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Q1: Are my batteries charged all the time when connected to my Player/Recorder?
A1: Player: the charging is all done by hardware and the exact
    functionality is hard to determine. It is however not recommended to keep
    the charger connected for more than 10-15 hours if you're not using the
    unit.

    Recorder: no. The charging algorithm is carefully crafted in to not wear
    out the batteries any more than necessary. If you're using your unit
    connected to the charger most of the time, use the 'deep discharge' option
    to save your batteries somewhat.

Q2: Will keeping my charger connected a long time damage my batteries? Can I
    leave it over night?
A2: The charger logic lets the batteries charge until they are full. After
    that, the charger is disabled, but the device will stay powered on and
    continue to consume some power from the batteries (the hardware does
    not allow running from the charger without charging batteries, or
    powering off with the charger connected). After some time, it will
    start charging the batteries again to keep them full. This will
    wear the batteries a little, but overnight charging is what most
    people do.
    
    As the Battery FAQ at http://www.greenbatteries.com/ puts it:
    "A NiMH battery can be charged and discharged hundreds of times,
    but whether that means 200 times or 800 times has a lot to do
    with how (you use it)".

Q3: Does Rockbox charge the batteries more/less/worse/better than the Archos
    firmware?
A3: Player: Rockbox doesn't affect the charging on Players, it is all done
    by hardware logic out of software control.

    Recorder: The current release of 1.2 is much worse than the Archos
    charger, it tends to stop charging much too early and leave the batteries
    half empty.

    The current development code (CVS daily builds as of 20.8.2002) is much
    better than the 1.2 release, but still not perfect. Linus recently
    measured 6 hours continuous playtime after a rockbox charge, and much
    over 7 hours after an Archos charge. We are working on fine-tuning
    the charger logic to get the most out of the batteries, but the
    emphasis is on not overcharging them, since that would damage the
    batteries. Better be safe than sorry.

Q4: What kind of batteries are there in my factory default Player/Recorder?
A4: Both ship with 1500 mAh NiMH (Nickel Metal Hydride) batteries.

Q5: Is it hard to change the batteries? Does it void my warranty?
A5: It is not very hard - the Archos manual and the FAQ on their web site
    describe how to do it. Their technical support confirmed that
    replacing the batteries with NiMH cells (of different capacities)
    will not void the warranty. Just don't remove the screws.
    
    Some units have been shipped with two sets of batteries, my Recorder 20
    only had one set. Someone actually had Archos send him new batteries
    free of charge after they had weared out, under the warranty.

Q6: How much do replacement batteries cost? Where can I buy them?
A6: http://www.greenbatteries.com sells 1800 mAh NiMH cells at $3.25USD each,
    and I bought 4 of the same GP batteries for 20 euros in an home
    electronics & household appliance store in Finland.  NiMH batteries are
    sold in almost all shops that sell consumer electronics, and in many
    online shops. Browse around. There's a pretty good comparison between
    different battery makes and models at the digital imaging resource site:
    http://www.imaging-resource.com/ACCS/BATTS/BATTS.HTM

Q7: What kind of run-time can I expect on a set of fully-charged batteries
    when running Rockbox?
A7: For the stock 1500 mAh cells, from 6 hours to 8 hours, depending on
    which charger was used (see Q3). It depends a lot on the condition of
    the batteries. We are looking into implementing more battery-saving
    techniques in rockbox to make it rock longer.

Q8: Can I use different batteries in my Archos? How much playtime would
    I gain by using 1800 mAh batteries instead of the 1500 mAh ones?
A8: Only use NiMH-type rechargeable batteries. It is considered to be safe
    to use NiMH batteries of different capacities though, a lot of people
    have purchaced 1700 or 1800 mAh batteries to replace the stock 1500 mAh
    cells and have the device run a bit longer. 2000 mAh batteries are
    just appearing in shops are equally good to use.
    
    In theory, running time = capacity of batteries / current drawn by device,
    so running time should increase linearly by the capacity, and 2000 mAh
    over 1500 mAh should give 33% longer running time. In practice, the
    mAh ratings are more or less tuned up by the marketing department
    (think of watts on the back of "hi-fi" speakers and amplifiers) and
    what you actually get out of the cells is something else than what is
    printed on them. Check the excellent imaging-resource link above for
    details!

Q9: Can I use non-chargeable batteries in my Archos?
A9: This is not recommended. The unit has been designed to operate with
    four 1.2V batteries producing about 4.8V at most, and using 1.5V
    alkaline/zinc carbon batteries will produce around 6.0V, which will
    heat up the unit a lot more and might even damage it. The Archos
    manual explicitly tells you not to do so.
    Also, if you connect the charger, it may even destroy both the batteries
    and the unit.

Q10: Can I use a different charger?
A10: The short answer is: Using a different charger will void your warranty
     and can be dangerous to your unit, so we can not recommend it.
     
     On the other hand, people have successfully used different chargers
     with similar specifications as the stock charger. The charger must
     have the same kind of connector with same polarity (center positive/+).
     The charger should supply at least 7-8 volts, and if it provides
     more than 10V, it probably should be regulated to 10V (do not
     directly plug it in your 12V car battery or it's charger!).
     The universal travel charger sold by Archos is specified at
     12V, 1.2A so that's probably the maximum rating you should use.
     A good circuit for powering from a car battery or other source
     with a higher voltage would be a 600 mA fuse and a 10V regulator like
     a 7810 of your favourite manufacturer in series.
     
     Inside the Jukebox there is a regulator which limits the charging
     current applied to the batteries. The higher the input voltage, the hotter
     this IC gets. Don't use an input voltage above 12V.
     Using lower charging voltage < 10V will slow down the charging. But the
     rockbox charging algorithm should work then, too.

     These are the output voltages of an original archos power supply:
     - connected to AJB Recorder, not charging: 13,7 Volt
     - connected to AJB Recorder, charging: going down to 10,4 Volt

     Here is how changing the input voltage changes the charging current:

     voltage   charging current (limited only by the AJB)
     ------------------------------------------------------
     7,0V          10 mA
     7,5V          30 mA
     8,0V          50 mA
     8,5V          70 mA
     9,0V         140 mA
     9,5V         250 mA
     10,0V        330 mA
     10,5V        350 mA
     11,0V        350 mA
     11,5V        350 mA
     12,0V        350 mA
     
     To summarize:

     - do not use an input voltage > 12V
     - optimal input voltage is 10V (regulated)
     - use a fuse of ~600mA
     - using a different charger voids your warrenty
     
     Many people are happy using an external quick charger which
     is specified to work with NiMH batteries. This is completely safe
     and will not void your warranty.

Q11: Can I buy a replacement charger exactly as the one Archos shipped?
A11: The FAQ on the Archos web site and the top of the charger both read:

      Output: 9VDC 600mA
      Center positive (+) polarity
     
     The universal travel charger sold separately on the Archos web site
     is specified for 12VDC, 1200mA output.
     
     Chargers with similar (or user-adjustable) properties are available
     at shops selling consumer electronics.

Q12: I often need to stop my player for about 15 minutes or so, and when I do
     it runs off it's batteries.  I was wondering, which is best: shutting the
     player down completely and rebooting it when I want to listen again, or 
     leaving the unit on?  Which way does it draw more power?
A12: In our testing we found the following results:
         HDD off, LED off, idle 94 mA
         HDD off, LED off, play 97 mA
         HDD off, LED on, idle 129 mA
         HDD off, LED on, play 131 mA
         HDD on, LED on, play 230 mA
         HD on, reading, LED off ~ 600 mA
         HD spin up before read max 800 mA
    
     So leaving the unit on and paused consumes ~100mA, and thus much less
     than needing to reboot the unit.  Your mileage may vary.

Q13: When I plug in the charger when the Recorder is turned off, it turns
     itself on and starts charging in the Archos software? What's up?
A13: There is a switch in the DC IN jack of the Jukebox - when a charger (or
     whatever) is plugged in, the unit is powered on, even if the charger
     is not plugged in a mains outlet.
     
     If the charger is providing power at this point, the Archos firmware
     located on the FLASH ROM does not load a new firmware version (like
     Rockbox) from the disk, but goes into charging mode instead. You can
     use this feature to get to the Archos charger if you want to.

Q14: When I plug the charger in my Recorder, it doesn't immediately start
     charging the batteries!
A14: When Rockbox is running on the Recorder (the device has been booted
     without the charger) it's power management code runs once per minute
     (thus the charge level and charging status is only updated every minute).
     If the battery is not full, it will start charging. If the 'deep
     discharge' mode is enabled in the settings menu, it will start charging
     only when the battery is almost empty.

Q15: What about the memory effect? Should I be worried about it or not?
A15: That depends on who you ask. ;-) NiMH sellers say NiMHs are better and
     do not have a memory effect, but the usual opinion seems to be that
     they do, although it is very small.
     
     However, if you use your AJB connected to the charger all the time,
     we recommend you to use the deep discharge option.