Hi there Redditors - Scotty from Strange Parts here.

You might know me as the guy who assembled his own iPhone 6s from parts bought in the electronics markets in Shenzhen, China: https://youtu.be/leFuF-zoVzA

I just added a working headphone jack to an iPhone 7: https://youtu.be/utfbE3_uAMA

Thanks for all the amazing support - Reddit was super instrumental in getting out the word on both of the videos I've made, and I've really enjoyed all the questions and ideas you've sent my way.

I'm in China at the moment, so timezones suck, but I'll be around for the next few hours answering as many questions as I can about Shenzhen, the electronics markets, iPhones, and whatever else you want to hear about.

Lastly - I'll be doing a youtube live video Q&A today at around 3pm Eastern, 12pm Pacific. Subscribe to the youtube channel here to get notified when it goes live, and when I post future videos: http://strangeparts.com/subscribe

Proof that I'm me: https://twitter.com/strangepartscom/status/905842010849918976

Edit: I'm going to take a break to do some live Q&A on youtube: http://youtube.com/strangeparts. But I'll be back here after to answer more questions.

Edit 2: I'm back! Thanks to everyone that tuned in for the youtube Q&A - sorry it was a bit rough getting going. The internet in China is challenging at times. It's pretty late here (5am), but I'll try and answer a few more questions before I crash for the night.

Edit 3: Thanks for all the questions everyone - I'm going to have to crash for a couple hours, but will try and check in and answer more questions in the morning. Good night from Shenzhen!

Edit 4: I'm back - I'll be popping in and out and answering questions as I take care of a few other things. So if you have any more burning questions, fire away.

Comments: 142 • Responses: 40  • Date: 

jagira37 karma

Hey Scotty,

Big fan of your videos. I love how simply you narrate your story spanning over months.

I have a few questions:

1) Did you major in Electronics? How did you become good with circuits?

2) How do you finance your spends on spare parts and equipments?

3) It was tough to see you almost give up in your latest video. How did you find the motivation to keep going after spending so many months and messing up the phone display?

scotty31442 karma

1) Did you major in Electronics? How did you become good with circuits?

I've been into electronics ever since I was in elementary school. I would beg my mom to take me to Radio Shack to get parts and books. But I ended up majoring in computer science, and only took a few formal electrical engineering courses (an intro to analog and digital, a microprocessor course, and a digital electronics course). I'm mostly self taught on the hardware side of things.

2) How do you finance your spends on spare parts and equipments?

A mixture of savings, and now, gradually, income from youtube ads and selling framed circuit boards to fans. I also own a small saas company that brings in some money.

3) It was tough to see you almost give up in your latest video. How did you find the motivation to keep going after spending so many months and messing up the phone display?

Yeah, that was a pretty tough week. Ultimately, I just really wanted to be able to say I'd actually done it, and show off a working phone. And I didn't really give myself permission to stop until I could prove to myself it couldn't be done. I almost did, but not quite:)

adobo_cake17 karma

Hey, I just thought it would be a good idea to start a patreon sometime in the future? That's the first thing I looked for when I saw your recent vid as I wanted to support. I'm sure there are others who would want to support too, and might help with expenses.

I can't believe you bought a microscope for the project! Now I want my own microscope.

scotty31419 karma

Been getting lots of suggestions about Patreon in the comments on this video. It's something I'm considering.

And the microscope is probably the best tool purchase I've ever made. $300 including the camera, and I feel totally superhuman when I'm using it. Tiny solder work that was impossible without it is now within reach, and I don't have particularly good hand-eye coordination. One thing I'd say though is to make sure to get an optical microscope, not a digital one where you're looking at a screen. Delay and resolution matters a lot.

Edit: I forgot to say - I'm super flattered people are so eager to support me and what I'm doing, via things like Patreon. Just want to figure out the right next steps.

Younase5 karma

Thought you were gonna redo the charging circuit and merge it with the jack circuit. Great video as always.Can't wait for the next one.

scotty3145 karma

Yeah, I worked on this, but the footage wasn't super interesting, so it ended up on the cutting room floor. It turned out to be pretty gnarly, and would involve a lot of deep manipulation of the lightning signal. Not as simple as just adding voltage onto the charging pins, unfortuantely.

LpSamuelm10 karma

Hey yo! I loved your first video, and I might even have loved the latest one even more. I love seeing you learn and get better along the way, and the way you stuck with it? Truly amazing. Of course I ordered one of the framed PCBs - so cool to somehow be part of that story (especially as someone who wants to work in EECS in the future).

So, as for my questions - I have 2:

  1. How in the world did you find all the stuff you did? Chip brokers? Microscope resellers? Flexible PCB manufacturers? A lot of weibo-ing, or great contacts, or...?

  2. How much resistance have you met due to your low quantities? You did mention a bit about it in the first video, if I recall correctly, but... has anyone ever told you flat-out "no"? And how did you manage to get the flex PCB manufacturer to print such a small amount for you?

Thank you! I'll be following you in the future, of course. ❤️

scotty31416 karma

How in the world did you find all the stuff you did? Chip brokers? Microscope resellers? Flexible PCB manufacturers? A lot of weibo-ing, or great contacts, or...?

Mostly by just walking around the markets and talking to people. Everyone in the list of people you mentioned I just met in the markets, other than Endy, the chip broker. He was introduced to me by another friend here in China. For other things like factories, Alibaba (or the chinese version 1688.com) and Taobao(like ebay/amazon) are great resources.

How much resistance have you met due to your low quantities? You did mention a bit about it in the first video, if I recall correctly, but... has anyone ever told you flat-out "no"? And how did you manage to get the flex PCB manufacturer to print such a small amount for you?

In china, everything is negotiable:) PCBs in particular are easy to get in small quantities, because there's relatively low overhead for the manufacturer for making a new design, and everyone needs to make lots of prototype boards as they're designing products. So there's a huge demand for it.

Other things, like injection molding, have a much higher setup cost because the tools (molds) are very time consuming and expensive to make. So if you only want to do limited quantities, you end up using a different process, like 3d printing or CNC, and then transitioning to a scalable process like injection molding once you're ready to scale up production.

In general though, smaller factories are more likely to entertain small quantities, as long as they're actually making money in the process.

veggytheropoda9 karma

Hello from China! Hey do you know you went viral here as well?

scotty3148 karma

Yes, the big one was a huge hit. Has the latest headphone jack video gone viral as well? I have a hard time tracking chinese social media:)

veggytheropoda5 karma

Not yet, give it some more time.

scotty3145 karma

Yep:)

v0rry9 karma

How do you finance your apparently month-long fulltime work for a video? You monetized the Youtube-videos, but with ''only'' about 10 million total views that cant be enough to finance your life, can it?

scotty3149 karma

No, it's not quite supporting me just yet. It's starting to cover the costs of phone parts and what not, and I have plenty of faith it'll pick up in the future. In the meantime, I'm supplementing it with savings and income from another business that I'm not very involved with anymore.

coryrenton8 karma

how do you recommend getting set up with a celphone/internet in china for traveling? what have you bought over there that seemed like the sketchiest thing but turned out to be legit?

scotty31422 karma

Having a SIM card and China specific VPN is pretty mandatory when traveling in China. VPNs are officially not allowed, but many people use them here to get to sites blocked by the great firewall, such as Google, Youtube, etc. Also, pro tip: sim cards from areas outside the great firewall that are in roaming mode, don't go through the great firewall. Which is handy so you don't have to run a vpn on your phone.

In terms of what I've bought that seemed sketch, but wasn't... Maybe Pocari Sweat? Terrible name for a very tasty and addictive drink.

I have a pretty crazy Shanzhai power bank that I love, too. It plugs directly into the wall (it has a flip out prongs for a power plug), and shows how many amps your device is drawing on a screen. It's way too big, but pretty legit otherwise.

coryrenton4 karma

how do you recommend getting ahold of a "fixer" who shows where and how to get to all the places you need to go, keeps you safe from scammers etc...?

scotty3148 karma

I've been approached by translators (who are probably more like fixers) in the markets a couple times. I've never used one though - by the time I started doing more than just wandering around the markets, I knew enough people here that I could ask for translation help when I needed it, and kind of knew what to look out for.

Most people that do manufacturing in China end up working with a contract manufacturer as their main point of contact, which is basically just a factory that handles making the finished product, and usually handles outsourcing subcomponents to other factories and sourcing components.

_Wartoaster_8 karma

Dude I just watched your video on Hackaday this morning, I admire your tenacity.

What's the "shop scene" like out there? How easy it is to find that one damn part for your project? What's the longest you've needed to wait for a part?

scotty3149 karma

What's the "shop scene" like out there? How easy it is to find that one damn part for your project? What's the longest you've needed to wait for a part?

When I first got here, it was nearly impossible for me to find anything. I couldn't speak, read, or write the language, didn't have a bank account, didn't understand how the markets were laid out, couldn't order things online, etc etc. So it was really hard to find parts.

But gradually I started figuring each of these things out, and learning a bit of chinese, and things got a lot easier.

Now, I'd say I don't tend to struggle that much to find specific parts. For this latest headphones project, I'd say most things I could get same day, usually within a half hour to an hour if I really needed it quickly. Tools, chips, and iphone parts all fall into this category. Other stuff, like blocks of plastic for the fixture to hold the phone back for the cnc mill, I order on taobao and get delivered in a day or two.

Pretty much ANYTHING you can possibly need, electronics or otherwise, is already in Shenzhen. It's just a matter of finding it. And sometimes it's the simple stuff that turns out to be hard. Like I spent an entire morning trying to buy a sheet of glass on Taobao. Just regular glass. Turns out I just needed to go to the glass shop in the village (sort of like a large apartment complex in china with shops on the ground floor), and ask the guy to cut me a piece.

_Wartoaster_3 karma

That's crazy, you didn't even know any Chinese before you moved?

You are truly an inspiration, my dude. Keep up the good work!

scotty31417 karma

Nope, didn't even know how to say "Hello".

I didn't move here though, I actually travel full time. I came originally on a 3 week trip, and liked it so much I keep coming back, and spending more and more time here...

batmansmk7 karma

Hi Scotty, Congrats! Can you give us an idea of what took the most time and what was the most frustrating?

scotty31411 karma

Thanks! The electrical design probably took me the longest. I had to massively simplify it for the video to keep the length down (the first rough cut was 7 hours).

I made probably 4 different breadboarded designs, 3 different iterations of rigid pcbs, and 3 versions of flex pcbs. Turn around time on flex pcbs is a week, and 1-5 days for rigid pcbs. So that adds up...

In terms of most frustrating, two specific things come to mind (though there were countless frustrating things):

  • the first iPhone 7 logic board I bought went on the fritz, I think because I was using it outside a phone sitting on a silicon mat, and it overheated. It started having crazy display glitches, and then eventually went into a reboot loop. I eventually took it to a repair shop that said it was a problem with the soldering on the cpu, but couldn't repair it. In the meantime, I was using a 6s logic board for testing, which was electrically the same as a 7. Or so I thought. Turns out I managed to design a circuit board to add a headphone jack to an iphone 6s (which already has one), but that didn't work on an iphone 7, that doesn't. Definitely an FML moment. But fortunately it was a pretty simple design change to fix it (I was using a switching chip that wasn't specced for 3v, which apparently the 7 is more sensitive to). Unfortunately all this got left on the cutting room floor because of time constraints.

  • When I was trying to put the final phone together and kept breaking screens. That was a really low moment, because I felt like I was pretty much out of things I could shave off to make it fit. I did end up finding one or two more though:)

monitorius17 karma

Have you ever met serpentza, laowhy86 or other YouTubers residing in Shenzhen?

scotty31413 karma

Yep - I actually just bumped into serpentza and laowhy86 completely randomly at my local Starbucks the other day. Talk about random...

Rearfeeder2Strong6 karma

Just like how westerns think all asians look a like haha.

scotty3144 karma

Exactly:)

Davidtfnj6 karma

Hi Scotty! First I wanted to thank you for sharing your adventures, you are an inspiration for all of us. Since I watched your "assembling your own iPhone" video I've wondered what Apple thinks about your project. Have you found any legal issue or has Apple contacted you to discourage you from doing what you do? Thanks and keep up the good work.

scotty31410 karma

I haven't had any official contact from Apple. I've heard through the grapevine that lots of Apple engineers have watched it though, and found it pretty interesting, which is pretty cool.

vurtforge5 karma

How have you built a life where hacking and travelling is sustainable? I love your videos more than most everything else on youtube, the positivity is infectious!

scotty3149 karma

Thanks so much for the kind words! I worked pretty hard to build a nomadic lifestyle. I started a business that was fully remote, which I've been lucky enough to become less involved with over time while retaining some of the income, and I'm also starting to make a little bit of money from the videos I'm making, which should hopefully grow over time.

But I also try and live relatively cheaply - moving around a lot doesn't really lend itself to a ton of material possessions. Excluding microscopes of course:)

jpole15 karma

I guess I'll ask the question we're all thinking -- how often do people mistake you for Conor McGregor?

scotty31410 karma

Not very often:) I've heard it a few times, mostly from Chinese people. But they say all of us foreigners look alike, so I usually take it with a grain of salt.

Big_Bank4 karma

Did removing the part of the iPhone 7 that was described to be used for the barometer have any affect on the phones operation?

scotty3145 karma

Other than the phone not being waterproof anymore, no, none at all.

darbosaur4 karma

What's the biggest gotcha that you've run into and learned to avoid when prototyping something new?

I just found your iPhone 7 video yesterday, I'm beyond excited you're doing an AMA.

scotty3146 karma

On just this project, I learned to spend more time actually double checking the the specs on your chips! I managed to gloss over the max voltage on the switching chips I started out with. It cost me at least a week, maybe two figuring out what I'd done wrong and redesigning the board to fix it.

ZenthonNebula4 karma

Love your videos. I was wondering how much did it cost to add the headphone jack to the iPhone 7? And would you consider doing stuff with game consoles?

scotty31411 karma

I haven't totaled it all up, but into the thousands of dollars. Here's a rough list of the most expensive things:

  • microscope - $300
  • 3 used iphone 7s
  • 6+ screens (I'll have to count at some point)
  • 10+ phone backs
  • countless bottom flex cables
  • 10-20 apple headphone adapters
  • 3 flex pcb runs
  • 3 rigid pcb runs

I don't really have any compelling ideas around game consoles right now, but I would consider it. I've never been much of a console gamer, so it's not intrinsically much of a draw for me.

JimKatsin3 karma

Hey Scotty! To be honest haven't caught all your videos yet but wanted to stop in to see if you could answer, "Is a hotdog a sandwich? "

scotty3148 karma

Oh good lord - I didn't know reddit would be asking the hard hitting questions. The hot dog was clearly designed by someone setting out to revolutionize the sandwich world. It's mouth shaped for easier biting, and designed to support a far higher condiment load before failure. And yet, I feel like it's somehow fallen short of the label "sandwich"...

forsellingtoys3 karma

Hey Scotty, I've watched your first video 3 or 4 times and it's just so damn inspirational. I'd watch an entire series just based on the street markets of China and Shenzhen. Eager to see where your channel goes!

The question that I have is why do you think Apple didn't put a headphone jack in the iPhone 7 when you proved it's clearly possible? Was that plastic piece you pulled out even necessary? Did they want to sell their overpriced earphones? Or do you think wireless audio is the future of electronics?

scotty31412 karma

Thanks! I'm really excited to take the channel beyond just cell phones and China. There's so many cool things for us to explore. I'm actually leaving China next week for a bit - I'll be uploading things more frequently as well going forward.

why do you think Apple didn't put a headphone jack in the iPhone 7 when you proved it's clearly possible? Was that plastic piece you pulled out even necessary? Did they want to sell their overpriced earphones? Or do you think wireless audio is the future of electronics?

I don't really know. I think it's possible it was a somewhat last minute decision. I just took a picture of the two plastic pieces in question: https://imgur.com/a/Wv1Az The piece on the left is what I think Apple is trying to say is the barometric vent. It plugs into the bottom side of the case (the wall where the lightning jack is), and blocks water from coming in the grille holes on the bottom left side of the phone. It must have some sort of membrane or flexible material that allows pressure to equalize inside the phone.

The other, much larger thing, is.... A piece of plastic? That's what takes up most of the room where I put the headphone jack. As far as I can tell it's just a clip that holds the taptic engine connector onto the bottom flex cable. But boy is it big if that's all it does...

Sorry for the potato quality photo. If this isn't clear, I can try and take a better photo.

Giving them a huge benefit of the doubt, I don't believe Apple did this just to sell headphones. I do think they genuinely believe wireless is the future, and probably intend on using the space in future designs of the phone. As best I can tell, it looks to me like maybe they made the decision to remove the headphone jack late in the engineering process.

I'm looking forward to seeing the inside of an iPhone 8 to see what's changed:)

Citrea3 karma

Hi Scotty, amazing work!

1 - You mentioned that you hope one day people will be able to freely modify their devices, and truly own them. After having accquinted yourself with the manufacturing scene at Shenzhen, has the idea of possibly starting a phone company ever been toyed with?

2 - How familiar can you say you are now with the manufacturing eco-system at Shenzhen? Are there any particular area you are trying to learn more about right now? I saw you posted a couple videos of you being at the Canton fair, and would love to know more about your adventures there.

3 - Can you give us a sneak peak at what some other projects you are looking at right now? Have any companies/organization reached out to you such as the hardware incubator at Shenzhen for ideas on collaboration?

4 - I just bought one of your framed PCB boards, is there any other way to support you?

Keep up the amazing work Scotty, looking forward to much more, and hopefully bigger things to come in the near future!

scotty3145 karma

1 - You mentioned that you hope one day people will be able to freely modify their devices, and truly own them. After having accquinted yourself with the manufacturing scene at Shenzhen, has the idea of possibly starting a phone company ever been toyed with?

It's definitely been toyed with:) I have an idea for something cool, but need to spend some time to find the right factory to work with.

2 - How familiar can you say you are now with the manufacturing eco-system at Shenzhen? Are there any particular area you are trying to learn more about right now? I saw you posted a couple videos of you being at the Canton fair, and would love to know more about your adventures there.

I'd say I'm still a beginner despite having spent a fair amount of time here over the past two years. I have some reasonably deep knowledge in very specific areas (like the iphone repair markets), and almost none in others (like, say, injection molding).

There's so many things I'm excited to check out. I want to open an injection molding tool, I want to learn more about aluminum extrusion, and the CNC sessions with Nick were proof that I need my own.

Canton fair was a bit of a let down - it was overly glossy and filled with mostly giant fancy booths. Maybe I just don't enjoy trade shows. I had a blast in the industrial machines area though:) It's probably very useful to people trying to source specific products, but wasn't as entertaining to a supply chain geek like me as I had hoped.

3 - Can you give us a sneak peak at what some other projects you are looking at right now? Have any companies/organization reached out to you such as the hardware incubator at Shenzhen for ideas on collaboration?

I've been super swamped with getting this video finished before the iPhone 8 announcement, so I haven't had much time to look at other projects.

Strange parts is about adventures at the intersection of technology and travel. Think Anthony Bourdain meets Mythbusters.

I really want to explore outside of just China. I'm really excited about India and a few places in Africa.

I also want to do some more serious manufacturing adventures - as I said above, I want to make something that requires injection molding, and talk more about what it's like to engage with a factory here.

If you have an idea for an adventure, particularly somewhere cool, please send me an email at [email protected] - I read them all!

4 - I just bought one of your framed PCB boards, is there any other way to support you?

Thank you! That's more than enough for now - I'm just happy to have you as a fan.

ROGer472 karma

*Thanks alot Scotty for doing the AMA!*

Why? Why would you spend 9 months in China just to do a make over of an already made iPhone. What's your advice for those who are doing the Electronic major but don't have much of hands on experience?

scotty3146 karma

In the words of George Mallory, when asked why he wanted to climb Mount Everest, "because it's there".

I had walked through the cell phone repair markets, and seen all the parts, and tools, and flurry of activity. But I didn't really understand how it worked. Who was selling what to whom? What were all the parts? Where did they come from and where were they going? Was it possible to build a complete phone? How much could I make from scratch?

Building my own phone was an excuse to explore all of that, to learn a lot more about how phones are put together, and to tell a cool story in the process.

As for getting hands on experience - just start. Pick something you're excited to make or take apart, and just try. The best hackers and engineers I know learn by just diving in.

forsellingtoys-1 karma

He also works in China so he did it along w/ regular work.

scotty3145 karma

Nope - I pretty much just do ridiculous projects and make videos at this point:)

99hotdogs2 karma

Hi Scotty, I just saw your video of adding the headphone jack yesterday. Seriously cool!

Question for you...what equipment do you recommend as a creator? I've been thinking about buying a small desktop 3D printer to a small CNC machine like your buddy has.

Curious what tools have helped you the most along the way. Thanks!

scotty3143 karma

Glad you enjoyed the video!

As to equipment, it kind of depends what you want to make. I think laser cutters and microscopes are very high leverage equipment - you can accomplish a lot with both. I'm kind of reluctant to recommend 3d printers - I've found them frustrating to work with and very limited in terms of results. Laser cutters are much, much more awesome in terms of quality of output and speed.

CNC mills are awesome, but there's much higher learning curve.

But honestly, right now I just have some hand tools, the microscope, a nice Hakko soldering iron, a cheap hot air reflow gun, and a cheap multimeter. And a cheap usb logic analyzer I borrowed from a friend. To buy all of that here in Shenzhen would be not a lot more than $500.

Point being - you don't need a ton of expensive equipment to do cool stuff. Focus on what you want to make/learn how to do, and then find out how to get access to the equipment you need. Hackerspaces are great for this - I'm a member of Noisebridge in San Francisco, and that's where I like to work when I'm in town.

glazeitdontblazeit2 karma

How long have you been living in China and how did you cope with the language?

scotty3143 karma

I've been coming and going for almost 2 years now. I've been gradually learning mandarin through osmosis, but not speaking the language has honestly been one of the hardest parts of doing projects here. I get by with a combination of survival mandarin I've been gradually learning, translation apps (google translate, microsoft translate, and pleco), friends helping translate for me, and the occasional market seller that speaks some english.

Meqube2 karma

Hey Scotty, in your last video did you say that you are interested in covering interesting stories and visiting interesting places. Are you interested in coming to Norway to experience a unique husky tour?

scotty3142 karma

Hey Scotty, in your last video did you say that

Yes, that sounds interesting:) Email me at [email protected] if you have some more info.

georgebou2 karma

Hi Scotty. Could you please make a short list of the type of liquid paste you used to solder with air on the small circuit board?

scotty3142 karma

Just look up "solder paste". Nothing super particular about the type of paste I'm using.

Joppelius2 karma

Hey, thanks for some really great and interesting videos!

How long did you work in silicon valley and why did you decide leave? And what do you find to be the hardest part of living as a nomad?

scotty3147 karma

I lived and worked in Silicon Valley for something like 8 years.

I wouldn't say I've left, but rather, that I have the freedom now to choose how much time I want to spend there. My car and hang glider still live there, and I'm a member of the Noisebridge hackerspace in the Mission. I was trying to spend 50% of my time there, but that's been dwindling as I've been spending more time in China.

As for why - I really love travel, and I love having the freedom to go explore, to go visit people, and to go on adventures. Living and working in Silicon Valley didn't give me enough time or flexibility to do that to the level I wanted.

mlowery22 karma

I think what you're doing is amazing and highly interesting. What did you study to get to where you are today?

scotty3144 karma

Thank you! I studied computer science in college, but I'm very self taught when it comes to many things, including making videos and designing electronics.

set_sail_for_fail2 karma

Love your videos!

How do you think the price of a project like this would scale if you brought it to say, the US market? Or would it even be possible to gather up all the parts without ordering from abroad?

scotty3144 karma

It would be a lot more expensive to do in the US. Parts would be more expensive, you'd pay a lot more in shipping, and you'd spend a lot more time waiting. Not to mention that the cost of having PCBs is dramatically more expensive than China. I think it would be possible to order everything domestically - nothing I'm using is particularly exotic. Digikey would probably have all the chips you need, and ebay will hook you up with the relevant iphone parts.

tagor_sim1 karma

Hey Scotty, will you bring your iPhone(s) with you to the 34c3 later this year in Leipzig Germany? And if so would you mind getting invited to a cold drink of your choice?

scotty3141 karma

Yes and please do!

igobythisname1 karma

did you end up buying that drill machine your friend had?

scotty3142 karma

Not yet - but I want one

mrkhokho1 karma

Do you think there is any market that can as good as Shenzhen electronics market, and will you do exploring videos of market outside of apple stuff?

scotty3142 karma

I'm a total market junky - Huaqiangbei is pretty near the top for me, but there's a few others I think are pretty awesome, in their own ways. Looking forward to taking you guys with me on some adventures in markets in other parts of the world. And yeah, definitely planning on showing around other parts of huaqiangbei.

joshpuckitt1 karma

Has your channel grown since EAP made the video? And what made you want to risk an iPhone 7 just for a headphone jack?

scotty3141 karma

Yes, for sure:)

I actually went through 3 complete iPhones and a TON of other spare parts to make this. After the first week or two, it really just became a mission to see if it was possible.

smoov221 karma

Heyo! I came over after seeing EverythingApplePro talk about your video. Impressed with the flow you put into a 30 minute video!

Question: With the iPhone 8 on the horizon, are you interested in being the first person to break into it and start going crazy, or are you going to take some time to use it like a sane human first?

scotty3141 karma

Thanks!

I do really want to crack one open and see for myself what they've changed, but I don't have a burning need to be the very first. I'm sure the ifixit guys are staging in Tokyo or wherever they go for their day of launch teardowns. I'll probably check out their stuff first, before buying one to crack open.

derphoenix1 karma

As many already have said, thank you for the videos! They are really inspiring!


One problem of the iPhone is that Apple keeps making them thinner which makes the internal “real estate” very precious. So, if there would be more space within the phone, then adding a headphone jack would not be such a big problem, right?

Do you think that it would be possible to CNC a slightly bigger iPhone body, add all necessary parts plus additional modifications like the headphone jack or maybe even a bigger battery?

Of course you would need a bigger screen. But with all the resources in Shenzen, it might be possible to order a low batch?

scotty3141 karma

Not to be flippant, but yes, yes, and yes:) I've actually had some very similar thoughts, which I'd like to pursue in more depth at some point. So many cool ideas, so little time...

monitorius11 karma

Do you keep all that soldering/electronics equipment with you when you are travelling? Or do you have somewhere to store it in China?

scotty3141 karma

Sadly, it no longer fits in my backpack. So I have a gear stash here in Shenzhen (I have one in SF too).

Sandman1977bird0 karma

Hi Scotty- Your videos are ok but have over 10 million views in under 4 months and you've set a back breaking pace of 2 videos every 4 months. How much does it cost to promote your videos that are on every tech blog, and article the minute that they are finished. Your videos are not that original but have cut the rank line in front of 100's of you-tubers working on their rank diligently for years. I am Wondering what kind of massive PR budget you spend to accomplish such numbers?

scotty3144 karma

Sorry to burst your conspiracy bubble, but pretty much zero PR budget here. I think I've maybe spent $100-200 total on boosting a couple facebook posts over the past 4-5 months. Other than that, I haven't spent anything. It's just been a combination of doing my homework and finding the right reporters to reach out to, providing a good story for them to tell, and being as responsive as I can when they reply, or when reporters I haven't contacted reach out to me.

I get that a lot of other youtubers have been working for years to get to similar numbers of subscribers, and I think that definitely deserves huge respect - I guess I've just taken a bit of a different approach?

I think it's important to point out though that I started working on the first video at the end of October last year, and I've worked pretty much full time on nothing but these two videos since. So it's not like I haven't put some work into this. But I'm super grateful for how awesome the outpouring of support and enthusiasm has been. It's way exceeded any of my expectations.