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Thread: Is it safe to buy a M4-ATX yet?

  1. #11
    FLAC WuNgUn's Avatar
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    I have plenty of posts about the TWO M4's and the M2 I had my hands on...none of them positive.
    1 stick of 1GB RAM, a single core AMD 3200+ and 1 HDD was all it was powering. 1 board had a lowend ATI AGP card...the other board, onboard video. Not even any fans!!(water cooled) Everything else was powered from a seperate PSU or a 12V regulated distribution block.
    Long story short, I'd get nothing but static from my 2 Xonar PCI cards (on 2 seperate motherboards no less) and the display was full of 'noise'...
    RMA'd the first one (Express ship which wasn't cheap!), they sat on it for a month and then sent me a replacement that did the exact same thing...
    Not to mention Mp3Car didn't want ANYTHING to do with it after purchase...
    Not to mention the many, MANY emails sent back and forth with MiniBox trying to solve the problem...

    As soon as I bought the OPUS, ALL those problems went away...

    "The M4 would not be mass produced and sold if it were not ready for production use."
    Hahaha...that's ****ed up if you believe that. Just look at all the issues/RMA's and firmware updates. The basic design is weak..simple as that.

    Any chance I get to offer my opinion on an M4, this is what I tell them..."don't even bother". Of course, your free to tell them whatever you want as well, so...

  2. #12
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    Mine died, just up and died, no burnt fuses or nothing, I still have not
    sent it back, Guess I am lazy, I am thinking of not using in a car,
    if I get it fixed, maybe more of a UPS or power for a back-up computer
    during power failure, witch happens out here a lot, but I wont depend
    on it for anything.

    It did mess up on me a few times, and did strange things like turning on in
    the middle of the night, and not wanting to turn on when it should have,
    but 98% of the time it worked fine.

    I believe from what I have seen, is that its good hardware, but
    buggy firmware.

    Oh well

  3. #13
    High Voltage blk02si's Avatar
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    For what it's worth I am running the newest firmware on my M4, which was shipped that way from mp3car.com. I waited a year before purchasing mine so thay could work the bugs out.

    I also only use the M4 as a power supply / regulator, I DO NOT use the startup & shutdown controller, nor do I use the amp turn on. I do use the usb monitor feature.
    Again I conclude most problems come from improper wiring or general instability on the on/off controller and amp turn on circuits, which, when running an embedded OS , are a joke anyway. My M4 on/off and amp controller circuits are still virgin, and they always will be. I gave up on those types of circuits long ago, pretty much since the main stream production of solid state storage and embedded operating systems. Perhaps my M4 success can be attributed to my usage.

    Oh yes, for those that don't bother studying the M4 PCB before installing here is some helpful info:

    These corners are primary input positive circuit conductors. In other words, don't use conductive metal standoff's for install, or you can short the IC against ground resulting in sudden death.

    Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

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  4. #14
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blk02si View Post
    For what it's worth I am running the newest firmware on my M4, which was shipped that way from mp3car.com. I waited a year before purchasing mine so thay could work the bugs out.

    I also only use the M4 as a power supply / regulator, I DO NOT use the startup & shutdown controller, nor do I use the amp turn on. I do use the usb monitor feature.
    Again I conclude most problems come from improper wiring or general instability on the on/off controller and amp turn on circuits, which, when running an embedded OS , are a joke anyway. My M4 on/off and amp controller circuits are still virgin, and they always will be. I gave up on those types of circuits long ago, pretty much since the main stream production of solid state storage and embedded operating systems. Perhaps my M4 success can be attributed to my usage.

    Oh yes, for those that don't bother studying the M4 PCB before installing here is some helpful info:

    These corners are primary input positive circuit conductors. In other words, don't use conductive metal standoff's for install, or you can short the IC against ground resulting in sudden death.

    Notice something different on mine, I think mine was a newer version.

    If you notice there is a cable hooked up to the reset jumper, I had a reset
    switch for the power supply, after 3 or 4 times of it turning on at odd
    times or not turning on when it should I put it in, but even in dumb mode
    it did the same thing
    Attached Images Attached Images  

  5. #15
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    I took some quick photos of my M4-ATX
    Attached Images Attached Images   

  6. #16
    High Voltage blk02si's Avatar
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    ^ My M4 PCB looks completely different than that one, also has blue rocker switches. I'm guessing mine is a newer revision? Well at least now we know that we are comparing 2 different models.

    Also looks like the main output capacitors are different size and/or brand.
    Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

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  7. #17
    Admin. Linux loser.
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    Quote Originally Posted by blk02si View Post
    For what it's worth I am running the newest firmware on my M4, which was shipped that way from mp3car.com. I waited a year before purchasing mine so thay could work the bugs out.

    I also only use the M4 as a power supply / regulator, I DO NOT use the startup & shutdown controller, nor do I use the amp turn on. I do use the usb monitor feature.
    Again I conclude most problems come from improper wiring or general instability on the on/off controller and amp turn on circuits, which, when running an embedded OS , are a joke anyway. My M4 on/off and amp controller circuits are still virgin, and they always will be. I gave up on those types of circuits long ago, pretty much since the main stream production of solid state storage and embedded operating systems. Perhaps my M4 success can be attributed to my usage.

    Oh yes, for those that don't bother studying the M4 PCB before installing here is some helpful info:

    These corners are primary input positive circuit conductors. In other words, don't use conductive metal standoff's for install, or you can short the IC against ground resulting in sudden death.

    Interesting. When Mini-box sent me the test unit, they included a metal box to put the M4 inside that used the four corner holes and metal standoffs to mount it.
    Quote Originally Posted by ghettocruzer View Post
    I was gung ho on building a PC [until] just recently. However, between my new phone having internet and GPS and all...and this kit...Im starting to have trouble justfiying it haha.
    Want to:
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  8. #18
    High Voltage blk02si's Avatar
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    Looks like the first gen had a different PCB, if you take a close look at will1384's pictures you can see the mount points are a bit different, and have circles printed on the front. It seems this style would be ok to use metal standoffs. However, on the second gen (which I seem to have) the PCB is a bit different, and those mount pads have positive current flowing through them. They also have an extra layer of clear insulating material on them, which helps but I still used nylon standoffs to be sure. I traced the circuit back, and sure enough they are hooked right to the positive primary input. Here's another picture of a build I put together for a client who also used the M4, again this one must be the "second gen" as it is the same as mine and you can even see the clear insulator on the lower left in this pic. The M4 was also pushing quite a bit of hardware, including a Intel BLKDG45FC, Dual Core 3.0 Ghz Pentium, 4gb ram, 80 gig intel SSD, and lilliput touchscreen. The M4 performed to my expectations with this setup. In this build I did not use the on/off controller or amp turn on either.
    Attached Images Attached Images   
    Build Things, it keeps your brain busy.

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  9. #19
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by blk02si View Post
    ^ My M4 PCB looks completely different than that one, also has blue rocker switches. I'm guessing mine is a newer revision? Well at least now we know that we are comparing 2 different models.

    Also looks like the main output capacitors are different size and/or brand.
    I ordered mine Feb 03, 2009

  10. #20
    Variable Bitrate will1384's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by will1384 View Post
    I ordered mine Feb 03, 2009
    Here is a post that shows the older style, front and back

    M4-atx (6-30v) 250 Watt

    Dated 04-03-2008

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