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Recently, I decided to research/investigate how far one can go to upgrading an ancient (2003) 3rd gen iPod, which I have been using both for general portable listening but also as the music repository for my FM microbroadcast station.

 

Several years ago, I upgraded the original 20gb hard drive (HDD) to a larger/faster 80gb HDD; & the original, no-longer-holding-a-full-charge 650mAh battery to a nearly double-capacity 1,100mAh battery. Both mods improved the iPod's function & usability, but they were more evolutionary than revolutionary since HDD technology is still somewhat slow & prone to vibrational effects & the extra battery capacity added only about an hour of additional running time. I also installed Rockbox, which, for those who do not know, trades run-time for modernization in the form of a wealth of new functions/features that help to bring the iPod into the 21st Century.

But, still, the iPod's limited by its rudimentary technology. So I thought it was time to consider swapping-out the HDD for a solid-state drive (SSD) & see about more modern battery options. After a few days worth of googling, youtubing & alot of reading, I came to the conclusion that the quickest, most efficient storage upgrade would be a 128gb CF card & 1.8" IDE-to-CF adapter, which is a simple, drop-in replacement for the HDD. So I have ordered the parts & will report back once I have them. In the meantime, it seems that having to restore the Apple firmware & Rockbox software on the new storage medium has presented many problems for others. So my plan is to clone the existing HDD to an image file on my PC's hard drive using my Raspberry Pi's cloning program, Balenaetcher, which supports CF SSDs, so, in theory at least, I should be able to clone the existing system over to the SSD & boot-up without having to go through the restoring festivities.

Additionally, I found that the 1st & 2nd gen iPods came with a much larger -- both in size & capacity (2200mAh) -- battery. Since the SSD drive is about half the height of the OEM HDD, I will have some extra space within the case that may fit a larger battery. After all, why waste space that could help to provide a longer run-time. So I purchased a 1,700mAh battery that is nearly the same dimensions as the original HDD, so, hopefully, it will fit sandwiched nicely between the top of the SSD & the iPod's cover. But shortly after finding the 1,700mAh battery, I began seeing similarly sized batteries (same 3.7V) but with far greater capacities (e.g., 7,200mAh), but I am hesitant to order any of these due to their dimensions being even larger than the 1,700mAh battery I now have -- but have not yet installed.

So, to wrap up, if anyone else has experience upgrading old 3rd gen iPods, please add your $0.02. Or, if you have been considering your own upgrades but have questions, post them here. This might become an interesting thread for those of us who cannot keep from tinkering.

Here is my iPod running the original Apple OS, the new battery & Rockbox'd screen & broadcasting hardware (transmitter & digital signal processor that handles compression, eq, etc.) that sends the iPod's music out over the (local) FM waves

6542ipod 008+1.jpg

rockbox & 1700mAh.jpg

ms-100 & 322.jpg

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  • freddy333 changed the title to Mod 'Pod

This is awesome. I have the same iPod and felt these early models had the best DACs. I’m tempted to follow your lead. 😄

 

What is the story with the FM transmitter? That looks intriguing.

 

Keep us posted with your progress!

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On 4/10/2022 at 3:10 AM, Ronin said:

What is the story with the FM transmitter? That looks intriguing.

 

In the US, it is illegal to operate an unlicensed (i.e., "pirate") AM or FM radio station. However, the FCC carved out an exemption for ultra low power transmitters (in part, due to the fact that many household appliances naturally emit radio waves) that is colloquially termed Part 15 broadcasting. Like all legal issues involving the government, broadcasting involves a complex set of laws with alot of legalese. So, if interested in getting involved in this hobby, I would recommend doing some research &/or speaking with a local lawyer specializing in broadcast communications.

But, for the discussion here, it basically means that your transmitter must not interfere with any licensed broadcast stations (find an empty space on the FM band & set your broadcast frequency there) & that signals coming from each transmitting device do not go more than about 200 feet in any direction (for AM, I think the limit is 2 miles, but I have not researched that so do not quote me). If you live in a fairly populated location, you could potentially have a reasonable audience.

In its most simple form, you need only a music/talk/sound source -- smart phone, cd player, microphone or 2 (for guests/interviewees), ipod, winamp, etc -- & a low power FM (or AM) transmitter & you are "ON AIR". There are a fairly wide range of these FCC Part 15 certified transmitters (to be legal, the transmitter must display a valid FCC certification on its case & be unmodified), starting at about $40 & running up to several hundred. Additionally, depending on how serious or professional you want your station to sound, you might add things like mixing consoles, faders, compressors, equalizers & other electronics to improve &/or tailor your broadcast sound to produce a more polished program.

If you are interested, here are 2 (FCC Certified) transmitters -- 1 from each end of the price/quality spectrum -- that are capable of producing excellent quality sound that you might look into --

C.Crane FM Transmitter 2

Decade MS-100S

 

You might also google "part 15 broadcasting", "micro broadcasting" & "pirate radio stations". Alternatively, you could set up an online radio station that "broadcasts" only on the web.

 

It is worth noting that there are many companies selling (generally, Chinese made) FM transmitters that far exceed the permissible limits, but claim to be "FCC Certified", but are not. In fact, in my experience, the vast majority of microbroadcasters are actually operating beyond the law. That said, it is unlikely that the FCC will target you as long as your signal does not interfere with local, licensed broadcasts or cause the public to complain to the FCC that your broadcasts are either interfering with their TV reception (it would take quite alot of power to do that, so it is not generally a problem for microbroadcast transmitters), full of objectionable language or promoting illegal activity.

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Fantastic. Before the lockdowns a my buddy and I were DJing 1960’s Garage Rock and we began converting the Vinyl to a streaming friendly format. We are also vintage audiophile guys with FM Tuners on most of our 70’s Hi-Fi gear and we’re looking to; at a minimum, be able to stream to any room in the house to these vintage stereos. This looks like an ideal solution.
 

Sure, we could use the AUX ports with Bluetooth transmitters but what fun is that if all you need to do is “tune-in”. 

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1 hour ago, Ronin said:

We are also vintage audiophile guys with FM Tuners on most of our 70’s Hi-Fi gear and we’re looking to; at a minimum, be able to stream to any room in the house to these vintage stereos. This looks like an ideal solution.

 

It is. Ask me how I know --

1601 & 10B 005+2__-2_tonemapped+1.jpg

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  • 2 weeks later...

Update --

 

I have begun receiving some of the upgrade components -- solid state drives (SSD) to replace the original hard disk drives (HDD) & larger batteries.

 

The general view is that the 5th generation iPod was the best sounding due to its improved Wolfson DACs. However, to my ears, the 3rd sounds more natural & less harsh. I think most iPod listeners tend to be young & more emotionally-driven. I think they mistake mo' bass as being "better" sound. For some types of music, it may be. But beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

I will be getting to the 5th gen mods (they share essentially the same upgrade components) once the 3rd gen mods are complete.

 

So far, I have swapped the HDD for the CF card in the 3rd gen iPod & it is working perfectly.

The benefits are faster access times (especially, now that the amount of music capacity far exceeds what the iPod was designed to access), longer (battery) run-time & the iPod is much less liable to impact-related damage since it no longer contains any delicate, moving components (HDDs are notoriously delicate & prone to impact-related damage). The iPod is also dead silent & weighs about 40% less without the relatively heavy (& noisy) HDD.

 

It is worth noting that when performing this upgrade, you should format the new/blank CF card in a Windows PC to the default Windows 32-bit format. That way, it will be functional in both Windows & Macs. Also, since the new CF card is blank (ie, it lacks the iPod OS), the 1st time you power the iPod up, you will get the 'empty file' icon error, indicating the missing OS. Simply, connect the iPod to a PC running the latest version of Apple iTunes, which should recognize the 'new' iPod & prompt you to Restore it. The Restore process installs the necessary iPod OS, making the player bootable into its default menu system. All that is left is to upload your tunes & enjoy.

My next project is to tackle the battery upgrade, replacing the current 850mAh battery, which is located in a cut-out in the lower right-hand corner behind the CF board, with, hopefully, the 3,000mAh battery that I hope will fit between the CF board & the iPod's back cover. Currently, I get about 1.5-2 hours run-time on the 850mAh battery. I would get triple that if everything was in mp3 format, but about a fifth of the music I have is in Apple's lossless ALAC format (similar to FLAC, for those who know about such things), which results in larger (& more energy-consuming to decode) music files. In theory, upping battery capacity nearly 4 times along with the increased efficiency of the SSD (HDDs are energy hogs) will hopefully result in 10-12 hour (battery) run times. Though, in cases where only mp3s are used, I have heard of 50-hour run times. But we shall see.

If there is not enough space for the big battery with the CF drive, the plan is to replace it with the MicroSD drive (same 128Gb capacity), which is about 1/2 the thickness of the CF board & should provide more than enough space.

I imagine some of you are wondering why I do not just go with the MicroSD option since it is more likely to leave space for the large battery? The reason is that I am a firm believer in the straight-wire-with-gain principal in audio. That is, the fewer components &/or connections in the signal path, the better the sound (& the more reliable the circuit). The MicroSD drive has 1 connection between the MicroSDXC card that fits into its MicroSD adapter, a 2nd connection between the MicroSD adapter & its slot on the MicroSD board & a 3rd & 4th connection between the MicroSD board & the IDE-to-SD adapter & the adapter & the iPod's motherboard. Meanwhile, the CF has only 1 connection between the CF card & its slot & a 2nd connection between the CF card board & the iPod's motherboard. The CF option is both simpler & contains half the connections in the signal path, so that is my 1st choice. But, again, I may end up taking the MicroSD route if I am unable to fit 1 of the larger batteries in the case with the CF board.

Anyway, here are some pics to fill in some of the blanks --

ipod ssd & battery upgrades 001.jpg

ipod ssd & battery upgrades 002.jpg

ipod ssd & battery upgrades 003.jpg

ipod ssd & battery upgrades 004.jpg

ipod ssd & battery upgrades 005.jpg

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3rd Gen is FireWire correct?  At least that is what I have. 
 

The only area I think won’t matter is the MicroSd adapter with regard to more things in the signal path. The “drive” is pre dac and only serves to get the 1’s and 0’s to the dac. The magic happens downstream that IMHO the extra connections to the drive won’t matter. Heck. I would bet the magnet media HDD it came with would be more “noisy” anyways. Just a thought. 
 

Getting ALAC and AAC requires a custom firmware right?

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58 minutes ago, Ronin said:

3rd Gen is FireWire correct?  At least that is what I have. 
Getting ALAC and AAC requires a custom firmware right?

 

Yes, the 3G supports firewire via its docking port. I have a plain USB-to-docking port cable somewhere, but I generally use the USB/firewire combo "Y" cable because the (standard capacity) battery does not last long when transferring more than a small bit of data to/from the 3G without it being powered via firewire. You can still buy USB/firewire "Y" cables or, as a (power-only) alternative, you can get 1 of the docking plug-to-12V cables & plug that into a 120V-to-12V (cigarette lighter female jack). See pics (from ebay).


I have never used AAC, but the 3G's default OS supports ALAC. Though, if I remember correctly, you are limited to 16-24-bit with an upper limit of 92khz (not 192khz, which I believe is still considered the standard for "high-res" 24-bit audio). So it is easy to make lossless ALAC copies of standard CDs (ie, 16-bit/44khz) & store them on the 3G like any other music file (eg, mp3). But ALACs give you a bit of additional headroom in case you want to play high-res 24-bit recordings on the 3G. Just remember you are limited to a max of 92khz@24-bit, rather than the more typical 192khz.

I should also mention that installing the Rockbox OS is highly recommended since that also supports FLACs, but I am not sure whether Rockbox increases the upper-end of the khz limits for ALAC/FLAC on the 3G?

s-l500.jpg

Image10.jpg

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13 hours ago, Ronin said:

The only area I think won’t matter is the MicroSd adapter with regard to more things in the signal path. The “drive” is pre dac and only serves to get the 1’s and 0’s to the dac. The magic happens downstream that IMHO the extra connections to the drive won’t matter. Heck. I would bet the magnet media HDD it came with would be more “noisy” anyways. Just a thought. 

 

You are correct that the drive is not in the signal path, but it is a link in the overall chain (that dictates overall reliability), which is what I was referring to. I may not have been clear. I probably should not have said 'straight wire with gain', as that infers the audio signal, when what I meant was just that simple is generally better. The KISS principal -- Keep It Simple Stupid -- may have been a better way to put it.

 

I think you are correct about the HDD adding "noise". Listening, critically, to compare the signals via HDD vs CF, the CF output has a lower noise floor (via over-the-ear headphones), not to mention there is 0 mechanical noise coming from the iPod case with a solid state drive.

Also, I have experienced some issues with the MicroSD drive in the form of random "Panic" crashes in Rockbox (these have not occurred in my limited testing with the Apple OS, but I may just not have given it enough time to manifest since most of my testing is being done via Rockbox). According to others' reports of similar crashes with SSDs & Rockbox, they appear to be related to the SD cards themselves. That is, some MicroSD &/or MicroSDXC adapters/cards work well with these SSDs & some do not. This gets back to the reasoning behind my preference for CF over MicroSD & the simplified connection layout. So far, I have had no issues with the CF drive & it is about 25% faster than the MicroSD drive. By faster, I mean I am seeing about 30+megs/sec when uploading 4,000 music files from PC to CF-equipped iPod. In contrast, the same transfers onto the HDD produce about 15-18megs/sec, while things drop slightly to about 14-16megs/sec to the MicroSD. Also, again, because these old iPods have processors & motherboards designed to handle a max of 10-40Gb of mp3 files (although they support ALAC, I doubt they were designed for them), anything that reduces (or bottlenecks) transfer speed is directly reflected in the unit's functional operation. Trying to create a playback database or use the Shuffle feature (on the entire database) with 60GB worth of song files is slow with the HDD or MicroSD. On the other hand, it flies (ie., takes about half the time), relatively speaking, with the CF system.

Back to the MicroSD/SDXC issues -- it has been established that the overall success with this configuration is highly dependent on the particular brand/model of MicroSD/SDXC used in the SSD drive. Generally, it is thought that faster, more high-end MicroSD/SDXCs perform more reliably in the iPod than do slower, cheaper cards. So I thought I would be safe using a relatively fast (& generally reliable in other contexts) Sandisk Ultra SDXC U1 A1. Apparently, others have had similar problems with this particular card. So I ordered a (rather costly) 128Gb Lexar Pro 2000x UHS-II SCXC, which is reputed to be trouble-free for these. Based on the specs of the Sandisk & Lexar cards, the latter should be significantly faster as well, so, hopefully, I will be seeing data transfer speeds closer to what I am getting with the CF setup. That would be the best of both worlds -- optimal speed & minimal profile height (leaving room for the big battery).

So keep watching & I will update in a few days with the results of the Lexar card transplant.

Lexar 128GB SDXC.jpg

SanDisk 128GB MicroSDXC U1 A1.jpg

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Minor Update --

 

The Lexar MicroSDXC card just arrived & I am in process of installing the Apple OS & uploading 4,000 song files.

 

So far, I am not seeing much improvement in data transfer speeds, which are currently varying between 10meg/sec & 21meg/sec. A bit disappointing, but the MicroSC's claim to fame (for me) is its lower physical profile so the 3,000mAh battery will fit in the case. More to come after the song file upload completes & I am able to run some function tests of the completed Lexar (MicroSDXC)-powered system.

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Update --

 

The intermittent "Panic" crashes continued with the Lexar MicroSDXC, so I ditched the MicroSD option & reinstalled the CF drive along with a slightly beefier 1,100mAh battery. I am currently charging the system with the new battery & will perform some tests once the battery is fully charged.

 

A bit of a disappointment, but I think I may be able to get the 3,000mAh battery to fit after all. It will require some battery surgery in the form of transplanting the wiring/jumper/connector from 1 of the small, OEM-style batteries onto the big battery. Not quite sure if/how to go about it, but I will report back later today if I make headway.

 

For now, I think CF is the way to go with the 3G iPod.

 

I also discovered that the 3G's run-time is about 1/4 that of the standard 5th Gen iPod. So that may tip the scales in favor of the 5G as the main source when all is said & done. I am not sure how it got that way, but my 5G is filthy inside, including the headphone & dock ports. So everything will need to be thoroughly cleaned before I can get a final tab on performance, functions & sound quality. Stay tuned --

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Update --

 

The 3G's running swell with the CF drive & 1,700mAh battery. I had to transplant the wiring/jack from the 850mAh battery onto the larger battery because the latter's jack was too large for the socket in the iPod. But after a bit of silver solder, shrink wrap & 1.5 hours to top off the half-charged battery, the 3G's been playing solidly for 30 minutes without any issues & the battery state indicator on the iPod still reads "100%" charge. Unfortunately, the Rockbox OS's settings for "Battery Capacity" max out as 1,200mAh, so the iPod's battery status, which is based on this "Battery Capacity" setting, may poop-out 500mAh before the battery actually runs out of juice.

I have not yet tackled the 3,000mAh battery, in part because it is 30% thicker than the 1,700mAh battery, which appears to just fit. I will also need to "donate" the wiring/jack from an OEM style battery to get it to fit in the iPod because these LG batteries are made for a device that connects to the battery through contacts built into its side. But I think those contacts are removable & there will be simple + & - connections I can solder the transplanted wiring/jack to. Then, I will just have to figure out how to provide another mm or so of space between the big battery & inside caseback of the 3G.

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12 hours ago, freddy333 said:

So far, I am not seeing much improvement in data transfer speeds, which are currently varying between 10meg/sec & 21meg/sec.

 

If that is MegaBYTES, that is probably as fast as the bus will go.  Those old HDD's topped out at 10MB sec.  If it is MegaBITS that is another story...

 

I am curious where the 3G Battery maxes out at.  I always thought if I could fly from NY to LA on a charge all is good.  Then again if I repurpose mine, it will live on wall power most likely anyways...

 

 

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8 hours ago, Ronin said:

If that is MegaBYTES, that is probably as fast as the bus will go.  Those old HDD's topped out at 10MB sec.  If it is MegaBITS that is another story...

I am curious where the 3G Battery maxes out at.  I always thought if I could fly from NY to LA on a charge all is good.  Then again if I repurpose mine, it will live on wall power most likely anyways...

 

Megabytes. The HDD's PIO transfer specs pretty much reflect what I was seeing during my song transfers to the HDD-equipped 3G, though it occasionally varied a bit above that for brief periods. So the CF's average transfer speed, about 30meg/sec, virtually doubles the HDD's, essentially halving the time it takes to transfer data to/from the CF card. Not only that, but data transfers burn-up the most battery capacity.

 

Now, there is bad news & good news. The bad news is not related to the mods, but the good news is.

 

The bad -- At some point, with my fiddling around, I must have broken the connection to the headphone jack's left channel. A replacement headphone jack has been ordered.

 

The good -- The photo of the 3G below was taken after about 1 HOUR of run time. Even better, the 1,700mAh battery had just eaten through two of my 24-bit/92kHz hi-res ALAC files without losing a single % of capacity. Then, Rockbox crashed, which it does on a small number of ALAC files. This has been an ongoing problem with Rockbox that I have referred to their developers (to date, without response). It is unrelated to the mods. After rebooting the 3G, the battery indicated 88%. HOWEVER, over the next few minutes, it slowly climbed back up to 99% & it has held steady since then.

But back to those 24-bit ALACs -- On the other hand, the 850mAh battery would have dropped at least 2-3% by the end of 1 of these 24-bit files. In fact, in 15 minutes, the 3G will have been playing for 2 hours & the battery is holding at 98%!

 

Also, if you use Apple's OS rather than Rockbox & listen only to mp3 & AAC (rather than ALACs or FLACs), your run-time is naturally much longer than Rockbox anyway. So, even without these mods, with a good 850mAh battery, you should be seeing at least 6-8 hour run-times (Apple specs "up to 8 hours").

 

 

To be determined -- Some of these batteries discharge logarithmically. That is, they may sit at 100% for 10 minutes & then drop 12% over the next 10. So I will keep an eye on the discharging as the 3G plays & report how long it takes to reach 15%, which is generally considered the lowest discharge level that will not damage or reduce the battery's recharge capacity. Oh & remember that Rockbox's battery capacity setting options only go up to 1,200mAh & the 3G now has a 1,700mAh battery, so Rockbox may indicate 0 battery when in fact the battery is still at 20%. Anyway, let us see how it progresses.

 

I have to say that I am both surprised & extremely happy with the result of these mods.

Toshiba MK8007GAH 001.jpg

ipod 3G 100 percent battery after 1 hour.jpg

Toshiba MK8007GAH 80Gb specs.jpg

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Success!

My original goal was to produce a 3G that will run Rockbox for at least six hours without completely draining the battery to the point of damage or decreased lifespan (six hours running on the Apple OS should translate to 10-12 hours).
It's official -- the CF/1,700mAh-powered 3g just blew past the sixth hour & the battery meter still reads 61%! &, remember, that 61% is based on Rockbox's estimates based on a 1,200mAh battery.

 

So, if the new 3G continues running as it has done over the past six hours, the battery indicator should 0 at around the 12 hour mark...............theoretically, with a comfortable (& unreported) 500mAh left in its tank.
Based on my experience, the unmodified 3G generally ran at least twice as long under the OEM Apple OS versus Rockbox, which, due to its far wider features & functions, is a battery drainer. So I would expect people running the modded 3G & the Apple OS may reach the 1 day mark before requiring a battery tap.

At this point, I will probably continue to monitor the 3g's performance until the battery display indicates 0 & see if/how much longer it runs. I think it is worth the risk of possible battery damage to find out how long this thing will actually run.

 

p.s. Now that I think about it, lithium batteries benefit from a few cycles of full charge/full discharge/full charge. So I think the battery may be capable of reaching even greater heights after being optimized that way. Stay tuned.

p.p.s. Just did a bit of research & it seems that current thinking is that my original assumption was correct -- full discharges are bad for lithium batteries. That said, because the Rockbox indicator is likely going to give up the ghost shy of a few hundred mAh, I think I will let the 3G run until it goes dark just to verify if/how far the Rockbox indicator is off (or not).

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That is good news. Most of my stuff I had re-ripped to ALAC so looks like it will hold up well. 
 

I’m guessing the the bus is in PIO mode which explains the throughout as well. The “internal transfer speed” listed by Toshiba is 341Mbits/sec (bits) which for the day is less than USB 2.0. So everything makes sense from your performance findings. My audio interfaces I use with my band are still USB 2.0 and are still easily good for live recording 4 channels at 24/192 so not a bottleneck. 

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Update --

 

Just past the 15-hour mark. For the past hour, the battery indicator on the screen has read 0, but the 3G is still going strong. Since it has run a good deal longer than I expected (or required) it to, I have decided not to risk the lovely battery by running it dead. Were it not for the 2 Rockbox-related crashes, the CF/1,700mAh 3G performed flawlessly. With top quality source material, these things really sound wonderful & I am looking forward to being able to listen all day, literally, without having to stop to recharge every couple of hours.

 

Next on my list is to replace the headphone jack in the other 3G & retry the MicroSDXC drive. I think the CF drive profile is too tall to fit the 3,000mAh battery. But it has a better chance with the MicroSD setup, so I think it worth taking another shot at it.

 

Finally, once the other 3,000mAh battery arrives (this battery has a ribbon connector to fit the 5G rather than the 3-wire plug the 3Gs require), I will begin work on the 5G.

More to come --

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Minor Update on CF 3G --

 

After (more than) successful completion of my testing, I reassembled the CF/1,700mAh-powered 3G & checked to be sure the case closed & closed without crushing or adversely affecting anything. All good!

HOWEVER -- I do not think the thicker 3,000mAh battery will fit inside the 3G's (thick) case. The 1,700mAh battery is 2/3 the thickness of the 3,000mAh battery & the 3G's caseback literally just snaps closed with the battery inside. Unfortunately, because the 3G is designed for its battery to fit into a cut-out in the mainboard (below the HDD), the only place to fit the larger battery (which takes up about 4/5 of the iPod's interior dimensions) was above the drive (between the drive & caseback).

My initial reassembly was intended to be temporary as I had expected the battery to be sufficiently loose that it would end up flopping around in there, which would not be good. But, to my surprise, once the final case latch locked, the unit feels like a single, solid component. Of course, that is a good thing for mechanical stability (none of the internal connections should become disconnected), but there is just no room for anything more. So, case closed, literally.

3G CF 1,700mAh Completed 004.jpg

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  • 3 weeks later...

Minor Update --

 

After running the 1st (of 2) modded 3rd gen ipod through a few battery cycles, the battery indicator may be becoming accustomed to its larger, 1,700mAh battery, because, instead of reading 0 after 14 hours, it was now reading 39% after 17 hours! I am not sure what caused the change in the display reading, but it is definitely a step in the right direction.

Even better, I continued to run this 3G for another 2 hours (total 19 continuous hours) & the battery indicator still displayed 5% left. At that point, although I suspect it still has 2 or 3 hours left, I decided to play it safe & recharge it. Again, that is 19 hours with some amount remaining! In contrast, prior to the drive/battery upgrades, the same ipod ran (Rockbox) for 1.5-2 hours before shutting down completely.

I have also installed the 3,000mAh battery & the MicroSDXC drive in the 5G ipod, which is charging/running well but slow. In fact, when I imaged my music files onto the MicroSD-powered 5G, the transfer speed was about half that of the OEM HDD (ie a very leisurely 7-8megs/sec). So, it goes without saying that the CF format is the way to go. I am still awaiting the 5G's CF drive to complete the upgrade, after which I will conduct new run-time tests. However, I am expecting even better run times with this ipod since it was running (Rockbox) for 6-7 hours in its OEM form.

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Final Update --

 

5G has been fitted with its 3,000mAh LG battery & 128Gb microSDXC card and all is working well. The blue square bits near the fold at the bottom are rubber spacers that fell out while I was taking the picture. They sit on either side of the docking connector at the bottom of the ipod & were replaced prior to reassembly.

 

Unfortunately, the CF drive/card would not fit in the case comfortably. At least I was not comfortable with having to apply some modest force to get the caseback to clamp closed. It probably would have been alright, but I was worried about damaging something if/when I had to open the case. Strangely, although the 5G functions much faster than it did with the OEM hdd (it is now similar to the 3Gs with their CF cards), its transfer speed when uploading 4,000 songs from my PC to the 5G slower than its OEM hdd.

 

On the positive side, Rockbox for the 5G offers battery capacity display options to go up to 3,000mAh, so I am hoping its battery capacity display will be a bit more accurate than the 3Gs, which read 0 charge after about 14 hours even though they have some number of hours of additional run time left.

 

I finished installing everything Friday afternoon & have been running it & testing features since then. It has not missed a beat or displayed any malfunctions. The 5G has been running on its new 3,000mAh LG battery for about 18 hours & the battery still reads 62%! So, once again, this project looks like a complete success!

I still cannot decide whether the 3G or 5G sounds better. They do sound a bit different, but the difference is not significant enough for me to make the call 1 way or the other solely based on that difference. However, I suspect the 5G is going to run circles around the 3Gs in run-time (pun intended), so that, along with the 5G's improved display, may be the deciding factor. Time will tell.

iPod 5G with 3,000mAh battery & 128G microSDXC installed.jpg

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