How to disassemble and clean your iPod’s mechanical scroll wheel [UPDATED]

[UPDATE]
This post was getting so much traffic on my old site, I thought I would repost it here and add the fact that I also bought iCleaner to get rid of the scratches on both the plastic and the metal.

The iCleaner worked more or less as advertised, however it did *not* return my iPod to a factory-like finish. Also, the cleaner has now separated eight months on, so I’m not sure how effective it would be cleaning an iPod or iBook now. The short shelf life of iCleaner is disappointing and the results are mediocre. Think long and hard about it before you spend your $20…

 

Guess who got an old-school iPod for Christmas? That’s right. And what was the first thing I wanted to do? Restore it to factory conditions. I have *not* followed this article yet to clean my iPod, so proceed with caution.

From iPodlounge.

Warning: Do not attempt to disassemble iPods with non-moving, touch sensitive scroll wheels. The following methods are only for iPods with mechanical, moving scroll wheels.

Step 1
Here you have your iPod, Looking pretty and in one piece. Not for long.

step1

Step 2a
Get yourself a length of tape. We are using Pressure Sensitive Scotch Tape, but masking tape will work just as good. Place the tape either top-to-bottom or side-to-side covering the scroll wheel as shown in the photo at left.

step2a

Step 2b
Gently pull the tape taught from both ends until the scroll wheel "pops" up.

Step2b

Step 2c
As you can see this is an easy, safe method for removal. We spotted this method at iPodingand tried it ourselves and liked the results. I’m sure you’ll agree once you give it a try.

Step2c

Step 3
Here you have the disc and center button completely removed.

Step3

Step 4
A closer view of behind the scenes. Notice the steel ball bearings in which the scroll wheel tracks on.

Step4

Step 5
Take a look at how thick the disc is. Suprising build quality. Now your ready to clean your scroll wheel. I recommend using a can of Dust-Off or Endust compressed air for electronics. Spray the compressed air in short bursts to remove any dust. If there is any dirt or grime, clean it with a slightly damp (with water), soft cloth then dry it off completely. You can also use the can of compressed air to dry it. Give a quick cleaning to the inside of the iPod with the can of compressed air. Now it’s nice and clean and ready for reassembly. Note: You can buy Dust-Off or Endust at any large electronic stores.

Step5

[Update August 2006]

Three further posts that might be of interest to you:

1. Sony MDR-EX71 Review
2. Shure Ec2 Review
3. iPod HiFi Review

[Update February 2007]

As you read through the comments, you’ll see people talking about the iPod mini, iPod nano and video iPod. There is a new how-to site that offers videos to walk you through your repair process step by step. If you’re going to operate on your pod, you might want to watch these videos first…

 

How to disassemble and clean your iPod’s mechanical scroll wheel [UPDATED]

[UPDATE]
This post was getting so much traffic on my old site, I thought I would repost it here and add the fact that I also bought iCleaner to get rid of the scratches on both the plastic and the metal.

The iCleaner worked more or less as advertised, however it did *not* return my iPod to a factory-like finish. Also, the cleaner has now separated eight months on, so I’m not sure how effective it would be cleaning an iPod or iBook now. The short shelf life of iCleaner is disappointing and the results are mediocre. Think long and hard about it before you spend your $20…

 

Guess who got an old-school iPod for Christmas? That’s right. And what was the first thing I wanted to do? Restore it to factory conditions. I have *not* followed this article yet to clean my iPod, so proceed with caution.

From iPodlounge.

Warning: Do not attempt to disassemble iPods with non-moving, touch sensitive scroll wheels. The following methods are only for iPods with mechanical, moving scroll wheels.

Step 1
Here you have your iPod, Looking pretty and in one piece. Not for long.

step1

Step 2a
Get yourself a length of tape. We are using Pressure Sensitive Scotch Tape, but masking tape will work just as good. Place the tape either top-to-bottom or side-to-side covering the scroll wheel as shown in the photo at left.

step2a

Step 2b
Gently pull the tape taught from both ends until the scroll wheel "pops" up.

Step2b

Step 2c
As you can see this is an easy, safe method for removal. We spotted this method at iPodingand tried it ourselves and liked the results. I’m sure you’ll agree once you give it a try.

Step2c

Step 3
Here you have the disc and center button completely removed.

Step3

Step 4
A closer view of behind the scenes. Notice the steel ball bearings in which the scroll wheel tracks on.

Step4

Step 5
Take a look at how thick the disc is. Suprising build quality. Now your ready to clean your scroll wheel. I recommend using a can of Dust-Off or Endust compressed air for electronics. Spray the compressed air in short bursts to remove any dust. If there is any dirt or grime, clean it with a slightly damp (with water), soft cloth then dry it off completely. You can also use the can of compressed air to dry it. Give a quick cleaning to the inside of the iPod with the can of compressed air. Now it’s nice and clean and ready for reassembly. Note: You can buy Dust-Off or Endust at any large electronic stores.

Step5

[Update August 2006]

Three further posts that might be of interest to you:

1. Sony MDR-EX71 Review
2. Shure Ec2 Review
3. iPod HiFi Review

[Update February 2007]

As you read through the comments, you’ll see people talking about the iPod mini, iPod nano and video iPod. There is a new how-to site that offers videos to walk you through your repair process step by step. If you’re going to operate on your pod, you might want to watch these videos first…

 

Apple’s AV Opportunity

My friend CK has written an article on Apple’s opportunity to become *the* digital hub over on Applematters . Forrester also has a similar article regarding the new iMac.

With its new iMac G5, Apple has once again come up with a unique package of design, power, and ease of use. But will it be enough? No. Apple has missed the opportunity to stay way ahead of its PC manufacturing competitors by not including Wi-Fi as standard and failing to catch the early adopter PVR wave by including a TV tuner card.

Apple’s AV Opportunity

My friend CK has written an article on Apple’s opportunity to become *the* digital hub over on Applematters . Forrester also has a similar article regarding the new iMac.

With its new iMac G5, Apple has once again come up with a unique package of design, power, and ease of use. But will it be enough? No. Apple has missed the opportunity to stay way ahead of its PC manufacturing competitors by not including Wi-Fi as standard and failing to catch the early adopter PVR wave by including a TV tuner card.

Apple’s DRM

itunes_alertI added Maroon 5’s album to my shopping cart in the iTunes music store and was shown the alert to the right saying that I had already purchased one song from the album and asking if I was sure I wanted to purchase two copies of the song.

Well, yes. I do want to purchase two copies. It’s cheaper to buy the album for $9.99 than buying the rest of it piece-meal at $0.99.

After all, once I leagally own two copies, I can give one away, right? It is mine, bought and paid for in a totally legal way.

WRONG.

Apple’s DRM does not allow for title transfer on songs. This is why DRM is a bad idea. It prevents honest customers from using products in very natural ways.

My situation isn’t that uncommon, and will happen much more frequently as I use the iTunes music store more. I buy a song, listen to for a while, and then go back to buy the rest of the album. In some cases perhaps I will only cherry-pick those songs I think I like…or maybe I’ll just buy the whole album.

Now imagine that those hit singles that I buy I pass on to friends who in turn decide to buy the entire album and pass along that original file from me…

The current limitations are subtracting value from the music industry. Both Apple and the Labels need to change this policy to something that makes a bit more business sense.

Apple’s DRM

itunes_alertI added Maroon 5’s album to my shopping cart in the iTunes music store and was shown the alert to the right saying that I had already purchased one song from the album and asking if I was sure I wanted to purchase two copies of the song.

Well, yes. I do want to purchase two copies. It’s cheaper to buy the album for $9.99 than buying the rest of it piece-meal at $0.99.

After all, once I leagally own two copies, I can give one away, right? It is mine, bought and paid for in a totally legal way.

WRONG.

Apple’s DRM does not allow for title transfer on songs. This is why DRM is a bad idea. It prevents honest customers from using products in very natural ways.

My situation isn’t that uncommon, and will happen much more frequently as I use the iTunes music store more. I buy a song, listen to for a while, and then go back to buy the rest of the album. In some cases perhaps I will only cherry-pick those songs I think I like…or maybe I’ll just buy the whole album.

Now imagine that those hit singles that I buy I pass on to friends who in turn decide to buy the entire album and pass along that original file from me…

The current limitations are subtracting value from the music industry. Both Apple and the Labels need to change this policy to something that makes a bit more business sense.