Adding a Cord Wrapper to an iPod Touch Case

When I bought my 1st Generation iPod touch I found what I thought was the perfect case: the DLO Jam Jacket. It let me get a grip on my slippery iPod, its bulging corners kept the screen off the table so it didn’t get scratched, it protected the iPod from falls, and it managed headphone cord so that it didn’t make a mess in my pocket.

When I bought my iPod touch 4th Generation, the first thing I looked for was a similar case.  Unfortunately DLO doesn’t make any cases for the 4th Gen iPod Touch and I couldn’t find a case from another company that even came close to matching the functionality of the DLO Jam Jacket. So I did what any good maker does, I modified the best case I could find to meet my needs.

After some searching I found the FlexGrip Action from Griffin. This case is even more rugged than my DLO Jam Jacket was, but lacked any cord management. For that I bought the Belkin Ear bud Clip Cable Manager. It is simply a wide spindle to wrap the ear bud cable around with a rubber cover that keeps the cable in place. I figured that If I could marry these to items together I’d get a crude approximation of what I needed.

Onto my mod…

The first thing I needed to do was to get rid of the clip on the back of the Belkin cable manager. Two molded plastic prongs held the clip in place so I bent them until the clip popped out. Then I had to remove the plastic prongs so the back of the cord manager would sit flat on the back of the case. First I removed the rubber cover by sticking a screwdriver underneath the plastic strip that says Belkin and prying upward. Then after the rubber cover was off, I cut the prongs off with a hobby knife and sanded the back flat.

At first I tried to use some double sided tape to hold the cable manager to the case, but that only lasted for half a day before it came apart. The rubber case just didn’t stick well to the adhesive. So I needed to find another way to attach the cable manager. I finally decided to tie it on with some 30ga wire.  I drilled four holes into the back of the cord manager to run the wire through.

Then I lay the cord manager back on the back of the case and centered it. To transfer the hole locations I used a stick pin, but the rubber closed back around the hole quickly after I removed it. So I needed to thread the wire through the hole as soon as I removed the stick pin. I used a piece of wire for the top and one for the bottom and twisted them as tight as I could inside the back of the case.

All that was let to do was trim the excess wire and snap the rubber cord keeper over the back. I plugged in the headphone cord and wrapped the cord around the cord keeper leaving enough of a loop so that there wasn’t too much pressure on the headphone plug.

My FlexGrip Action case probably already saved my iPod touch. I was getting out of my truck and my iPod slipped out of my hands, dropped five feet onto sand and salt covered asphalt, and landed screen down. I shudder to think what would have happened if I didn’t have it in its case.

Of course when I was grabbing the links for this writeup I found out Griffin makes another case that is almost exactly what I’m looking for: the FlexGrip Wrap. Too bad my case modification has held up so well.

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