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-   -   Cowon iAudio X5L CF Mod (http://www.anythingbutipod.com/forum/showthread.php?t=43102)

dfkt 05-13-2009 02:15 PM

Cowon iAudio X5L CF Mod
[Posted to the front page]

I ordered an IDE to CF adapter after I read the Rockbox CF Mod Wiki page.

Installation was pretty straightforward, I only had to cut/saw the plastic bit off one side of the adapter's IDE connector to fit. I also had to shorten the master/slave jumper so it doesn't poke the PCB and battery, use a slimmer jumper bridge, and electrical tape on the backside (see red dots in the photos).

Speed with a 300x Lexar CF is blazing, bootup is almost instantly. Too bad there's no affordable 300x 32GB card available, so I have to see which 16 or 32Gb card is fast enough to be useful in the X5. I'm leaning towards a Kingston Elite Pro 133x (should be faster than 133x in reality), or a Hama HighSpeed Pro (should have similar speeds as the twice as expensive SanDisk Extreme III).

On another note, the X5 is now also quite a bit lighter than with the 1.8" HDD inside.







trikon000 05-14-2009 03:24 AM

If I remember right there is also a double CF to 1.8 IDE PIN adaptors, so you can double up and have 2 32GB CFs. You would have to delete the partions on the CFs first.

RiDATA 16GB / 300x /

Transcend 16GB / 300x

A-DATA 16GB / 350x

Samsung only realease data on new 32GB flash memory rated fast enough for the 300x speeds only reacently, we will probably will not see any in use until Dec or early next year.

dfkt 05-14-2009 07:18 AM

Trikon000, thanks for the card infos. Too bad the 16GB Transcend is extremely expensive here in Europe, and the fast Ridata and A-Data aren't even available. But I'll keep looking...

Seems the double CF adapters are a bit too big to fit into the X5L housing, due to the second battery. They might work fine with a "fattie" X5 60GB though.

no9 05-14-2009 10:47 AM

Looks good dfkt:) I'm interested in knowing how much faster it boots up and what the difference in battery life is after the mod. IIRC it was 8-10 hrs. I'm sure we can get around the "expensive in EU" problem;)

trikon000 05-14-2009 11:43 AM

The ones I had, one of them I had to grind it down to the desired width and resolder the LED for better placement since it was to long sticking up.

I didn't realize the X5 was that thin with little clearence to put the CF adaptor in.

The DarkSide 05-14-2009 11:45 AM

Sweetness dfkt, as I expected. And, as no9 stated, well try to find a "workaround" for the expensive cf card issue. I really want to hear those detailed specs me'self BTW.

dfkt 05-14-2009 12:33 PM

Thanks for your support guys, I appreciate it. :) Yeah, it's kinda hard finding a really decent 32GB CF card for a good price, especially here across the pond.

Current candidates are:
Kingston Elite Pro 133x 32GB
Hama HighSpeed Pro 32GB 200X
Transcend 133x 32GB
Silicon Power 200x 32GB
SanDisk Extreme III 32GB 30MB/s (best of the bunch, but way too expensive)

The speed ratings don't really mean anything at all, unfortunately - independent speed test show quite a different picture. For example the 8GB 120x Transcend has faster write speeds than the 32GB 133x... grrr.

dfkt 05-14-2009 01:02 PM

This looks very promising, and affordable: http://www.newegg.com/Product/Produc...ta%2032gb%20cf

no9 05-14-2009 03:11 PM

I've bought Ridata DVD-Rs and they were good quality and better priced than most others. That doesn't mean their cards are any good but says that at least they are a legit company. I would buy from them again.

Rapide_23 05-15-2009 08:51 AM

I have that Ridata card in my H320, and the speed is quiet good.

dfkt 05-15-2009 12:01 PM

Good to know, Rapide - think I'll get that one. Write speeds are sub-par on the Ridata, but you can't get anything better for the price anyway.

trikon000 05-15-2009 12:52 PM

as far as speed goes you can get away with a 166x speed CF for mp3 player HDD replacements. As long as you do not expect to be playing videos you should be fine.

Rapide_23 05-16-2009 08:19 AM


Originally Posted by dfkt (Post 356222)
Good to know, Rapide - think I'll get that one. Write speeds are sub-par on the Ridata, but you can't get anything better for the price anyway.

Nah, the 233X writes reasonably quickly.

fabarati 05-16-2009 08:30 AM

How would the Kingston Elit pro 133x do? it's the only 32 GB that I can afford.

dfkt 05-16-2009 09:34 AM

The Kingston 133x might be quite decent for the price, it should performs better than the speed rating suggests. Read speeds might be slower than the Ridata, but write speeds should be more or less the same, according to a few tests I've seen.

Jack4L 05-18-2009 07:41 PM

btw, have you managed to get dualbooting to work on the CF card?

dfkt 05-18-2009 08:11 PM

I've switched to Rockbox-only some time ago, I never tried it. But (despite the lack of interest in the topic, only a few replies), it seems as nobody booted the OF from CF yet:

IronFly 05-21-2009 04:52 PM

nice one dfkt, i just ordered the same CF adapter and initially i will put sandisk III 8gb.

afaik the OF has some instruction on the spin ON, spin OFF and headers functions (HDD instructions), so if it has no response from the CF it simply stuck.


maybe there's something hidden in the original HDD that X5 need to boot from it with the OF, like a MBR.

trikon000 05-26-2009 03:58 PM

As long as you have mode 4 or 6 support (that means it has a MBR, the boot sector) you will be able to use the CF. It gets harder when it says Emulated mode 6, it might have or might not have a MBR internally for use. The faster the CF, the more likely it has the mode 4 and 6 as part of the specs.

dhp1161 05-26-2009 09:10 PM

can someone tell me what exactly this mod does
i have an X5 but its so old and the battery life so terrible, its been untouched for years

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