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Thread: USB external HD

  1. #1
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    USB external HD

    Just set up a half-filled 500 gb HDD with my Touch, it works great! A few glitches but the HDD is currently powered through the USB bus of the Touch. The HDD also has a 5V power inlet that once in use may make things run even smoother.

    However, I noticed that as long as the Touch is connected to AC power, the HDD is constantly spinning. The whole idea of connecting the HDD was to not have a computer running for music listening, so the (albeit soft) continuous sound of the HDD is annoying. Also I'm worried of the HDD failing because of constantly spinning.

    Is there a way of stopping the HDD from spinning when the Touch is sleeping or playing radio?

    If not, I'm thinking of getting a SSD. However, these are usually USB powered and require more juice than the 500mA the Touch can deliver. Would a USB Y cable, with 2 USB plugs on one end, solve this problem? I would then connect the data USB plug to the Touch and the other one to a 5V power supply. Or would the Touch suffer from having 5V put on its USB port that way?

    I'm having some trouble expressing myself clearly, hope you can make something of it

    Cheers

  2. #2
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    You need to stop worrying about the disk spinning constantly, I doubt there's any way to discourage the embedded LMS from polling it often enough to keep it awake, and secondly you absolutely must buy a powered hub.

    There's an Amazon basics one for around ú12 on prime.

    Transcoded from Matt's brain by Tapatalk
    Last edited by drmatt; 2018-01-31 at 03:27.
    --
    Hardware: 3x Touch, 1x Radio, 2x Receivers, 1 HP Microserver NAS with Debian+LMS 7.9.0
    Music: ~1300 CDs, as 450 GB of 16/44k FLACs. No less than 3x 24/44k albums..

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmatt View Post
    You need to stop worrying about the disk spinning constantly, I doubt there's any way to discourage the embedded LMS from polling it often enough to keep it awake, and secondly you absolutely must buy a powered hub.

    There's an Amazon basics one for around ú12 on prime.

    Transcoded from Matt's brain by Tapatalk
    Hmm Yes I was afraid of that. That will probably make me switch to a SSD at some point.

    Also, how exactly would a powered hub fit in? I connected the powered hub to the Touch and the HDD to the hub? It sounds like that's effectively what i proposed with the Y cable, so the Touch doesn't mind having 5V put on it's USB port?

    I know this is some very basic stuff, I just have no clue about basic USB workings

  4. #4
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    Correct, functionally similar but a powered hub doesn't connect the power lines on the touch usb out to an external PSU, unlike most y-cables which are designed to allow drawing from two usb supplies simultaneously.

    It's not so much that it *minds* it's just that that is the same voltage that's used to generate the analogue out on the touch so bridging it in parallel with a generic external power supply or phone charger or something strikes me as a bad idea.

    Tbh given how little resources the touch has, frankly I would buy a raspberry pi to run LMS on any day rather than use the touch anyway, but if that's what you're set on doing so be it.

    Transcoded from Matt's brain by Tapatalk
    Last edited by drmatt; 2018-01-31 at 03:53.
    --
    Hardware: 3x Touch, 1x Radio, 2x Receivers, 1 HP Microserver NAS with Debian+LMS 7.9.0
    Music: ~1300 CDs, as 450 GB of 16/44k FLACs. No less than 3x 24/44k albums..

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    Quote Originally Posted by drmatt View Post
    Correct, functionally similar but a powered hub doesn't connect the power lines on the touch usb out to an external PSU, unlike most y-cables which are designed to allow drawing from two usb supplies simultaneously.

    It's not so much that it *minds* it's just that that is the same voltage that's used to generate the analogue out on the touch so bridging it in parallel with a generic external power supply or phone charger or something strikes me as a bad idea.

    Tbh given how little resources the touch has, frankly I would buy a raspberry pi to run LMS on any day rather than use the touch anyway, but if that's what you're set on doing so be it.

    Transcoded from Matt's brain by Tapatalk
    Well, I'm not using the Touch's analog outputs. I have a HDD with a separate 5V input next to a mini USB, so no problem there. However, if there's no way to let the HDD sleep when not in use, I'll switch to a SSD. Those are typically USB powered, needing app 700mA (I think). So using a SSD with a Y cable to a phone charger or similar will probably work?

    I'm not really understanding how connecting the Touch to a powered hub doesn't connect the power lines on the touch usb to an external PSU, but I think it's also irrelevant when using an external DAC... as long a sit doesn't hurt the Touch.

  6. #6
    Senior Member kidstypike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koelboy View Post
    Well, I'm not using the Touch's analog outputs. I have a HDD with a separate 5V input next to a mini USB, so no problem there. However, if there's no way to let the HDD sleep when not in use, I'll switch to a SSD. Those are typically USB powered, needing app 700mA (I think). So using a SSD with a Y cable to a phone charger or similar will probably work?

    I'm not really understanding how connecting the Touch to a powered hub doesn't connect the power lines on the touch usb to an external PSU, but I think it's also irrelevant when using an external DAC... as long a sit doesn't hurt the Touch.
    I'd just like to repeat drmatt's advice, the Touch isn't really meant to be used as an LMS server, it was an afterthought by the designers, it seemed like a good idea at the time. However the Touch is too underpowered to run even a modest library, it's fine if you play an album and let it get on with it, but it crashes easily when given too many commands, then the Touch needs to rescan the library which takes forever. When that's happened a few times you'll get the picture.

    I was one of the first in the queue to get a touch when first launched, and was very disappointed trying to use it as a stand alone player/server which was the only reason I'd bought it. It now acts solely as a display showing what's playing on a raspberry pi which is in the cupboard below.
    Study/Server - LMS 7.9.2 - Pi3B+/pCP 3.5.0/pi screen/HiFiBerry DAC+/jivelite, 25K library and playlists on WDMyCloud, LMS cache on a USB stick (formatted ntfs).
    Lounge - Pi2/pCP 3.5.0 > HiFiBerry DIGI+ > AudioEngine DAC1 > AVI DM5
    Dining Room - Pi3B/pCP 3.5.0 > HiFiBerry AMP+/retro radio
    Garage - Pi3B/Pi screen/HiFiBerry DAC+/pCP 3.5.0 > Edifier R980T
    In car - RPi3B/pCP in AP mode > HiFiBerry DAC+ > car's audio (files on a 2TB USB drive)
    Spares - 1xTouch, 1xSB3, 1xRadio, 1xBoom

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by kidstypike View Post
    I'd just like to repeat drmatt's advice, the Touch isn't really meant to be used as an LMS server, it was an afterthought by the designers, it seemed like a good idea at the time. However the Touch is too underpowered to run even a modest library, it's fine if you play an album and let it get on with it, but it crashes easily when given too many commands, then the Touch needs to rescan the library which takes forever. When that's happened a few times you'll get the picture.

    I was one of the first in the queue to get a touch when first launched, and was very disappointed trying to use it as a stand alone player/server which was the only reason I'd bought it. It now acts solely as a display showing what's playing on a raspberry pi which is in the cupboard below.
    Hmmm yes I just unplugged it for a moment and now it"s busy scanning again.. I get the picture.

    If I'm willing to accept the fact that it will never be anything worth shouting about, would using a SSD drive instead of the current HDD perhaps help to increase stability, by adding some speed?

    I really like the simplicity of just the Touch + HD into my DAC. When it works, it works great.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koelboy View Post
    I'm not really understanding how connecting the Touch to a powered hub doesn't connect the power lines on the touch usb to an external PSU, but I think it's also irrelevant when using an external DAC... as long a sit doesn't hurt the Touch.
    Because it's designed not to, which is why I suggested it!

    It's still relevant. You mess with a devices power lines and it can interfere with WiFi or cause it to become unstable. Personally I'd consider it at best a nasty hack and even then i wouldn't consider a y cable unless I am taking two supplies from the *same* device. I would not consider bridging two separate power supplies with it. Particularly not on a several hundred pounds obsolete rare music player as one of them!

    Note that SSDs often spike to several times their rated power consumption during write operations or garbage collection. Consider yourself warned at what a bad idea I think this is..


    Transcoded from Matt's brain by Tapatalk
    --
    Hardware: 3x Touch, 1x Radio, 2x Receivers, 1 HP Microserver NAS with Debian+LMS 7.9.0
    Music: ~1300 CDs, as 450 GB of 16/44k FLACs. No less than 3x 24/44k albums..

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by drmatt View Post
    Because it's designed not to, which is why I suggested it!

    It's still relevant. You mess with a devices power lines and it can interfere with WiFi or cause it to become unstable. Personally I'd consider it at best a nasty hack and even then i wouldn't consider a y cable unless I am taking two supplies from the *same* device. I would not consider bridging two separate power supplies with it. Particularly not on a several hundred pounds obsolete rare music player as one of them!

    Note that SSDs often spike to several times their rated power consumption during write operations or garbage collection. Consider yourself warned at what a bad idea I think this is..


    Transcoded from Matt's brain by Tapatalk
    I would think that connecting a dedicated 5V power supply to the 5V input of my HDD is no different from connecting the same PS using a Y cable (isn't that the same 5V circuit?) That would mean that it's actually better to not use a HDD with a seperate PS?

    :S

  10. #10
    Senior Member kidstypike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Koelboy View Post
    Hmmm yes I just unplugged it for a moment and now it"s busy scanning again.. I get the picture.

    If I'm willing to accept the fact that it will never be anything worth shouting about, would using a SSD drive instead of the current HDD perhaps help to increase stability, by adding some speed?

    I really like the simplicity of just the Touch + HD into my DAC. When it works, it works great.
    I don't think the problem is the HDD's speed, it's the proccessing power of the the Touch that's the bottle-neck. SSD drives weren't commonplace when I bought my Touch so haven't tried one, I don't know if there'd be any advantage.

    Yes, It's great when it works, but it doesn't work great all that often.
    Study/Server - LMS 7.9.2 - Pi3B+/pCP 3.5.0/pi screen/HiFiBerry DAC+/jivelite, 25K library and playlists on WDMyCloud, LMS cache on a USB stick (formatted ntfs).
    Lounge - Pi2/pCP 3.5.0 > HiFiBerry DIGI+ > AudioEngine DAC1 > AVI DM5
    Dining Room - Pi3B/pCP 3.5.0 > HiFiBerry AMP+/retro radio
    Garage - Pi3B/Pi screen/HiFiBerry DAC+/pCP 3.5.0 > Edifier R980T
    In car - RPi3B/pCP in AP mode > HiFiBerry DAC+ > car's audio (files on a 2TB USB drive)
    Spares - 1xTouch, 1xSB3, 1xRadio, 1xBoom

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