Friday, April 2, 2010

Gotta have music!

I love music.  I need music.  Music will set the tone and create the necessary ambience for an evening in the Roving Home.  After all, this will be my safe haven within the city -- my urban oasis.  By the way, I will have 2 inches of insulation all the way around, so time spent inside will be quiet and buffered from the downtown hustle bustle.

Now for the fun part.

As I've said before, in the world of the Roving Home, size matters.  And believe it or not, smaller is better!

The music dilemma lies in my desire to take my 300 strong CD collection with me, on the road.  Now before you yell out the obvious, I'm well aware of the modern technological wonder called the "Ipod," and I'm one step ahead of you.  But, where does one place the Ipod while spending time in such a small space?  I don't want unnecessary stuff on the counter, all the time.  I definitely don't want to hassle with wires draped all over the place.  And, clutter in small spaces is uncool!

Meet the Iport.

The Iport is a wall mounted, recessed docking port for the Ipod.  It's designed as an interface for a home sound and theatre system -- fancy high tech gadgetry.  The drawback is that it operates on an infrared signal, uses CAT-5 for data and operates on 120 volts A.C. 

But it's so darned slick-looking!  And it solves all of my problems.  So, I decided to buy just the face plate and adapt a desktop docking port.  


The plate is designed to snap onto the Iport electrical wall housing.  The whole unit costs about $599.  This plate costs around $20.

Next, I had to find a docking port that I could easily cannibalize.  The cool thing about this one is that from the one attachment on the front, I can pull power and music from the rear.  I just needed to get to the circuitry inside. 

After taking apart a costly $30.00 unit from the Apple Store, I realized that I just wasted $30 at the Apple Store. 

Although the mounting pin is just what I need, all of the circuitry is built within that cast aluminum housing, which does me no good.  However it's a testament to Apple, because the engineering is pretty solid.


I got this Belkin docking port for half the price!

And this is what I found inside!


With this circuit board, I can mount the Ipod plug adapter any ol' way I want to.  On the other side of the board, you can see the silver Mini USB power plug on the left, and the tan Mini plug for the headphones on the right.  

I pushed the circuit board up through the opening in the black plastic Iport cover. 


I had to make the hole a bit bigger to accomodate the circuit board.

And, for demo purposes, I just used a bit of electrical tape to secure it from the back side.

And, there you have it.  Through the wall, I will run all of the necessary cables from my stereo to power and play my Ipod sound gadget with my 300 CD library.  No mess. no wires.

Super clean and super efficient.   



  1. WOW! You did that yourself?!!! AMAZING!! I'm sooooo not worthy!! Nice job!

  2. Thanks for the kind words! Finding the plastic housing was the most difficult part. I scoured the retail outlets first and then the internet to find that thing. The rest I chalk up to persistence.

  3. Goodness! I need to find myself one of those charming machines. I just wanted to stop by and give thanks for following my blog. Your support means so much to me. Thank you, THANK YOU. You are lovely.


  4. I'll place you on the mailing list, when it's complete. Thanks for the kind words.

  5. Yowza... I never would have figured that shit out in a thousand years! I do concur tho.... music is my life, it is all around and involves every aspect of my life. Bad day? I got Ani for that. Good day? I've got Franz for that... If it was me? I'd have my 300 cd's in the passenger seat ;)

  6. Where there's a will, there's a way. And, I bet you'd get tired of all those CD's falling to the floor every time you came to a red light. :)

  7. What ingenuity! I am about to do the wiring/audio stuff in my Westy this weekend, if only I had an Ipod something like this would go great! Music is essential- gotta have it as much as possible! Love the blog, great work!

  8. Laura,

    They're only 20 bucks and the Belkin desktop docking port is 15. You can make the thing yourself from there. I bet your wiring buddy can throw it all together.

  9. How about keeping you music on your computer itunes and getting wireless headphones from Logictech. I often have my earplugs in with my headphones on. I can do artwork while someone next to is blaring the TV.

  10. Hey Michael,

    I'm hip to the headphones, for sure, but I also enjoy the communal experience of traveling, eating, talking etc, with my girl, who will be joining me in my travels. The public stereo system will allow me to enjoy a glass of wine and some good conversation, all at the same time.

  11. Hi,
    Thanks for the writeup.. Do you know what the model number belkin dock you used?

  12. Nevermind I was able to read the model number on your picture of circuit board. I order same model, I hope it works with my iphone 4!!.
    Also, any idea on the best way to paint the iport white? I probably need to lightly sand it and use krylon fusion plastic paint. Black won't work for where I am setting it up. I am attaching to the outside of my bbq island. I hope I can somehow weather proof this thing haha
    Thanks again I was going crazy trying to think of a way to get this exact setup and finally stumbled upon your writeup. GOOD JOB

  13. one more last thing :) I ordered the black wallplate does not come with mounting hardware. How did you mount in the wall without the iport IW Stud-mount bracked. Sorry for all the questions

  14. Adam -- I'm flattered you're making use of the info here for your own home! :)

    In my post "Down To Reality," you'll see that I made a frame for the mounting plate. The wooden sides adhere to the plastic with Henry's 900. I love it for everything! I may just glue the plate in with a silicone. or perhaps I'll just get some attractive screws to seat in the top and bottom center, just like a wall plate. If your island is tile or stucco, you're probably going to have to be creative, but I'd start with a secondary wooden frame or custom box that you're going to have to make yourself. Hope this helps!