Sony Walkman NWZ-A729 dock
This page is about how to create a very simple and compact dock (or some prefer to say cradle or stand) for a Sony Walkman. Mine is a NWZ-A729. The design can be adapted for any kind of player, really, as long as it has a flat backside. The twist for this one is, however, the modification I made to my Walkman: I embedded a thin .25 mm steel sheet into the player so it can be attached to the dock by magnetic force. The Walkman A720 and A820 series (and probably others as well) have just enough room between the battery and the back cover. The dock has a few 1/4 inch Neodymium cube magnets behind it that attract the steel sheet. If you don't feel like opening up your player, you can always stick the steel sheet to the outside of the player with thin double sided tape, or contact glue.
I will not provide details on how to open up your player, put a piece of steel in it, and void your warranty by this. I don't want to be held responsible. Then again, it's not hard to figure out, anyway. Five tiny screws, yada yada, pop back off from its sprung catches, yada yada.
This dock does not provide power and USB connections. My use for it is to listen to the player in my car, while being accessible at all times. I never leave it there; what else would be the purpose of this dock? Recharging is done at home. You may chose to also integrate the Walkman Port cable onto the dock. Unfortunately, the cable Sony supplies with its players does not provide line-out, and if you look closely, you'll see the line-out pins (14 and 17) are simply missing from the connector. The original Sony dock has these pins, of course. But unless you can get a line-out Walkman Port cable, you will simply have to use a 3.5 mm plug.
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1. I took a strip of plastic about as wide as the player. I hacked a 3.5 mm stereo plug, and soldered it to a copper lug so it can be as compact as possible and still be sturdy. Of course, you could just stick an unhacked 3.5 mm plug to the dock with hot melt glue.
5. Some holes were drilled into the plastic strip so the magnets can be as close to the player as possible. You could also use a much larger magnet, but that might cause problems with other objects in the vicinity. The stereo plug is wired to a pin header and the end is covered with a small plastic tube.
6. To make sure the Walkman's inserted in the upright position and stays there, I put a "door stopper" opposite from the stereo plug. And I covered up the sides with triangular plastic pieces so you can't see the innards. This would also be an excellent way to make it stay upright.
... to be continued ...