Making your own cables for the iAudio X5, X5l, M5, or M3
Lost your subpack? Jetmall blowing you off? Got a soldering iron?
The Cowon subpack is a necessary accessory for the X5 and X5L?
. You need it for usb and for charging. If you lose it, you are probably out of luck because they have fallen into short supply.
Aftermarket cables for the X5 are available from Gomadic and others, but they are needlessly expensive.
Several models of the iPaq hand-held computer use the same 22 pin connector as the subpack. A partial list includes the h1910, h1915 ,h1920, h1930, h1935, h1937, h1945, h2200, h2210, h2215, h3800, h3900, h4150, h4155, h4300, h4350, h4355, h5100, h5155, h5400, h5500, h5450, h5455, h5500, h5550, h5555, h6315, h6340, h6340, h6365, hw6510, hw6515, hx2000, hx2100, hx2400, hx2700, hx4700, and hx4705.
Generic aftermarket USB cables for these are available on ebay and from many online vendors for as little as $3 each.
Most of these have snap-together hoods that are easily opened with a little prying. All you need is a soldering iron and a pair of needle nosed pliers (and maybe some small-diameter heat shrink tubing) to turn an iPaq usb cable into an X5 usb cable.
Please note that the ipaq pinout at pinouts.ru is numbered backwards vs. the subpack pinout available here and elsewhere. This article will always use the numbering found on the subpack pinouts here in the rockbox wiki.
The X5 subpack has ground on pins 1 and 2, D+ on pins 3 and 4, D- on 5 and 6, and V+ on 7 and 8.
The iPaq usb cable has ground on pin 1, D- on pin 2, D+ on pin 4, and V+ on pins 6, 21, and 22. The cables used by the author of this article only had these 6 pins installed, which made them very convenient.
Turning an iPaq usb cable into an X5 usb cable
- Desolder the V+ lead from pin 6 (but leave the V+ lead connected to the two other pins)
- Desolder the D- lead from pin 2
- Bridge pins 1 and 2 together (pin 1 is already grounded)
- Solder the D- lead to pin 6 (potentially with some heatshrink covering it)
- Using your needle-nose pliers, pull the V+ pins out of slots 21 and 22 - they just slide right out.
- Slide the V+ pins into slots 7 and 8
And you're done. Just check your work to make sure you don't have any stray blobs of solder and be sure that nothing is bridged or shorted that shouldn't be.
Make sure that you really inserted the V+ pins into slots 7 and 8 (it's easy to miss).
Snap the hood back together and enjoy your new USB cable.
It's true that the subpack doubles up the pins for the data lines and this connector doesn't, but most connectors of this nature use just one pin per data line and this configuration works fine with the X5 and X5L?
owned by the author of this article.
It may be possible to skip steps 5 and 6 because pins 21 and 22 are also the v+ pins from the DC jack on the subpack, but this hasn't been tested and may allow charging but not connect USB. Or it could just work.
Turning an iPaq usb cable into an X5 charging cable
- Cut off the wires connected to pins 2 and 4
- Desolder pin 6 from the V+ lead (but leave V+ connected to pins 21 and 22)
- Use your pliers to pull pins 3, 4, and 6 completely out of the connector and set them aside
- Bridge together pins 1 and 2.
And that's it. This will let you use any USB port or USB charging adapter or charging hub to recharge your X5 without going into USB mode.
Alternately, chop the USB connector off the cable, double up the leads in the cable, and connect a DC barrel socket to the cable to let you use a compatible (5vdc regulated) power supply.
- 18 Jul 2009
Copyright © by the contributing authors.