Archive for the Category » Audio «

Monday, December 08th, 2008 | Author:

The original plan was to add a 5 volt regulator in the Dension cradle cable. I was planning to add it about 6 inches from the connector and heat shrink it when I was done like some sort of cable goiter. As I was checking out the back cavity of the cradle I realized that the regulator would damn near fit inside it. However, with the metal attachment bracket it wouldn’t quite fit. I ground down the metal bracket and sanded down the regulator a bit and everything fit perfectly. I added filter caps before and after the regulator to suppress noise and called it as day. The cradle is working well and is ready to install. As usual, pictures are below.

Monday, December 08th, 2008 | Author:

Last night I installed the voltage divider assembly into the Dension cradle.  I thought I had some fine soldering tools but my smallest Metcal iron tip looks like a Louisville Slugger next to the 30 pin cock connector pins.  It took some steady hands (which apparently I don’t have either), and some good diffuse light to make these connections.  I used a strand of silver plated copper wire to make the connections, and a piece of the full stranded wire to make the power connection to the voltage divider assembly.

It would have been a little less kludgy to make a new circuit board with the proper resistor divider traces on the board, but I’m not sure that I can make a boar with traces fine enough to reliably fit the connector.  I am also concerned that I couldn’t get the connector off the existing board without damaging it.  So this is the result.  It seems to work quite well at this point.

The next step is to step down the power coming into the cradle from 12(ish) volts to 5 volts.  A linear regulator doing this job would be dumping more power into heat than it provides to the iPhone for charging, which not only may overload the factory head unit, also requires the linear regulator be heat sunk somewhere.  V-Infinity has a really snazzy switching regulator that has an efficiency of about 92%. This means that during full charging, the regulator will only dissipate about 0.2 watts and will not need a heat sink.

Sheldon

Wednesday, December 03rd, 2008 | Author:

This resistor divider kludge marks the official start of modifying a pair of Dension Ice Link iPod cradles for use with 3G iPhones.  The Dension Ice Link is a cradle that fits a variety of Apple iPod models (and iPhones).  It plays audio out from the iPod through an OEM car stereo, and charges the iPod unless you have a 3rd gen nano, 2nd gen iTouch, or iPhone 3G.  These new models charge via USB only, and these old Ice Link systems only charge via FireWire.  With a little kludging, that problem is easily solved, and for $7 on ebay, these systems are a steal. 

 

Sheldon

 

Category: Audio, Automotive, iPhone  | Tags: , , , , ,  | Comments off
Sunday, November 23rd, 2008 | Author:

Several years ago I bought a Dension Ice Link to charge my iPod and play it through my Toyota stereo. This system has served me well though a 3rd generation iPod, a 5.5th generation iPod, and a 1st generation iPhone. A friend of mine went out and got himself a sweet 3G iPhone only to find out that many of the older accessories do not work with it. To date, there are no car cradle systems that both play the iPhone through the stereo and also charge the unit.

It appears that the newest generation of iPods (4th gen nano, 2nd gen touch, 3G iPhone) do not charge through the firewire pins of the dock connector anymore. They are USB only, and not just any USB either. So many USB chargers are blissfully ignored by the iPhone.

My friend’s desire to get a car integration system for his 3G iPhone and m desire to understand what had changed with the dock connector has led me to try to understand the changes in the newest generation charging circuit.

Information is pretty scant out on the interwebs, but I did find this: http://pinouts.ru/Devices/ipod_pinout.shtml
which talks about what appears to have changed in the charging circuit, and why any old USB charger won’t charge a 3G iPhone. Cutting to the chase, the issue is that the USB dock pins are in fact used for charging, but having 5 volts present on the 5 volt pin of the USB plug of the sync isn’t enough (and ground obviously). The Data+ and Data- lines need to be held at a certain voltage for the phone to recognize that it should charge.  The Data+ pin needs to be held at 2.8 volts, the Data- pin needs to be held at 2.0 volts.

I have a craptastic generic USB car charger that would not charge my first generation iPhone.  This charger like every generic USB charger I’ve measured leaves the data pins floating.  This strikes me as a very wise decision, but makes it a non-starter to charge the iPhones.  I cracked my generic charger open and added a pair of voltage dividers form the 5volt pin to the ground pin.  I chose resistor values I had laying around to produce the 2.0 and 2.8 volts.  The pinouts.ru link suggested different values for the divider resistors, the absolute choice seems to not be critical.  Shown blow is some pictures of the process.  

This is the first step in modifying my Dension Ice Link for charging 3G iPhones.  My friend bought an Ice Link from ebay for $30 and we are going to mod the cradle for charging 3G iPhones.  Stay tuned for that later.  

Category: Audio, Computers, iPhone, Tacoma  | Tags: , , , ,  | 4 Comments