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Subject: Archos JBR 20GB / new rechargeable batteries questions

Archos JBR 20GB / new rechargeable batteries questions

From: Nick von Korff <>
Date: Tue, 30 May 2006 15:41:33 +1000

Hi all,

I know this is off-topic, i.e. not related to rockbox specifically, but I am
really struggling to resurrect my old Archos Jukebox Recorder and am not
sure where to go for help.

My main question is:

I've replaced my Archos JBR 20GB batteries with some new high capacity (2500
mAh) Energizer Ni-MH batteries. They work fine to power the unit (I charged
them in an external charger before putting the new batteries in), but the
batteries do not charge up in the JBR, so they just drain away until the
unit is unuseable. Are you able to charge high capacity batteries in the
player itself, or do you have to charge them externally, i.e. does the
player put out enough power to charge higher capacity batteries internally?
It would kind of defeat the purpose if this is the case, as it's a pain to
get the batteries in and out.

If you can't charge just any rechargeble batteries in the player, do I need
to get a specific type of battery? I noticed that the output
voltage/amperage on the external charger (5v, 1.6 Amps) is vastly different
to the voltage/amperage that the AC adaptor of the Archos puts out (9v, 0.6

Secondly, I've seen some posts saying that you can fry the charging chip
(part number MC34063AD, I believe). Perhaps this has gone on my player,
causing the unit not to charge the batteries. If anyone out there knows of a
simple test that I can do to prove whether this chip is blown or not, I'd be
keen to know. I wouldn't call myself an electronics expert by any stretch of
the imagination, but I can follow instructions, use a multimeter and
soldering iron if required, I'm just not sure what to look for in this

The reason I am trying to 'resurrect' my player, in case anyone is
wondering, is that I leant it to someone from work for use as a removable
USB hard drive some time ago, and 2 things happened to it on that fateful
day that most likely caused its death:

1. I didn't have the original charger with me and it really needed some
juice, so a generic power supply with the correct voltage/amperage and
interchangeable tips was purchased for use with the player. The positive and
negative tips were on the wrong way round at first. When it was plugged in,
nothing happened, so I immediately unplugged it. I could smell that fried
electronics smell coming from the player, but no visible smoke. I switched
the polarity of the tip and plugged it in, and it worked! I was pleasantly

2. It was dropped from a decent height (roughly 2 meters up) by one of the
idiot techs a short while later.

To cut a long story short, it was pretty much dead after that, making really
strange noises from the harddrive on startup and reporting some sort of
hex-dump to screen. I managed to get my work to replace the player for me,
seeing as it was killed while being used for work purposes, so I got an
iRiver H340 instead, which is great.

I've now replaced the hard drive of the JBR with another 20GB laptop hard
drive I had lying around and I've replaced the rechargeable batteries with
some high-capacity ones (2500 mAh NiMH Energizers). I charged the batteries
in an external charger and put them in. The player came to life with a full
charge. I felt that pride that doctor Frankenstein must have felt when his
monster came to life!!

I figured that was it, I'd got it working again. Wrong. I copied up all my
music onto it while running off batteries, as I wanted to see what the new
high-capacity batteries could do. They held up well, and I had around 40%
left by the time all my music had finished copying up.

BUT!! When I try to charge the batteries in the player, by plugging in the
original AC adaptor, it doesn't do anything. The battery level stays the
same as it was before I put it on charge, even though the screen on the unit
says its charging. I changed the Battery Capacity menu option in RockBox, as
I thought this may have something to do with it, but I have since learned
that this figure is only used to calculate remaining battery life etc.

If anyone has any input on this situation, that would be great. I really
don't want to bin that player, as it is such a good unit.

Thanks and regards,

Nick v K.
Received on 2006-05-30

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