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  #1  
Old 12-29-2008, 08:27 PM
ChrisV2 ChrisV2 is offline
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Unhappy Aux connection to phone jack - dead Zen?

OK, so I picked up (cheap) one of those FM transmitters for my car, just to see how it would work with my Zen. It connects to the headphone jack of the Zen and transmits audio to an unused spot on the car's FM radio. I know these things are usually a joke, but I figured I would try it.

My Zen had about 25% battery left, according to the green battery bar.

When I connected it (via headphone jack) to this FM device, the screen flashed white briefly and the Zen shut down. Now the Zen appears to be dead. Every time I start it, it goes to the (!) icon and says "low battery".

I can get to the recovery screen and I rebooted it a couple of times...didn't help. I plugged it into my usual USB port on the computer and let it charge for about an hour. No blue LED, and no charging indication on the Zen's LCD screen. The computer doesn't see the Zen device any longer, either. The Zen does not get warm at all, like it normally does when it is charging.

I guess I can leave it overnight to see if it somehow "catches" and charges.

I have a feeling my Zen is fried. What do you guys think?

-Chris
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  #2  
Old 12-30-2008, 11:26 AM
ChrisV2 ChrisV2 is offline
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Well, after leaving it attached to the computer overnight (8 hours) -- nothing. It was as dead as a doornail.

I next (barely) got back into recovery mode and did a 'format all'. That seemed to do the trick. When I plugged it back into the USB port on my computer it was recognized and it charged up fine.

Whew.

From now on I will never plug anything but headphones into the headphone jack.

-Chris
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  #3  
Old 12-30-2008, 07:29 PM
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BobbyRS BobbyRS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisV2 View Post
When I connected it (via headphone jack) to this FM device, the screen flashed white briefly and the Zen shut down. Now the Zen appears to be dead. Every time I start it, it goes to the (!) icon and says "low battery".
Did the FM Transmitter take batteries? Did it show low battery only when the FM Transmitter was connected to the Zen?

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Originally Posted by ChrisV2 View Post
The computer doesn't see the Zen device any longer, either. The Zen does not get warm at all, like it normally does when it is charging.
The computer won't recognize the Zen being connected unless powered on. No flashing blue light indicates the battery is not charging.

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Originally Posted by ChrisV2 View Post
I next (barely) got back into recovery mode and did a 'format all'. That seemed to do the trick. When I plugged it back into the USB port on my computer it was recognized and it charged up fine.

Whew.

From now on I will never plug anything but headphones into the headphone jack.
Wow, odd problem. Good to hear you got it back. Thanks for updating.

If I were to speculate..... The FM Transmitter sounds like its low quality and maybe contains bad wiring or a bad connector. When you plugged it into the Zen, it completely discharged a capacitor (white screen flash) resulting in too much current draw (that it didn't have being only 25% charged) from the battery to recharge or cause the battery to fail the POST or maybe even unable to activate (supply the proper voltage/current) the flash memory to load the filesystem. Maybe it did partially the first time, but failed and caused a file system corruption that required a Format to correct. Since the Recovery Mode is stored on the ROM (and not the Flash Memory) there was enough power to get into Recovery Mode.

I don't know..... maybe a reach.
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  #4  
Old 12-30-2008, 08:56 PM
ChrisV2 ChrisV2 is offline
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The FM transmitter plugged into the car's 12vdc outlet, and it had a 1/8" stereo cable that plugged into the Zen's headphone jack. The instant I plugged it into the Zen, it was like the Zen was 'zapped'. I got the "low power" predicament after removing the connection to the FM transmitter and trying to use the Zen as I always had...with headphones.

Your theory could be right. Maybe the FM transmitter's input jack was shorted. I still sort of "blame" the Zen however -- within reason the external interfaces to this device ought to be protected.

Oh...now my Zen is turning off abruptly when in the middle of video playback. It never did that before. I get the "rebuilding" screen next, and all my settings are lost.

On the plus side the clock is keeping time now, which it never did before.

Sigh. Remind me again why we need all these nifty electronic toys...

-Chris
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  #5  
Old 12-30-2008, 10:53 PM
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BobbyRS BobbyRS is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ChrisV2 View Post
The FM transmitter plugged into the car's 12vdc outlet, and it had a 1/8" stereo cable that plugged into the Zen's headphone jack. The instant I plugged it into the Zen, it was like the Zen was 'zapped'. I got the "low power" predicament after removing the connection to the FM transmitter and trying to use the Zen as I always had...with headphones.
Oh, one of those. Yeah, those 12v types that can be dangerous to portable devices. They can sometimes (many times with low-end types) lack to proper protection (back flow current protection) needed.

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Originally Posted by ChrisV2 View Post
Your theory could be right. Maybe the FM transmitter's input jack was shorted. I still sort of "blame" the Zen however -- within reason the external interfaces to this device ought to be protected.
Well, you didn't completely fry your Zen now did you? It could have been worse. After all, the Zen didn't plug in the transmitter.

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Originally Posted by ChrisV2 View Post
Oh...now my Zen is turning off abruptly when in the middle of video playback. It never did that before. I get the "rebuilding" screen next, and all my settings are lost.
I wonder if any of the internal flash memory was damaged....

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Originally Posted by ChrisV2 View Post
On the plus side the clock is keeping time now, which it never did before.
Wow, that is pretty strange.

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Originally Posted by ChrisV2 View Post
Sigh. Remind me again why we need all these nifty electronic toys...
You said it..... they're nifty.
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Last edited by BobbyRS; 12-31-2008 at 12:26 PM.
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