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Monday, August 19, 2013

Here's The Latest About The Pursuit For A Lightning Cable Extension

A week ago from today I posted about the need for a lightning cable extension that would help reduce wire clutter when using Apple's Digital AV Adapter in the car. The post has generated quite a sizable response with several eager readers and users wanting answers.

In the past week we have seen quite a few questionable working solutions but none with concrete proof. Here's a roundup of all the possibilities to reduce wire clutter.

1. Extension cable from eBay: 

Numerous users have suggested using one of these cables. I had purchased a $15 cable like this from eBay when I first started looking for a solution. The cable did not work! On some occasions it only charged the phone while sometimes it did nothing.

These cables come in black or white. One of the comments posted on the last post says this cable works. But another user that purchased this cable says it doesn't. This brings us back to square one. Does it work or not?

There have also been concerns about the build quality of these cables. Fraying is quite common in these. Almost all of these cables are "Made in China" but that's true about most products nowadays.

Nonetheless, I wanted to give this a shot myself again in the hopes that possibly the first one I bought was defective. So I've purchased a black version like the one pictured above and will test it as soon as I get it. I was hoping it would be delivered today but it hasn't been. Hopefully within the next couple of days.

2. Hiding the bulky adapter in the air vent:

One of our readers has suggested running the cable through the air vent. He has done this successfully and I must say it looks less messy this way. He is using a Kenu Airframe vent mount for his phone. But this solution may not be practical for everyone. Thanks ".rev" for sharing.

Also, I would consider plasti-dipping the white adapter to black to make it less obvious. This is not a true lightning cable extension solution though.

3. CableJive:

CableJive made an excellent extension solution for the 30-pin cable Apple used in previous generation iPhones. The extension called DockXtender worked flawlessly when I had an iPhone 4S. The short AppRadio cable meant I needed this extender to reach my phone which was mounted right next to the head unit.

Well, CableJive currently doesn't make a lightning extension cable. I messaged them asking if something like that is in the works. Initially, they had no plans on making one but their last message to me has confirmed that they are working on an lightning extension cable which should be out around October or November.

So looks like we will have a definite working solution in a few weeks going by the functionality of the dockXtender.

4. DIY Extension:

I tried making the adapter cable longer by adding additional cable myself but it was a mess and the solution did not work. I'm not an expert at this but I've been considering asking a friend of mine with electrical experience to maybe help me out.

The digital AV adapter cable is complex as you can possibly see in the picture. But technically it should be possible to extend the cable if all the components are properly connected. This is a long shot and again, it may not be practical for everyone but I really want to try it again. With the right expertise and raw materials it should be possible.

Conclusion: There still isn't a confirmed working solution available at the moment. The search continues. Within the next few days we should have more clarity on the eBay cable. The only positive at the moment is the fact that CableJive will hopefully have a solution ready by October. Fingers crossed!


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. Sense this topic has now showed much interest across this forum and another, I will now do a video showing the cable I use. Stay tuned later today for the link to my vid.

    1. That would be great

    2. Thanks! yes help us put the mystery to rest. I have the black ebay cable on order too. I'm waiting for my AppRadio 3 to arrive still as well. It will take me a bit to install it, so hopefully I'll know what to expect with the lightening extension by then

  3. When it comes to complex data wires, the special twists are often the most important thing to keep the signal picking interference or interfering with itself. I'm guessing the properties of Ethernet and lightening cables having the same limitations. Once you mess with the twist, it's game over. (so no way of extending wires the old school sloppy electrical tape methods) There is new technology that allowed manufactures to produce much thinner HDMI wires called redmere. (and you can have MUCh longer runs too now!)
    I'm no expert on Lightening, but I have to think so of the digital properties apply. (and it's very sensitive if not done exactly right)

    I'm guessing that many of the China cables will have lemons. I order Lightening cables from (deal extreme) all the time for $1 a pop (for myself and friends/family), and 10% of them fail pretty quick. The ones that last are good for quite awhile though. (who cares at $1) $15 is too much though for a chance!

    1. That's Lightning (spelling whoops) an yeah I meant I buy the regular USB-Lightning cable for $1.70 (free shipping too!)
      They have some extra long ones I like that make bedtime nicer.
      (easier reach)

      Here's an extension for $4 that says it does data (again free shipping)
      For that price it's worth a shot. I'd rather have black though.

  4. I just did the video. I will post the Youtube link soon.

  5. Here ya go folks.

    1. THanks for the vid..but does netflix, youtube, supported video apps work as well?

  6. Yes. If it works for App Mode it will work for video apps. After all App Mode is video.

  7. Working with video apps.

    1. Good stuff, I have to agree about quality control with cables coming from China. If it doesn't work, we received a lemon cable. (doesn't mean they all don't work) They use minimal copper, and little support at connector. AppRadioWorld admin probably received a bad one. One example of a bad regular $1.70 lightning cable I received is it would only charge plugged in one directly. The other 5 I bought worked fine though (I could flip them 180 no problem) We get what we pay for. This should hold us over until the DockXtender comes out.

    2. Here's an extension for $4 that says it does data (dx has free shipping)

      I'd rather have the $15 ebay one though since it's Black and proven to work thanks to Michael

      Here's the chunky black one for $9
      (was reported to have a stumpy short lightning connector though, comes out too easily)

      Here's another white one for $5.60

    3. P.S.
      I just ordered the cheapest $4 one as a "backup". (in case the $15 eBay black one I ordered arrives DOA or fails) I'll report back on if it works or not. I'm still waiting for my AppRadio 3 to arrive as well. (everything is on the way now)

    4. Deal Extreme is based in China. The cables are very inexpensive but take over 2 to 3 weeks to be delivered. I bought one on eBay today from a local seller within the US. Should be delivered in a couple of days.

    5. I just got my eBay black cable today.

      I hooked up my HDMI adapter to my TV and iPhone plus added extension at home.
      IT DOSEN'T WORK! I repeat it DOES NOT WORK. :-(

      When I remove the extension HDMI works great, so it for sure isn't' working.

      I extended the regular lightning cable to my laptop, and iTunes syncs fine. (and charges the phone)

      It's strange that the extension doesn't allow HDMI to work when data works. I wonder what's missing/special?

      It sucks that the same eBay seller sells both white and black cables with the same price and description yet the black one doesn't work.

      I'm waiting for my $4 cable to arrive next and will post results. If it doesn't work I'll have to order the other eBay white one.


      I have these hooked up and they work great, charges, controls all music features as well.

  8. Any new updates guys ?!? I really hate have a VGA cable hanging 5 inches from my iPhone ahha.

  9. Same here. I need a Lightning one as well.

  10. How many wires are in the cable of the Apple Lightning to HDMI Digital A/V adapter that you opened? Since most cables advertise only 8 pins what is the actual full number of lines required by the connector?

    @AppRadioWorld: Thanks very much for this great post. We are kindred spirits.

    Would someone with an extension cable that is --proven-- to work with the audio & video please confirm which link is the source since it seems there have been mixed results and it's not exactly clear which seller had the one that actually works, including color since that seems to matter. Thanks.

    I currently use the great CableJive 30-pin 1-meter Extension Cable shown above to integrate my iPhone with the head unit in my car and have been rounding up the parts to connect using Lightning.

    Kudos to AppRadioWorld for your ambitious efforts at making your own cable. I'm been doing it for years for myself and occasionally on the job and, with all due respect for your ambitious attempt, the trick is not to just splice it in as you tried. As mentioned, the twisted pairs (if present) matter, as does shielding. To reduce EMI noise and just make it durable and professional looking you must pry open the end connectors and solder directly to them as the manufacturer does, then reassemble it. There are some how-to's if you Google for it with the Apple MacBookPro power supplies. This is challenging with the tiny wires in Apple cables but possible with the right tools and care. I've done it with the 30-pin iPod cables, Apple MacBookPro chargers, and the sync-and-charge-only Lightning cable. I've even modified circuit boards by adding new traces to them so I know modifications to anything big enough to see is possible but neatness counts for more than the sake of appearance.

    Here's a link to my ongoing project for Smartphone Integration with my car's head unit in case anybody is interested. I'm about to update it with full how-to details including having converted one of those unused console buttons that every car has to be the Home button for my iPhone 4S. Now I can tuck the phone out of site in the center console, see it on the head unit, and control it using Siri via by pressing one of the car's stock buttons within easy "Eyes Free" reach. If you can Jailbreak then Siri can also do things out of the ordinary:

  11. you may consider this one too:

    Super Short 8-pin Lightning Extender Cable (Male to Female) for iPhone 6 / iPad Air / iPad Mini

  12. May try any of these 4.

    2-meter (6-feet)
    6 feet 8-pin Lightning Male to Female Extension Cable for iPhone / iPad Air / iPad Mini / iPad Pro

    1-meter (3 feet)

    Super Short:

    or in adapter type:

    Hope that helps.


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