8 Replies Latest reply on Dec 22, 2012 10:37 AM by shabaz

    Need Help Hacking Radio Alarm Clock


      What I want to do is turn my AM/FM/CD PLAYER Alarm clock radio into an iPod player.


      So maybe have add a usb port to allow me to connect my iPod into radio flip a switch and have the internal speacker/AMP play out. 

      Maybe have it when the alarm goes off to play a song.


      I need websites:


      1) Pinouts

      2) Schematics

      3) Vidos on similar projects.


      Any help would be appreciated.  I have a couple of old alarm clocks.

        • Re: Need Help Hacking Radio Alarm Clock

          You need to be accepted into Apple's MFi program before you can find out pin-outs of the iPod connector.


          You could connect the audio out signal to one of the Alarm clock's analog inputs but you couldn't detect when the alarm goes off.  It might make more sense to use the iPod as the alarm and just play a sound through the clock radio to wake you up.

            • Re: Need Help Hacking Radio Alarm Clock

              Hey thanks for your input. I think I will pass on the playing song on alarm.

                • Re: Need Help Hacking Radio Alarm Clock

                  The older ipod touches (maybe not the latest one) had analog audio output  (aka line output) on the ipod connector, so there was no need to be accepted on any Apple program to use it. You could easily take the line output and feed it into an amplifier if you wished.

                  If you can get hold of the connector, you could try soldering it yourself (as shown in the image here), but it's a delicate operation (the connector is tiny). Better to use an existing ipod dock connector with audio line outputs.


                  Regarding what the pins do, here is a reverse-engineered diagram from a 'Griffin Autopilot' cable. The ones that contain the audio are pins 27 and 28. Ground is pin 29.



                  If you wanted to play, or skip left/right, this is possible by using the serial RXD and TXD pins. It requires the use of a microcontroller. I did manage to get this working on an older ipod touch so I have some code snippets, but the most recent ipod may not work (I have not tried anything but the oldest ipod touch).

                  If you want to do anything much more advanced, it is not possible. Apple use authentication on the serial lines for the most advanced functionality. It can be annoying. It means people need to buy Apple cables, which contain a tiny chip inside the connector, to perform the authentication.

              • Re: Need Help Hacking Radio Alarm Clock

                i was just looking through the electro droid app on my phone and it specifies the pinout for the apple 20 pin connector, also gives some handy tips as to variations between different models, download the app (idk if they have an ios version) and its all in there

                good luck on your project

                • Re: Need Help Hacking Radio Alarm Clock

                  This is what I have so far.


                  I coud not figure out how to use the ipod touch adaptor cable with thirty pins. So I'll keep playing and reading about it til I get it.


                  I did however get it to work with the headphone jack.


                  I found the IC responsible for the amp. connected the open wires from my headphone jack. Now when I plug in my Galaxy S3 Works like a charm.


                  When I plug my iPod touch it works too but has some static.


                  I plug the audio+ to pin9 and ground to 11




                    • Re: Need Help Hacking Radio Alarm Clock

                      It's likely that the ipod has too much volume for the TDA1083 (it has 40dB gain).

                      Something like this should work, if you're happy adjusting the volume from the ipod rather than the radio:


                      I've tried selecting values that are a compromise that should approximately work for either the line output or the headphone output.

                      Note that you'll need to disable the radio audio, otherwise you'll hear it on top. In the datasheet it is a wire from pin 9 to the

                      variable resistor, but the actual radio may have implemented slightly differently. You could try to remove the capacitor labelled 10nF

                      in the datasheet (connected to the 120k resistor). If it is the wrong capacitor, put it back in again.