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rio car dot org FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)

Category: Main -> Networking and home connection questions
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·  I don't have a serial port on my PC. Is the serial port required? 
·  Which is faster, USB or Ethernet? 
·  How do I hook up the player with ethernet? 
·  Why can't I get ethernet to work? 
·  Can I use the ethernet connection with the car docking sled? 
·  Can the Rio Car player be used as a server for the Rio Receiver? 
·  Can the Rio Car player play streaming audio from a Rio Receiver server? 
·  Can I use a wireless ethernet connection to the player? 
·  Can I connect the headphone output from another device to the aux input of the player? 
·  Can I use headphones to listen to the player directly? 
·  How can I listen to the player on my computer? 
·  I can't hear the empeg through my computer speakers! 

·  Where can I get a spare AC power supply for my player?
 (Entry last updated on July 6th, 2006)

You should have received one power supply with your player. But it's always good to have spares, especially if you like to use the player in more than one indoor location.

You can contact support in the UK for information on purchasing an extra power supply. Their stock is a compact "plug top" style adapter that is integrated with a US plug. Unfortunately, they are sold out of units with European plug capability.

You might just have a spare power supply lying around that'll work. Just make sure it meets the requirements (listed below). If you don't have one lying around, you can probably find one for sale fairly easily.

In the US, you can order from All Electronics, or many other electronics retailers. In the UK, you can order from Maplin Electronics or others.

Two specific part numbers available from Sunpower are here and here. Please note that the companies that sell these power supplies keep changing their part numbers. If those do not work out for you, please look for a different power supply based on the requirements listed below.

The requirements are:

  • It must be a DC power supply. It must supply direct current as output, not alternating current.

  • The connector jack must have the center pin as positive (+) connection, and the outer sleeve as the negative connection.

  • The connector jack must have a 2.1mm center pin and a 5.5mm outside diameter. Make sure it's the correct size, or you might damage the car/home sensing switch by forcing the jack into the player.

  • The voltage can be in the range of about 12v-16v DC, the exact voltage doesn't matter much.

  • It must be able to supply a minimum peak current of about 1 amp (1A) at 12V for disk spinup. Remember that the rating printed on the power supply is its maximum capability. So it's OK, and in fact desirable, to have the amperage rating be a little higher than 1A (Such as 2A or 3A).

  • It has been reported that some power supplies rated at exactly 12v 1000mA (1A) are not sufficient. This is the absolute minimum rating which leaves no room for variance in the components or fudge factors in the power supply's rated specs. The voltage and/or amperage rating may need to be higher than that if you really expect the power supply to work.

  • Make sure the adapter meets all of the above requirements before plugging it in, or you might let out the expensive blue smoke that powers the player. If these specifications are not clearly printed on the power supply, do not use your player as an experimental voltage tester (it's not particularly good at that job).
I've seen lots of power supplies which meet these requirements and work for the player. IBM ThinkPad power supplies, small inkjet printer power supplies, small flatbed scanner power supplies, and multimedia speaker power supplies often meet these requirements. Simply by digging around my garage, I was able to scrounge enough power supplies so that I can use the player in three different spots without having to cart a power supply back and forth.

Note: If you add a second disk drive to the player, it will require more juice. If a scrounged power supply works for a one-disk player, that doesn't necessarily mean it will work for a two-disk player.

Symptoms of an inadequate power supply are: The unit starts to boot (you see the boot logo), but it never finishes booting because the disk drives do not spin up. Or, the unit boots, but occasionally stops playing and the "battery" icon appears on the screen. Other symptoms are messages such as "Failed to unmask IDE" and "No hard disk found contact support".

·  Can the Rio Car connect to other USB devices such as portable USB hard drives? 
·  Can I connect to the player via FTP or HTTP? 
·  Can I connect to my player 'by name' over ethernet? 

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