Modifying Apple iPad/iPod Cable for Le Pan Tablets ?

Discussion in 'Le Pan Tablets' started by yann2, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

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    I finally decided to get a cable before I lose or damage my original one; unfortunately, it's a lot harder to get a Le Pan specific cable than an Apple generic one.

    Original Le Pan cables can be purchased from the Le Pan Online Store here. The price is $3.99, very reasonable.

    [​IMG]

    So, why not get it there? The shipping cost is pretty high, for a single item:

    [​IMG]

    For me, to send it to Canada via UPS Standard is $18.99. Ouch, no way.

    Shipping to an USA address is $9.98 for a single item. If you have multiple cables in the order, shipping costs are not much more, so joining with some friends for a group buy could be an alternative. [Tried it out - USA shipping for 10 cables is $11.89]

    Over the past few months we had reports from different people, on how they successfully modified an Apple accessories cable (made for iPod, iPhone or iPad 30 pin connectors) to use in our Le Pan's similar 30 pin connectors for charging tablet or for USB file transfers.

    The Apple designed cables are pin-compatible with the Le Pan for charging and Data transfers. There's other accessories made for Apple that will NOT work on le Pan tablets, though, as other pins (HDMI video, etc) are not the same.

    Main problem of modifying the cable is a mechanical issue - the Le Pans have a metal key in the 30 pin dock connector, to avoid the user inserting the cable backwards. That makes it impossible to insert an Apple-style cable in the le pan, at least as it comes from the factory.

    Alternatives?

    1. You could bend out the metal tab in the tablet. THIS VOIDS YOUR WARRANTY, though, so not recommended.

    [​IMG]

    Photo above by nehinbin, originally captioned as :

    2. You could modify the Apple cable to allow it to fit the Le Pan connector.

    [​IMG]

    Photo above by nehinbin, originally captioned as :

    Option 2 is the clear choice for most people. :p

    A lot of users report success on modding the cable. Unfortunately, it seems this will NOT always work. :(

    Just yesterday I was trying to modify an Apple branded cable, purchased from a local store.

    I found it seems to have a thicker metal part on the connector than the original Le Pan cable.

    [​IMG]

    And I wasn't able to shave much plastic, to allow it to fit th Le Pan connector. :(

    There's a couple of spring clips on the two sides, for retaining it on the socket, and these didn't help either.

    I will not force the connector in - if there's ANY damage to the tablet's connector, you are looking at a hard to repiar issue; most likely a de-solder, get the exact part, resolder; Wouldn't want to try this myself.

    The above snapshot is from a product from Monoprice.com, not my own cable, but it looks very similar.

    Monoprice lists some cables as 'SlimFit', wonder if these would have a thinner connector? Could maybe fit with less modification.

    Amazon.com has some vendors listing Le Pan specific cables, but prices are high, shipping adding to that.

    Any personal experiences with modding a cable? Sources of good stuff? Post a reply and let everyone know. Thank you! :)

    EDIT :

    Successful Now !! :p :D :cool:

    From a post in another thread :

    As noted in post #4 below, I hadn't trimmed the plastic on the Right side (side opposite the metl lock on the LP tablet. After doing so, I was able to insert the modded cable without stressing _anything_.

    Tested and working, copied 330 MB video file, CRC checked on the copy. Thanks John! :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  2. vampirefo.

    vampirefo. Senior Member Developer

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    So to save $20 you would destroy your tablet. I guess $20 is more important to you than the tablet.
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  3. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

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    I thought the text on the OP was clear, forcing anything in is not a good idea. :)

    Trashing the tablet is not a way to save money; yet, in many cases people reported success in modding cables, sometimes bought even at Dollar Stores.

    Will not always work, so I wrote the article, let people know. If we can discuss and find a source for the ones that do fit, I think we are making progress, would you agree? :p

    EDIT :

    Just found an interesting product at Monoprice.com :

    [​IMG]

    This $6.58 device has a small, short cable (description says 6 inch long) plus a dual headed end adapter - which can connect to either 30 pin Apple devices, or to a MicroUSB connector.

    [​IMG]

    Handy, could connect both your phone or the tablet for recharging, although the length is a bit short. It should be possible to use another, longer USB cable with a Mini USB end to connect to the adapter head if desired.

    The main question is, would the 30 pin connector be modifiable to fit the Le Pan tablets? :)
     
    Last edited: Oct 21, 2012
  4. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

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    ...And it turns out I didn't lose my money on this cable - thanks to a post JohnA2u made on another thread, and something he noted and I had MISSED (in bold on text below)

    Uhmmm - I did not think shaving off on BOTH sides was needed, or important. The right side of the connector was getting partially into the tablet, if I titled it to that side.

    But, back to the test bed we go; be CAREFUL with your sharp knife, used for this job.

    A slip of the knife/box cutter, and you might be needing a First Aid kit, instead of a spare cable. :p

    After shaving as much as I could from the right side (the one opposite the key metal piece on the Le Pan connector, I was able to insert it in without undue stress.

    It's a bit tighter than the LP original cable, but it went in, out, and I tested it via ADB, response ok.

    Then copied a video file over, 330 MB or so, and used Teracopy for this. I checked the 'enable CRC error checking' box, so it goes back and checks the copied file for any errors in the copy. All matched, no errors.

    Thanks JohnA2u for that small bit, which made this work. :)

    Now, we got to get one of those Monoprice dual-headed babies for a test. ;)
     
  5. Johna2u

    Johna2u Senior Member

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    Yann specifically advises to do the modification to the cable and not the tablet. I can confirm this works. Don't try the Apple camera kit though. It will short the tablet and require a reset to start it again.
     
  6. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

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    We have a new discussion in another forum, regarding the very HIGH shipping costs charged from Le Pan's store.

    I just posted this as a reply there, and think it's relevant. John has sent Le Pan an email note, pointing to that discussion, and they are listening.

    Maybe there's hope?

    =---------------------------------------------------------------=

    Bravo, randombohemian, that's EXACTLY what we need. For all customers, it will immediately drop shipping cost to reasonable levels.

    For us in Canada, it would mean WE CAN purchase product, I would NEVER pay the shipping costs asked, and worse yet -- using UPS as a carrier.

    UPS is infamous for ripping off Canadian clients. Anything shipped 'Ground' (their regular delivery method) gets charged abusive Brokerage Fees at their front door, when the Brown UPS van comes to deliver.

    We are talking charges going from $15 and up, sometimes close to the cost of the product being shipped. Google and anyone can find horror stories.

    Knowing that, I never buy anything if the store is adamant in using UPS as their only shipping method. I take my business elsewhere.

    Monoprice.com is an excellent online retailer, and I have mde purchases from them over the years. All of them were shipped via USPS, usually for a charge around $5 for the whole small order, right to my front door.

    No guy in Brown uniform showed up to collect Ransom for my package either. :p

    If Customs stops the package and levies Taxes or duties or both, then Canada Post will deliver, in person, and charge a reasonable $5 for their work in paying Customs fee on my behalf. I gladly pay, and the taxes as well.

    Small orders, under $50, usually are waved thru Customs, scot free, as they are too busy to charge every little package taxes.
     
  7. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

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    Here's more, visual proof of how much more reasonable USPS shipping cost is. I mentioned Monoprice.com, and just added THIS ITEM which I was considering purchasing.

    The Shopping Cart has a live shipping calculator, for USA, Canada, other countries. You select the right destination, Canada, enter the postal code, and see the cost.

    [​IMG]

    The cost shown is for ONE pound, the minimum package likely; I could get maybe 2 or 3 of those items in the order for that price.
     
  8. yann2

    yann2 Senior Member

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    I looked at the local Dollar Stores, and the only iPod cables they had were the retractable cord type, which I would prefer not to use. Conductors in the wires must be extremely thin, so I consider them less reliable cables.

    Like these, from Dollar Tree : (photo credit - S87 post at AT)

    [​IMG]

    Found the thread I was thinking of, and lestat posted some tremendous close-up photos of a Japanese cable he got :

    [​IMG]

    I highlighted in red circle the areas you would usually have to shave plastic of. I this case, his cable ($1.50 retail) fit perfectly, without any shaving.

    Would be a nice alternative, if one can find it locally. Think his was purchased in the SF Bay area, at Daiso, a specialized store selling discount Japanese goods. [ Store Locations? HERE ]

    [​IMG]

    See his post HERE.
     
    Last edited: Oct 28, 2012
  9. Contra1971

    Contra1971 Member

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    Well I purchased a used Le Pan and since I have no warranty I just bent the tab back on my tablet, I can use any Ipad, ipod, iphone cable now, not just the ones I modified...(the old style at least) ...lol

    Sent from my EVO using Tapatalk 4.01
     

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