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Wiki > Main > DocsIndex > CaseModding

Case Modding for rockboxes

Purpose of document

Where myself I am not sooo intrested in modifying my device, I know some others do, and I thought it would be nice to get a small collection of useful links in that area.

Display-Modding (mainly Backlight)

JoergHohensohn (aka [IDC]Dragon) is known to do some weird things in that direction.
First of all, he replaced the rather green led's (4 pieces) with very white ones.

See this for more information:

Then, he added backlight to his ondio as he found out that the ondio-pcb was very well prepared for that. See OndioBacklight for a more complete description of that.
The used EL-backlight-foil can be found at

Button-Modding has a few very nice thing for these kind of moddings:

Disk Storage

again delivers a cf-hdd-adapter.

Backlight and painting

I want to assemble my archos recorder in my car, but the colors do not really fit (the display and the case color).
So I settled down to work.
This is a picture of the original recorder (the color of the backlight only seems to be blue because something blue reflected.
The first thing you have to do is to assemble the player. Be careful and follow the instructions in the wiki.


What you need: 4 SMD leds (0805) and maybe a little bit thin wire.
After assembling the recorder everything should look like this (if you only want to change the color of the backlight you don’t have to remove the back):

Now you can lift up the display (there is one little clip on every side which can be loosen with a little screwdriver). It is better to wear gloves to prevent fingerprints on the display.
After lifting the display (you don’t have to remove it completely) you can see the leds on both sides (red circles on the next picture).
Now you can replace the leds. You have two different choices:

  • if you want to increase the brightness of the backlight (which can be necessary with a few colors) you can switch the leds on each side parallel. Then you have to cut the circuit path between the led. Using thin wire, solder one end to the top of the top leds, and the other end to the top of the bottom leds. and do the same from bottom of top leds, to bottom of bottom leds. Now it shall look like this:
  • If you don’t want to increase the brightness of the leds you can leave the circuit as ist is and only replace the leds

In both cases you can locate the polarity by a sign on the back of the leds. Be careful when you remove the old leds. It happens very quickly that the circuit path break if you heat it too much or if you use too much force.
I decided to take the second choice, because I don’t need such a bright backlight. After replacing the leds you can insert the batteries and test the backlights.
This is how it looks with my recorder and the red leds.


Disassemble the recorder (if you don’t already have done this to change the backlight).
Remove everything from the front cover (you have to cut of the attachment of the leds and the on and off button and also remove the display cover). You should now have 4 pieces to paint (the front cover, the back plate and the two battery covers). You can also paint the buttons but be careful that you don’t use too much paint because then the buttons will get stuck. Now you have to prepare the different pieces. Remove the labels on the back plate and the writings on the front cover (you will see it after the painting if you don’t remove them). Then clean up all parts and paint them (you can also use a smooth sandpaper to prepare the parts).
After painting the different parts wait until everything is dry (better wait a little bit longer because the paint will go off if it is to wet and you assemble the recorder). Now assemble everything and admire your good work.
This is a picture of my recorder and now it fits perfectly in my car.

r10 - 02 Apr 2021 - 20:46:06 - UnknownUser

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