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Renkforce FM Transmitter Model FM-16

Car (cigarette socket) plug mounted USB + SD card player + Audio input, to Radio FM transmitter.

http://www.berklix.com/~jhs/txt/renkforce-fm-16.html

By Julian H. Stacey (Other Texts)

Vendor: Conrad, Product
Purchased: 9.95 Euro inc MWST tax @ Fri 8 April 2011.
@ 2014-02-24 They are still 9.95. They have recently moved to top = 1st floor at the back on the right, inside corner, opposite Car Accessories such as cigarette lighter power sockets & fuses & battery connectors.
  • Features
    • Renkforce PDF says : "Slot for SD/MMC memory cards (max. 2G Byte; SDHC is not possible)"
      Those restrictions are not true ! smiley icon
      • Wikipedia on SDHC
      • 2014-02-14: I have played mp3's I wrote to 2 x 4 GB HC cards, Class=6 ( according to Wikipedia 6 MB/s), (Card-board label says "Up to 16 .. 100X ... MB/s") Manufacturer Transcend, These SD HC Cards also works in odys.de MP3-Player MP-X30 .
      • I bought 2nd card 4G SDHC Transcend to test (from Conrad Im Tal, @ 4.89 EU, slightly cheaper on their web, & more info: Picture, spec. & Price 4.59 EU to document their MBR & FAT.
      • My 2nd identical Renkforce FM-16 also works with 4G HC (one I bought a couple of years before the other, so both tested in case one might have older software & not have worked, but both work.)
      • I did this to prove both the chip is not a de-rated fake (as such do exist according to on wikipedia) & also more likely, to show the full 4G inc. top half is also usable:
        ( cd /av/audio ; tar cf - dir_a ) | tar xf -
        testblock 
        -n -w -b 64k -l 3700000000 bigfile.tmp
        # creates a big file, as would also:
        # dd of=bigfile.tmp if=/dev/zero bs=64k count=`echo 3700000000 65536 / p|dc` # 56457
        ( cd /av/audio ; tar cf - dir_b ) | tar xf -
        df /media/sdcard
        # Filesystem        Size    Used   Avail Capacity  Mounted on
        # /devusb/sdcard    4.0G    3.8G    180M    96%    /media/sdcard
        
      • Freebsd reports:
        1st card, an approx. 2 year old 4 GB HC card, works OK
        dmesg
        da2: <Generic- Multi-Card 1.00> Removable Direct Access SCSI-0 device
        da2: 40.000MB/s transfers da2: 3849MB (7882752 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 490C)
        da2: quirks=0x2<NO_6_BYTE>
                          
        
        fdisk da2
        cylinders=490 heads=255 sectors/track=63 (16065 blks/cyl) 
        Media sector size is 512 
        Warning: BIOS sector numbering starts with sector 1
        Information from DOS bootblock is: 
        The data for partition 1 is: 
        sysid 11 (0x0b),(DOS or Windows 95 with 32 bit FAT)
            start 8192, size 7874560 (3845 Meg), flag 0
                beg: cyl 1/ head 2/ sector 3;
                end: cyl 977/ head 67/ sector 3 
        
        2nd card, bought 2014, works OK
        dmesg
        da0: <Generic- Multi-Card 1.00> Removable Direct Access SCSI-0 device
        da0: Serial Number 20071114173400000
        da0: 40.000MB/s transfers
        da0: 3813MB (7809024 512 byte sectors: 255H 63S/T 486C)
        da0: quirks=0x2<NO_6_BYTE>
                          
        
        fdisk da0
        ******* Working on device /dev/da0 ******* 
        cylinders=486 heads=255 sectors/track=63 (16065 blks/cyl)
        Media sector size is 512
        Warning: BIOS sector numbering starts with sector 1
        Information from DOS bootblock is:
        The data for partition 1 is:
        sysid 11 (0x0b),(DOS or Windows 95 with 32 bit FAT)
            start 8192, size 7800832 (3809 Meg), flag 0
                beg: cyl 1/ head 2/ sector 3;
                end: cyl 968/ head 48/ sector 48 
        
    • Renkforce PDF says : "A USB socket for USB sticks (no sticks with hard disks usable!)"
    • 2.5mm stereo jack socket + cable with 2.5mm & 3.5mm plugs.
    • Back lit LCD
  • The frequency stepping of the transmitter seems to work.
  • Input by cable (from an external mp3 player): Worked fine,
    Next to office radio it sounded OK, after switching radio from Stereo to Mono to kill hiss from computers). Further away a lot more hiss (well it has to be a low power transmitter to be allowed to transmit.
    The radio signal gets better if through either human body, 1 hand on player, one near radio, or if a piece of steel, eg an old car aerial lies between the two, In my car the socket is very close to radio, & continuous earth between power socket & radio via chassis I assume.
  • Input from SD Card
    • Manual says it wont recognise some SD/MMC cards or USB sticks, so I tested:
    • 256 M Sandisk Card: Success
    • 8 Meg Panasonic SD card:
      • Failed initially with FAT12, with a single mp3 in top, then in a sub directory, it did not recognise card.
      • fdisk /dev/da0 showed: sysid 1 (0x01),(Primary DOS with 12 bit FAT) (Which is either how they came from factory or how one of my cameras formatted them.)
      • sysctl kern.geom.debugflags=16
      • fdisk -i /dev/da0 # sysid 6
      • newfs_msdos -F 16 /dev/da0s1
        newfs_msdos: 1526 clusters too few clusters for FAT16, need 4096
      • newfs_msdos -F 16 -c 2 /dev/da0s1
        /dev/da0s1: 12174 sectors in 6087 FAT16 clusters (1024 bytes/cluster)
        BytesPerSec=512 SecPerClust=2 ResSectors=1 FATs=2 RootDirEnts=512 Sectors=12256 Media=0xf0 FATsecs=24 SecPerTrack=32 Heads=64 HiddenSecs=0
      • Then it played OK.
    • 16M Canon SDC-16M card
      • Failed initially with FAT12, both with 1 mp3 in top & 1 mp3 in a sub dir.
      • sysctl kern.geom.debugflags=16
      • fdisk -i /dev/da0 # sysid 6
      • newfs_msdos -F 16 /dev/da0s1
        newfs_msdos: 3572 clusters too few clusters for FAT16, need 4096
      • newfs_msdos -F 16 -c 4 /dev/da0s1
        /dev/da0s1: 28548 sectors in 7137 FAT16 clusters (2048 bytes/cluster)
        BytesPerSec=512 SecPerClust=4 ResSectors=1 FATs=2 RootDirEnts=512 Sectors=28640 Media=0xf0 FATsecs=28 SecPerTrack=32 Heads=64 HiddenSecs=0
      • Then it played OK.
    • 4G SDHC works!
    • Wikipedia article on Secure Digital SD Card format Extract:
      The SDSC (Standard-Capacity) card family, commonly known as SD, has an official maximum capacity of 2GB, though some are available up to 4 GB.[2] The SDHC (High-Capacity) card family have a capacity of 4 GB to 32 GB.[3] SDXC (eXtended-Capacity) card family have a capacity starting above 32 GB with a maximum capacity of 2 TB.[4][5] The availability of 4 GB capacity in both the SD and SDHC families have caused much compatibility confusion with users since each has a slightly different communication protocol.
  • Input from USB Sticks:
See Also:
  • http://www.bbc.co.uk/podcasts/series & archive.org
  • My fetch script for BBC for FreeBSD Linux, Unix & users of httrack ( Berklix/jhs patches & FreeBSD ports wrapper & OS independent generic master site)
    Microsoft (& Mac) end users should ignore this section unless they understand CLI interfaces, shells & how to fetch or build an httrack executable:
    I wrote it to achieve full automation, no human web interaction required:
    • to run with Free Software
    • to provide automatic fetching & stock piling,
    • from which I can later locally generate (on my own machines),
    • my own updated to-play lists
    • from my own local have-listened-to lists etc,
    • (with automatically selected different selections for different devices, (eg neck hung player, & car mounted player)),
    • Without using any public user remote web interfaces needing manual clicks per podcast,
    • Without registering personal preferences on remote "social media" web site,
    • Without needing to constantly connect to the the net,
    • Without harvesting by commercial owners,
    • Without adverts,
    • Without being spied on by USA's NSA,
    • Without risk of security easily cracked, by facebook style break-in & (lack of) security analysis report etc.)
  • To Split MP3s on FreeBSD: mp3splt - /usr/ports/audio/mp3splt - https://svnweb.freebsd.org/ports/head/audio/mp3splt/ WHy would you want to split them ? No need if your listening to an album of music 3 mins a pop. But imagine you'r listening to a half hour documentary mp3, your up to 20+ mins in, & you hit heavy traffic on the autobahn or GPS directions in town, you cant look down to push pause key, so you grope around a bit, & just pull the player out of the socket, while continuing to look out of the windscreen for safety. OK, it stops playing, but it only remembers tracks selected or played (I cant Reme member which), so either your doomed t repeat 20+ mins again, or you miss the end of the program. Much nicer to slice up an mp3 into many bits, then tell Renkforce player to play the whole directory, then & just lose or repeat 1 small slice.

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