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Thread: Kenwood Excelon KDC-X890: reads 16GB flash drives

  1. #1
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    Arrow Kenwood Excelon KDC-X890: reads 16GB flash drives

    I'm getting very frustrated in my search for information.. I currently have a JVC-KDG820 with a USB port on the front face. It has all the features I'm looking for:
    1. Plays randomly within one folder or all folders (12 folder limit)
    2. Last song return, plays the same spot when I restart the car
    3. Displays the artist/title mp3 tag on screen, even scrolls for 15+ characters

    The only problem? It won't read a flash drive larger than 4GB. I knew this when I bought it, but I thought I could just pick up 2 flash drives and I'd be happy. Because I don't have an mp3 player (or need/want one), I'm searching for a new head unit with rear USB input (so I can run the cable to a dash pocket) that will read a 16GB flash drive.

    I'm looking at the Kenwood Excelon KDC-X890. I'm hoping it doesn't have a limit for the size of the flash drive, but even the owner's manual isn't very specific about this. It does state that it supports USB devices belonging to the USB mass storage class, which they define as this:

    "USB devices that the PC can recognize as external storage without using any special driver or application software."

    My Corsair Voyager 4GB flash drive is USB 2.0 plug and play. It's recognized by any PC I've tried it on with Windows XP, so I assume this fits their definition. Even though that gives me hope, I'd rather not rely on that small section of the manual. I'd hate to buy the Kenwood head unit, install it, and have it not read a 16GB flash drive. I'd not only have an open and technically used head unit, but I don't yet have a 16GB flash drive, I'd only buy one if I knew it would work with this head unit.

    I sent an email to Kenwood through their website, and I hope it finds it's way to someone that can answer my question, but you never know with those contact forms. If anyone has any help they can offer about this specific head unit, I'd greatly appreciate it. If you or someone you know has an 'in' at Kenwood and can ask them, I'd really appreciate that.

    Thanks!

  2. #2
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    Yes, it will read drives bigger than 4GB. There are people that use them with 40GB+ hard drives. Only real problem is it can take forever to read in all the files before it starts playing (30 seconds - several minutes).

    The only real limit that I know of with them is it can't handle more than 15,000 files. Search around a bit more on the net and you can find out how to configure a larger drive to use with it.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by sativen View Post
    Yes, it will read drives bigger than 4GB. There are people that use them with 40GB+ hard drives.
    I'm not using a hard drive, though. I'm trying to find out if this will read a 16GB flash drive, and I'm hoping there's someone that has actually tried it. Believe me, I've searched all over and I can't find the info. If you have any specific suggestions on where to look, please share.

    I just got off the phone with Kenwood's tech 'support', and it was pretty clear that I'm more familiar with the manual than he was. He basically told me he didn't know and maybe I should go with a different manufacturer. It's not like I was a die hard Kenwood guy to begin with, but actually telling me to buy another company's product? Ok..

  4. #4
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    1/23/08 updated: The JVC KD-BT1 works with external hard drives.

  5. #5
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    Well, we'll see soon!

    I have the Kenwood Exceleron model and have been using an Ipod Touch 32Gb with it and it has been working wonderfully, but I decided to sell the Touch to someone considering it was a $450 device and I was only using it as a hard drive.

    I have tried using a number of external Hard drives with the car receiver and non have worked properly. I found out that to make these external hard drives work you must do two things,
    1.) make sure it has proper power
    The car receiver only puts out 500mA of power where a standard 2.5" External Hard Drive (EHD) requires 1000.
    A 1.8" EHD can often work with just 500mA of power but these are more expensive.
    To fix this problem you can either get an EHD that has is compatible with an AC adapter, or most EHD's come with a USB cable that splits into power+data & just power. You can plug the just power end into an AC-to-USB adapter and you unit will get enough power.

    2.) the drive needs to either be small enough for your unit to read (over 60GB is too much, some won't even read 40) or Create a partition on the drive that is recognizable such as a Fat32 partition which would limit you to only be able to use 32GB. This makes getting a larger EHD pointless henceforth I came up with this idea.

    I just purchased a 32GB USB flash drive last night and it should arrive in a few days. I'll post back on here then to let you know weather it works or not...

    But does anyone know of any freeware or shareware that can make my folders on the flash drive appear as ipod playlists/artists/songs so that I can go through them with the ipod controls on my car receiver as if it was an ipod...?

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