Ugly upgrade keeps the tunes playing longer

[Sam] picked up a Sansa Clip audio player to listen to some tunes while working on projects. He liked the fact that he could run the Rockbox alternative firmware on the device, but thought the 15 hour battery life needed some improving. He swapped out the stock cell with a larger Lithium cell for a long life of 50-60 hours. It’s an upgrade fom 300 mAh to 1100 mAh, but as you can see, the size of the replacement made for some interesting case modification.

The battery swap required more than just taking one battery out and putting in the other. [Sam] is using a cellphone battery as the replacement and he didn’t want to have issues with the internal circuitry. He took the cell out of its plastic enclosure, removing the circuit board in the process. That PCB is the charging circuit, which he replaced with the one from the stock battery. After insulating the cell with a layer of Kapton tape he soldered it to the MP3 player and did his best to adhere all the parts to each other.

Sure, its ugly, but that makes it right at home on the work bench.

A new method for adding audio input to a Sansa Clip+

The Sansa Clip+ is a nice little MP3 player and recorder. But it doesn’t offer an input connector, instead relying on the built-in microphone. [Simon Frank] wanted to extend its functionality so he figured out how to add a standard audio jack for analog input.

This is not the first time this has been done, but [Simon] has found a different method of accomplishing the task at hand. The other external input hack we saw cannibalized the internal microphone, rerouting its connections as an external input. But the method seen here keeps that microphone intact. The device includes an FM radio chip which is attached to an ADC on one of the devices other integrated circuits. [Simon] just patched into those signals. Now all he has to do is set up the device to record from the radio and connect his source to the jack which he epoxied to the base of the enclosure.

Adding an external audio input to the Sansa Clip+

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Workshop 88 member [Jim] got his hands on a couple of SanDisk Sansa Clip+ MP3 recorder/players from Woot, and was anxious to see what he could do with them.

The first order of business was to install RockBox, an open source hardware package built for a wide range of MP3 players. He was impressed with how robust the firmware was, though he thought the Sansa’s built-in microphone could use a bit of upgrading. Acting on a tip from a fellow square dance enthusiast, he disassembled one to see how he might add an external audio input.

He pried the existing mic apart, and desoldered it from the motherboard, installing a small capacitor and resistor in its place. He extended some wires through the case, then powered up the unit to make sure it was still alive and well. Since things still looked good, [Jim] put some audio on the Sansa’s new inputs and sure enough it recorded the audio without a hitch.

He says that his initial guesses for the capacitor and resistor values were pretty decent, though with a bit of tweaking he should be able to get exactly the recording levels he was looking for. Not bad for a $20 audio recorder!

MP3 Hand Grenade

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One man’s useless machine is another man’s treasure… or something. [Matt] shared a link to his MP3 gr3nade in the comments of our useless machines post. The project took a decomissioned hand grenade and shoehorned an MP3 player into it. His decision to locate the headphone jack where the safety pin goes is a nice touch.

This reminds us of the boss from a previous job who had a chrome plated hand grenade on his desk.  Now that was a useless object (and a useless boss). This project actually does something, but are you really going to ride around on the subway rockin’ out to the Bee Gees while holding a hand grenade?

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