We are starting a new feature for Thursdays here at Hack A Day: Thursday Nano Hacks. Our “hack” for the day is more of a mod out of necessity: Those ugly white headphones with a black iPod nano? Ew! Please come back next Thursday for a real iPod nano hack alrighty?
Scroll on for our little stroll through recoloring cables, and please read the conclusion. (Let’s just say that this hack is not exactly the stuff dreams are made of.)
What you will need:
– iPod headphones. They only come in white.
– PlastiDip in black (we used the dipping kind, but we recommend the spray aerosol kind in black)
– a tiny paintbrush you can throw out when you’re finished
– stick or chopstick to stir the PlastiDip
– masking tape
– lots of time to waste
First put down some paper on your workspace. Here is our protected table with our horribly mismatched iPod headphones and black iPod nano:
Next we taped off the headphones and the metal part of the mini jack connector with masking tape and made ourselves a drying rack out of two old coathangers:
Next we stirred the PlastiDip in the can with an old chopstick and using a paintbrush carefully painted the cables in small short strokes. If you miss a spot you can fix it after the fact by touching up when it’s dry. When globbing happens, just wait for it to dry and peel off the area that is having issues. PlastiDip unlike spray paint peels right off the iPod headphone cables. Be sure to peel off the masking tape just when the PlastiDip first starts to set before it’s fully dry. We decided to paint together the small plastic part where the cables split in a Y.
When the cables are dry (should take about half an hour or so) prep the headphones. You can alternatively decide to leave them white. We, however, were not satisfied until the whole thing was black black black. Carefully cut masking tape with a box cutter or other sharp knife to the exact circle of metal and don’t forget to leave a tab to peel this part off. Break off the last milimeter of halved toothpicks and force them into the seven holes on the backside of each headphone. This will keep the “port” holes open.
Carefully paint the PlastiDip (perhaps this product should be known as PlastiPaint for our purposes) on the headphones without dislodging the toothpicks. Once again, remove the masking tape just before the PlastiDip fully dries to keep the edges smooth. Remove the toothpicks at this time as well. You will now have a headphone that looks something like this (we chose to leave the L and R markers un-painted):
Yes it is rather lumpy in the previous image, but have no fear if you feel like redoing it, the PlastiDip peels off if you start the peeling an edge.
Here is our finished set of iPod headphones and our (really scratched up) black iPod nano:
Conclusion: Is this mod worth it? No. This hack is really pointless as far as time and effort are concerned. It’s really hard to get the PlastiDip on the cables smoothly. If you experiment with black spray on PlastiDip please let us know. Our correspondent [markie] tried spray painting with conventional paint and eventually the paint cracked which is why we went with PlastiDip in the first place. However, besides the technical aspects of re-coloring, the iPod headphones are really bad quality compared to even cheap in ear heaphones by other manufacturers.Go out and get yourself a good sounding set of black headphones instead of attempting this mod.
Tune in next week as we start our weekly devotion to hacking the heck out of the iPod nano. Yes, next week’s hack will actually involve opening the iPod nano to add functionality. If you have any ideas for nano hacks for our Thursday nano hacks feature or if you have already hacked your iPod nano, shout us a holler dog.