Rockbox Technical Forums

Support and General Use => Hardware => Topic started by: fractalosi on March 12, 2019, 06:25:57 PM

Title: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: fractalosi on March 12, 2019, 06:25:57 PM
I bought an iPod 5.5 from eBay specifically to use for Rockbox. Looking inside, it seems the battery is non-original (Cameron Sino Technology?). However, whilst overall the player has been solid, there have been a range of issues:

Player cannot switch off, instead instantly rebooting. Some have mentioned this may be a fault with the charging circuit, but the charge indicator is correct for me, unlike others.
Overall quicker battery drain in Rockbox than Apple, even if nothing is playing, the battery seems to drain at the same rate (empty in ~10 hours with <2 hours playtime)
Frequent corruption of FAT filesystem (although admittedly this may be my fault for ejecting early)
When choosing a new song, it will not play unless the current song is playing, otherwise it starts paused.
Upon entering disk mode, the screen shows a sad iPod and asks me to visit Apple support website. This has persisted through a restore of the iPod through iTunes.

I've completely reinstalled Rockbox several times, and all this issues persist in latest stable for me. Any insight anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated, and of course I'll be forthcoming with any additional details. Thanks.
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: Frankenpod on March 12, 2019, 07:36:58 PM
Dunno, but I have had ipods that did each of those things, and generally it's a hardware fault.  That actually sounds to me like multiple faults.  The 3rd and 5th one could be a failing hard drive?  The first two could be several things, including just a failing battery, but also could be some component fault is is not letting the ipod shut down fully.

I don't think any of those are to do with Rockbox.

But the fourth one is just this:

http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php/topic,52744.0.html

(That you consider it a fault is supporting evidence for Chris S in that thread, I guess!)
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: fractalosi on March 13, 2019, 02:06:33 AM
The SMART data looks fine in diagnostic mode (no reallocs) but the drive could for sure be an issue. Would you say it's worth replacing the parts or simply buying a new iPod? Either way, are there "trusted sources" for trying to get better next time, or is it just pot luck on eBay? And any model of iPod that is more stable than any other? Actually, I guess I could be open to any Rockbox device with plenty of storage space, and a good screen and buttons.

Also, I'd say that pause thing is definitely unexpected behaviour for me - every other audio player I've used plays on new track, but as long as it's intentional, I can live with it.

Thanks
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: Frankenpod on March 13, 2019, 03:40:07 AM
Might be worth trying a replacement battery?  Personally I don't think it will fix all those faults, but it doesn't cost much and isn't at all difficult, and just out of pure curiosity I'd be interested to know if it did anything for any of the issues.

If you had a stash of broken ipods and spare parts it would be easier, but not sure if it's worth paying for spares to try things with just the one ipod.

  I've seen a few reports of 'very rapid battery drain' and there seems to be more than one possible cause...there was one guy who worked out the exact cause in their case and even found a workaround (involving shorting two pins on the connector) but I can't remember where I saw it now.  Something about a fault meaning the ipod kept thinking it was connected to power when it wasn't?  There are definitely people out there who know more about the topic.  But I suppose they've all moved on to smartphones now anyway!

Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: fractalosi on March 13, 2019, 04:26:22 PM
Any recommendations on replacement batteries that won't combust on me? I don't have any spares unfortunately.

Thinking about buying a new iPod, CeX here in the UK do a 80GB video for £55-110, depending on condition, and they offer two-year warranty. At least this gives me some assurance that it won't be terrible, but unfortunately I can't select a Wolfson enhanced one specifically. Does the non-enhanced come with the same amount of RAM?
Cheers, and thanks for all the help
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: Frankenpod on March 13, 2019, 05:28:37 PM
Amount of RAM isn't related to enhanced/non-enhanced, it depends whether it's a 30gb or a 60/80gb.  Larger disk version = more ram.

"Wolfson" is another thing again - 5th gen/Video have Wolfson DAC, 6th/7th gen/Classics don't.  But whether the Wolfson one is any better than the other is a matter of (disputed) opinion.  Also, the Classics have more powerful cpus.  And a nicer-looking housing.  That is a nightmare to open, admittedly.
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: fractalosi on March 13, 2019, 06:19:34 PM
Unfortunately the Classics aren't stable and supported by the utility yet, which would swing it in my favour. But do you have any recommended batteries I can try in my current iPod first (brands, stores etc). Thanks.
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: Frankenpod on March 14, 2019, 02:53:28 AM
Rockbox's definition of 'stable' seems a mite idiosyncratic to me.  It's not really what people usually interpret by the word.

The Classics work perfectly well with rockbox (unless it's a flash-mod, which does have a few 'issues' with rockbox, but then the OF becomes useless with the number of tracks you are likely to have on a flash-modded pod, so there's no choice anyway).

You just have to use the "special edition" of the utility [edit - it's linked on here somewhere, both in the wiki and in various posts on the forum].  Seems as if it's purely inertia or a lack of time that prevents it being 'mainlined'.

Haven't bought a normal-sized ipod battery for ages (flash mod ipods can fit the extra-large 2000mah battery), but I'd just get one from Ebay, either from China or locally.  You might get a duff one I suppose, but I always found them to be OK (replacement clickwheels seemed the most likely thing to be duff, for some reason).  I don't think bursting into flames is much of a danger with that size of battery, but I do actually worry slightly myself about the over-sized ones, I have to admit.
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: ceratophyllum on March 16, 2019, 07:24:43 AM
What's this "special edition" of RockboxUtility?

Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: Frankenpod on March 16, 2019, 02:08:07 PM
What's this "special edition" of RockboxUtility?

The one linked to in the wiki for the ipod classic. If you aren't installing on an ipod classic it's not going to be of much relevance to you.
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: fractalosi on March 17, 2019, 07:06:31 AM
The fact the Classics are labelled as 'Unusable', rather than even 'Unstable' puts me off more. Really, I'm just looking for a stable music player that can play my ~60GB of FLACs reliably. It looks like the iPod Photo or Video are best for that, as long as they're reliable. Other recommendations are appreciated, however. Are any of the iPod line noticeably better supported than others, for instance? Any supported player would be acceptable, I'd guess, I just focused on iPods because they're widespread and easy to find. Thanks.
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: Frankenpod on March 17, 2019, 07:55:37 AM
But where are they labelled as 'unusable'? 

If you check the front page of this site the first 'project news' item is:

2017-05-01   Move iPod Nano 2G to stable. Move iPod Classic to unstable.

But I'm not a rockbox dev, and personally I think the terminology they use is really confusing.  I believe that 'unstable' doesn't mean rockbox itself will fall over or is full of bugs, I _think_ it means that it's still in active development and the codebase may continue to change.  I _think_ that's what they mean by 'unstable'.

It seems that mainly the Classic is not 'stable' because it isn't installable with the mainstream rockbox utility.  Apart from that it works as well as any other rockbox player.  Except for flash-modded ipods where there is some sort of incompatibility with the ATA driver.  But if you only have 60gb of content you don't need a flash-mod.
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: fractalosi on March 17, 2019, 09:08:36 AM
What makes the Classics better than the previous generations? And can you personally testify to their stability? Can they still be restored from iTunes no matter what, even if they're bricked, like the Video can be? Thanks.
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: Frankenpod on March 17, 2019, 10:59:04 AM
What makes the Classics better than the previous generations? And can you personally testify to their stability? Can they still be restored from iTunes no matter what, even if they're bricked, like the Video can be? Thanks.

Whether they are 'better' is a matter of personal preference.  I think the housing is nicer-looking, and the CPU is more powerful, and I think it may have longer battery life [newer hardware = lower power consumption?], but it makes no difference to me which you prefer!  Some people do seem to swear by that Wolfson DAC.

Can't give you a personal guarantee, all I can say is I have several flash-modded ones and they all work well enough and have done for years (barring the known issues with flash mods, which have to be worked-around - if only someone could modify that ATA driver to play nicely with flash adaptors!).

I don't believe either the classic or the video can be 'bricked', unless there is a hardware fault.  But you'd be better asking an actual developer.
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: fractalosi on March 20, 2019, 03:21:16 PM
For now I've reinstalled rockbox on my iPod Video, and while it still has the same problems as before, I'm living with it. The strange one is the battery drain, as it is near zero in Apple Firmware, but high in Rockbox. Is there any kind of profiling I can enable to try and debug this my end?
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: Classic55rock on October 12, 2019, 06:26:48 AM
The strange one is the battery drain, as it is near zero in Apple Firmware, but high in Rockbox.

I may be a bit late but, if your classic 5.5 has a flash drive this is the source of the drain problem : disk start and stop events are not working as the hard drive ones.
There are a few patches for it and here are two of these you can try :
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1wKdyqGz5ofI_1yA80aYPaehHt54YW70h?usp=sharing (https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/1wKdyqGz5ofI_1yA80aYPaehHt54YW70h?usp=sharing)

The folder includes the 2 raw patches and also builded versions of each.
Title: Re: Variety of issues with iPod 5.5 (possibly hardware?)
Post by: bobba_mosfet on October 13, 2019, 05:28:15 PM
If I have an msata mod which works 100% perfectly without these patches, am I gaining anything by applying them?

Thanks in advance