Technical Details

iPOD video 5th/5.5th power diagram:



  • USB port can only supply 500mA of current.
  • TEA1211 up/Down converter can supply 1700mA of current on 3.3 rail, however, the schottky diode in the iPOD is of a very small SMD package, the current rating is definitely less than 1A, though technical specs is unknown. Judging from the inductor size,  it is likely will saturate at 1A load.
  • The lithium ion battery in iPOD is about 500mAh for 30GB thin case model and 800mAh for 60/80GB thick case model.  A discharge rate more than 1C, ie. 500mA or 800mA is problematic.

mSATA & Adapter Diagram



Power requirement:

  • Under typical condition, JM20330 bridge IC requires about 58mA on 1.8V and 73mA on 3.3V, two diode junction drop is used to produce the 1.8V power for JM20330.
  • M500 SSD 240GB active average power consumption is 150mw, however, maximum requirement is 3200mW, that’s about 1A on 3.3V power rail.
  • Thus  there is a 1.1A peak current requirement on 3.3V rail from the SSD & adapter, on average condition 200mA is required.

Issues with typical mSATA ATA adapter board:

  • 1.8V digital core power is not very stable, especially when  3.3V power rail is stressed at peak mSATA activities.  1.65V is observed on the 1.8V line during disk activities. A LDO mod (such as 1117-1.8) will work better or ideally,  switched buck converter replacement.
  • The adapter board’ 10uF x7r decoupling capacitor maybe inadequate  and can be replaced with 47uF tantalum capacitors.
  • Tx RX differential pairs are not well routed, in terms of trace spacing and width. The impedance on these line is questionable.
  • Grounding is not well considered in the current adapter design.

The power issue coupled with the doubtful quality bridge adapter design might be the source of instability observed on previous MOD.

Rockbox Firmware Patch

The official rockbox firmware have issues on error recovery handling, thus failed to work with mSATA SSD mod. Firmware was subsequently patched to correct the error handling problem. UDMA-4 is enabled in the patch, which provides excellent aligned disk transfer.

test_disk SPEED TEST
CPU clock: 30000000 Hz
Create: 26 files/s
Open: 716 files/s
Dirscan: 80024 files/s
Delete: 73 files/s
Create (512,A): 2781 KB/s
Write (512,A): 2847 KB/s
Read (512,A): 1562 KB/s
Create (512,U): 2349 KB/s
Write (512,U): 2397 KB/s
Read (512,U): 1364 KB/s
Create (4096,A): 8316 KB/s
Write (4096,A): 8573 KB/s
Read (4096,A): 9418 KB/s
Create (4096,U): 3708 KB/s
Write (4096,U): 3791 KB/s
Read (4096,U): 1929 KB/s
Create (1048576,A): 12405 KB/s
Write (1048576,A): 12813 KB/s
Read (1048576,A): 41642 KB/s
Create (1048576,U): 4258 KB/s
Write (1048576,U): 4313 KB/s
Read (1048576,U): 2080 KB/s

Notice the 41642KB/s aligned 1MB transfer,which can only be achieved with the SSD. UDMA-4 theoretical transfer rate is 66MB/s. Dirscan of : 80024 files/s is also a huge boost, comparing to 10k file/s typical on stock iPod with Rockbox firmware.

30K songs totaling 180GB was transfered to the moded iPod, database was successfully updated in about 8 minutes.

25hrs of continuous playback time is achieved on my dual battery moded iPod.

Rockbox Firmware


  1. m500_msata_ssd
  2. JM20330_Spec_Rev. 2.3
  3. tea1211 Datasheet
  4. MKxx10GAHGAL Datasheet
  5. Head-Fi ipod ssd mod thread

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