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#123138 - 25/10/2002 20:23 Player longevity
FireFox31
pooh-bah

Registered: 19/09/2002
Posts: 2491
Loc: East Coast, USA
Since I just bought my empeg, I am interested in making it last as long as possible. I'd like to be using this empeg until the plastic buttons start to decompose.

So, could we compile a list of Longevity Tips for the empeg? Stuff like (hypothetically):
"Don't often yank it out of the dock while it's playing."
"Don't hold it or leave it upside down because that may stress the hard drive shock mounts."
"Don't press the buttons too hard or too often. Rather, use a cheap Kenwood remote because they are easier to replace than the buttons if you wear them out."
"Set the dimmer to 80% or less to avoid wear on the VFD."
"Don't leave it in the car when it gets really cold overnight for fear of britalizing the IDE cable."
"Always let it finish booting before unplugging it."
"Defragment the hard drives (or fsck or whatever in Linux) to avoid corruption."
"Only use carrying cases that are anti-static (like I hope the Pelican 1400 is. any comments on that?)."
These are just my hunches about this player; the things I'm doing to decrease wear on it. But it would be nice to have a confirmed list from the empeg knowledge base. Heck, maybe even a FAQ entry for the preservation minded (or those of us who can't afford and can't find a spare). Thanks.
_________________________
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FireFox31
110gig MKIIa (30+80), Eutronix lights, 32 meg stacked RAM, Filener orange gel lens, Greenlights Lit Buttons green set

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#123139 - 25/10/2002 20:44 Re: Player longevity [Re: FireFox31]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31021
Loc: Seattle, WA
None of those things on that list are necessary to prolong the life of the player.

The most fragile part of the player is the hard disks, and those can be replaced. A couple of your items would help protect the hard disks (don't run it upside-down, don't leave it out in the cold), but those tips are already in the FAQ, and they don't affect the the non-replaceable parts of the player itself.

Otherwise it doesn't need any special care above and beyond any other electronic device, i.e., don't drop it, smash it, or pour soup on it. But you don't need a list or a FAQ to tell you that.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#123140 - 25/10/2002 21:17 Re: Player longevity [Re: tfabris]
genixia
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/02/2002
Posts: 3411
Don't leave it overnight in your car or you might find it trampled in the middle of the road the next day.

ISTR that happening to someone.


Actually, there is one other. Don't put it through 100,000 power cycles... flash memory does have a write limit, and although I haven't checked the specs of the empegs flash, 100K would be typical for such devices.
_________________________
Mk2a 60GB Blue. Serial 030102962 sig.mp3: File Format not Valid.

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#123141 - 25/10/2002 21:22 Re: Player longevity [Re: tfabris]
FireFox31
pooh-bah

Registered: 19/09/2002
Posts: 2491
Loc: East Coast, USA
Really? There are no other suggestions like:

"Always have the player handle extended when inserting the unit to reduce wear on the latches."

and random stuff like that? I just want to make sure this thing lasts untill the oil-tanker-slow major audio corperations can create something to replace my empeg if it dies. ... Or I could just buy a spare.

Thanks for the info.
_________________________
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FireFox31
110gig MKIIa (30+80), Eutronix lights, 32 meg stacked RAM, Filener orange gel lens, Greenlights Lit Buttons green set

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#123142 - 25/10/2002 21:24 Re: Player longevity [Re: FireFox31]
image
old hand

Registered: 28/04/2002
Posts: 770
Loc: Los Angeles, CA
i've always wondered what the burn-in time is before i see a ghost of the timeline in Track Mode sets in. i guess thats why hijack has the screen blanker.

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#123143 - 25/10/2002 21:24 Re: Player longevity [Re: FireFox31]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31021
Loc: Seattle, WA
I've never had to extend the handle when inserting the player. It kind of just Does The Right Thing when I insert it.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#123144 - 25/10/2002 21:26 Re: Player longevity [Re: image]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31021
Loc: Seattle, WA
i've always wondered what the burn-in time is before i see a ghost of the timeline in Track Mode sets in.

For me, it was a few months of constant "now and next" display on my Mark 1. But the player still functions great and it's not a big deal, you can't even notice it unless the screen is solid white. Burn-in on VFDs is not a large issue, and it doesn't affect the longevity of the player.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#123145 - 25/10/2002 21:41 Re: Player longevity [Re: genixia]
Anonymous
Unregistered


Really? So after a hundred thousand boots it wouldn't work any more? I reckon i'm close to a thousand so far.

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#123146 - 25/10/2002 22:04 Re: Player longevity [Re: ]
genixia
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/02/2002
Posts: 3411
So you've got what?....another 50 years?

Don't fret it. In any electronics device, the most failure prone components are - in order:

Anything mechanical - use eventually wears down the friction parts beyond their working tolerance.
Connectors - over time, corrosion and vibration conspire to change what was once an excellent solid electrical connection into a dodgy one in which the connection is intermittent.
Adjustable components - eg trimming potentiometers and the like. For pretty much the same reasons as the connectors.

So I'd be suprised if in normal use, the flash died before the front buttons or the knob's rotary encoder. Or the sled docking connector, Home power adaptor, RCA outputs, display connector, HD connectors etc.

As I said, just avoid deliberately putting the unit through 100K power cycles.
_________________________
Mk2a 60GB Blue. Serial 030102962 sig.mp3: File Format not Valid.

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#123147 - 25/10/2002 23:36 Re: Player longevity [Re: ]
andy
carpal tunnel

Registered: 10/06/1999
Posts: 5724
Loc: Wivenhoe, Essex, UK
The code on the empeg deliberately keeps writing to different memory locations in the flash memory, to lengthen the life of the flash ram.
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Remind me to change my signature to something more interesting someday

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#123148 - 26/10/2002 03:41 Re: Player longevity [Re: genixia]
rtundo
addict

Registered: 27/02/2001
Posts: 569
Loc: Albany, NY
The only real wear I've seen on my units so far are the handle springs. This results in an annoying rattle (buzz) while driving. Of course these are replaceable parts.

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#123149 - 26/10/2002 10:56 Re: Player longevity [Re: rtundo]
davec
old hand

Registered: 18/08/2000
Posts: 992
Loc: Georgetown, TX USA
The only thing I've worn out is a few songs I used to like, but played one too many times...
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Dave Clark Georgetown, Texas MK2A 42Gb - AnoFace - Smoke Lens - Dead Tuner - Sirius Radio on AUX

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#123150 - 26/10/2002 12:30 Re: Player longevity [Re: davec]
ineedcolor
addict

Registered: 10/01/2001
Posts: 630
Loc: Windsor, Ontario Canada
I wore out my smile, grinning ear to ear like an idiot every time I boot it up in the car...
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01001010 01101111 01101000 01101110

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#123151 - 27/10/2002 06:13 Re: Player longevity [Re: ineedcolor]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I've worn out my wife's patience who is now tired of hearing me explain how cool the Empeg is to everyone we meet. It's not my fault if it always seems to come up in every conversation!
_________________________
-Jeff
Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

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#123152 - 28/10/2002 00:03 Re: Player longevity [Re: genixia]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3450
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
Actually, no: the save-to-flash stuff saves 128 bytes at a time into an 8k page so you get 64 saves before an erase. More like 6.4 million power cycles before you get to the guaranteed minimum flash erase count.

Hugo

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#123153 - 28/10/2002 00:10 Re: Player longevity [Re: altman]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31021
Loc: Seattle, WA
So it's possible to write less than an entire page to flash? I recently got told via private email that I couldn't. Therefore, my Logo Editor does not have the power to write "just" the first four bytes to the logo area of flash (to change the personality without erasing the existing logo).

I don't know anything about how flash is handled, so I don't know whether the two things (what you said and what I was told about the first four bytes) are even actually contradictory or not.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#123154 - 28/10/2002 02:15 Re: Player longevity [Re: tfabris]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4143
Loc: Cambridge, England
So it's possible to write less than an entire page to flash? I recently got told via private email that I couldn't.

You can only erase whole pages. After that you can set bits (change 0s to 1s) by writing individual bytes. The only way to clear a bit (change 1 to 0) is by erasing and rewriting the entire page. The flash-persist erases the page the first time, then writes 128-byte lumps the next 63 times until it has to erase and start again. You can't change four bytes of flash without erasing and rewriting the page, unless by coincidence (or design!) your changes involve only changing 0 bits to 1.

Peter


PS. A voice in the back of my head is saying I've got the 1s and 0s the wrong way round. But you get the idea.

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#123155 - 28/10/2002 07:12 Re: Player longevity [Re: altman]
genixia
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/02/2002
Posts: 3411
Is there no end to the attention of detail in the empeg's design?

Once again, I take my hat off to you, Sir.
_________________________
Mk2a 60GB Blue. Serial 030102962 sig.mp3: File Format not Valid.

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#123156 - 28/10/2002 07:20 Re: Player longevity [Re: genixia]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
Hey, I was impressed at the unit automatically adjusting for the time change yesterday. I'd forgotten about that little nicity. Kudos.

-Zeke
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WWFSMD?

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#123157 - 30/10/2002 21:14 Re: Player longevity [Re: JeffS]
FireFox31
pooh-bah

Registered: 19/09/2002
Posts: 2491
Loc: East Coast, USA
Haha, ya'll are funny. Ok, I'll avoid 6.4 million power cycles. Oh, and about the AC connector, mine is extremely sensitive as it is. If I so much as touch the player while plugged in by AC, the thing cuts out. Oh well, that's what home docks are for. Thanks for the insight folks.
_________________________
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FireFox31
110gig MKIIa (30+80), Eutronix lights, 32 meg stacked RAM, Filener orange gel lens, Greenlights Lit Buttons green set

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#123158 - 31/10/2002 07:20 Re: Player longevity [Re: davec]
mschrag
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/09/2000
Posts: 2303
Loc: Richmond, VA
Ain't that the damn truth.... I hate all my music now The key is get enough music on there that you fall back in love with the stuff you haven't heard in a long time. Rinse and repeat.

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#123159 - 31/10/2002 11:25 Re: Player longevity [Re: FireFox31]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31021
Loc: Seattle, WA
If I so much as touch the player while plugged in by AC, the thing cuts out.

It shouldn't do that. You should narrow the problem down and see if the AC adaptor is faulty, if there's a frayed wire, a grounding problem (causing a spike when you touch the player), or if the AC adapter jack on the player is faulty or needs to be re-soldered.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#123160 - 31/10/2002 11:40 Re: Player longevity [Re: tfabris]
genixia
Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 08/02/2002
Posts: 3411
You're right - it shouldn't do that...yet. But remember - it's a connector...one of the 3 most failure prone items. It just so happens that I've been looking at similar connectors in relation to an empeg-related project I'm secretively working on - I want to be able to utilise a standard empeg power brick to occassionally power said device - and I've found that most connectors of this nature have a 5000 cycle or so nominal life expectancy. Based on this, and the fact that people have reported problems before with this connector (mainly the failure to pick up home/car mode), I'd hazard a guess to suggest that this is the component in the empeg that is most likely to fail first in normal use (ignoring any faulty components obviously).

_________________________
Mk2a 60GB Blue. Serial 030102962 sig.mp3: File Format not Valid.

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#123161 - 31/10/2002 11:42 Re: Player longevity [Re: genixia]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Greetings!

Well, maybe not quite as secretly as before...
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

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#123162 - 01/11/2002 06:37 Re: Player longevity [Re: mschrag]
JeffS
carpal tunnel

Registered: 14/01/2002
Posts: 2858
Loc: Atlanta, GA
I only have a 10 gig, and some if it is taken up by my wife's country music, which I never listen to unless she's in the car. Still, I've created about 3 different "modes" of using my Empeg that keep me from listening to some stuff for weeks at a time:

-Random "Jeff Radio" playlists: randomly play songs, picking one from each artist in a specific genre. This is the way I use the unit when I can't think of a better way. Also, because I have these lists separated by genre, I go weeks without hearing some songs.

-Random Albums: play entire albums at random, minus greatest hits. This captures some of the synergy in some albums and lets me re-discover stuff I got sick of and took out of my "Jeff Radio" playlists. Very often I bookmark this list and return to it later. An alternative to this is my "Desert Island" playlist that serves largely the same purpose, but is only my very favorite albums.

-All Rush, In Order: Contrary to my initial feelings with the Empeg, I have yet to get tired of listening Rush. I actually spend a scary amount of time starting from the first album and playing through to the last.

Alternating between these different modes keeps the music fresh for me, even with only 10 gigs worth of music. And I do use it at work all day. Of course, I've only had the unit for about 9 months . . .
_________________________
-Jeff
Rome did not create a great empire by having meetings; they did it by killing all those who opposed them.

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#123163 - 01/11/2002 07:40 Re: Player longevity [Re: JeffS]
mschrag
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/09/2000
Posts: 2303
Loc: Richmond, VA
My master plan (though there's just never time for all the master plans to get done) is to add the capapbility to jEmplode where it will look at your highest playcount music (and possibly add a rating system into jEmplode), go to allmusic.com and find related artists, then go download music you might like from Gnutella to introduce new material into the mix. If you still have a radio, then you can find new music, but if you only have the Empeg, it's easy to fall into a rut (for me it was, anyway).

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#123164 - 01/11/2002 07:58 Re: Player longevity [Re: mschrag]
wfaulk
carpal tunnel

Registered: 25/12/2000
Posts: 16706
Loc: Raleigh, NC US
    If you still have a radio, then you can find new music
Yeah, but it'll be crappy music.

Unless you live somewhere that has a decent radio station (something I haven't heard of in many years).
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Bitt Faulk

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#123165 - 01/11/2002 07:59 Re: Player longevity [Re: wfaulk]
Ezekiel
pooh-bah

Registered: 25/08/2000
Posts: 2413
Loc: NH USA
I only know of one, and I can't get it.

-Zeke
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WWFSMD?

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#123166 - 01/11/2002 08:08 Re: Player longevity [Re: mschrag]
frog51
pooh-bah

Registered: 09/08/2000
Posts: 2089
Loc: Edinburgh, Scotland
I like it! I Like IT!
_________________________
Rory
MkIIa, blue lit buttons, memory upgrade, 1Tb in Subaru Forester STi
MkII, 240Gb in Mark Lord dock
MkII, 80Gb SSD in dock

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#123167 - 01/11/2002 10:01 Re: Player longevity [Re: frog51]
Lupo
member

Registered: 08/10/2002
Posts: 103
Loc: AC, Germany
As I probably am going to buy a RIOCar, I have a question concerning using the player in a lowered car: Are there any isuues known? Like the nipple on the display?

Thanks for infos!


Edited by Lupo (01/11/2002 10:03)

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