Last time I wrote about replacing the firmware on older iPods with custom code that has new features. Since then I have put Rockbox on my iPod. At first blush I’m not crazy about it, it’s “menu-tastic”, but I’ll give it a good spin before I form a final opinion.
iPod hacks aren’t all about software though, there are also hardware mods that people have done. I found a few interesting things out there:
Microchip of PIC microprocessor fame has three iPod development boards with built in connectors. In accordance with Apple’s policy of secrecy, there are very few details on Microchip’s WWW page about these platforms, and before you can buy one you have to enroll in Apple’s developer licensing program.
LadyAda has lots and lots of interesting projects and kits, one of which is the “Minty Boost“, which allows you to charge USB devices such as iPods from a couple AA batteries. It comes, of course, in an Altoids tin. The interesting thing about this Minty Boost article is about how it has evolved over the years to keep up with different charging protocols that Apple uses.
David Findlay has written a serial library for the Arduino that works with the Apple Accessory Protocol used by iPods. Using it he’s able to control his iPod with a Wii Nunchuk.
Benjamin Kokes added a small GPS unit to his iPod, and also used the AAP in advanced mode to display coordinates, velocity, and other information. This project was tricky because the only real way to display information on the iPod screen is to send it over as a 4 color graphical image. Benjamin’s GPS module had to decipher the NMEA serial stream from the GPS, extract the interesting information, render it character by character into a fram buffer, and send it to the iPod, all without much in the way of iPod documentation.
Those are a few that I found, although there are plenty more. If you’ve got a favorite post it in the comments.
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