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#241067 - 11/11/2004 20:14 Karma lockups during Ethernet sync
tomj
new poster

Registered: 24/04/2003
Posts: 16
Hi,

I bought a Karma as I needed a portable player and was very happy with my empeg
for many years. The Ethernet connectivity made it even more attractive for me,
as I only run Linux on my computers.

Well so much for the theory...

I first had the "Ethernet not working" problem which was "fixed"
by replacing the switch.

When using Ethernet for syncing new music/deleting tracks, the current
Karma firmware (1.68) locks up very often. I first thought it might be a
jemplode problem and contacted Mike Schrag. He was very helpful in trying to
find the problem (Thanks a lot!).

It turned out jemplode does nothing wrong as the Karma locks up "randomly".
Also "protocol errors" shouldn't lock up a device anyway. When I put the Karma
under load (play music while syncing), it locks up almost every time.
I then tried RMM over Ethernet and I locks up, too!

Is this a know issue, meaning it will be fixed? It's very annoying
if you can't really sync new music to the Karma.

Bye,
Thomas

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#241068 - 11/11/2004 20:28 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tomj]
pgrzelak
carpal tunnel

Registered: 15/08/2000
Posts: 4859
Loc: New Jersey, USA
Hmmm... When you upgraded did you reformat the hard drive? While it should not matter, it might be worthwhile to reformat the player. Do you notice any other symptoms - drive clicking, spinning, unusual graphics or UI results? Lastly, are the files you are using error free, what format are they, bitrate and proper tags? This will help in efforts to reproduce the problem. Thanks.
_________________________
Paul Grzelak
200GB with 48MB RAM, Illuminated Buttons and Digital Outputs

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#241069 - 12/11/2004 10:21 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: pgrzelak]
tomj
new poster

Registered: 24/04/2003
Posts: 16
Thanks for your reply. The player/HDD is completely healthy, I didn't notice any other glitch.
It never locked up during normal usage. All the files are mp3, error free
and properly tagged. The bitrate is varying.

I didn't reformat the drive after upgrading the firmware. But let me put it this way:
I was unable to reproduce the same lockup using RMM over USB.
The problem feels like a race condition/locking issue when using Ethernet.

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#241070 - 12/11/2004 15:35 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tomj]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30724
Loc: Seattle, WA
In the beta phase I seem to recall there was a problem with some of the karmas locking up on long ethernet transfers. If I recall correctly, the problem would only happen on ethernet and not on USB. The problem is that it only happened on certain 10/100 ethernet switches and not on others. I think it was related to a minor timing difference between the switch's electronics and the ethernet electronics in the Karma itself. It was one of the problems that I spent a lot of time working with the Rio folks trying to solve. We went back and forth a lot and it came down to the wire near the end of the beta phase. I don't recall whether we narrowed the problem down and solved it in time for final PCB production, but the fix (again, if I recall correctly) required replacing a component on the PCB with one of a different value. Or perhaps adding a component bridging something, I don't remember exactly. I remember doing this myself on at least one of the beta Karmas, it was a real PITA, the components on those boards are hella tiny.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#241071 - 12/11/2004 15:43 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tfabris]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30724
Loc: Seattle, WA
Hm. Memory coming back a bit... it wasn't specifically during long ethernet transfers. It was something related to temperature.

If the Karma was cold, all was well. Then if I did a long USB transfer (filling the entire player from scratch, let's say), thus warming up the player, then after that if I tried to connect with ethernet, it wouldn't connect at all, the ethernet simply wouldn't work, it failed the initial 10/100 handshaking with the switch. You'd get a "steady" traffic light on the ethernet plug instead of a blinking traffic light.

I could be mixing up two separate problems here in my head, so someone from Rio correct me if I'm wrong...
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#241072 - 12/11/2004 15:47 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tfabris]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Get ready to sync in the fridge?

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#241073 - 12/11/2004 16:28 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tomj]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4142
Loc: Cambridge, England
Quote:
Is this a know issue, meaning it will be fixed?

It's widely-reported. We haven't got round to looking into it yet.

Peter

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#241074 - 13/11/2004 09:41 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tfabris]
tomj
new poster

Registered: 24/04/2003
Posts: 16
Quote:
Hm. Memory coming back a bit... it wasn't specifically during long ethernet transfers. It was something related to temperature.



Hmm... don't think it's a temperature issue as I can crash if even when it's fresh from the fridge

Though I never checked if I can still ping it once it's locked up.

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#241075 - 13/11/2004 09:44 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: peter]
tomj
new poster

Registered: 24/04/2003
Posts: 16
Quote:

It's widely-reported. We haven't got round to looking into it yet.



Any timeframe on this? 2 weeks? 4 weeks? Longer?

Is there any way I could help like enabling debug output or something?

Thomas

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#241076 - 13/11/2004 14:01 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tomj]
rob
carpal tunnel

Registered: 21/05/1999
Posts: 5315
Loc: Cambridge UK
Quote:
Any timeframe on this? 2 weeks? 4 weeks? Longer?

It's taken them more than a year so far so I wouldn't hold your breath!

Rob

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#241077 - 13/11/2004 15:20 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tomj]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30724
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
Any timeframe on this? 2 weeks? 4 weeks? Longer?


If the problem is the one I'm thinking of, you can solve it immediately in two ways:

1. Buying a different hub/switch, or using a crossover cable to connect the karma directly to your PC's ethernet card.

2. Using USB to synch instead of ethernet.

Quote:
Is there any way I could help like enabling debug output or something?


Unfortunately the debug output of the Karma requires that a special piece of custom hardware be soldered into the base station. And anyway, if it's the problem I'm thinking of, we've already been through that route and narrowed it down to a hardware component.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#241078 - 13/11/2004 15:33 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tfabris]
tomj
new poster

Registered: 24/04/2003
Posts: 16
Quote:
1. Buying a different hub/switch, or using a crossover cable to connect the karma directly to your PC's ethernet card.

That would be the third switch just for the Karma
I'll try a crossover cable as last hope.

Quote:

2. Using USB to synch instead of ethernet.


There's no Karma USB support for Linux from Rio.

But thanks for your help!

Thomas

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#241079 - 13/11/2004 16:16 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tfabris]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Quote:
Unfortunately the debug output of the Karma requires that a special piece of custom hardware be soldered into the base station. And anyway, if it's the problem I'm thinking of, we've already been through that route and narrowed it down to a hardware component.

A quick poke inside the dock shows 4 pads on the PCB which appear to be a 3.3V serial port so you just need a level converter. A MAX3323 would do it or one of the many 3.3V compliant USB mobile phone cables.

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#241080 - 13/11/2004 16:57 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tman]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30724
Loc: Seattle, WA
The electronic device that connects to those pads is something the Cambridge guys whipped up. I do not know if it's the same thing as what you just described. I would say exercise caution in attempting to do what you just described without further guidance from them.

Also I don't think anything useful comes out on the debug port unless you're running a debug build of the software.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#241081 - 13/11/2004 16:58 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tomj]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30724
Loc: Seattle, WA
Quote:
That would be the third switch just for the Karma

Wait, what was wrong with the first switch?
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#241082 - 13/11/2004 17:05 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tfabris]
tomj
new poster

Registered: 24/04/2003
Posts: 16
Quote:
Quote:
That would be the third switch just for the Karma

Wait, what was wrong with the first switch?


No connection at all, just a steady traffic light. I tried a long ethernet cable like Hugo somewhere suggested IIRC, but it didn't help. Like I wrote in my initial post, replacing the switch "solved" it. Though everything worked fine using this switch except the Karma.

Thomas

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#241083 - 13/11/2004 17:34 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tomj]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30724
Loc: Seattle, WA
Oh my goodness.

*LIGHT BULB GOES ON*

Now I remember what the problem was.

If you plugged in the Karma *cold*, you would get the steady traffic light and no ethernet connection (some brands of switch only). Then if you used USB to synch and the Karma warmed up, THEN it would START working on ethernet.

THAT was the hardware problem I was referring to, that I couldn't remember right.

So your long-ethernet-synch lockup is not related to the problem I was thinking all along. It's something totally different.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#241084 - 13/11/2004 17:53 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: tfabris]
peter
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/07/2000
Posts: 4142
Loc: Cambridge, England
Quote:
If the problem is the one I'm thinking of, you can solve it immediately in two ways:

1. Buying a different hub/switch, or using a crossover cable to connect the karma directly to your PC's ethernet card.

Do not do this. The problem is not the one tfabris encountered, is almost certainly entirely in software, and cannot be fixed other than by a new Karma firmware release. In the meantime, there is anecdotal evidence that stopping music playback on the Karma before synchronisation, reduces the chance the problem will occur.

Quote:
Is there any way I could help like enabling debug output or something?

If this problem is as readily reproducible as everyone says, there should be no need for debug output from users.

Peter

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#241085 - 13/11/2004 19:30 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: peter]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30724
Loc: Seattle, WA
Yeah, what Peter said. My memory was failing me. I mis-remembered the steady-traffic-light problem.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#241086 - 26/11/2004 05:30 Re: Karma lockups during Ethernet sync [Re: peter]
tomj
new poster

Registered: 24/04/2003
Posts: 16
Peter, any news on this?

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