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Messages - V-Man

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5x00 General discussions / Flashing 5500 First Time
« on: May 24, 2005, 07:30:32 am »
Keep us posted on your Z adventures.  I have a very similiar setup to you, so I will help with whatever you need.  Just email or pm me if you need anything.  It may take a day or two before I get back to you (work keeps interfering with stuff I really want to do  )

I am using the stock Sharp ROM.  I also have an iPaq (HP2210) so can compare them if you want.  Another item I have found to be extremely useful is an external keyboard.  I got a pockettop one.  I think there are better ones out there now, but back in the dark ages, it was the only one available.

Just another suggestion, add a signature to your posts detailing your hardware/ROM/software setup.  It really helps when asking specific questions so you don't have to remember to list all the particulars each time you need help.

Accessories / Help Me Choosing A Memory Card
« on: May 21, 2005, 07:50:15 am »
Just my $0.02 worth, but I would stay away from SanDisk.  I have had two bad cards from them   (the only two I bought).  One quit working after less than a week, the other was DOA.  I heard that they fixed their quality control problems, but I have sworn them off.  I have several Sandisk CF cards that have worked very well.  You will need at least one 32M CF card for flashing ROMS.  I would get one 32M or bigger and dedicate that one just for flashing (some flashes don't take if there are other files on the card).  I would also buy the largest capacity CF and SD cards you can afford for program storage.  I have an SD card that lives in my Z (it never comes out).  I have programs, backups, and data on it.  I have several CF memory cards that I swap in and out of the Z depending on what I want.  I also use them to move data around to other devices (camera, various computers, etc).  I have a NetGear CF Wireless network card.  It is a requirement for me.  I have heard of some people having problems with Netgear (physical failures), so I stopped reccommending this card.  It has always worked for me without a single problem.  I have a 10/100BaseT wired CF network card that has not been used in years (since I got the wireless card).  Unless you have a specific need for one, I wouldn't get one (it is for sale though if you really want one  ).  I also have the camera card.  I hardly ever use it.  The quality sucks (my phone is slightly better).  I used to use it a lot before I got a camera phone.  I wouldn't reccommend it unless you can get a very good price (I paid $15, and that is about what it's worth) and have a definite need for one.

The first priorities (in my opinion) would be to
1.)  get one small CF memory card (32M or bigger) for flashing only
2.)  Get a large capacity SD card (I like Lexar) for installing programs, data, and backups in your Z.
3.)  Get a large capacity CF card (again I like Lexar) for removable storage type items.
4.)  Get a wireless CF network card (you will be amazed at the benefits ie internet just about anywhere).
5.)  Get more CF memory cards.

Good luck and let me know if I can be of any help.

Security and Networking / Wifi Card
« on: April 21, 2005, 11:13:55 pm »
Let us know which Zaurus and ROM you are using and we might be able to help a bit more.

General Discussion / Are Zaurus Productive Pda ?
« on: April 04, 2005, 11:38:42 pm »
I used my Z (5500) for a long time as my only PDA.  After I got an iPaq, it took almost 6 months and several hundred dollars worth of software just to get it as useful as my Z was out of the box.  The Z is the best PDA out there in my opinion.  I am a police officer, not a computer geek.  I switched to the iPaq for three reasons: the better screen, better handwriting recognition, and better battery life.  I still use my Z daily, just now it is not my primary work PDA.  It is still more useful than the iPaq.

I did spend a lot of time customizing my Z to exactly what I wanted.  The only thing I am lacking (and that is because I spent so much money on the iPaq) is a good movie player and the Textmaker software.  I am lusting after the recent clamshell Z's, but the only way I could afford one would be to sell off my iPaq and current Z.  The iPaq would go in a heartbeat, but I can't part with the Z.

Accessories / Sd To Cf Adapter
« on: April 04, 2005, 11:25:10 pm »
Just a word of warning; I have a SD to CF adaptor that will not work with the Z's.  I don't have it with me right now so I can't post the model details.  If at all possible, try it before buying so you will be sure of compatability.  It doesn't work with my iPaq either, only with the CF reader that came with it (probably has some goofy circuitry to keep it from being more useful).

For Sale / Wanted / Wanted: Serial-adapter + Lan (+ 1gb Sd)
« on: April 04, 2005, 11:21:59 pm »
2) need connection to a normal RJ45 Eth. switch (no vlan)

Hoping you have something for me,

I have a 10/100baseT CF network card.  I don't use it anymore since switching over to wireless.  I haven't even put it into the Z in almost two years.  I will make sure that it still works before sending it.  It works with (very) early OpenZaurus versions and the stock Sharp ROMs.  I have not tried it with recent versions of OpenZaurus ROMs.  I don't have it with me right now, but can dig up the info on it for you if you are interested.  I can sell it for $25.00.  This includes the original box, sales receipt, driver CD, etc (everything that came with it).  I am in Edmond, Oklahoma (USA), so shipping would probably cost just as much as the card itself.  Let me know if you are interested and I'll find out the exact shipping cost and get the card details for you.


I found that using a stiff piece of cardboard as a "squeege" to smooth out the screen protector as it is applied works pretty well.  The few bubbles I get come out within a few weeks.  I use some cheapie screen protectors that I got from Office Despot, I don't remember the brand.

General Discussion / Cf Card Problem Under Win After Reformat
« on: March 26, 2005, 10:45:35 pm »
I had the same problem with a CompUSA PCMCIA CF card reader.  Part number ADT-N-FS.  It works just fine on some machines and not on others.  I have never gotten it to work with linux.  I gave it to my wife since it worked perfectly on her laptop (until she broke her laptop).  Now I have it back.  It seems to work about 80% of the time on my laptop.  Anyone else had something like this happen to them too?

Cxx0 Hardware / Solar Charging C860 Or 3000
« on: March 25, 2005, 11:18:30 pm »
As far as I know, the lower current would just take longer to charge.  The problem would occur if you are trying to use your Z at the same time as you are trying to charge it.  It would not get enough current to power it and charge it at the same time.  The charging circuit could become confused and cause the Z to either lockup or let the internal battery exhaust completely causing you to have to either soft or hard reset.


Zaurus - pdaXrom / Zaurus As A Car Media Player
« on: March 21, 2005, 10:56:24 pm »
For the computer, you might be able to find an old laptop to act as the music storage.  Occasionally you can find one for well under $100.  They are old and slow, but will work well as a file server.  Additionally with an old laptop, you can power it without an inverter.  Many inverters are designed for intermittent use and won't stay up for hours on end (would be good for very short trips, in-town driving, etc).  A good power brick that converts 12V to the 18-24V that laptops require is a bit expensive (expect about $100) but can be used for any laptop.  

My solution was to load up a 256M and a 512M CF card with enough music to get me through a boring 8 hour shift.  I use a FM modulator ($15 on sale) to get the music into the stereo (most of our PD cars do not have a tape player).  I just put the music I want on the cards before going to work or leaving on a trip and set the player to shuffle.

Good luck and please post your end results.  I am very interested in your final end product.

5x00 General discussions / Sl-5500 Battery Life
« on: February 28, 2005, 11:40:01 pm »
I also just found a good supply of very inexpensive lithium batteries (3.6V 1000 milliamp hour) and chargers.  I am currently testing them for quality (ie how they hold a charge, voltage minimums and maximums, actual capacity, etc).

I intend to do some expiromenting with these and a 7805 voltage regulator.  Two of these and the regulator will fit in a smaller package than the 4-AA battery boxes.  Four of these (combination of series and parrallel) may be able to supply 2000 amp hours at 5V regulated.  I may be able to incorporate a low voltage shut off circuit to eliminate the problem I experienced with the 4-AA boxes whereby the Z shutsdown most ungracefully upon battery depletion.

I may be able to create something monstrous and useful  in the way of another external battery box.  These batteries are cheaper than AA NiMH batteries and I have other uses for them if it doesn't work.  The charger may be a bit difficult as with my currently available stuff, I would have to charge each battery independantly by removing them from the box.  I will also try different charging schemes.  If the results are good, I'll post instructions (and suppliers).  Four batteries and one external charger were less than $27.00 delivered!  The e-bay seller delivered 7 days after purchase.  I want another charger and this will give me an excuse to use when I justify the purchase to my wifey.


5x00 General discussions / Sl-5500 Battery Life
« on: February 28, 2005, 11:23:51 pm »
How to construct a simple cheap external battery box

Items needed
1. 1-6' power cord (radio shack part #273-1740) $3.29
2. 2-4 AA battery box (radio shack part #270-0409) $1.79 each
This is the one with an on/off switch
3. 1-Adaptaplug size "B" (radio shack part #273-1705) $2.19
4. 8-AA NiMH batteries (1600 mAh) $22.94
Total cost of items: $32.00

Cut the power cord in half and solder into the battery box. This is harder than is sounds for bumble fingered people like me.

You end up with two battery boxes (at $16.00 ea). The boxes are almost exactly half the size of the Z, so are not a problem to cart around. The voltage ranges from 5.34v fully charged to 4.1v fully discharged. This should not strain the Z's input. The only problem I have noticed is that if the box is left connected to the Z (w/ the Z on) until the box is fully discharged, the Z shutdowns very ungracefully and you will have to reset your Z. After I found this out, I used the box until the charge light on the Z goes out. I get four hours out of each box, with light on full and intermittent use of Netgear MA701 WiFi card. I made some AAA boxes and get about two hours from them. These things are tiny, but only 700mAh.

These prices are several years old, so have changed a bit.  Also, larger capacity NiMH batteries are out there.  I have been using these with a 5500 for several years with no problems.  So as long as you pay attention to the charging light, you should have no problems.  Let me know if I can be of any further help.


General Discussion / Another 5" Screen Pda From Sony
« on: February 12, 2005, 11:14:28 pm »
I agree; It is a great idea, but way overpriced for what you get!  For the cost of that critter, I would get several very nice items:  An 860 with all the accesories, a sub-notebook, and a new ham radio (everything can't be computer related  ).  I wouldn't consider something like that unless it was in the same price range as the sub-notebooks I am considering.

Off Topic forum / A Zaurus User's Perspective On Pocket Pc
« on: February 11, 2005, 11:37:52 pm »
I thought I would chime in here with my comparison (SL5500 Zaurus, HP 2210 iPaq).

The iPaq really shines in the screen.  Both displays are 240x320, but the iPaq is much brighter and the color rendition seems better.

The iPaq is better in battery life.

I really miss the hardware keyboard of the Zaurus when I use the iPaq.  The handwriting recognition of the iPaq is better (quicker, but about the same accuracy).  On the iPaq, I can write anywhere on the screen.

Software wise, the stuff on the Z wins hands down.  I use the Sharp 3.10 rom.  The stock calendar on the iPaq sucks beyond belief.  It is even worse than the stock Sharp calendar.  You CANNOT use the iPaq as an effecient sheduler without spending $50.00 for Pocket Informant or Agenda Fusion (I use Pocket Informant).  The multimedia stuff is better on the iPaq.  The freeware BetaPlayer (iPaq) is great for videos in divx format.  I really wish this was available for the Z.  The music player quality is about the same.  The Z will allow me to set up parameters for as many WiFi networks as I want.  The iPaq will only allow one.  This is a show stopper.  I use the same Netgear WiFi card for both PDA's.  The amount of freeware and the developer support for those programs on the Z is phenomanol!  The iPaq does not have the same quality and quantity of freeware.  The iPaq has a butt load of pay software, most (in my opinion) high quality.  Most of the pay software has an equivalent free version for the Z, but you may have to search a bit to find it.  Syncing with M$ Outlook 2000 has been flawless with both the Z and the iPaq.  The only flaw with the Z is that the ip address of the M$ machine has to end in .01, with the iPaq, it can be any ip (this is for wireless sync only).  The iPaq cannot sync with linux ever.  The Z can, but it takes a bit of work to get it set up right.

Overall, if they took the screen from the iPaq and put it on the Z, if somebody ported BetaPlayer to the Sharp 3.10 rom, and if the Z had the battery life of the iPaq, the Z would be as perfect as one could get.  

I can supply more detailed info if anyone is interested.


Cxx0 Hardware / Damaged C700 Power Inverted
« on: February 04, 2005, 10:27:38 pm »
From my understanding, the charging circuit is the only thing "fried".  I know of no one that has been able to fix this without going back to Sharp though. . .

I've heard that the Z will still work, you just need to charge the battery externally.  You will probably need two batteries so you can swap them out.  I think the backup battery will not last long enough to maintain power while the main battery is out of the unit for charging.  

Good Luck

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