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My Sony XA-300 Fix

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  • My Sony XA-300 Fix

    (ADVISORY: Any modifications you make to your equipment are done at your own risk. Please don't blame me if it all goes wrong!)

    OK, so after a while of the Sony XA-300 giving me a hard time by powering off the USB connection everytime I select a different input from my head unit, I decided I would not be beaten.

    The design of the XA-300 allows the USB chip in the unit to be powered only when it is selected as an input from the head unit. It's not a problem if you are not using the USB port but if you intend to have digital quality sound most of the way to the head unit then USB is the way.

    So why is powering off the chip a problem? Well, Winamp just does not like it and results in you needing to restart it to re-establish a link to the USB device. It would also give poor reliability when going to and from hibernation. (NOTE: going to and from standby is still an issue but personally I can get away with hibernation for now).

    THE FIX. From some simple modificaitons I have changed the power supply to the USB chip in the XA-300 to be from the computer rather than the head unit and XA-300. This means that the chip will always be on whenever the computer is on. As it is always there Winamp and other software never get's upset when you change input.

    So here is the XA-300.....


    Here is the top side of the circuit board. You need to cut the track which heads under and to the right of capacitor C102 as circled. This stops the Sony unit from supplying 5 volts to the USB chip.


    And here is the underside of the board. You need to solder a wire from the 5v supply from the USB connection from the PC to the centre pin of Q301 which is a transistor normally used for turning the USB chip on and off by the XA-300. There is a track leading to a dead end near the USB chip so it's an easy job to connect here.


    I'm sure you will have questions, so feel free to ask. It is also possible to change which of the inputs is used to feed out of the headphone socket. I was going to wire this at a later date so that I can listen to GPS route information from a small speaker while I have a differnt input selected from the head unit. Let me know if you require that info also.

    ADVISORY: Any modifications you make to your equipment are done at your own risk. These changes worked for me and so I share my findings. Please do not blame me if you break your XA-300, head unit or PC or invalidate your warranty by opening them up.

    Have fun

  • #2
    awesome find!!

    imma wait till more people do this first though

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    • #3
      I have one of these, can you confirm just how you have it plugged into your pc ?
      Follow me on Twitter

      http://www.FreeICE.co.uk

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      • #4
        CdRsKuLL, I have the XA-300 plugged into the PC via a USB cable from the USB port on the front. The PC recognises the XA-300 as a USB Sound device. I don't have any of the issues of interference or loop backs etc. etc. than when I simply connect the onboard soundcard to the AUX input of the XA-300.

        I hope this makes sense.

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        • #5
          so you dont need any drivers at all then, just plug it in and thats it ? will give this a go in abit.. if this is the case then thats one less wire I need.. and I can get rid of my loopback thing as well.. thanks for the info :-)

          CdR
          Follow me on Twitter

          http://www.FreeICE.co.uk

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          • #6
            Yep, that's all you need. No drivers needed.

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            • #7
              huzzah, yeah it works.. can see your problem now.. so I just modded my 300 like you said, cutting the track and sticking the wire in... jobs a good'un now PC Powered :-)

              nice find m8.. defo worth it

              like you said digital quality with no earth noise, I now have a free rca cable now :-) so that saves me running a mic cable.. I can use the left side for the mic, and for the right I can play with the video camera I have.. kewlies

              thanks

              CdR
              Follow me on Twitter

              http://www.FreeICE.co.uk

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              • #8
                Sweet! Nice work Magpie. Now I have to pull my XA-300 outta my dash.
                So far:
                M10000 Nehemiah, 1Gb RAM, Opus 90w PS, Buffalo Tech WLI2-USB2-G54, 160 Gb HDD, GlobalSat BU-353 GPS, iGuidance, Zippy EL-610, Panasonic CW8123B Slim Slot CDRW/DVD, 10" Lilliput, Sony XA-300, Sony CDX-MP30 Head, OBD-II

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                • #9
                  hey magpie...can you zoom into the picture a little more...i want to make sure i don't blow my new unit

                  thanks!

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                  • #10
                    I agree with the previous poster.

                    Any chance of some close up pictures as this is a mod I would like to do.

                    Stu

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                    • #11
                      Here you go. One circuit diagram to help you along. Sorry for the poor image but doing this in the middle of doing 10 other things!



                      I may get to improve the image and make it a smaller file size at a later date

                      For larger photos of the originals check out:

                      big1.jpg
                      big2.jpg

                      If any of you manage to get this working with standby then I would like to know. I'm running win2k which tends not to like returning from standby when connected to the XA-300. Other than that I'm pleased it's working!

                      And if you are interested I'm in the process of putting my web site together, still lacking pictures but will be updated soon www.farrage.net

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                      • #12
                        unsure if the xp sp2 rc1 update would help, I in two minds if to try it or not as it messes with the bluetooth driver stack

                        CdR
                        Follow me on Twitter

                        http://www.FreeICE.co.uk

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                        • #13
                          I had mentioned in my earlier post that I also had worked out how to change the input used to feed the headphone socket. This is a feature of the XA-300 to output whatever is fed into AUX in 1 to the headphone socket. This is so people could listen to an alternative source through headphones while you have something different selected from the head unit.

                          I plan on being able to listen to the radio from the headunit while at the same time being able to hear the spoken directions from the GPS software through a small speaker. So, to do this I need to be able to hear the sound from the USB input rather than Aux in 1 by default.

                          I must point out at this stage that I have not tested this although these changes are not major and it should be possible to reverse the solution should you need to. As as addition to what I will describe here you can fit a selection switch so that you can select between AUX in 1 and USB to feed to the headphone output should you need to.

                          Firstly you will need to make 2 track cuts to cut off the feed from Aux in 1 from feeding into the headphone amp chip. These 2 cuts are indicated with a red mark in the diagram below. Secondly you will need to solder 2 wires, one to the left of capacitor C704 and the other to the left of C707 as indicated with the blue lines on the diagram. Note that I have marked these wires as X and Y. The tracks from the other side of the capacitors go off to the headphone amp chip.



                          The next thing to do is solder the other ends of the wires X and Y to the locations shown in the diagram below. No track cuts are needed here. Please make sure you get X and Y the correct way round. Not a big deal if you don't as these are simply the left and right channels of sound.



                          And that should be it. If anyone does try this out then be sure to let me know the results. Also, to put your mind at rest a little, the buffer chips used to buffer the sound from both the AUX in 1 and USB inputs are identical (IC4 and IC6). All we are doing here is swapping over which of the buffer chips feeds the headphone amp.

                          Good luck

                          (Advisory: As before, any changes you make are at your own risk and are not my responsibility. I have not yet tried this modification)

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Let me just say this fix has greatly helped with my carputer! I'm now able to go into standby and have greatly clear audio. I am having one problem and I do not yet know if it was caused by this.

                            Is it possible for this to lock up the computer or freeze it? Also.. at the time I forgot to remove the tracing on the circuit board.. is this bad? It works fine.. but should I still remove it?
                            http://www.AJQuick.com/ - Fiberglassing Tutorials!
                            My Cardomain Page - 1998 Dodge Neon R/T

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by AJ Quick
                              Let me just say this fix has greatly helped with my carputer! I'm now able to go into standby and have greatly clear audio. I am having one problem and I do not yet know if it was caused by this.

                              Is it possible for this to lock up the computer or freeze it? Also.. at the time I forgot to remove the tracing on the circuit board.. is this bad? It works fine.. but should I still remove it?
                              What are you doing on this site? You must be copying me. I did join the site first.

















                              j/k

                              Chris
                              Car=Dodge Neon ACR.
                              PC=Cappuccino GX1 Mini-Book - 800MHz, 256MB ,5GB, CD, XP payed $230
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