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  #1  
Old 08-15-2014, 08:58 PM
SeditionKitten SeditionKitten is offline
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Help Clip in car: Works fine, but plugging in USB to charge overrides speaker cable

I have a Sansa Clip for my car. It works great. I connect it to the stereo with a 3.5mm speaker cable.

The problem: I can't power it with a USB connection and play music through the speaker cable at the same time, for some reason.

I have two USB sockets to charge it with. One is built into the stereo, but is only for charging. The other is in the cigarette lighter. No matter which one I use, as soon as I connect the Clip, it stops sending audio through the speaker cable. The song keeps playing, but it seems to be automatically trying to send the audio data through the (charge-only) USB.

Oddly enough, this doesn't happen if I plug it into a non-car stereo system of mine.

Any idea what's going on, and how I can fix it? It's not a huge deal, but it'd be nice to be able to play music and charge it at the same time, rather than relying on the battery.
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  #2  
Old 08-15-2014, 09:55 PM
skip252 skip252 is offline
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Welcome to ABi

The charge only USB port seems as if it's not charge only if it causes playback to stop. As long as a Clip doesn't see a data component in a USB connection it will charge and play. I play music with a charging clip through powered speakers and car head units using a audio cable that way quite a bit so I'm certain that's how it should work.

There's instructions on how to make a charge only USB cable if you google for them. They range everywhere from taping over the data pins to shorting the data wires together to stop the data connection. Just type "charge only USB cable" into a search engine and you should find DIY instructions, pre-made cables and data pin covers.

You could also Rockbox the player. The Rockbox replacement firmware lets you create a power only connection with a key combination when you connect the USB cable. That's what I do if I connect to a head unit in a car and don't have a charger with me to plug into the power connection.
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  #3  
Old 08-16-2014, 07:43 PM
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TackyTiger TackyTiger is offline
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I've got a couple of these, they're also useful for charging devices which refuse to charge unless the data lines are shorted.

http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B...?ie=UTF8&psc=1
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Old 08-29-2014, 01:15 PM
SeditionKitten SeditionKitten is offline
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Hi all!

I'll try the PortaPow.

I've discovered a strange quirk in the situation: I think there's something about the cable involved here. When I plugged it in to charge and connected the stereo jack to some computer speakers, it played fine. Similarly, I noticed I actually could make it play and charge in the car -- sort of.

I noticed that there were three relevant depth-positions for the stereo cable, producing the following effects when the mini usb port was connected to the charger.

Pushed in just a little: left-side car speaker plays sound.
Pushed in some more: right-side speaker plays sound; left-side is silent
Pushed in all the way: no sound at all.

Maybe it's something about the speaker cable? It's just a 35mm.

I also tried Rockbox, but I couldn't get it to detect my device.
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Old 08-29-2014, 06:04 PM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Its a current loop through the headphone jack. Your car probably shorts the aux jack ground and the DC ground together, which overloads the player. You need an isolation transformer or coupling capacitor to break the loop.
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Old 09-01-2014, 12:49 AM
LeftyAce LeftyAce is offline
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I have the same problem, and based on a lengthy thread on the rockbox forum, it looks like the ground current loop is the problem: http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=28062.0

An isolator for the headphone output can be purchased, but the one I saw cost half what my clip cost O_O
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:44 AM
SeditionKitten SeditionKitten is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by LeftyAce View Post
I have the same problem, and based on a lengthy thread on the rockbox forum, it looks like the ground current loop is the problem: http://forums.rockbox.org/index.php?topic=28062.0

An isolator for the headphone output can be purchased, but the one I saw cost half what my clip cost O_O
Yikes. This also leads me to think that installing Rockbox would not work.

Is there some way I could like rewire my car's stereo or something to make this work?

I guess it's a viable workaround just popping the cable out a bit so I get at least left-channel audio while it charges; I just feel kind of stupid doing that.
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Old 09-04-2014, 11:53 AM
saratoga saratoga is offline
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Maybe I was unclear above but you can't fix a short circuit by installing software. You must break that DC loop, either with an isolator ($10 on amazon) or by not plugging in the USB cable.
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