iPhone 4 Dock to Lightning Conversion

ipedro

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 30, 2004
4,987
5,665
Toronto, ON
I'm starting on a project to convert my iPhone 4 dock into a Lightning dock.

In principal, there's no reason why this shouldn't work. I looked up iFixit's teardown and found that:

- It seems pretty straightforward to disassemble
- The 30 Pin dock connector opening will be more than wide enough to allow a Lightning connector to pass through

I may have to strip the Lightning connector but once the housing is off, it'll fit inside the dock and a glue gun will be all that's needed to keep it in place.

Of course the function of the dock will be merely for charging with the original cable protruding out the back instead of the 30 pin Dock connector. The audio jack will not work.

I'll post pictures when I'm done.
 

akonikui

macrumors regular
Jun 30, 2007
195
21
Very interested! I'd love to see how this turns out, as this is exactly the kind of dock I'd want.
 

Senseotech

macrumors 6502a
Nov 23, 2009
773
14
NC
Of course I'm going to feel really dumb if Apple does indeed release an iPhone 5 dock this fall as mentioned in the iPhone 5 manual.
The wording is a little funky, but its obvious that the dock mentions are about the 4S and lower. Anyway, back on topic, I'm subscribed since this sounds quite interesting. Good luck and be sure to document so the rest of us can get our hands dirty and try if it works!
 

ipedro

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 30, 2004
4,987
5,665
Toronto, ON
An update: I took apart the Lightning connector and found that the iPhone4 dock is too low profile to fit the connector in there without re-soldering the connections. I don't have the equipment to do that -- the connections are tiny. An L shaped plug would work or you have to re-solder the existing cable into a 90' L shape.

This may require more skill than simply discarding the insides of the iPhone4 dock, threading the Lightning cable through and holding it in place with a glue gun.
 

wpalomine

macrumors member
Oct 22, 2010
50
9
I too tried converting an iPhone and iPad docks, but could not fit the iphone5 dock connector. I ended up creating a Lego dock with back support.

For anyone creating a DIY dock, don't forget to compensate for a case. Raise the connector by the thickness of your case. This way the dock will work for both naked and cased iphone5.
 

bbydon

macrumors 6502a
May 18, 2005
583
87
ATL
I too tried converting an iPhone and iPad docks, but could not fit the iphone5 dock connector. I ended up creating a Lego dock with back support.

For anyone creating a DIY dock, don't forget to compensate for a case. Raise the connector by the thickness of your case. This way the dock will work for both naked and cased iphone5.
Mind posting a picture of the lego dock? Sounds Fun!
 

ToddJ

macrumors 6502
May 23, 2008
456
13
An update: I took apart the Lightning connector and found that the iPhone4 dock is too low profile to fit the connector in there without re-soldering the connections. I don't have the equipment to do that -- the connections are tiny. An L shaped plug would work or you have to re-solder the existing cable into a 90' L shape.

This may require more skill than simply discarding the insides of the iPhone4 dock, threading the Lightning cable through and holding it in place with a glue gun.
have you tried again since then? i was looking to convert my iPad 30 pin dock to a lightning one (where i just thread the lightning cable through.)
 

ipedro

macrumors 601
Original poster
Nov 30, 2004
4,987
5,665
Toronto, ON
have you tried again since then? i was looking to convert my iPad 30 pin dock to a lightning one (where i just thread the lightning cable through.)
Talk about blast from the past! Docks have since become widely available so I just purchase one with a new iPhone.

I'm a fan of the Twelve South HiRise Lightning Dock. I use one for my iPhone 6 Plus and iPad Air.
 

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