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How to Roll Your Own iPhone Data Recording Cable

Many users, while enjoying the SpikerBox demo’s we have done, have also expressed excited curiosity that the iPhone can be used as a portable data recorder / oscilloscope. To truly take advantage of your iPhone though, you want your signal to go directly to the line input. Though you can buy one of these cables, in the open-source spirit of Backyard Brains, here is the schematic to build your own. You need: one 4.7 kOhm resistor, one 10 uF capacitor, one 3.5 mm audio three conductor cable you cut in half, and one 3.5 mm audio four conductor cable you cut in half. Bring out your soldering iron, your wire-stripper, and your favorite beverage!

Wrap all exposed wire in electrical tape, cover with heat shrink tubing, and you’re ready to rock! This design splices the left and right audio channels in the microphone input, so if you use this cable to record music, you are only recording in mono.

This of course is our favorite use…


  1. What is it being used for in the pic at the end? Can’t quite make it out… looks sort of odd and Frankensteinesque!

    Comment by Hutch — 2010-Jul-20 @ 02:35

  2. I believe it’s a cockroach leg

    Comment by Jacob — 2012-Aug-12 @ 04:05

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