My iTrip Hack

Having seen others attempt to extend the range and power of their Griffin iTrip FM transmitters for the iPod, I decided to give it a go myself – it didn’t appear too difficult.

I had trouble removing the side rubber seal initially, so I skipped that part and took a knife to the seam on top of the iTrip, carefully wedging it apart. It took a bit of gentle persuasion but slowly it started to slide apart. By gently wedging apart the cover on both ends of the iTrip with a swiss army knife I eventually ended up with two plastic halves and a circuit board. This was not my intention – I had planned to try and extract the aerial without separating the iTrip completely, but it slided apart without breaking any parts so I was happy.

From that point I then carefully bent the aerial around to run through the side gap and outside the iTrip casing. I then closed the casing once more, the connector nodules on the one half sliding relatively easily back into their housing on the other half. Success!

The big question now was how this would now affect the signal of the iTrip. I started testing on my small bedside alarm-clock radio. The first test of course to make sure everything still worked on a clear frequency, which it did. I then tuned the iTrip to 98.0 FM, the frequency used by a large commercial station 5FM. My transmission killed the radio station successfully, although the constraints of my room prevented me from testing at a further distance. I then tuned in my Hi-Fi, and took a stroll around the house. I managed to successully override what is a very strong signal (that of 5FM) at a distance of about 5 or 6 meters. Not bad.

I also went outside to test with my car (my beautiful Citroen C4!!! I’m loving it) where I had excellent signal on a clear frequency and was able to override the radio station to 5 or 6 meters. Excellent.

All in all, it seems that extracting the aerial has amplified the signal a significant amount. Prior to aerial extraction I could not override the strong radio station signal in my car at all.

Another factor that must be influencing my ability to overshadow the radio stations is weather. Last night my iTrip seemed to override much better than it did when driving in to work this morning, although this could also be due to my proximity to the transmitter closing. Factors like cloud cover and air density definitely have a significant influence.

Below find photos of the operation – apologies for the quality, but they were taken with my MotoRAZR V3 in relatively poor lighting conditions.

iTrip plugged in with casing next to it - right sideiTrip plugged in with casing next to it – right side

iTrip plugged in with casing next to it - top viewiTrip plugged in with casing next to it – top view

iTrip plugged in with casing next to it - left sideiTrip plugged in with casing next to it – left side

Griffin iTrip circuit board top viewGriffin iTrip circuit board top view

iTrip cover showing join nodulesiTrip cover showing join nodules

iTrip circuit boardiTrip circuit board

iTrip circuit board and aerialiTrip circuit board and aerial

Circuit board top view with aerialCircuit board top view with aerial

Close up of circuit boardClose up of circuit board

The end resultThe end result

End result - side viewEnd result – side view

One reply on “My iTrip Hack”

Good to hear you had success with this as well! I used mine again yesterday and found that I could transmit clearly on a clear station while standing several rooms away from the radio. It really makes a difference, just too bad Griffin doesn’t make it easier for us…

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