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Michael Warnock
2005-02-02, 21:06
Greetings,

I'd like to run an SB using a battery pack such as this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=43447&item=3860583484&rd=1&ssPageName=WD1V

If this has been covered, I'm shocked, because I've done extensive
searches and read the discuss and developer lists back 6 months just
finding out everything I wanted to know about the SB. I'm very
impressed and excited to get my hands on one, but I'll be using it in
what is, perhaps, an unusual configuration. I want my SB to live in
my backpack along with my battery-powered DAC (www.ack-industries.com)
and headamp and be driven wirelessly by my notebook. This will allow
me to whip my notebook out for use without worrying about cables
torquing my ports or not being long enough. This is my bus/bed/office
rig and doesn't really need to be away from a/c longer than 1.5 hours,
though 3 would be nice (thats the longest my notebook will run and the
dAck should only be run 4hrs anyway).

Thanks in advance,
Michael

Marc Sherman
2005-02-03, 09:37
Michael Warnock wrote:
> ... I'll be using it in
> what is, perhaps, an unusual configuration. I want my SB to live in
> my backpack along with my battery-powered DAC (www.ack-industries.com)
> and headamp and be driven wirelessly by my notebook.

What's the benefit of using a squeezebox at all in this configuration,
instead of just playing music directly from the notebook?

- Marc

momerath
2005-02-03, 10:04
Sound quality of course :)

The notebook's headphone out is very noisy (I can easily tell how
heavily the hd and dvd are being used). It also doesn't drive my
headphones with any semblance of authority. Furthermore, I'm
addicted to the non-oversampling digital-filterless sound of my Ack
dAck. If what you meant by "playing music directly from the notebook"
is "why not use a usb soundcard as transport", the answer is that I
have been, but the only card I've had the opportunity to use was an
m-audio transit my friend modded to add coax to (the dAck is coax
only), and it was a pain in several ways and died on me a couple days
ago. I'm excited by the prospect of being able to use my notebook
wire-free and still enjoy my .flac collection pumped through my
luggable rig.


On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 11:37:03 -0500, Marc Sherman <msherman (AT) projectile (DOT) ca> wrote:
> Michael Warnock wrote:
> > ... I'll be using it in
> > what is, perhaps, an unusual configuration. I want my SB to live in
> > my backpack along with my battery-powered DAC (www.ack-industries.com)
> > and headamp and be driven wirelessly by my notebook.
>
> What's the benefit of using a squeezebox at all in this configuration,
> instead of just playing music directly from the notebook?
>
> - Marc
>
>
>

momerath
2005-02-03, 10:07
Hi Felix,

Were you powering all three of those with the 5 nicad cells? I was
thinking of powering just the SB with this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=43447&item=3860583484&rd=1&ssPageName=WD1V

Thanks for replying!
~Michael

On Thu, 3 Feb 2005 06:24:33 -0800 (PST), Felix Mueller
<fcm4711 (AT) yahoo (DOT) com> wrote:
> Hi Michael
>
> I haven't tried to battery-power a Squeezebox but
> I tried it with a SLIMP3, an ASUS WL-330 bridge
> and some powered speakers.
>
> Unfortunately the power consumption is rather high,
> especially the wireless part.
>
> I used 5 NiCd cells with a capacity of 2200mAh and
> olny got about 45 minutes out of it.
>
> Cheers
> Felix
>
>
> --- Michael Warnock <michael.warnock (AT) gmail (DOT) com> wrote:
>
> > Greetings,
> >
> > I'd like to run an SB using a battery pack such as
> > this:
> >
> http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&category=43447&item=3860583484&rd=1&ssPageName=WD1V
> >
> > If this has been covered, I'm shocked, because I've
> > done extensive
> > searches and read the discuss and developer lists
> > back 6 months just
> > finding out everything I wanted to know about the
> > SB. I'm very
> > impressed and excited to get my hands on one, but
> > I'll be using it in
> > what is, perhaps, an unusual configuration. I want
> > my SB to live in
> > my backpack along with my battery-powered DAC
> > (www.ack-industries.com)
> > and headamp and be driven wirelessly by my notebook.
> > This will allow
> > me to whip my notebook out for use without worrying
> > about cables
> > torquing my ports or not being long enough. This is
> > my bus/bed/office
> > rig and doesn't really need to be away from a/c
> > longer than 1.5 hours,
> > though 3 would be nice (thats the longest my
> > notebook will run and the
> > dAck should only be run 4hrs anyway).
> >
> > Thanks in advance,
> > Michael
> >

Pat Farrell
2005-02-03, 14:17
At 12:04 PM 2/3/2005, momerath wrote:
>>Sound quality of course :)
>>The notebook's headphone out is very noisy (I can easily tell how
>>heavily the hd and dvd are being used). It also doesn't drive my
>>headphones with any semblance of authority.

Normally, I saw that a SqueezeBox is the solution to everything, but
in this case, I think I'd recommend any of a number of alternatives.
Either a headphone amp, or a better soundcard would be smaller,
lighter, and more portable.

Look at something like the Echo Indigo Stereo Output Device for Laptop
about $140
or an M-Audio transit. or look at the zillions of amps
at places like http://www.headphone.com/


Pat


Pat Farrell pfarrell (AT) pfarrell (DOT) com
http://www.pfarrell.com

momerath
2005-02-03, 14:48
I wish people would stop questioning whether I'd be happier with a
lesser solution and help me answer what I asked! Can I power the SB
with an external battery pack like the one I linked to for more than
an hour?

I already have an m-audio transit and a decent headphone amp. The
transit sucks because, in linux, one has to plug it in to get the
firmware loaded and then reboot so that its recognized as a sound
card. So I cant unplug it unless I want to put up with a reboot, and,
even if this were fixed or there were another reasonably priced
linux-compatible bit-perfect coax out (I had to mod my transit to add
this) usb sound card, it would still tether my notebook to the sound
system. I want to be able to leave all that in the bag and be able to
use the notebook the way it was meant to be used (wirelessly).

Furthermore, the quality of the analog out of the transit (or my
notebook, ipaq or my several DAPs and misc sound cards) is complete
crap compared to my $600 DAC, which is much bulkier and heavier than
the SB anyway and I'm obviously willing to carry it around. Also my
notebook, ipaq and the transit have no line-out (to be fair the
transit's headphone-out is supposedly engineered to be a decent
line-out, but I think it just makes both uses mediocre), which pretty
much negates the sonic benefits of adding a dedicated headamp.


On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 16:17:28 -0500, Pat Farrell <pfarrell (AT) pfarrell (DOT) com> wrote:
> At 12:04 PM 2/3/2005, momerath wrote:
> >>Sound quality of course :)
> >>The notebook's headphone out is very noisy (I can easily tell how
> >>heavily the hd and dvd are being used). It also doesn't drive my
> >>headphones with any semblance of authority.
>
> Normally, I saw that a SqueezeBox is the solution to everything, but
> in this case, I think I'd recommend any of a number of alternatives.
> Either a headphone amp, or a better soundcard would be smaller,
> lighter, and more portable.
>
> Look at something like the Echo Indigo Stereo Output Device for Laptop
> about $140
> or an M-Audio transit. or look at the zillions of amps
> at places like http://www.headphone.com/
>
>
> Pat
>
>
>
> Pat Farrell pfarrell (AT) pfarrell (DOT) com
> http://www.pfarrell.com
>
>

Pat Farrell
2005-02-03, 16:07
At 04:48 PM 2/3/2005, momerath wrote:
>I wish people would stop questioning whether I'd be happier with a
>lesser solution and help me answer what I asked! Can I power the SB
>with an external battery pack like the one I linked to for more than
>an hour?

Try it and see.
Or measure the amperage draw and calculate it.

I'd probably just drag my Benchmark DAC1 along, it is
a great headphone amp with a free DAC included.

Pat

momerath
2005-02-03, 16:37
I would "try and see" except that I've bought neither the SB nor the
battery pack. Battery power is an absolute necessity for me and I
couldnt justify buying the SB if it wont work on the go.

The power specs on the slimdevices site are:
# 5.0V DC, regulated
# Center positive, sleeve ground
# Connector: 2.5mm ID, 5.5mm OD, 11mm long
# Min supply rating: 1000mA

Does this mean that a 3300mAh 5v battery will power it for 3.3 hours?
Would it draw more than 1A continuously if it can? What I was really
hoping for (and felix partially addresses this) is a real world
success story or definitive word from the manufacturers before I drop
the $300+ on SB and battery.

If someone can just reassure me that a reasonably sized (not much
bigger than the SB) battery pack can power the SB for 1.5+ hours I'll
order it immediately.


On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 18:07:10 -0500, Pat Farrell <pfarrell (AT) pfarrell (DOT) com> wrote:
> At 04:48 PM 2/3/2005, momerath wrote:
>
> I wish people would stop questioning whether I'd be happier with a
> lesser solution and help me answer what I asked! Can I power the SB
> with an external battery pack like the one I linked to for more than
> an hour?
> Try it and see.
> Or measure the amperage draw and calculate it.
>
> I'd probably just drag my Benchmark DAC1 along, it is
> a great headphone amp with a free DAC included.
>
> Pat
>
>

momerath
2005-02-03, 16:46
Thank you Dave!

Thats exactly the kind of info I was looking for- I had kindof guessed
at the relationship between mAh's of a battery and the specs of the SB
as you can see from the email I was composing as you wrote your 2 :)
I am sufficiently reassured on all but one point:

What does regulated mean in the "5.0V dc regulated" spec? The battery
pack I'm looking at says nothing about regulation- would I need to add
something to the circuit? find another battery pack?


On Thu, 3 Feb 2005 17:37:57 -0600, momerath <michael.warnock (AT) gmail (DOT) com> wrote:
> I would "try and see" except that I've bought neither the SB nor the
> battery pack. Battery power is an absolute necessity for me and I
> couldnt justify buying the SB if it wont work on the go.
>
> The power specs on the slimdevices site are:
> # 5.0V DC, regulated
> # Center positive, sleeve ground
> # Connector: 2.5mm ID, 5.5mm OD, 11mm long
> # Min supply rating: 1000mA
>
> Does this mean that a 3300mAh 5v battery will power it for 3.3 hours?
> Would it draw more than 1A continuously if it can? What I was really
> hoping for (and felix partially addresses this) is a real world
> success story or definitive word from the manufacturers before I drop
> the $300+ on SB and battery.
>
> If someone can just reassure me that a reasonably sized (not much
> bigger than the SB) battery pack can power the SB for 1.5+ hours I'll
> order it immediately.
>
>
> On Thu, 03 Feb 2005 18:07:10 -0500, Pat Farrell <pfarrell (AT) pfarrell (DOT) com> wrote:
> > At 04:48 PM 2/3/2005, momerath wrote:
> >
> > I wish people would stop questioning whether I'd be happier with a
> > lesser solution and help me answer what I asked! Can I power the SB
> > with an external battery pack like the one I linked to for more than
> > an hour?
> > Try it and see.
> > Or measure the amperage draw and calculate it.
> >
> > I'd probably just drag my Benchmark DAC1 along, it is
> > a great headphone amp with a free DAC included.
> >
> > Pat
> >
> >

Enno Davids
2005-02-03, 16:53
On Thu, Feb 03, 2005 at 05:37:57PM -0600, momerath wrote:
|I would "try and see" except that I've bought neither the SB nor the
|battery pack. Battery power is an absolute necessity for me and I
|couldnt justify buying the SB if it wont work on the go.
|
|The power specs on the slimdevices site are:
|# 5.0V DC, regulated
|# Center positive, sleeve ground
|# Connector: 2.5mm ID, 5.5mm OD, 11mm long
|# Min supply rating: 1000mA
|
|Does this mean that a 3300mAh 5v battery will power it for 3.3 hours?
|Would it draw more than 1A continuously if it can? What I was really
|hoping for (and felix partially addresses this) is a real world
|success story or definitive word from the manufacturers before I drop
|the $300+ on SB and battery.
|
|If someone can just reassure me that a reasonably sized (not much
|bigger than the SB) battery pack can power the SB for 1.5+ hours I'll
|order it immediately.

Its worth noting that the biggest power draw in slim or SB is the VFD used
for the display. You may in fact find that turning down the brightness
does wonders for the current consumption. Maybe you can turn it right down
and operate it from the web display on the PC thats serving the music to it.

(Its also worth noting that some VFDs have odd power consumption curves
and occasionally consume just as much or more power when they're dimmed.
Worth experimenting with brightness or measuring if you get to the point
of actually getting the h/w).

I presume you've remembered you need a PC to drive this right? It'll need
to be battery powered too of course (a laptop I'm guessing).


E.

momerath
2005-02-03, 17:21
I knew I should have jumped on the SB without VFD that was just on ebay :/
During the times that I'd run the SB on battery, it would be tucked
away in a bag with no use for the display. I was going to ask if
there is an option to completely turn off the display- does anyone
know?

A notebook is already part of my luggable rig, and I control it with
bemused on my phone (which I understand also works with slimserver).


On Fri, 4 Feb 2005 10:53:56 +1100, Enno Davids <enno.davids (AT) metva (DOT) com.au> wrote:
> On Thu, Feb 03, 2005 at 05:37:57PM -0600, momerath wrote:
> |I would "try and see" except that I've bought neither the SB nor the
> |battery pack. Battery power is an absolute necessity for me and I
> |couldnt justify buying the SB if it wont work on the go.
> |
> |The power specs on the slimdevices site are:
> |# 5.0V DC, regulated
> |# Center positive, sleeve ground
> |# Connector: 2.5mm ID, 5.5mm OD, 11mm long
> |# Min supply rating: 1000mA
> |
> |Does this mean that a 3300mAh 5v battery will power it for 3.3 hours?
> |Would it draw more than 1A continuously if it can? What I was really
> |hoping for (and felix partially addresses this) is a real world
> |success story or definitive word from the manufacturers before I drop
> |the $300+ on SB and battery.
> |
> |If someone can just reassure me that a reasonably sized (not much
> |bigger than the SB) battery pack can power the SB for 1.5+ hours I'll
> |order it immediately.
>
> Its worth noting that the biggest power draw in slim or SB is the VFD used
> for the display. You may in fact find that turning down the brightness
> does wonders for the current consumption. Maybe you can turn it right down
> and operate it from the web display on the PC thats serving the music to it.
>
> (Its also worth noting that some VFDs have odd power consumption curves
> and occasionally consume just as much or more power when they're dimmed.
> Worth experimenting with brightness or measuring if you get to the point
> of actually getting the h/w).
>
> I presume you've remembered you need a PC to drive this right? It'll need
> to be battery powered too of course (a laptop I'm guessing).
>
> E.
>
>

Aaron Zinck
2005-02-03, 19:18
The lowest level of "brightness" is black. I'd assume that the power
consumption of the screen when in this mode is either nothing or next to
nothing.


"momerath" <michael.warnock (AT) gmail (DOT) com> wrote
in message news:9d2a517b0502031621a3f8b5d (AT) mail (DOT) gmail.com...
> I knew I should have jumped on the SB without VFD that was just on ebay :/
> During the times that I'd run the SB on battery, it would be tucked
> away in a bag with no use for the display. I was going to ask if
> there is an option to completely turn off the display- does anyone
> know?
>
> A notebook is already part of my luggable rig, and I control it with
> bemused on my phone (which I understand also works with slimserver).
>
>
> On Fri, 4 Feb 2005 10:53:56 +1100, Enno Davids
<enno.davids (AT) metva (DOT) com.au> wrote:
> > On Thu, Feb 03, 2005 at 05:37:57PM -0600, momerath wrote:
> > |I would "try and see" except that I've bought neither the SB nor the
> > |battery pack. Battery power is an absolute necessity for me and I
> > |couldnt justify buying the SB if it wont work on the go.
> > |
> > |The power specs on the slimdevices site are:
> > |# 5.0V DC, regulated
> > |# Center positive, sleeve ground
> > |# Connector: 2.5mm ID, 5.5mm OD, 11mm long
> > |# Min supply rating: 1000mA
> > |
> > |Does this mean that a 3300mAh 5v battery will power it for 3.3 hours?
> > |Would it draw more than 1A continuously if it can? What I was really
> > |hoping for (and felix partially addresses this) is a real world
> > |success story or definitive word from the manufacturers before I drop
> > |the $300+ on SB and battery.
> > |
> > |If someone can just reassure me that a reasonably sized (not much
> > |bigger than the SB) battery pack can power the SB for 1.5+ hours I'll
> > |order it immediately.
> >
> > Its worth noting that the biggest power draw in slim or SB is the VFD
used
> > for the display. You may in fact find that turning down the brightness
> > does wonders for the current consumption. Maybe you can turn it right
down
> > and operate it from the web display on the PC thats serving the music to
it.
> >
> > (Its also worth noting that some VFDs have odd power consumption curves
> > and occasionally consume just as much or more power when they're dimmed.
> > Worth experimenting with brightness or measuring if you get to the point
> > of actually getting the h/w).
> >
> > I presume you've remembered you need a PC to drive this right? It'll
need
> > to be battery powered too of course (a laptop I'm guessing).
> >
> > E.
> >
> >

Michael Scott
2005-02-04, 10:27
Quoting momerath <michael.warnock (AT) gmail (DOT) com>:

> What does regulated mean in the "5.0V dc regulated" spec? The battery
> pack I'm looking at says nothing about regulation- would I need to add
> something to the circuit? find another battery pack?


I didn't see this specific question answered, but I've fallen behind a bit and
with >100 unread messages from this list I have been skimming. Forgive me if
I'm covering old ground.

Regulated means that the voltage must remain within +/- X% of 5V. Depending on
the internal circuitry used within the SB, this can be as small as a couple of
percent or as much as 10% (+/- 1/2V).

Depending on the composition of the battery pack, there will be a discharge
curve. Some types of batteries have a fairly constant voltage until nearly
exhausted, while others drop more gradually over the course of the cycle.

I believe it was stated that using a higher battery voltage and regulating it to
5V is the ideal method, but be careful here. Depending on the type of regulator
chosen, you may end up burning Amp-Hours of battery life as heat. This is how
linear regulators work. They are like big resistors that adjust their value to
convert the difference between input and output to heat.

The best approach would be to use a low-dropout switching regulator with a
battery near the target voltage. This way there's less loss in the regulator.
The SB will work until the battery voltage falls below the dropout voltage of
the regulator.

Sorry if this is a bit technical, but battery-powered devices are part art and
part science and it's difficult to just throw a bunch of stuff together and have
it work as desired. I know engineers who built their careers on just designing
stuff to work right in this regard.

----------------------
- Mike Scott
- mscott (AT) pyewacket (DOT) org

momerath
2005-02-17, 13:28
Just to update anyone who is interested in doing this (probably no
one). The battery pack I wound up buying is this:
http://cgi.ebay.com/ws/eBayISAPI.dll?ViewItem&rd=1&item=5750065270&ssPageName=STRK:MEWN:IT

It didnt come with a suitable tip and I had a hard time finding one at
radioshack. The one I did find that fit is pretty loose, so I'm going
to have to secure it in some fashion, but it works. The battery pack
came pretty close to fully charged (at least its four indicator leds
were on initially), and from that point I ran the SB for 6 hours
without a single problem. There were still 2/4 leds lit after 6
hours, but I wanted to charge the battery so I could use the rig
today, so I ended my battery-life-test prematurely, but quite pleased.

I havent done enough listening to be sure, but there seems to be a
subtle improvement in the SB's performance as a transport for my
(somewhat jitter sensitive) DAC when on battery power.