Student who supplied iPhone with USB-C does the same with Apple AirPods

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Ken Pillonel has created an AirPods charging case with USB-C connection based on 3D printed parts and a PCB of his own design. The modder makes the schematics open source, so that other users can make the charging case themselves.

pillonel shows on YouTube how he wanted to replace the battery in his AirPods charging case. However, this is not possible by default, as the housing is not designed to be disassembled. That’s why the youtuber designed a replacement case. To achieve this, the youtuber started by breaking open the AirPods case. He used a dremel to cut away the outer part of the case. He then designed two replacement parts for both sides of the housing, which he printed out with a 3D printer.

In this way it is possible to replace the battery and use the AirPods as normal. The replacement case is also easier to take apart so that the battery can be replaced again in the future. However, Pillonel also made its own PCB that fits into the housing of the AirPods, with which the case could be equipped with a USB-C connection. Normally, the earplugs use Apple’s own Lightning connector, although that will change in a few years due to approaching European legislation.

Pillonel makes the schematics for its replacement case and USB-C PCB available on its GitHub page. He reports on his website that he also gives away a few sets. The YouTuber is considering selling a pre-made kit in the future, but there are no concrete plans for that yet. Pillonel is no stranger to mods like this. The robotics master’s student previously fitted his iPhone X with a USB-C connection. Even then, the youtuber made the necessary schematics available via GitHub.

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