Jun 11

Ultimate Apple 30-pin iPhone / iPad dock connector pinout

Category: Design,electronics,product design   — Published by goeszen on June 11, 2017 at 6:26 pm

If you're a maker or hardware tinkerer, you might have come along people building their own audio interfaces, using the iPhone's bottom 30-pin connector, the "dock connector". The thing you usually use to plug your Apple phone in, or onto, something else, like a docking station - only this time you are building the docking yourself.

The connector is quite small and some people use soldering adapters to get around soldering on the small connector itself, like the ones from here. Check it out. They have nice pictures and the link is very useful in understanding the correct pinout of the connector, as many sources on the Internet have it wrong, or if you're like me, you're unable to figure out what the correct numbering is. So here it is, the ultimate dock connector schematic - to help you understand what the otherwise definitive source for this connector's pinout, pinouts.ru, means.

For my specific project, I wanted to tap into the video output of the iPhone. As you might know, the device is outputting Composite Video and in certain modes S-Video data via the connector. The pinout on pinouts.ru tells us the Composite Video connection is on Pin 2 (Ground) and Pin 8, but where are these on the connector? There's "Apple numbering", "pinouts.ru"-numbering, and all sorts of pictures, schematics, diagrams, and stuff if you search the Net - but mostly I wasn't able to figure out which side was meant, or if a drawing was illustrating the phone's side or the plug's side. After figuring it out, I made the above drawing.

If the connector is soldered on a PCB it's usually done in such a way that all the odd pins are on one side, and the even ones on the other, on a two-sided PCB. So for video, look on the "rear side" of the connector, that means when the connector is plugged into the phone, the phone's display is facing away from you. Pin 2 and 8 are on the right side then, being the first pin counting from right, and the fourth one. Got it? Happy soldering.

The 30-pin dock connector was replaced on newer phones, beginning with the iPhone 5. This connector here is used on Apple iPod MP3 players 3G, 4G, 5G Video, the Nano 1G, 2G, 3G and 4G, Mini, etc and iPhone 1G, 3G, 3GS, 4 and 4S.

Apple iPhone dock connector hacking
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