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Hifiman 801 Appreciation thread

Discussion in 'Portable Source Gear' started by greenleo, Sep 29, 2009.
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  1. zilch0md
    After my PC ran most of the day, converting my WAV library into FLAC, using dbPoweramp batch converter, it then took 2 hours and 10 minutes to copy the first 64GB worth of FLAC files to the first of four 64GB SD cards (that had been reformatted to FAT 32).
    Note that these FAT32-formatted 64GB cards had no trouble being cataloged or played by the HM-801 when they were loaded with 44/16 WAV files (other than the pops between every pair of tracks).
    But now, with the first of those FAT32-formatted 64GB cards loaded up with FLAC files...  the HM-801 locked up during the scan!  I had to remove the battery to recover from the seizure, as none of the buttons were responding.   Hahahaha!   This is yet another HM-801 limitation!  They shoot horses, don't they?   I should have just emulated EVERYTHING that Ian is doing (FLACS only, 32GB cards only).  I still don't understand why he gets no pops with WAV files, but don't care at this point.  FLAC and 32GB seem to be the only combination that works with my HM-801.  So be it!
    Now, I'm loading today's newly created FLAC files onto a bunch of older 32GB (natively FAT32) SD cards that I had previously retired from service.  Having just tested one of them in the HM-801, it is scanning the 32GB card without locking up and playing the files just fine (44/16 and 96/24, no popping between tracks.)  
    The lost weekend comes to a close...
    Awesome sound, though!  Living with the HM-801 is like eating a properly aged, medium-rare, Kobe Wagyu filet mignon on a slab of durian fruit. It's hard, but not impossible, to enjoy the good amid all that's bad.
  2. alpha421
    Well said Mike.  Mighty fine testing you've done.
  3. zilch0md
    Thanks!  [​IMG]
  4. LECW
    Had tried power up my HM 801 without the battery in place. Question is whether this will damage the unit or is this safe to do so if battery died in future?
    Please anyone kindly advice and thanks.
  5. LarsHP
    I use a Sandisk SDXC 64GB card formatted to FAT32 with no issues.
    Make sure you have only FLAC files (jpg files won't hurt, but are useless) on the card.
    Also clean the FLAC files for extra tags from iTunes etc.
    BTW: If you convert from WAV to FLAC, then there are no tags in the FLAC files, right?
    This might be a problem when the 801 scans for tags (finding nothing), but I am only guessing.
  6. zilch0md
    That works fine!  HiFiMan technical support is corresponding with me now.  Yay!   They told me we can operate the HM-801 with the battery removed, while plugged into the AC adapter.   
  7. zilch0md
    Thanks very much, Lars!   Actually, the original WAV files had tags and dbPoweramp preserved them when converting to FLAC.  I was using Sandsik SDXC formatted to FAT32, but I think the problem with FLAC was simply that I had too many songs for the HM-801 database to handle.  when I tried again with a half-empty 64GB card, the HM-801 scanned the card, just fine.  
    I could do a LOT of testing to determine the maximum number of files the HM-801 database will handle, but I've got everything on 32GB cards now and would rather just carry on this way. [​IMG]
    Thanks again!
  8. LECW

    Thanks pal for your very kind reply. Cheers
  9. zilch0md
    This was a long shot (as I suspected I knew the answer in advance), but I asked HiFiMan technical support if a 5V DC battery bank could be used to charge or operate the HM-801, only for card reader to Line Out use, through the USB Data Exchange port:
    Quoting a PM from HiFiMan technical support:
    In a subsequent PM, having asked, "Can I use two 9V DC 1-Amp battery packs instead of the original AC power supply to operate the HM-801 without using the internal battery (as shown in this image)?":
    Quoting a PM from HiFiMan technical support:
    Huh?  That doesn't really answer the question.  But that's what he wrote.  He's saying that I can use 9V battery packs to charge an HM-801 battery that has been removed from the HM-801.   
    I've since asked him if HiFiMan sells a charging tray for the HM-801, similar to that for the HM-901.  (I believe the answer is "no," but I've not yet received a response.)
    So...  Necessity being the mother of catastrophe invention, I decided to test the following rig, with good results!  Voltages and polarities were correct, as shown in the image above, so I figured, what harm can be done - as long as the voltages and polarities are correct?  
    You can't see it in this static photo, but the battery status indicator is animated, as if the (missing) HM-801 battery is currently being charged.  Other than that, everything functions normally.  
    Putting it back together with the HM-801 battery in place, the HM-801 has continued to function normally - no harm done, thanks to my having used a voltmeter to check the voltages and polarities across first the two barrels and then across the two tips, before proceeding and making sure to put the (+) connector on the left, with the (-) connector on the right!  Again, proceed at your own risk! I'm not forcing anyone to try this.
    This is only a prototype that I wouldn't bother using in the field, as the battery capacity is too limited.  I have not yet tested this cabling with two Anker Astro3 batteries (I have to buy a second one if I decide to go ahead with this):
    This wouldn't exactly be "portable," but it could be considered "transportable" - for extended play in the absence of AC outlets.
    I suspect a single Anker Astro 3 could be used by employing blocking diodes to prevent the two circuits from seeing each other, but my electronics skills are insufficient to select the appropriate diodes.  Anyone with mad skills is welcome to chime in!
  10. brunk
    I wish i knew more about diodes in general to help you, but my best general advice to give you would be to either ask Anker themselves, or an electronics/battery specialty store with sufficient knowledge to recommend the proper ones you need. Great work as usual, it certainly is good progress!
    EDIT: You can also try asking at diyaudio.com as there is just a vast wealth of knowledgeable people there too.
  11. Mshenay Contributor
    That is pretty cool! I'm getting one of these shortly
    may I ask what is the battery life with an SD card and Line out? [I am assuming it's at least 4 hours [which is what I got with my Hm 601] 
  12. zilch0md
    Are you asking for the typical battery life of the standard HM-801 battery while using card reader to Line Out?   I don't know for sure, as I am not eager to deep cycle the HM-801 battery.  They tend to last a lot longer if you shallow-cycle them, but along those lines, here is another exchange I recently had with HiFiMan technical support:
    Quoting PM exchange with HiFiMan technical support:
    This is worth investigation, but I've not done it yet.  Considering that both the Headphone Out and the Line Out are "live" at the same time whenever the HM-801's slide switch is set to "Player" instead of "DAC," I would think that some amount of power would be conserved by removing the amp board.  How much, I don't know, but HiFiMan says it's OK to try this.
  13. Mshenay Contributor
    Hmm well I'm sure it can't be WORSE than my hm 601. Although I do need to use my hm 801 as a DAC and a DAP [it's for school] 
  14. zilch0md
    Will do!
    Thanks again,
  15. LarsHP
    I doubt it's too many files or tags, because I remember reading other Head-Fiers using 128GB cards full of files.
    I have more than 1800 files on my 64GB card.
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