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'[EE] experience or reverse engineering this?'
2008\02\20@103532 by Dr Skip

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Has anyone had any experience with this player or reverse engineered/hacked it?

http://www.machspeed.com/specs/mp3/onyx.htm

At $39US it's cheap, but epinions.com shows it has a hard drive (1GB). The
makers site above doesn't say, but does mention 'memory getting fragmented'
which I thought was a Chinese to English -ism for something else until I looked
more closely. ;)

They make a 4GB model, or did. I'm wondering if anyone has seen a 1 or 4GB hard
disk in such a small form factor. I'm also curious about what it would take to
retrofit it to either internal or external compact flash cards, and if the OS
is capable of handling more than 1GB. It seems like a lot of potential for a
low price, if it can be made a bit more open. I like the part about it just
being a plain old jump drive to load mp3s or movies onto, which doesn't require
special software. It's Li-ion, comes with charger and charges on usb too, and
has a nifty color screen.

I'm thinking it would make a neat 'front end' to projects. It also read .txt
files as 'books'. Replacing the 1GB for a 4GB drive would be nice, as would CF.
 Has anyone done that with this?

Thanks,
Skip

2008\02\20@112713 by Alan B. Pearce

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>Has anyone had any experience with this player or reverse engineered/hacked
>it?
>
> http://www.machspeed.com/specs/mp3/onyx.htm
>
>At $39US it's cheap, but epinions.com shows it has a hard drive (1GB).

Now all it needs is a way of playing video ...

2008\02\20@113905 by Dr Skip

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It does, but at 15fps and converted to its format (utility included), which I
suspect is a low res mp4/15fps format.

Alan B. Pearce wrote:
>
> Now all it needs is a way of playing video ...
>

2008\02\20@120836 by Rolf

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Dr Skip wrote:
{Quote hidden}

In regards to the hard-disk, the microdrive format has been out for a
while. 1Gig available in 2000.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microdrive

Rolf

2008\02\20@132110 by Dr Skip

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Ah yes... Surprise though... I called the company and their tech told me it was
not a hard drive but rather a flash memory chip soldered on board. No interface
specs, implied custom, definitely no microdrive or external or internal upgrade
path.

He figures the fragmentation bit in the manual was an error.

Probably still worthy of some project out there, but not as quick and easy it
seems. Oh well...


Rolf wrote:
> Dr Skip wrote:
>
> In regards to the hard-disk, the microdrive format has been out for a
> while. 1Gig available in 2000.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microdrive
>
> Rolf

2008\02\20@135513 by alan smith

picon face
Isnt NOR flash just like a standard memory inteface, so you don't have the issues of a NAND (harder to interface).  There are some flash chips coming out soon that have the SD interface built in.  Can't remember who's...it was roadmapped a week or so back.

Dr Skip <spam_OUTdrskipTakeThisOuTspamgmail.com> wrote:  Ah yes... Surprise though... I called the company and their tech told me it was
not a hard drive but rather a flash memory chip soldered on board. No interface
specs, implied custom, definitely no microdrive or external or internal upgrade
path.

He figures the fragmentation bit in the manual was an error.

Probably still worthy of some project out there, but not as quick and easy it
seems. Oh well...


Rolf wrote:
> Dr Skip wrote:
>
> In regards to the hard-disk, the microdrive format has been out for a
> while. 1Gig available in 2000.
>
> http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Microdrive
>
> Rolf

2008\02\20@142227 by Mark Rages

face picon face
On Feb 20, 2008 12:54 PM, alan smith <.....micro_eng2KILLspamspam@spam@yahoo.com> wrote:
> Isnt NOR flash just like a standard memory inteface, so you don't have the issues of a NAND (harder to interface).  There are some flash chips coming out soon that have the SD interface built in.  Can't remember who's...it was roadmapped a week or so back.
>

no larger than some chips:

http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product_info.php?products_id=127


--
Mark Rages, Engineer
Midwest Telecine LLC
markragesspamKILLspammidwesttelecine.com

2008\02\20@144233 by Tony Smith

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face
Hopefully that USB2 speed is an error too, only 1000k/s?  That's USB1.
Isn't FS (full speed) USB2?  Stupid terminology.

People have been hacking those little photo frame things lately, even
getting them to play video.  No sound, of course (I think).  Their displays
are about the same size.

Tony


{Quote hidden}

2008\02\20@150449 by peter green

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> Hopefully that USB2 speed is an error too, only 1000k/s?  That's USB1.
> Isn't FS (full speed) USB2?  Stupid terminology.
>  

Things are a bit of a mess with USB terminology.

USB originally had two speeds, low speed (about a megabit per second
iirc) and full speed (12 megabit per second).
USB 2.0 came out using a new speed known of as high speed (480 megabit
per second iirc)
soon afterwards a minor revision came out to USB 2.0 which meant that
the USB 2.0 standard now covered all of the speeds.

So now we have a situation where many laypeople, marketers and even low
level computer people assume USB 2.0 means high speed. However when the
USB consortium certifies any USB product now it is certified to USB 2.0
specs regardless of whether it is a low speed, full speed or high speed
device.

The fact that full speed is no longer the fastest speed only serves to
add to the confusion.

2008\02\20@153937 by alan smith

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any pointers on the hacks for these?

Tony Smith <.....ajsmithKILLspamspam.....wix.com.au> wrote:  

People have been hacking those little photo frame things lately, even
getting them to play video. No sound, of course (I think). Their displays
are about the same size.

Tony


{Quote hidden}

2008\02\20@164234 by Tony Smith

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Have a look at http://spritesmods.com/?art=picframe&f=had.

http://www.warrantyvoid.us/cyberhomedvdplayer.html might be worth a look
too.  Wot, no PAL?

Tony


> {Original Message removed}

2008\02\20@185210 by Xiaofan Chen

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On Thu, Feb 21, 2008 at 2:19 AM, Dr Skip <EraseMEdrskipspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgmail.com> wrote:
>  Probably still worthy of some project out there, but not as quick and easy it
>  seems. Oh well...

There are many MP4 players out there and I think they are not worth
much efforts to hack since there are very limited documentation of the
main chipsets (mostly from Actions Semiconductor) unless you are a
large OEM or design house.

Actions Semiconductor is now solid No 1 in MP3 chip market after
settling with Sigmatel in 2007.

Actions Semiconductor:
phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=190317&p=irol-irhome
http://www.actions-semi.com/en/index.aspx

On the mobile phone side, you will see similar pictures. You can
find cheap no-brand clone mobile phones with lots of functionality
and they are mostly designed around solutions by MediaTek
http://www.mtk.com.tw/. And it is said that even the design
house and companies do not have access to much documentations
since they provide turn-key solutions. The design house just
adds the plastic mold and can turn out a new phone in three months.

Xiaofan

2008\02\20@190157 by Apptech

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> They make a 4GB model, or did. I'm wondering if anyone has
> seen a 1 or 4GB hard
> disk in such a small form factor.

Compact Flash format memory cards for cameras using IBM and
latterly ?Hitachi? "microdrives"  have been around for many
years. I think the largest at present is 8 GB but it may be
even more by now. They are faster than most flash cards (up
until recently), and like a hard disk equipped IPOD, you
should only plan on dropping them 0 times if you want them
to keep working.


           Russell

2008\02\20@190707 by Dr Skip

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Since it was local, I got one. I have to say I'm impressed. It has a speaker
(ok for sampling something or sharing something in a quiet area), mini wall
wart which has a usb connector for output power, cable, and a very thin unit.
Plays music, video, jpegs, fm radio, records radio direct or voice through
microphone, displays text files (ebooks), has an equalizer, soft power off AND
real power slide switch, and the rechargable battery. It's not much bigger than
the battery alone for my cell phone! And light as a feather.

The display is very bright and clear too. It is flash and not a hard drive
inside. One would be hard pressed to build this for less money, that's for
sure, parts alone. 4GB would be great, but I couldn't find that model anywhere.
I'll bet if they priced it relative to this one, it wouldn't look so good
competitively, and if they made the price similar, they'd sell those instead.

Oh, it also installed without added drivers and trash like the iPod, Sansa,
etc, do.... And the transfer speed won't bother me - Vista doesn't read/write
faster than that anyway!! :(


2008\02\20@193937 by Kevin Zee

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I have a Sansa e250 with Rockbox installed on it and I have no drivers
installed in win xp.

Kevin

Dr Skip wrote:
{Quote hidden}

2008\02\21@234357 by Dr Skip

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FWIW, here is the chip they use in the TRIO Onyx I was talking about about:

http://www.sigmatel.com/products/portable/audio/stmp3500.aspx

It seems Apple, Sandisk and others use it too.


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