Jump to content
Sony Insider Forums

USB Powered MD

Rate this topic

Recommended Posts

I have a Lith Ion batt pack , from Filco /Diatec 4.4 amp hours 3.7 volts , with a USB out , it charges from 5 Volts DC , I just tried to charge it from my Macbook Pro, right USB and Left did the same thing , a Pop Up warning window comes up , and says " The device connected is drawing too much power and the USB port will be deactivated"

That should answer everyone here , Ivan is giving fair warning and is obviously correct , I just wanted to test it out . Certain devices can indeed charge from USB as long as the power requirement is within base values , but on a computer with an OS that doesnt give a warning like OSX will , you stand to do damage if you arent completely sure of the needs of what you have connected.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...

Nice thread revival.

I take the point if you have a faulty or out of spec device or faulty or out of spec USB port/motherboard, it could damage the USB port and the motherboard its on. This would be especially a concern from a home made device. However I've never had a problem with USB charging in many years of doing it with my laptop. One of my current laptops which a couple of years old regularly has up to 4 USB drives 180~320GB running from USB power plus a MP3 player, and a phone charging from it all at the same time. I've not had any problems. I've worked in IT for years and never seen a problem either with boards being damaged from it either.

Maybe theres a problem with the device you are using, and/or maybe theres a problem with that laptop. Theres certainly enough threads on the INTERNET about people with problems with their MacBookPro USB ports.

For example...http://discussions.apple.com/thread.jspa?threadID=1032615&tstart=0

However this thread is about charging a HiMD form a home made charger which is a little different no?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

well my reply was about the argument over the USB port on the comp.

As for a Homeade charger

Since your in IT , I think you will have no problem with this one.

4xAA Battery container ( Full enclosure with a Lid type)

a USB circuit mount and associated small circuit board

1 x 8 ohm resistor , 1x 200 kohm resistor , 1 Diode

from Batteries Positive terminal , Diode ->pin 1 of the USB out

Pin 3 & 4 get bridged with the 200 kohm resistor

Pin 4 to the Negative terminal of the battery thru the 8 ohm resistor

6 volts - .7 drop from diode = 5.3 volts

5.3 volts / 8 ohms= 663 ma's

standard USB is 5 volts - 500 ma's

This works for the RH1 , the 200 kohm to pin 3 send a trace current to the Charge sensor of the RH1 and turns it on . This Batt pack will also work for all other MP3 or USB powered devices .

if your needing a little faster charge change the 8 ohms resistor to 6 ohms ( 800 ma's ) 5 ohms gives 1 amp .

Rechargeable batteries 4 x 1.2 volts = 4.8 no need for the diode , just the current limiter

4.8 / 6 = exactly 800 ma's

Edited by Guitarfxr
Link to comment
Share on other sites

My lack of a RH1 prevents me from trying this. But sounds great.

Why does it prevent you from trying it ?

if you have anything that charges from USB then you have reason to do it .

" The Sun isnt out ,.....So I will not work today " .......... Is it raining I ask ?

"It is Winter so I will not walk " ,.......... Do you not have warm clothes ? take some of mine .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 4 weeks later...

I'm thinking of getting an MZ-RH1. Could someone definitively confirm all or any of the following:

1. All functions including recording from mic-in can operate while charging from USB.

2. All functions can operate while powered by USB alone, with the internal battery totally dead (though Guitarfxr basically confirmed this elsewhere; thanks!)

3. All functions can operate while powered by USB, with the internal battery physically removed.

4. If recording can be done by USB power, that the signal-to-noise ratio is unaffected.

Merci! :)

These home-made USB-power devices are fun, but if you're not too handy with a soldering iron you might be interested in the following products, which are the best battery-to-USB power supplies I've seen so far. Sanyo is one of the most experienced battery manufacturers in the market, and their famous "eneloop" AA cells are among the best NiMH cells available. The company can probably be trusted to do things right.

Sanyo call these products "Mobile Boosters". Read about them here, Japanese site here. Of particular interest is that Sanyo specifically mention the Sony MZ-RH1 in their list of compatible products. Three versions are available, all of which supply up to 500 mA at 5 V:

The Sanyo KBC-E1S:


66 x 60 x 25 mm, 55 g (empty), about 100 g (with cells). This model is perhaps the most interesting, as it runs on 2 AA cells so is "future-proof" to some extent (which is my main concern about the lithium-ion battery in the MZ-RH1). Because it's branded eneloop it will certainly work with the lower voltage from NiMH cells, whereas companies like Energizer, etc., may have a vested interest in making their USB-power products work poorly (or not at all) with rechargeable cells. It's also a USB charger, charging the two 2000 mAh AA cells via your computer's USB port in less than 4 hours.

The Sanyo KBC-L3S:


70 x 39 x 22 mm. 70 g. This one uses a 2500 mAh lithium-ion battery (3.7 V) to provide about double the energy of the KBC-E1S in a more compact package. Charges from a USB port in about 7 hours.

The Sanyo KBC-L2S:


62 x 70 x 22 mm, 130 g. A beefier version that uses two lithium-ion batteries, storing double the energy of the KBC-L3S or quadruple the energy of the KBC-1ES (5000 mAh at 3.7 V). Has two USB sockets for charging two devices simultaneously if required. Charges fully from a USB port in 14 hours (!), or via an included AC adaptor in 7 hours.

I don't know the conversion efficiency of these, but it's probably decent enough.

Hope someone finds this useful. I'm looking for one for myself, so I thought I'd share what I found, especially as the MZ-RH1 is specifically listed as compatible in this PDF file.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The RH1 is on Page 7 of that PDF .

All the ones listed as incompatible , some have a DC input instead of USB , so use a USB to DC cable and the compatibility is then solved.

The bottom one , Wow , 5 Amps , that is a lot of juice , in a small package . I will have to look or that one . and 2 USB ports ,cool , I have a 6 Volt Solar Panel that would go well with that one .

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 5 months later...
  • 1 year later...

My take on this is:


I can power my MZ-R500 and MZ-N510 from a USB to pin adapter both coincidentally and ironically taken from a Powered USB hub.

My research dictates that my players pull around 3.7 volts around 500mA during boot/playback/record, just enough to run them, but not enough to charge a battery. My PC (and most ones built after may 2006)include the Battery Charging Specification, this means my computer will happily provide 500mA to my devices weither its on, or in sleep/off mode. (which also explains why I only need 1 USB for my 2.5" external HDD)

I can also use two the same cable on this iPod Wall charger which provides 2 USB Ports at 1A Per plug to charge (N510) and run (R500) both of my walkmans at the same time.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 9 months later...
  • 2 months later...

@walkdude: I have a MZ-R500, MZ-N505 and MZ-N710. I want to power it from an external charging battery of 5V. Using the cable like you shown in the picture, I power the MD with 5V but the MD has only 3V input rating. I tried to power it for a few minutes but I have the feeling that is getting hot. I just want to know if 3V powered MD's work safely with 5V power supplies.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 3 years later...


provided the USB can supply the required current

That is the problem, it can't. Best case scenario you will cause an instability and your system will reboot itself. Worst case scenario you will phisically damage the motherboard or yourself.

What do you mean?

The specs of my original Sony adapters say 3V 500mA, that's 1.5W

A USB port can supply 5V 500mA which is 2.5W

Unless other MD devices are using way more power than the ones I own, USB can supply more than enough power.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • Create New...