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  #1  
Old 10-19-2006, 01:25 PM
polycarp polycarp is offline
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Default E200 connector pinout

Hi, folks!

Does anybody know e200 connector pinout? I am going to spend sometime with a multimeter and an oscilloscope to get an idea about the pins assignement, but if someone has done it already, it will save my time. (Yes, I did search the forum and the net, did not find anything).

I guess finding ground, +5V, USB Tx/Rx, and audio outputs is straighforward. But I want to figure out how the control buttons are wired and whether there is a simlple way to make a remote control for my car. I do not like messing with small buttons on the player while driving in heavy traffic and would like to make a indash remote to control the player.

Thanks in advance for any info.
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  #2  
Old 10-19-2006, 02:27 PM
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piren piren is offline
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i guess the simplest way is to buy the Dock (which also comes with a remote control) and either find a way to use in in your car, or figure out how it works.
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  #3  
Old 10-19-2006, 04:42 PM
enki3600 enki3600 is offline
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I plan on finding out this info too... by myself if nobody else can answer my previous question about the memory chips.

I've got an e270, not sure if it changes from model to model (it shouldn't!), but I can see that there are only SIX pins of the 30 on the unit side connector that are populated. A pair of pins on either end, and a pair in the middle.

My guess from "good" board layout practices and knowing that it charges from this connector is that 1 pair is for power and 1 pair is for ground. The last pair being most likely the differential pair for the data bus. I haven't bugged it out yet, but from what I can recall of the USB pinout, I'm going to guess that (as looking at the connector with the screen up) the left pair is ground, the right pair is +5V and the middle pair is the differential data pair.

The plans I've got for this when I finally acquire all the parts is to remove that damned proprietary connector and replace it with a standard mini-B receptacle. (Then it's just a matter of signal integrity over the differential pair... it'll be tough to find 30ga twisted shielded wire )
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Old 10-19-2006, 08:15 PM
polycarp polycarp is offline
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2enki3600

If you are talking about the unit side connector on the USB cable then it definitely uses just few pins. USB has 4 wires (5V, gnd, rx, tx), 2 pins can be used as a shield ground connectors. I am going to open up the player and look how many pins are connected on the PCB. There should be at least one audio output on the connector, otherwise it will require plugging an additional wire into the headphones jack when the player is docked. Audio signal can be recognized by a oscilloscope easily and I have a horde of them at work.

2piren
Buying a dock is a viable option, but there is no fun in it. I am DIY person, and find reverse engineering insteresting.
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  #5  
Old 10-20-2006, 06:14 AM
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piren piren is offline
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well, than have fun going at it :-)

Either way, without someone posting the control commands (and i doubt anyone did) even after you'll find the pins controlling the player, you'll have to figure out how to use those pins.

Which means either blasting it with all sorts of info till something happens, or figuring out the Firmware (people are already working on it, not much progress made) or the simplest way of all - Get the damn dock (then use a sniffer to intercept the commands).

So, getting a Dock seems rather reasonable :-)
(and also gets ya a nifty remote for your car :-) )
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  #6  
Old 10-20-2006, 06:23 PM
enki3600 enki3600 is offline
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piren: I believe he is just looking for a basic low-level RCA left/right audio out on the pins. My Rio Karma had that.

polycarp: yep, I realize the USB standard is only 4 defined pinouts. My comment meant that "yes, I presume 2 pins are power and 2 pins are ground". "Good" PCB layout practices (and wiring schemes of any kind, really) is that GND should be the largest trace/wire gauge, particularly in high current or high speed devices. It makes sure that the ground loop is the path of least resistance and minimizes ground bounce. And considering the size of the connector pins, I'm guessing that a single one may not be able to handle the current (up to 500mA, but realistically probably 100-200mA).

I would expect that if there were low level outputs on that connector (and there is plenty of space for it), that there would be an additional 4 pins populated. Left and Right positive and ground. Sure you could just tie those in to the regular ol' ground pins, but as with before, higher frequencies (and audio at 20KHz is really not at all "high") can become distorted if they don't have their own true reference.

I've not seen this "dock" available for these units, but from the evidence in front of me, I'd have to think that the dock acts like a "host PC" and just grabs, decodes, outputs the MP3 from there... making it basically a standalone MP3 decoder. That would just be stupid! (as far as design costs)
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  #7  
Old 10-20-2006, 07:46 PM
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piren piren is offline
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enki:
Quote:
But I want to figure out how the control buttons are wired and whether there is a simple way to make a remote control for my car.
Nope, he isnt looking for RCA pins

About the way the dock works and the pinlayout.. seems odd to me they would use a propitiatory connection rather than a mini usb, as it acts as one anyhow.
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  #8  
Old 10-20-2006, 11:34 PM
enki3600 enki3600 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piren
enki:

Nope, he isnt looking for RCA pins

About the way the dock works and the pinlayout.. seems odd to me they would use a propitiatory connection rather than a mini usb, as it acts as one anyhow.
ah, touché, it would have paid to re-read the original thread.

My thoughts exactly on the connector. It then forces someone like me who wants a cable permanently fixed to my desktop and one I can carry around in my laptop bag have to go buy a fricken 30$ proprietary cable, as opposed to using one of the dozens of mini-B cables I already have
So that is why it is my intention to modify that connector into a mini-B once I can confirm the pinout.
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  #9  
Old 10-21-2006, 12:06 AM
polycarp polycarp is offline
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OK folks!

Here are the preliminary data.
Disclaimer: I was doing my experiments in a hurry after long day of work, the pins are small, and I could make mistake writing the pinout data. I am not responsible if you fry your player by using this info. I will verify it later.

Almost all 30 pins on the connector are used. The 6 pins that you see looking straight into the connector are just longer than other 24 of them. Tilt a player a bit, use a flash light and you’ll see them.
I disassembled the player easily, though I lost one tiny screw. It holds well without it. I plugged USB cable, and tried to find the obvious connections by ohmmeter.

Pins; 3, 6, 13, 18, 23, 26, 29 – ground (or small resistance to the ground)
Pin 1: +5V
Pin 4: USB data+
Pin 5: USB data –

Many pins not listed above are connected to the PCB leads, thus more wires than in mini USB connector can be used for communications and control of the player. I have not listed them beacuse I could not identify them.

Then I plugged the player into USB port halfway, so I could get power without USB connection (remember, there is no battery connected at this time). I started a track and looked for the analog signal. I see it well on the headphone connector, but alas, no audio on 30 pin connector.

These are all findings for today. I have some thoughts about the signals on the connector. First, the audio signal could be enabled only when the player is docked. If you look at the photograph of the player PCB here http://daniel.haxx.se/sansa/e200/pics/board1.jpg , you can see an 8 pin chip in the bottom right corner of the photo marked S6B and made by Analog Devices. This is ADG721, a bidirectional dual analog switch. You can also see a printed wire running from pin 6 to the connector on the other side of the board. I have a good feeling this is what I am looking for. I will try to verify where this lid goes and how the switch is controlled. Second, here http://daniel.haxx.se/sansa/e200/pics/board2.jpg you can see LC244A chip in the right bottom corner of the board. This is TI 8 channel digital buffer chip. I found that least one of its outputs is connected to the to the outside connector. I did not have time to look further. This chip is capable of translation of 5 V signals into 3.3V signals used by the player. I would use it for making external control connections like buttons on a wired remote. I will dig into this but it is quite tricky, since the pins are small and it is difficult to check the resistance between pins on different sides of the PCB. But I doubt that control signals and sound in docking station are transmitted digitally via USB. Companies want to make huge profits on accessories on very competitive market. Having a chip in the dock doing digital decoding and control will cost more because of the development costs and licensing fees for mp3 technology (it’s not free), and manufacturing costs and will reduce their earnings.

The bottom line. I will keep digging and post my findings.
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  #10  
Old 10-21-2006, 10:13 PM
enki3600 enki3600 is offline
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Well, after today I've done similar and went probing around.
I found the exact same pinouts as you did, polycar, but I also found pin 2 on the sansa connector to be connected to the +5V line. I could be in error, as I didn't double or triple check everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by polycarp
But I doubt that control signals and sound in docking station are transmitted digitally via USB. Companies want to make huge profits on accessories on very competitive market. Having a chip in the dock doing digital decoding and control will cost more because of the development costs and licensing fees for mp3 technology (it’s not free), and manufacturing costs and will reduce their earnings.
I thought that as well, which is why I was rather baffled (and deceived) by the connector. Much like the way USB connectors are, the sansa connector pins 1,2,15,16,29,30 are extended out further on the connector is all. Boy, don't I feel like a jackanape.

It won't be so easy as I thought to just make it a mini-B connector. I did see that Best Lie now carries a charger solution for the sansa e200 series. You get a USB cable, wall socket and car lighter socket for only 40 bucks! ... can you say rip off?
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  #11  
Old 10-22-2006, 05:50 PM
polycarp polycarp is offline
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2enki3600

I'll check out pin 2 next time. I also, checked pinout for the ipod, to see how it's wired. I found it on some russian web-site here (in English) http://pinouts.ru/Devices/ipod_pinout.shtml, unfortunately it is down now (was fine yesterday), so all my speculations are based on what I have memorized from this page.

(1) pinouts of ipod and sansa ARE TOTALLY DIFFERENT. do not use ipod's cables for sansa and vise versa.
(2) analog audio signals are present on ipod's connector as I expected, not clear if this output requires activation
(3) player control is done through a serial interface, many people belive this is a proprietory apple thing, but I think it is a regular I2C bus, common for home electronics. For IR remote, a IR receiever could be connected directly to the player, since PP50XX chips used in sansa and ipod have native support of of I2C and IR remote.
(4) One pin on ipods connector is used for recognition of external device. Ipod's behavior depends on the resistance between this pin and the ground.

So, it would be helpful, if some could get a photo of Sandisk dock guts. Also, I think that I saw a connector very similar to the Sansa's one in one of our instruments repair kit. If it really fits Sansa, I'll call the vendor and ask where they get them.
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  #12  
Old 10-22-2006, 05:54 PM
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Seems like your thoughts on the AD chip are correct, as it is very logical to only enable it when docked as to conserve power.

http://www.analog.com/en/prod/0,,768_833_ADG721,00.html

schematics and instructions (not that you couldnt find them yourself, just trying to help out:-) ).

If you decide on trying to make it switch, you should consider stripping your own player and monitoring voltages and amps on it, to not damage the device.. There are resistors on it's trace, and from that picture you cant really figure out what they are. It's possible that Sandisk decided to be nice and did all the voltage regulations on the sansa (to make add-ons simpler and cheaper to design and manufacture) or it could be they didnt :-P meaning making a home made dock is gonna be a bitch

BTW, judging from what i can see on the pics, it seems that most connectors are not connected to anything. Anyone got a clue on how many layers the PCB is? Unless it's a simple 2 layer job (and i doubt it is), exactly how do you guys plan on tracing everything? (Anyone got a home made X-ray machine? )
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  #13  
Old 10-23-2006, 03:42 PM
polycarp polycarp is offline
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I guess, e200 has 4 layer PCB. Tracing multilayer board is a pain in the neck, but I've done it before. The main problem is that PP5024 pins are not accessible and there is no documentation for it available. That's why any info on existing docks, especially with remote controls will be extremely useful. Even a simple external speaker dock design will tell me a lot. BTW, the dock announced by sandisk is not available yet, they take preoders (however I was not able to start preorder process on their web-site). And it is expensive - $70.00 almost like e250 itself.

PP5024 has a bunch of voltage regulators on board as well as battery charging and monitoring circuit.
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  #14  
Old 10-23-2006, 05:40 PM
enki3600 enki3600 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by polycarp
I guess, e200 has 4 layer PCB.
I have to concur with that guess. It's relatively easy (read: inexpensive) to make a 4 layer board, so long as 2 of those layers are power and ground planes. I don't have my player with me at the moment, but I remember it being fairly "not dense" in nature.
I would, however, be willing to bet that the daughter board with the memory chips could be higher density. That could potentially be the reason it is on a daughter board... smaller piece of glass at higher density = cheaper for large quantity production.

Unfortunately, the apple connectors don't even fit in the sansa... they have slightly different profiles... VERY slightly.
There is also a Creative player out there that has at least the same connector profile as the sansa. It's pinout is different, however. There were demos set up at the store here, and the creative connector did not power up the sansa (didn't check vice versa). It did not damage the sansa (noticeably ), so that's ok.
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  #15  
Old 10-24-2006, 10:46 AM
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piren piren is offline
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dude.. why are you trying to connect other device's connectors to the sansa? there's no reason what so ever for them to be compatible, even if they fit in.
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  #16  
Old 10-24-2006, 01:18 PM
polycarp polycarp is offline
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I am not trying to use ipod's cable on sansa. I just saw that someone here said that they are almost compatible and would like to discourage them from frying their player.

I looked at ipod connector pinout, because the architectures of these two players are similar and engineeris seldom think originally but simply use established design patterns. Ipod's pinout gave me an idea about functionality of the player connector.
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  #17  
Old 10-25-2006, 08:52 AM
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I am starting to think that the Sansa connector doesn't have true line-out capabilities. If you read the Cnet Review of the Altec Lansing Dock Link, you will see that even though the e200 connects via the bottom connector, it is not a true line-out and only an extension of the headphone jack. At least thats what it appears to be as of now. If it had an actual line-out, I think Altec Lansing would have taken advantage of it........
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  #18  
Old 10-27-2006, 05:54 PM
enki3600 enki3600 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piren
dude.. why are you trying to connect other device's connectors to the sansa? there's no reason what so ever for them to be compatible, even if they fit in.
because I wanted a second data cable, and was unwilling to pay the 30$ + s/h fees for the (at that time) only other vendor to sell me one.

So I went looking for another player that had the same connector profile knowing I could splice them up to work and would pay only a few bucks for a cable. I used the store demos to test out the connection, which are mostly broken anyway. There was one Creative player that had the same connector, but given the size of the cables, there was no way that 30 wires were populated in there, so I gave up that effort.
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  #19  
Old 10-29-2006, 06:43 PM
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ohh... now you make sense :-)
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  #20  
Old 05-04-2007, 08:25 PM
jac0b jac0b is offline
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I am also wanting to figure this out so I bought a Griffin Itrip for the Sansa just to try and figure it out. I took some very close up shots of the connector and I think I have found the Right & Left channel pins on the connector. If you look you can see on the board it has a "R" & "L" which I think mean Right & Left.

Check It Out
Top of connector
Bottom of connector
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