Case modding is a popular pastime among pc users. But with the iPhone, with its closed casing, people are less daring to make hardware modifications. Jo Croiman (iPhoneclub community member name Croiman) is one of those rare exceptions. His plan: to create a completely polished iPhone with a mirror screen protector and a white, illuminated Apple logo. During the process, Croimans kept us posted about his progress in our forums, and after a couple of weeks work he is proud to present the end result: a unique iPhone, one that nobody has ever seen before and that will be know as: the Psycho iPhone Mod. Our admiration goes to Croiman, and we thought it would be worth an in-depth article on iPhoneclub.nl.
During the process, Croiman attracted a large and faithful audience of forum members, who gave him advice or encouragement. Apart from all the fans at iPhoneclub and more importantly – at least for Croiman himself – his girlfriend Sabine also gave her seal of approval to the Psycho iPhone Mod. She’s willing to accept the domestic mess (fine sandpaper particles, polish paste all over, etcetera) on condition that Croiman will also mod her own iPhone to a real shiny red one -themed and all. We can’t wait to see the first version of that one too!
Psycho iPhone Mod: how it all started
The project began more than two months ago with a forum post of Croiman, who announced that he had started working on a case mod. He also showed two photos of the polishing of the back cover with a Dremel and polishing paste. After more than an hour of thorough polishing, the back side was as smooth as a mirror. Croimans used very fine grained sandpaper especially made for wet surfaces (slis paper if that’s an English word), and finished the already blank surface with a soft brush on the Dremel tool and more polishing paste. To protect the back cover from scratching he also applied several layers of varnish.
The Apple logo on he back cover was replaced (or rather: filled) with a thin piece of plexiglass. Used method: rigorous cutting with the Dremel tool, polish smoothly with sandpaper P1000 and lots and lots of patience; a process which took roughly 4 hours. The plexiglass Apple logo was then glued with special heat-resistant Bison glue, since the iPhone has the tendency to get rather hot at times, especially when charged. Just around the milk Apple log some glass fiber was applied to direct the light from the leds more evenly around the logo. These leds – extracted from an already broken iPhone screen – are fixed just under the logo and shine upwards.
The original plan was to use blue leds for power and red leds for incoming calls, but leds this small and with the right voltage couldn’t be found in time and more importantly, the rather vocal forum members advised against using this color combination. They choose the more stylish white version which can be seen in the end result. The white leds draw an additional 50mAh from the battery; quite negligible.
The next few days saw more soldering, testing, soldering and final tests. Pics of the soldering layout shown below.
To clarify once again: the white leds are soldered to the Power function and shine constantly when the iPhone is in use. A later mod will also see leds soldered to the vibration motor with a different color (blue is the current choice) to signal incoming calls.
Antenna cover: which color to pick?
Next stage in the case mod was the antenna cover. Since there are more than a few aftermarket replacements a forum poll was setup. Choices: anthracite, silver or plain black. Silver was chosen as the best fit for this mod and swiftly it fell prey to the Dremel tool, the sandpaper and the varnish.
Mirror screen protector
A true case mod enthusiast has a fine eye for detail and Croiman is no exception to the rule. He wasn’t really satisfied with the big black screen on the front. After some research he found the perfect match for his new shiny shiny iPhone: Proporta’s Echo Mirrored Screen Protector. To top it off he used the all aluminum Pwned! wallpaper, which is featured on the WinPwn boot images gallery.
Engraving? No, sandblasting! (sp?)
It was quickly decided that sandbasting was the best method for applying the logo and text to the back cover. Since Croiman didn’t have the required tools help was needed from specialized (Belgian) company Zetix. The logo ‘iFoneguide inside’ is a reference to Dutch iPhone repository iFoneguide and Psycho iphone mod is Croiman’s own idea. Next set of pics show the end result.
The case mod in this article was baptized ‘Psycho iPhone mod #1’ for a reason. Croiman has a lot of plans for new case mod projects of which a handmade sculpted cover in blue carbon is going to be the next project. And girlfriend Sabine’s iPhone is eagerly awaiting his red makeover. We can’t wait to see all the next iterations and sincerely hope – with Croiman – other enthusiasts will follow suit. If you read about a cool iPhone case mod, please do let us know.
Croiman also shot this fantastic movie showing the Psycho iPhone mod in all his shiny grandeur. Sit back, drool and enjoy!