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Everything posted by philpem

  1. philpem

    MZ-RH1 firmware

    Version 1.060 on mine too - with the same code on the right side. According to the service manual, it's normal. On the left display you get "Ver 1.xxx", on the right display you get "BEr******". There's nothing in there about what BEr-whatever actually means. Maybe it's a software release number or something. My first thought was "block error count", but that's hidden in the Diag display (service manual page 14 - Self Diagnosis Result Display Mode). Total recording time on mine (according to the diagnostic mode) is 00ED (237 - if that's hours, that's probably about right). It did report a few 0003 (focus error, no change), 0005 (fault of disc discriminate) and 0012 (could not read data with SYNC) errors. I guess some of my discs are a little iffy - my MZ-N710 showed basically the same thing when I read out the error counter when I did the 'unlock functions' hack. My RH1 is still under warranty (until the end of August '07), so I'm not going to touch any settings - not for 0.5mW. The KSC-75s I'm using don't really need the extra power.
  2. Not really. The EU version includes an optical line cable (Toslink to optical minijack) which IIRC you don't get with the US version, and the Japanese version probably includes a remote that can display kanji and katakana/hiragana script, but that's about it - accessories. You might notice differences in the amplifier's output power between territories (EU is 4.something mW, JP and US are 5), but it's not a huge issue. Oh, in Japan you might be able to get a silver RH-1. Elsewhere (or at least in the EU) you can just get the black ones. I don't consider that a problem - IMHO the black one looks nicer
  3. Let's see... MDs: 27x. 25x 80-minute Sony 'Colour' discs. Bought a pack of five with my MZ-N710, then bought three packs of five from HMV when they were selling them off. 4x still shrink wrapped. Also 2x purple Sharp MD-R80 that a friend gave me. HiMDs: 4x, all Sony HMD1GA. Blue with clear case. Two shrink-wrapped new, two used. What I'm using: 1x HiMD for my 'music for the ride to work/university' collection (Hi-SP format). 123 tracks, 8h21m31s with 10m 1x HiMD for recording university lectures (Hi-LP format). 3x MDs for my recordings from the 'Kevin Bloody Wilson' DILLIGAF concert at St. George's Hall (Bradford) back in November '04. Wrecked due to the singing of the guy next to me throwing the AGC off, but I kept the recording anyway.. A bunch of MDs with music on them - one album per MD.. These days, if/when I do stealth recording, I take two HiMDs and a couple of MDs and record in Linear PCM - much better for archiving. What I really need is to make up a new stereo stealth microphone (or buy one), and finish building the Active Microphone...
  4. It's probably worth pointing out that most of the UK Sony Centres keep them in stock - Leeds are still pushing the RH1 (there's one in the display cabinet, so I assume they've got a couple in stock). 1GB HiMDs are currently £12 for a pack of two, so £1 more expensive than Discount Discs, but still not a bad price for ones-and-twos...
  5. Subject says it all really.. Has anyone found a decent case that fits the MZ-RH1? Just been down to the Huddersfield Sony Centre - "we don't sell Minidisc kit, there's no demand"... I figure Argos might be worth trying, though they seem to enjoy changing the products they sell without updating the catalogues (not to mention the quality of a lot of their stock is pretty poor at best) Anyone got any suggestions?
  6. Here's the quick-fix I found: Plug the USB cable into your PC Plug the other end of the USB cable into the RH1 Wait for the RH1 to display "Low battery", then wait for the display to go blank Remove the RH1 end of the USB cable, wait a second then plug it back in again You should get the "whooshing circles" startup screen, then the battery-charge indicator. You can probably do the same thing with the RH1 charger brick as well - replace "PC" with "charger" in the above paragraph The Sony MZ-RH1. 'Tis a quirky little thing...
  7. They're earbuds, basically. $250 intra-aurals (they go right into the ear canal, as opposed to sitting outside e.g. like the Sennheiser MX-series or the Sony 'standard' earbuds); see http://www.ultimateears.com/superfi/item__...__prod-979.html He must be rich - no way I'd spend that much on a pair of earbuds... Are they made from solid gold or something?
  8. If you're using Win2k or XP, Windows should just pick up the card and set it up automatically. I've never installed a USB PCI card in an XP or 2K PC and had problems with drivers. The hardware interface between the CPU and USB is standard - it's called UHCI, OHCI or EHCI (depending on whose hardware you're using). All the PCI->USB chipsets I know of follow one of those standards, and Win2k and XP have drivers for all three built in. It's as close to plug-and-play as you're ever going to get... The RH1 stops charging when the battery is full. Leaving it on the USB will make it take power from the PC instead of the battery pack.
  9. If this is one of the models with the 'virtual surround' or sound profiles, push the SOUND button on the remote until the far-right display is off (it'll be showing SND then a letter/number if it's enabled). IME virtual surround is pointless at best.
  10. Plug the iPod into the hub and give the MD the port the iPod was plugged into? You can get USB PCI cards fairly cheaply - in the USA probably about $20 if not less.
  11. Hm. I was told the UK warranty on the RH1 is one year parts and labour...
  12. I've just formatted it. I'll transfer the CDs back to the disc tomorrow and see what happens. Thanks.
  13. philpem

    New RH1

    What if the MD is in Line Out mode (e.g. when it's hooked up to a home/car hi-fi)? Then you can't use the remote, and thus can't (easily) find out what's playing without a track list. That said, 9/10 times, my RH1 sits in my pocket with the remote on my belt clip. In that instance, I'd rather have the RH1's display turned completely off and use the LCD on the remote. It does get pushed in a bit easily though. The display cover could do with being a few mm wider on the left, just to match up with the guard on the other side of the button. But if you did that, you'd get people complaining that it was too hard to push in.. It's a balancing act, and I think Sony have got it pretty much right. If you're really fussed for an external battery, build one. Mini-USB plug, 5V regulator, 2xAA NiMHs. Job done. I'm thinking of building one myself, once I get a Round Tuit... I think I've said this before, but the RH1 is the first MD that I've had that didn't need an insane amount of EQ tweaking to sound "right" with my Sennheisers. The whole "it just works" aspect is really nice... Sure it has a few minor issues, but that's all they are - minor issues. And it's harder to see in a dark concert hall. All the better for stealth recording. Not that I'd do that, of course....
  14. Hi, I've just started an MD (Sony HiMD 1GB) playing on my RH1, then did a Group Skip to go from Gp1 to Gp3. After I did that, the RH1 started making the usual seek noises, but never started playing the track. About a minute later, it gave up and displayed "READ ERROR" on the OLED. None of the remote/panel switches did anything. Ejecting and reinserting the disc got it out of that state, and now it seems quite happy to play the disc. Doing a "half eject" (push the button in far enough to trip the sensor but not far enough to release the disc tray) seems to work as well. What bugs me is, it's done this a few times, and seems quite prone to doing it after the MD's been sitting idle for a day or so. The fact that it can read the disc after reinserting it suggests that the disc is fine, and I can't see any dust/dirt on the lens (based on the highly scientific method of "shine an LED torch into the disc bay"), so I'm stumped... Anyone got any ideas? Thanks.
  15. Well first I'd try using another disc. Maybe your disc is a bit dirty or worn out, and it's making the MD recorder fail. Does the NH700 have a Format Disc option? You could try using that to reformat the disc, just in case you've damaged the system file.
  16. That's a bit much... Actually, it's a lot much, considering you'd have to buy discs as well. IMHO the RH1 is well worth £229, but not £249. Let me guess, £15 for a pack of two HiMDs? That's interesting. My receipt (from Leeds Sony Centre) says: SON-MZRH1B Hi MD Walkman £229.00 (£194.89 EX VAT) But like you said, it comes with a pair of HiMDs, so what's 99p in the grand scheme of things LSC's retail on the 1GB HiMDs is £10 for a pack of two, just in case anyone was wondering. I think that's pretty much the same everywhere though; there are a few places selling the discs on eBay for a quid, but P&P on those was about six quid (!) - the old "cheap item, expensive P&P" scam in action.
  17. Actually, I don't mind the eject button that much. Electronic lock on playback would be nice though (maybe as a switchable option). Or even make the hold switch lock the disc tray - that makes some sense (you're not going to be able to hit play after switching disc if the controls are locked out, so why not lock the tray as well?) I agree with you there - a quick "Artist - Track" format display (or even group names instead of group numbers) would be really nice. Where would you put it though? The RH1's control panel is pretty cramped as it is. FWIW, my N710 didn't have a next group button on the machine, and I can't say I ever needed it. There's another little quirk I've noticed - if the battery is too far discharged, when you plug the MD into the mains charger it'll blink "LOW BATTERY" instead of charging. If you unplug and replug the cable you get "RECONNECT USB", then if you do it again you get the usual "Charging: 60min left" display. Methinks Sony need to come up with a "Version 1.1" firmware and fix some of these little bugs. The problem is they'd also have to issue corrections to the manual if they changed the display modes, and I don't think they'd want to reprint their entire stock of MZ-RH1 manuals. The only other thing I miss is the "M-Timer" feature I had on my (feature-hacked) N710. In other words, it waits a given number of minutes, then stops playing and beeps at you. I used that to avoid missing stops on the train (never a good thing, especially when the next stop after Huddersfield is Manchester, and when the conductors take real pleasure in issuing you with a fine for 'over-travelling'). I don't want to turn this into a "let's all bash the RH1" type thread though.. the RH1 is a nice machine, it just has a few little flaws.. rough edges if you will. I don't consider any of them to be real show-stoppers - track info on the internal display is a damn stupid thing to remove (especially in place of a pair of cute-but-not-really-that-useful frequency spectrum displays) though... Battery life is pretty good though - I've had about 24 hours of playback out of a single charge, and charging from flat to a usable level (80% according to the instruction booklet) only takes an hour, which is nice. What's slightly less nice is that the other 20% takes two hours (during which time the MD doesn't even announce that it's charging - hmm)...
  18. A few folks here have been asking for a template to cut a PDA screen protector to fit the MZ-RH1 screen. I've cut up two screen protectors and I've finally got the dimensions right. I've attached the template in both PDF and SVG format. Either print it onto the back of your screen protector, or print it on normal paper, cut it out and use it as a template. Make sure you print it at 1:1 scale (select "Page Scaling: None" in Acrobat, or just print it with default settings in Inkscape) or it'll get mangled when you print it out. Measured from the inside of the right curve to the outside of the left, it should be 64mm wide, and 12mm or so high. Cut your screen protector out, wipe the screen clean, then apply it as per the instructions. Little hint - apply it from the left hand side (i.e. the bit of the screen that has the "HiMD Audio" badge) or you'll have trouble getting it around the record button. The SVG file is in the ZIP file - you can edit it with Inkscape (www.inkscape.org). RH1_LCD_layout.zip RH1_LCD_layout.pdf
  19. Tried that - didn't work. I used one of the LCD cleaning wipes in the end - they didn't damage the display, and it got the glue residue off (cursed cheaply-made screen protectors). I did try it on a tiny part of the edge of the plastic first, though - no damage. EDIT: screen protector template moved to a new thread.
  20. I think I've just about figured out what size and shape a screen protector needs to be to adequately protect the RH1's display screen. I've got a paper template that fits nicely, and an Inkscape drawing derived from that template. Now I have a slightly different problem - the RH1's display cover is.. um.. covered in fingerprints. Needless to say, this makes it a bit difficult to stick a screen protector on the screen, because the glue (which is pretty weak to begin with) just sticks to the fingerprints. Water and a Microfibre cloth doesn't seem to remove them very well - it just leaves a greasy smear on the display. Ordinarily I'd use some of the 50% isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) I keep around for cleaning laptop LCDs, or one of my LCD cleaning wipes, but the instructions for the RH1 say that alcohol might damage the finish on the RH1... Has anyone found something that will remove grease from the RH1 without damaging the plastic? Like I said, the LCD cleaning cloths look promising excepting the fact that they're saturated with alcohol (mixed 1:1 with water from what I can tell)... Thanks.
  21. I've noticed one issue with some of the older InfoLithium packs - they REALLY don't like being discharged to 0% then left for more than a few days - it reduces their storage capacity quite a bit. If you're going to store a lithium ion pack, discharge it to about 50% (almost anywhere between 40-60% is fine) then remove it from the laptop, MD player, or whatever it's powering. That way, the only thing that'll be draining the battery will be the battery protection circuit (which is built into the battery).
  22. Well, that explains a lot.. I've been charging it off the PC (no sense having another brick-on-a-string plugged in if I can get the PC to do the same thing), so all I've been seeing is the charge indicator and the "PC--MD" message. Right, I'll leave Quick mode on then. My RH1 just went a little silly on me - it was playing track 19, I skipped to track 20, and it started seeking back and forth. Not only that, but its response to the switches slowed to a crawl. I ejected and reinserted the disc (a brand-new Sony 1GB HiMD) and now it's working fine - go figure...
  23. I've left them on the USB cable, but I haven't bothered putting them on the remote cable. If the Eurocrats want me to use them, they can file a formal grievance with me, which will likely be redirected to the very innovatively-styled Ikea circular metal filing cabinet in the corner of the room. The one with the "RECYCLE" sticker on the side. As far as I can tell, they'll just increase the chance of the remote cable getting ripped out or damaged. MC38ELs aren't cheap, so I don't intend to break any of them. I emailed the Connect helpdesk about it - turns out my Connect account is tied to one PC. I consider that a little too restrictive (I might want to download stuff onto my laptop too), so I think I'll stick to CDs. At least then I don't have to jump through hoops when dealing with Sony's DRM system. Now that just leaves one more problem with the RH1 - when you've uploaded a lot of music to it, it's absolutely glacially slow to start up. Mine's spending a good 15-20 seconds (I assume) scanning the contents of of the disc before it even starts playing. With "Quick Mode" turned on, that's reduced to less than a second, but I wonder how much battery life that's going to use up. I doubt it's much if the CPU and DSP are powered down, but it'd still be nice to know. The only weird thing I've noticed is that it's been on charge twice, and it's never displayed the "Charging - N:nn:nn" time display, just the battery gauge creeping up from zero then flipping back again...
  24. There's absolutely nothing wrong with owning an iPod. I know a lot of friends who have them, and they're nice enough machines. I bet there are a few other forum regulars here with iPods, but they don't get much of a mention here because, well, this is minidisc.org... Everyone has different tastes and preferences - one person might prefer a hard drive player because they've got lots of music, someone else might want a Minidisc because he/she is in a band and wants to record their shows, etc. It's all a matter of personal preference...
  25. My MZ-N710 cost me £99 (or something like that, can't remember the exact figure) as a refurb back in July 2004, and it still works flawlessly. Based on the fact that my N710 has survived two and a half years and has loads of life left in it, I'd hope to get at least five years out of the RH1. That said, I hear the BBC have a lot of the older MZ-1 recorders still in service and they're, what, 15 years old now? I suppose most of it's down to how you treat it. Keep it well protected and it'll last a good while. My N710 spent most of its life in its belt-clip pouch (when it wasn't being charged). As a result of that, cosmetically it's near perfect (there's a small scratch on the front casing, but you can only see it if the light is 'just so'). Main reason I started buying MD kit was because I know how fragile hard drives are, and how expensive they are to replace (especially in iPods). Plus I wanted to record stuff - lectures, concerts, and so forth. Last I checked, you couldn't record on an iPod, and when the hard drive's full, you're stuffed (unless you buy a new 'pod with a bigger HD). I hope it does come down in price a bit. Maybe then I'll be able to persuade a few friends to make the jump from iPod to MD (probably when their iPod HDs die and they realise just how expensive iPod hard drives are) There are Hi-MD decks now?! When did this happen? I'm not fussed for HiMD separates decks - most of the time, the only part of my separates system that's turned on is the power amp (which is wired to the PC). If they do make more Minidisc portables, the RH1 is going to be really hard to beat. Plus you have the problem that nearly everyone who's interested in MD will have an RH1 on their desk (or in their pocket).
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