally with the FW without frying it?
There are separate pins in the dock connector for USB and FireWire charging. As you found out, they really are different. For the next experiment: link.

(In case you're new to wikis, always check the page history to make sure that no random changes have been made to the information you're reading.)
 

ipodcentral112

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Jun 21, 2006
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iMeowbot said:
There are separate pins in the dock connector for USB and FireWire charging. As you found out, they really are different. For the next experiment: link.

(In case you're new to wikis, always check the page history to make sure that no random changes have been made to the information you're reading.)
But you can charge any ipod with fire wire!
 

Scarlet Fever

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Jul 22, 2005
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ipodcentral112 said:
But you can charge any ipod with fire wire!
yeah, i thought that as well. I've been charging my iPod, and several iPod Nanos with the FireWire charger, and it says when you connect the new iPods to the computer with FireWire that you can't connect, but you can charge through FireWire. The damage wasn't caused by using 12V instead of 5V, it was because i reversed the power flow.

Anyway, i got it back today. There wasn't really anything to note; just that it was replaced under waranty. If you're looking for a cheap U2 5th Gen iPod, check on the Refurbished page of the Australian Apple store; you might find mine there!
 

ipodcentral112

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Jun 21, 2006
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Scarlet Fever said:
yeah, i thought that as well. I've been charging my iPod, and several iPod Nanos with the FireWire charger, and it says when you connect the new iPods to the computer with FireWire that you can't connect, but you can charge through FireWire. The damage wasn't caused by using 12V instead of 5V, it was because i reversed the power flow.

Anyway, i got it back today. There wasn't really anything to note; just that it was replaced under waranty. If you're looking for a cheap U2 5th Gen iPod, check on the Refurbished page of the Australian Apple store; you might find mine there!
Haha, well im glad that you got it replaced!
 

iMeowbot

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Aug 30, 2003
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ipodcentral112 said:
But you can charge any ipod with fire wire!
That's irrelevant, you still have to use the correct pins. The page above shows the right ones to use.