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 :D
imma wait till more people do this first though :D
I have one of these, can you confirm just how you have it plugged into your pc ?
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.
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 :-)
Yep, that's all you need. No drivers needed.
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
Sweet! Nice work Magpie. Now I have to pull my XA-300 outta my dash. :( ;)
hey magpie...can you zoom into the picture a little more...i want to make sure i don't blow my new unit
I agree with the previous poster.
Any chance of some close up pictures as this is a mod I would like to do.