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#269768 - 16/11/2005 06:02 Rio Central player stuck at boot
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
I'm trying to fix a problem with a Rio Central player. The player is stuck at boot with the Rio Central logo in the display. After a few seconds the player opens the CD tray and that's it - all further actions just close the tray and then reopen it.

My guess is that it is unable to bootstrap from the harddisk in the player (the original 40GB one). I've taken the harddisk out and mounted it in one of my machines - I was able to mount 2 of the 4 partitions, one cannot be mounted because it's swap and the remaining one isn't recognized by Knoppix.

I've also tried to boot from the 1.10 version of firmware CD, but the CD player also ejects this disc after some time.

I've managed to get the player 'working' once in the last couple of days (sometimes it works for a little while), but on inserting a keyboard and hitting Ctrl-Alt-Del it just said that libreadline.so.2 has an invalid ELF header.

I've checked this file on the Knoppix system, and it looks as if the file has a valid ELF header.

All symptoms lead me to believe that the problem is either a faulty harddisk or some problem on the IDE channel. Another point that puzzles me is that the massively cooled - possibly power regulator - on the board stays cool, which suprizes me because of the massive cooling body applied.

I hope somebody can give me some advice about this issue - I'd really like to get this machine working again!

Cheers,
Jeroen

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#269769 - 16/11/2005 07:51 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
Roger
carpal tunnel

Registered: 18/01/2000
Posts: 5521
Loc: London, UK
Quote:
My guess is that it is unable to bootstrap from the harddisk in the player (the original 40GB one).


Could be. Have you tried putting another disk in it and booting from the CD?

Quote:
on the board stays cool, which suprizes me because of the massive cooling body applied.


It's massively over-specified. I wouldn't worry about it. At least until you've ruled out hard disk problems.

If you feel up to it, you can build a level converter and connect to the serial header on the motherboard. I think (but I'm not sure) that it's the same as the one used in the Rio Receiver -- see this page (under "Console") for more details.
_________________________
-- roger

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#269770 - 16/11/2005 09:32 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Roger]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Another thought hit me: is the 1.10 version on the internet a 'full' firmware replacement or should the 1.02 original firmware be installed first? Maybe the bottstrap is corrupted and the CD ejects kinda asking for the firmware, and that the system cannot start from the 1.10 disc?

PS: just tried with a fresh 80GB disc - same symptoms.

Jeroen

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#269771 - 16/11/2005 12:56 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Okay - just checked the site and it appears that the version without CDDB can only be installed on a system that is already loaded with a previous version of the firmware. The complete version however does (still) not unzip. To make matters even worse I cannot find my original CD...

Would somebody be so kind as to create an ISO image of the original CD and put it up for download (or perhaps point me to a location where it is available)?

Tnaks in advance,
Jeroen

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#269772 - 16/11/2005 21:14 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
Sure, Randy (TheCentralGuy) just sent it to me, I'll rip an iso and put it up somewhere for you to download.

Matthew

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#269773 - 17/11/2005 06:32 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: matthew_k]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Thanks Matthew - please let me know when it's ready.

Cheers,
Jeroen

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#269774 - 17/11/2005 06:55 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
It probably won't be till friday. I'll be in the office on friday and can just copy it over to the web server. Randy sent me both the orginal and the new CDs, I'll put both up for you to try.

Matthew

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#269775 - 17/11/2005 11:05 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: matthew_k]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Okay - friday is fine - tnx!

Jeroen

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#269776 - 17/11/2005 13:08 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: matthew_k]
The Central Guy
enthusiast

Registered: 18/03/2002
Posts: 225
Loc: San Diego, California USA
Hey Matthew! How's it going?

So did the CDs I sent help to fix your issue with your Central? I hope they did...

Thanks, Randy
_________________________
Happy owner of 2 Centrals, 2 Empegs Mk2a 160GB, 1 Empeg Mk2a 60 GB, a Rio Riot, 4 Rio Receivers, and two 1GB iPod Shuffles...

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#269777 - 17/11/2005 17:32 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: The Central Guy]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
Quote:
So did the CDs I sent help to fix your issue with your Central? I hope they did...

The central is my parents, and I havn't been to visit them yet. I'll certainly try them out next week when I'm home for thanksgiving and let you know.

Matthew

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#269778 - 19/11/2005 06:34 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
Shoot. Monday. For Sure.

Matthew

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#269779 - 19/11/2005 07:42 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: matthew_k]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Hah - I thought you had a night shift

Cheers,
Jeroen

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#269780 - 21/11/2005 19:52 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Pretty please...

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#269781 - 22/11/2005 19:31 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: matthew_k]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
Better late than never, I guess.

Anyone who wants it is welcome to download it here:
http://ih-ws1.berkeley.edu/~mkocher/hsx109/HSX109.iso
It's a good 600+ megs.

Has anyone looked into deciphering the cddb format? It'd be nice to substitute the current freedb file.

Matthew

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#269782 - 23/11/2005 05:41 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: matthew_k]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
I have briefly taken a look into the CDDB files that are on disc, but it isn't immediately obvious what the format is (at least, not to me). I've been having the same requirement since the player isn't hooked up to the inet.

It may be easier to just map the 'original' gracenote server to localhost via /etc/hosts and create a daemon that handles CDDB lookups via a local FreeDB database. If I have time I will put some effort into building this and share it here.

Jeroen

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#269783 - 23/11/2005 05:47 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
The freedb idea sounds like a good one. My parents central is online at the moment, so it's not much of a problem.

Did you get a chance to try out the image?

Matthew

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#269784 - 23/11/2005 06:30 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: matthew_k]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Yeah - just tried the image and the Central just sits at its initial 'Rio Central' screen and spits out the CD after some time. I'll try and swap the CD-ROM drive to see if that is the cause of the problem and then probably try to work out how the serial connector on the board works so that I can hook up a terminal to see what happens at boot. I'm not very hopeful though...

Jeroen

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#269785 - 23/11/2005 08:10 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Well, still no progress... The Central still only displays the 'Rio Digital Audio' screen and refuses to boot. Since I have got it working (although only briefly) I assume it might be a bad solder contact somewhere on the board. I have reapplied solder to both the IDE and front-panel connector but to no avail.

When I power on the Central I see some LED's flickering - D1 remains red and D3 seems to indicate activity on the IDE channel. Can somebody please confirm that this is how it works on a working Central - perhaps D1 is a fault indication...

Thanks in advance,
Jeroen

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#269786 - 24/11/2005 20:58 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
speedy67
enthusiast

Registered: 18/12/2000
Posts: 341
Loc: South-West-Germany
Hugo told me when i was visiting the guys in Cambridge some weeks ago that the serial connector is a "standard 3 V serial interface". You just need a buffer and check the wiring to connect to a Terminal. Output should be like on the empeg serial port.

About the change of the CD-drive he mentioned, that the drivers were especially written for that model to get the best ripping results. There are some workarounds for firmware-bugs of the drive included. But just for testing purposes it should work with any CD-drive, i think...
_________________________
cheers, Thomas new owner of the MK1 00123 MK2 12GB 090000815 (my first one) MK2a 040103735 (from 303) and ???

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#269787 - 24/11/2005 22:48 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
Ok, I've applied the upgrade to the central here, and it's pretty broken. I wouldn't reccomend anyone using the CD image I posted. It'll boot, and occasionally work for a while, but eventually the player software gets into a restarting loop and nothing seems to work besides flipping the power switch in back. My mother says it did the same thing with the version without CDDB loaded on it. Both installs of 1.10 have been fresh installs, the first a blank hard drive, the seccond a restore as new. Maybe an upgrade would be better?

Randy, have you used your 1.10 CD to upgrade sucessfully to a working player?

Unforunatly, I forgot the CDs Randy sent me (lucky I posted it online, eh?), so I can't check 1.02 CD unless someone can post the iso of it.

Matthew

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#269788 - 25/11/2005 02:48 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: matthew_k]
The Central Guy
enthusiast

Registered: 18/03/2002
Posts: 225
Loc: San Diego, California USA
I've used that image that I sent you on 4 Centrals, 3 are mine and 1 is my dad's...I have upgraded already running machines and I've also initialized hard drives from scratch since I have removable drive caddies on my 3 machines. There shouldn't be any issues with the image...

If your parent's Central acts the same way that it did before my image was installed, it doesn't sound like the image is the issue...

You can always try to install the software from the original CD I sent you and see if that makes any difference....

Randy
_________________________
Happy owner of 2 Centrals, 2 Empegs Mk2a 160GB, 1 Empeg Mk2a 60 GB, a Rio Riot, 4 Rio Receivers, and two 1GB iPod Shuffles...

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#269789 - 25/11/2005 03:58 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: The Central Guy]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
Quote:
You can always try to install the software from the original CD I sent you and see if that makes any difference....

That's certainly the next plan. The central was working fine before it's hard drive died. I replaced it with a new hard drive and initialized using the 1.10 CD without CDDB from RIO's web page. This seemed to work fine, but it couldn't even do CDDB lookups over the USB network adapter. Then, at some time after that, it went into a player reboot loop, and got turned off. I turned it back on, and put the 1.10 full cd you sent me in, restored as new, and it continues with the player restarts.

So, as soon as I go back home and get the 1.02 CD, I'll try that. For the moment, I can't think of anything else to try.

Matthew

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#269790 - 25/11/2005 15:40 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: speedy67]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
The connector marked 'debug' is probably the one you mean. It has 5 pins, so 1 too many for a standard GND/+/Rx/Tx connector. I've already measured that it supplies 3.3V, so conversion to TTL is necessary.

I still assume that the problem lies in the IDE bus. When fiddling with my fingers around the XTAL near the ARM CPU (yes, I know I shouldn't do that) I can get the screen to blank and the player to stop responding to anything. It at least tells me that the CPU is running and executing commands (well, ejecting the CD every time, but that's better than nothing).

I've already taken a more detailed look at the board and there are 3 3.3V/TTL buffers/line drivers between the CPU and the actual IDE bus. Maybe I'm lucky and it's just one of them that is behaving strange. I'll hoop up my scope and see what I can find.

Problem of course is how to replace them - I've done this sort of work before using a normal soldering iron, and although I manage I can tell you it's not a job for the fainthearted...

I suppose there's nobody out there that has the actual schematics of the board? They would really really be helpful right now...

Jeroen


Edited by Jeroen (25/11/2005 15:41)

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#269791 - 25/11/2005 22:57 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30544
Loc: Seattle, WA
Just as a reminder: You don't necessarily need the TTL serial connector if all you want is a shell prompt to poke aorund on. If you've got a USB keyboard, plug it in, and Ctrl-alt-del will get you a shell prompt right there on the Central's screen.

I don't know what stuff you could type at the shell prompt to help diagnose the issue, but at least you can get one.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#269792 - 26/11/2005 05:14 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: tfabris]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
I have tried using a USB keyboard as well, but I think that the player chokes in its POST. I think it has a problem finding a boot device and spits out the CD in order to be able to lboot from that. Hitting CAD on the USB keyboard doesn't do anything...

Jeroen

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#269793 - 29/11/2005 00:49 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
geeknerd
member

Registered: 24/09/2003
Posts: 148
BTW, have you tried swapping out the IDE cable? I'm constantly killing IDE cables by pressing the IDE ribbon cables on sharp MB pins, etc.

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#269794 - 29/11/2005 04:19 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: matthew_k]
matthew_k
pooh-bah

Registered: 12/02/2002
Posts: 2287
Loc: Berkeley, California
http://ih-ws1.berkeley.edu/~mkocher/hsx109/HSX109-1.02.iso

The orginal CD. I havn't tried it in my parents' central yet. Hopefully things will improve.

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#269795 - 03/12/2005 11:45 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: geeknerd]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Yep - tried swapping IDE cable as well - still no luck. Downloading 1.02 now and will try that...

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#269796 - 03/12/2005 16:20 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Welll, burnt the 1.02 image using cdrecord and k3b (in case I somehow screwed up the cmd line parms). Same symptoms alas...

I must therefore conclude there's a hardware fault. But since I got the player to boot some time ago, and hooking up a keyb and hitting CAD gave me a 'invalid ELF header' on some shared object file (which if you hook the HD up to another machine gives you a perfectly valid ARM ELF binary) I think the problem is in the IDE bus (which also explains the system being unable to boot from the CD).

I think I will try and find somebody here in the Netherlands who has access to a logical analyzer - I'm pretty convinced that one of the 3.3/5V buffers is behaving awkward, but finding this using a plain scope will prove quite tricky.

Any advice is of course still appreciated.

And of course again, Matthew - thanks for putting the images online. Unfortunately it didn't help but it will help me further once the HW fault is isolated and fixed.

Jeroen

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#269797 - 05/12/2005 08:24 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Well, I hope for everybody here that they do not have to rely on Rio Customer Support. I've sent them an email asking for assistance and they told me to press the RESET button on the player. I've asked them where it's located on a Rio Central and they are probably still looking - haven't heard from them since...

Meanwhile I've been doing some more investigation - I've drawn a schematic of the IDE bus part of the player and hooked up my scope. What I found is that one of the 3.3/5V transceivers on the board (LVX3245's) that provide the bridge between the 5V peripheral section and the 3.3V internal logic (which the ARM processor uses) is not behaving properly. Pin 4 of the middle transceiver (of which the B-side is hooked to DATA1 on the IDE bus) shows no signal when the device is transferring data. On any other DATA channel on the A-side I can see the bits streaming past. I can also see the bitstream on the B-side at DATA1 of the chip (pin 20).

On pin 4 I DO see data when the IDE interface is initializing and also see this data back a pin 20. Apparently the chip's B1->A1 logic is fried.

I'll get a new one and replace it later this week - I'll let you all know what the results are.

Jeroen

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#269798 - 05/12/2005 17:08 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 30544
Loc: Seattle, WA
Amazing. You are clearly the right person to have had this fail.
_________________________
Tony Fabris

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#269799 - 05/12/2005 18:58 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: tfabris]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Well, I haven't fixed it yet...

What really annoys me though is the fact that the vendor of the product is clearly not taking its moral responsibility in helping a customer with a defunct piece of HW after it's warranty period. I will personally never ever buy anything of them again.

Jeroen

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#269800 - 05/12/2005 19:17 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
tman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 24/12/2001
Posts: 5528
Quote:
What really annoys me though is the fact that the vendor of the product is clearly not taking its moral responsibility in helping a customer with a defunct piece of HW after it's warranty period. I will personally never ever buy anything of them again.

Excuse me? Moral responsibility? The warranty on these thing expired long ago. What do you expect? The Rio Central isn't even made anymore and the team that designed it has been bought twice. I expect it is their moral responsibility to buy you a new replacement and an Xbox 360, bag of sparkly gemstones and an iPod for the inconvenience?

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#269801 - 05/12/2005 20:07 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: tman]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
This player was bought just over a year ago. Here in the Netherlands the warranty starts at the date of purchase - not the date of manufacturing. Furthermore 'moral responsibility' here means that they have the decency to answer emails addressed to their customer support, I can live with an answer in which they state that the player is no longer under warranty or no longer officially supported, but to blatantly ignore any follow-ups to the emails (for about two weeks) is not the way to treat your customers - at least in my opinion. If your opinion differs in that matter than I respect that.

Jeroen

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#269802 - 06/12/2005 21:40 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
Where did you buy it? The Rio Central was never officailly sold outside the US.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#269803 - 06/12/2005 21:56 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: robricc]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
I bought it via some firm in the US and they shipped it here via UPS. Don't remember which firm - if you're interested I can look it up.

Jeroen

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#269804 - 06/12/2005 22:25 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
robricc
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/10/2000
Posts: 4909
Loc: Orange County, NY USA
I'm more interested in why you think a long-defunct product bought 2nd-hand from someone in another country should carry a warranty.

As for supporting their product, that's another matter. I think they should have the proper documentation to help you out, but it's likely they don't. I think it's even more likely that nobody at that tech support center knows what a Central looks like. The fact that the tech thinks there's a reset button on the unit should be the tip-off. I'm not "in the know," but it seems to me like Rio is an empty shell of a company at the moment simply supporting the portable MP3 players they've most recently sold until their obligation to those customers is up.

Your best resource for help is here, obviously. However, there were so few Centrals sold that many of us here are in the dark when trying to figure out problems that haven't come up yet. The original designers do visit and post to this board, but many have moved-on from Rio and are working from their memory. Those who were at Rio until very recently may not have access to schematics and other technical data anymore to help. Unfortunately, this board is probably the best it's going to get as far as troubleshooting goes.
_________________________
-Rob Riccardelli
80GB 16MB MK2 090000736

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#269805 - 07/12/2005 06:35 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: robricc]
Jeroen
new poster

Registered: 11/09/2004
Posts: 21
Loc: Amsterdam, Netherlands
Well, if the player was bought 2nd hand I would agree, but this one was brand new.

And I must agree with you that customer support has probably never heard of this model either - the reset-button indeed gave that away.

I'll get a new transceiver for the board later today and patch it in. If that doesn't help I will have a very hard time getting the machine going again I fear. If the mainboard is broken then its going to be very difficult (if not impossible) getting a replacement for it. When that happens my next step is going to be to figure out how the display works and once figured out I might be able to replace the MB with an Intel-based one and see if I can find an ARM emulator somewhere in order to run the original software (gonna be fun trying that one out).

Jeroen

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#269806 - 08/12/2005 22:05 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
geeknerd
member

Registered: 24/09/2003
Posts: 148
IMHO, it's unlikely that you will find a board that would be compatible with the software. The sound card is specific to the device and there's some kind of flash device that holds player state. That's just off the top of my head, there could be more issues. You could definitely use the LCD and attached hardware though. That software was released under the GPL.

I was able to use it to run the interface for a small streaming mp3 app on the central.

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#269807 - 03/01/2006 11:49 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: Jeroen]
altman
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/05/1999
Posts: 3449
Loc: Palo Alto, CA
The best thing to do is to hook up a level shifter (3v3 <> RS232) to the debug port. The pinout is:

1 - 3v3
2 - TXD (OUT from board)
3 - RXD (IN to board)
4 - blank
5 - GND

It's 115200bps, 8n1, no flow control (like the Rio receiver & empeg-car). You will probably see something illuminating on this console. If at powerup you hit ctrl-T very quickly it should go into a HW test mode which ISTR will do a RAM test and also some very limited IDE tests (ID'ing the HDD).

The RLC-1 from Dontronics (google them) is fine. They don't list it as being 3v3 but I believe all the ones they ship are nowadays. Their plug wiring isn't right for this, but that's easily sorted out.

As for support in Europe - the European ones never got any training on this product as though it was designed in Germany (hw) and the UK (sw), it was never sold here. The US support people definitely *did* provide support for the product, though I've no idea if they do now given that Rio doesn't exist anymore.

Hugo

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#269808 - 07/01/2006 02:40 Re: Rio Central player stuck at boot [Re: altman]
geeknerd
member

Registered: 24/09/2003
Posts: 148
Here's the link for anyone interested.

http://www.dontronics.com/rlc1.html
~$21 including shipping to the US.

Or here for 7$
http://www.sparkfun.com/commerce/product...03b2b7bc306371#


Edited by geeknerd (07/01/2006 03:19)

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