7 Replies Latest reply: Mar 27, 2008 9:29 AM by Anne McWilliams
cooter64 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
Title pretty much says it all . . . are the connector ports on the bottom of a 4th gen. iPod and the iPhone the same so that I could use the same cable to charge/sync both?

  • Ceres1 Level 1 Level 1 (75 points)
    Hi cooter64,

    I have been using the USB cable from a second generation iPod Nano to charge and sync my iPhone and I have not encountered any issues so far.

  • cooter64 Level 1 Level 1 (0 points)
    Thanks. Just took a deep breath and plugged the old usb into the iphone. It's currently syncing music.

    In retrospect, I probably should have plugged the new cable into the old iPod in case anything went wrong. Whew!

    2G nano?!? That's not even old school. I don't even have color on my iPod!
  • Anne McWilliams Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Hi, this post is a bit old, but I thought I would try. I have found that I can use the previous generation iPod cable on my iPhone when connected to a Mac's USB -- charges and can be used for calls, etc. But, I have a charger in my vehicle, and when I plugged the iPhone into that, it automatically switched to the airplane mode -- would charge but could not be used for calls.

    So, I took the dock out to the truck and plugged the charger into the dock, the iPhone into the dock, and it works fully well.

    Looking closely at the cable that came with the iPhone, at the male end, not the USB end, but the wide iPhone end, I see that some of the connector pins stand out with more prominence than on the iPod cable. There must be something unique about the iPhone cable that limits its functions if it is not used in the right environment. Anyone know about that?

    My rig for playing my iPod in my truck is complicated. I have to plug in an old cassette adapter that I have had for ages. You can't plug that into the iPhone without an adapter. But, you can plug the cassette adapter into the dock.

    Needless to say, the dock now lives in my truck, at least until I break down and spend the money for an update to my stereo. Maybe before our camping trip to Canada...

  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (31,445 points)
    Early generation iPods could only charge from a Firewire port or Firewire charging brick. Later ones could charge from either Firewire or USB. But, since Firewire and USB supply different voltages the cable uses different wires for the two. Thus, an old cable designed for Firewire charging will not have the connection for USB charging in it.
  • Anne McWilliams Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    OK, thanks, you are correct. My iPod Photo did use Firewire and the brick, or could be plugged into a chain of other Firewire devices connected to the Mac. The USB cable I plugged into the Mac must have been from a 5G iPod. Come to think of it, I have not tried plugging the iPhone into the Mac with a Firewire cable. Since there is only one space for Firewire.

    Using hubs for Firewire and USB -- I understand Firewire can draw power from a device if it is 6-wire, but not 4-wire. Isn't an iPod Photo cable 6-wire? So, a Firewire hub is drawing power to all devices connected to it? Or, does a hub attached to a Mac have to be powered separately with a DC adapter? If so, then, would a 6-wire Firewire attached to a separately powered hub work with the iPhone? Or, can you plug the iPhone into a Firewire chain of separately powered devices to sync and recharge?

    Anyway, the point was, the auto charger did not work fully with the iPhone until I plugged it into the dock. The iPhone automatically switched to airplane mode. I plugged into the iPhone dock and it worked perfectly. Any idea why this is the case?

    And, the dock permitted plugging my old cassette adapter into the dock rather than using a headphone adapter on the iPhone.

  • Lawrence Finch Level 7 Level 7 (31,445 points)
    You cannot sync an iPhone with Firewire; you can only charge it and only with a 6 wire cable. There were some early reports of a Firewire charger frying the iPhone, but Apple says it should work.

    Did it automatically switch to airplane mode, or suggest it and give you a button to do so? I've never seen that. I've seen it make the suggestion, which I then ignore. The dialog is prompted if you use a cable that does not have the filtering necessary to prevent the iPhone from interfering with the device you are connecting to. The dock has the filtering. Older cables do not. It has a way of determining this from something in the connector.
  • Anne McWilliams Level 1 Level 1 (25 points)
    Perhaps this has something to do with the quality of the auto power adapter. It seems to me that the change to airplane was automatic. I could not make calls or receive calls. The power would charge, but the change made me nervous, so I unplugged it. I tried plugging in the dock and I can make and receive calls, using speakerphone or my bluetooth headset. Maybe there is some kind of power management or conditioning in the dock that makes it ok to use with the truck power through the 12v outlet. I don't do this often because I use my iPod more for music and tend to use the auto adapter for it on long trips, and keep the iPhone charged with the DC adapter or the USB attached to a Mac. I have my entire music library on my iPod. It's hard to decide what to pick for such little space on the iPhone. Maybe my vintage Airstream podcasts http://www.thevap.com/