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Author Topic: Turbo-charged iPod Classic  (Read 1732 times)

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Offline todd e

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Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« on: September 06, 2016, 11:12:40 PM »
After getting the feared RED X last month, I decided I wasnt going to let that be the end of my iPod.  7th gen, 160gb, slim line.

Found these nifty little flash cards, that will take up to 4 microSD cards and figured getting away from a optical HDD would be better in long run.
https://www.iflash.xyz/store/iflash-quad/

Figured for $40, why not?  Plus $150 for 512gb of microSD cards, way cheaper than any iPod Classic on eBay currently (499$ +)

Opened the case, swapped the hdd out for the flash drive, with microSD cards, replaced the holdswitch.headphone jack and battery with a 850mah, longer.  Bam, I'm tested at almost 490gb, and have finally been able to sync my full iTunes.  Something I've never really been able to do, without using two iPods.  I still prefer the 30pin > rca jack for real listening, but for now i'm happy.

Am curious if anyone thinks I should go ahead and RockBox this or not.  iTunes does work for now and no errors. 
EDIT: NEVERMIND, ROCKBOX is ok, what a difference compared to iTunes, wish it was more reliable.

This is described in Youtubes as being difficult, it is not.  I just went slowly and got the cheapo tools that came with the extra parts.  I got some additional rear covers but never ended up needing them as the metal spludger and guitar picks were enough to pop the case.

Wife, sister, family all want boosted iPods.  Wish the iPads were as easy, unfortunately they are all part of the boards.
« Last Edit: September 13, 2016, 03:45:49 PM by todd e »

Offline todd e

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #1 on: September 06, 2016, 11:13:24 PM »
pt2

Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #2 on: September 07, 2016, 09:19:12 AM »
Thanks for posting this. I have an iPod 5th gen that I use almost exclusively in the car. But it is has the annoying habit of starting at the first song alphabetically and does not resume from the last spot  played.
The will be cheap alternative to buying a flash based iPod touch.


Offline todd e

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #3 on: September 07, 2016, 10:53:12 AM »
check your serial # and generation model against this list:

https://www.iflash.xyz/store/iflash-compatibility/

some need different cables, but it should work out well.  the bigger battery is something i found on ebay

that sandish looks legit, but be careful i have 2 256gb cards sitting on my desk that only test out to 60gb each.  chinese knockoffs from ebay, fwiw.
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 03:53:04 PM by todd e »

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #4 on: September 07, 2016, 12:29:15 PM »
Nice job! I've been planning on trying this with my old v5.5 video. If rockboxing the Classic is anything similar, it retains the original OS as well and you can boot into either while holding buttons down.

edit - saw your edit.
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Offline nolamule

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #5 on: September 07, 2016, 02:18:49 PM »
I have a 320GB 7th generation classic that I would love to get 800GB flash, nice work!!! :cheers:


https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00V62XBQQ/ref=psdc_3015433011_t2_B012PKUTHQ
« Last Edit: September 07, 2016, 02:22:29 PM by nolamule »

Offline todd e

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #6 on: September 07, 2016, 04:15:36 PM »
dont hold back, there are 256, but only ones i've seen as confirmed are the samsung brand of microsd

Offline voltronic

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #7 on: September 07, 2016, 10:45:57 PM »
Very cool.

I tried a HDD upgrade on my old 5.5g, but ran into all kinds of problems that required manual partition table editing because of Apple's ridiculous non-standard partition alignment.  I eventually abandoned it; more work than it was worth.
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Offline gormenghast

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #8 on: September 13, 2016, 03:38:08 PM »
Very cool.

I tried a HDD upgrade on my old 5.5g, but ran into all kinds of problems that required manual partition table editing because of Apple's ridiculous non-standard partition alignment.  I eventually abandoned it; more work than it was worth.

I bought the 4 slot micro SD card flash card reader.  I have three iPod videos--5.5g 30gb, 80gb , and 7th or 6th gen.  The last one I opened but mangled the case.  Then somehow removed the battery connector from the board.  Tossed it and started on the 30g 5.5g.  Slowly and easily opened the case.  Carefully released the battery ribbon and removed the hard drive.  Installed the flash card reader but had some issues at first but realized the cable to the flash card reader was disconnected.  Everthing is working fine now. 2x128gb micro SD cards so far.  Restored and everything is working fine.  I have another 128gb card coming and then I'll seal up the iPod video and load it up. 

This 30gb 5.5g was my wife's.  she never really used it.  My 80gb 5.5g has ton's of video on it and I occasionally use it.

Thanks Todd E for sharing this.

Offline todd e

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #9 on: September 13, 2016, 03:45:06 PM »
congrats, only noticeable difference is how light these things get without the HDD. 

fwiw - you can order a rear case for real cheap, and it's recommended unless you have experience with disassembly.  nevermind, i see where you pulled the power connector off the motherboard.
yikes, sorry bout that.

I also had a deep epiphany last night.  For the past few months, I had been using a CD player 'cell phone' mount that operates by using a disc shaped magnet.  I assumed that they magnet was grabbing the metal case of the ipod, hmmm, not exactly.  Without the HDD inside, the magnet wont work, saying to me that the magnet was attracted to the HDD itself and by nearing the HDD with a magnet I caused the RED X.  Lots of 'ifs' but it's very probably.

i have tried the ROCKBOX option for the huge list of benefits, unfort, the 7th gen classic is not as reliable using dual boot.  i t worked for a few days, then i would encounter errors and frozen screen, etc.  not worth it, as everything else works well.

Offline gormenghast

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #10 on: September 13, 2016, 03:58:22 PM »
Yeah, no biggie on the first iPod video I messed up.  It was in a gym bag in the garage for who knows how long before I found it.  Belonged to my older son who is in the Navy and he told me he didn't want it anymore.  I learned a lot about how to open the iPod and carefully unlock the battery ribbon.  I might replace the battery, but right now I'm happy to get it where it is.  FWIW, this 30gb ( now 239gb ) iPod video was in a case from day one it was purchased.  I really didn't want to mess it up or scratch it.  Just gotta go slow.

Offline gormenghast

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #11 on: September 14, 2016, 11:42:39 PM »
417gb  :o  I read the 5.5g iPods had Wolfson DACs.  Does this mean anything?  I'm thrilled to have the humongous capacity to start loading all my live stuff I have.  Barely scratched the surface with my CD collection.

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Offline The Other Chris

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #12 on: September 15, 2016, 01:18:07 AM »
Just gotta ask, my classic 120 too has the red death X but I'm electronically incapable of doing this kind of work.  I'd be happy just to have it work again in any capacity, is this something one of you guys would be willing to work on?   
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Offline todd e

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #13 on: September 15, 2016, 08:47:53 AM »
http://macintoshhowto.com/ipod/which-ipod-has-the-best-audio-quality.html/2

"Generally, the best iPods are those with a Wolfson audio chip"

Offline todd e

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #14 on: September 15, 2016, 08:51:55 AM »
Just gotta ask, my classic 120 too has the red death X but I'm electronically incapable of doing this kind of work.  I'd be happy just to have it work again in any capacity, is this something one of you guys would be willing to work on?

no electronic work, other than unplugging items and replugging them in.  not once did i touch a soldering iron or have to do any splicing, it's pretty much plug and play apart from disassembly.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryjzuIhqAbo

i've gotta do my wife's next, fingers crossed

Offline gormenghast

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #15 on: September 15, 2016, 10:50:19 AM »
Yeah, no soldering.  But, really, watch several videos about the iPod you are opening.  Especially, when disconnecting the battery ribbon and other precautions   Read about the tested memory cards and the order in which they are installed.

Personally, I wouldn't want to open someone else's iPod. 

Offline tedyun

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #16 on: September 15, 2016, 12:38:25 PM »
The Wolfson DACs are audiophile quality and were found in high-end CD players during that time. If I remember correctly, the 4th and 5th gen iPods featured these, but then Apple went with TI for the later generation.

The problem was that all the components downstream of the DAC are low quality, so they weren't showcasing the benefit of having a high end DAC. One company called Red Wine Audio figured out how to mod the DAC and directly connect the signal to the line-out pins. They called this the iMod. You could send your iPod in for the mod, or you could buy modded iPods from them.

The iMod required a special 30-pin > 3.5 mm connector to plug into a headphone amp. So basically, to realize the high end sound of the DAC, you had to 1. Pay for the mod, 2. Buy the special connector, 3. Buy a headphone amp, and 4. (optional) Buy good quality headphones. So you were out a bit of money for this. But hey, that's nothing new for the audiophile world!

I have this setup, and I am still running it today. The headphone jack is unmodified, so it takes the signal from the DAC, feeds it to the low quality iPod amplifier, and I can do a comp by switching my headphones from the iPod jack to my headphone amp. The difference is clear and obvious, even to my ears which I don't consider audiophile. The soundstage difference is immediate. I also did a comp with an unmodded iPod, feeding into the same headphone amp, and I could still tell the difference.

You can read more about it on Head-fi.org, but I'm not sure if people are still doing it today. I don't think RWA is still selling the iMod or the mod service. Instead, newer audiophile grade music players are coming onto the scene.

Edit: Actually, poking around the iflash site that todd originally posted for the SDHC adapter, I found an article describing a user doing the iMod. This is possible if you're good at soldering. There are detailed instructions on head-fi.

https://www.iflash.xyz/modding-audiophile-meets-ipod-diymod/




417gb  :o  I read the 5.5g iPods had Wolfson DACs.  Does this mean anything? 
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 01:04:18 PM by tedyun »
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Offline gormenghast

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #17 on: September 15, 2016, 02:36:28 PM »
Thanks for the info above re: the Wolfson DAC.

Todd E.  When you Rockbox'd your iPod were you on a Windows computer or a Mac?  I've read about how to convert the iPod to FAT32 but we mostly use Macs in this house.  There is an ancient Dell here I might look into using.  Going into Terminal looks daunting--edit:  in the mean time I figured it out.  Brought back to life an old Dell laptop that needed much updates. 

Very cool stuff I didn't know existed.
« Last Edit: September 15, 2016, 06:13:37 PM by gormenghast »

Offline todd e

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #18 on: September 15, 2016, 10:30:16 PM »
Win7 Pro, was able to load the installer, and it worked for a few days...  but then it proved that it was unstable, as ROCKBOX suggests for a 7th gen.  An ancient Dell should work fine for a reformat, but I didnt have issue as install was all PC based, in origin.  i got a 'bad sector' error msg a few times, decided it wasnt something i was willing to try anymore until maybe a newer build is more compatible with a 7th gen and uninstalled the dual boot option. 

ive been thinking about doing it for friends, now.  opened 3 now, and know my way around mostly with these parts.  had no idea there would be such interest from my friends, but id stress only bother with any of this if your ipod is dead.  working ipod prob better to leave it as-is.

Offline StarkRavingCalm

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2017, 11:23:30 AM »
I have a 2015 Mazda 3 which is iPod compatible. But the vast majority of the time, the device is shown as "Apple Device" and does not resume last song played.
It starts at the first artist alphabetically. It is a 5th gen iPod Video.
Maybe one out of every 50 starts it will show up as "Apple iPod" and resume from last song played.
However, if I use an iPhone 4S, it resumes each time.

I have thought about performing this mod, thinking the issue is because the iPod 5 uses a HDD and not flash memory.


Anyone have a similar situation that this mod corrected?

Offline gormenghast

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Re: Turbo-charged iPod Classic
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2017, 02:32:03 PM »
I drive a 2014 GMC 1 ton truck.  I used the above iPod in it for a short while before I finally sold the iPod.  I never had a problem with the iPod starting where it stopped.  Could be a GM thing though compared to your Mazda.  I see the GM logo on the iPod when I start the truck.  My second gen itouch works the same as the iPod.   

 

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