Developer Ken Pillonel has returned with another USB-C Apple mod. After altering an iPhone and the original AirPods to remove the Lightning connector, he’s moved on to the AirPods Pro.
A brief about a YouTuber mods the AirPods Pro with a USB-C port and wants to let you do the same.
After modding the iPhone X and non-pro AirPods, engineer and YouTuber Ken Pillonel altered the AirPods Pro to change out the exclusive Lightning connector for USB-C. The USB-C AirPods Pro schematics, like his previous projects, will be open sourced via GitGub, but this time Pillonel is going a step further and will be selling his custom PCB in the hope that it would motivate more people to try the mod themselves.
“The last video has two million views, and nearly no one attempted the mod,” Pillonel claims in his latest YouTube video. “I’m pretty confident I know why; it’s just too complicated to construct the PCB. I was hoping that someone in China would duplicate and sell the idea, but the fact is that I’ll have to make it myself.” The part will be available via shop.kenp.io and will contain the charging LED shown in the video above.
The mod, according to Pillonel, is only for the first-generation AirPods Pro and will not function with the second-generation earphones introduced last year. Nonetheless, it is compatible with both MagSafe and non-MagSafe charging cases for the first-generation earphones.
Despite his efforts to make the mod more friendly, Pillonel admits that it will not be a project for everyone. “People will obviously need some type of expertise messing about with phones, replacing batteries, and so on, as well as [having] some tools laying around,” he says. “It’s not easy, but it’s achievable if you’re curious and a little handy.” He also believes that repair shops will start supplying the mod to consumers who want USB-C AirPods Pros.
In addition to the USB-C PCB schematics, Pillonel has created a new outer shell for the charging case for usage if the AirPods Pro case is destroyed during the disassembly process. He won’t be selling this plastic portion like he did the PCB for the time being, but blueprints are accessible for users to 3D print themselves.
Despite the fact that Pillonel has been steadily working his way through Apple’s Lightning-equipped gadgets, his USB-C modifying effort may not be required for much longer. Apple is apparently preparing to migrate the iPhone to USB-C as early as later this year, followed by the rest of its Lightning AirPods and Mac accessory array over the next few years. Hardly by chance, the announcement coincides with the implementation of new European Union legislation mandating the use of USB-C for cable charging across a wide spectrum of consumer electronics. Apple has stated that it intends to comply with the legislation.