JVC Victor XA-HD500 6GB Player CAN I MOD THIS PLAYER?
Aug 6, 2010 at 7:19 AM Thread Starter Post #1 of 8

goody

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I picked this up recently and i love the sound.. Is it possible to mod this player in anyway, the 6gb harddrive is just too small would like to increase the capacity and stick loads of my wav and 320 mp3 files on it.
 
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 8:34 AM Post #2 of 8

Danneq

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The JVC XA-HD 500 uses a 6GB microdrive. According to this Wikipedia article, microdrives fit into Compact flash type II slots. In practice perhaps that might mean that just putting a CF card into the player instead of the microdrive will work.
 
There is a risk that this might not work. The CF card has to be able to handle true IDE mode which allows it to behave like a IDE hard disk drive. If it does not, the JVC player might not accept the card and you cannot load firmware onto it. Perhaps you could try to find a cheap 2GB CF card that can handle true IDE mode and test to switch it with the microdrive?
 
Anyone else have any suggestions?
 
Aug 6, 2010 at 9:03 AM Post #3 of 8

goody

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hi thanks for that danneq might try that...is it similar to the the mod done on the iaudio x5? what i am going to do is take  the back off and maybe post a pic of the hardrive and connectors
 
Aug 7, 2010 at 12:18 AM Post #4 of 8

Danneq

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Well, I think that the mod might be a bit more simple than on the Cowon X5. That one has got an ordinary 1.8" HDD (I think it is 1.8"), and you need an adapter for the CF card.
 
The 1" microdrive used in the JVC XA-HD 500 has got the same connector as CF cards. The microdrive is basically the same as a CF card, but instead of being flash based it is a very small hard disk drive.
The connector inside the JVC that the microdrive is connected to should without any problem accept a CF card as well. The problem seems to be if the CF card can be used in true IDE mode.
In my Creative Zen Touch and Zen Vision:M, I have replaced the hard drives with CF cards (had to use adapters for this). I have used Kingston elite x133 8GB and 32GB cards with success. Others have been unsuccessful with the same Kingston cards however, so I am not sure it will work 100%. A tip would be to look for a cheap 2GB CF card that can do true IDE mode and then try to switch the microdrive for it and install firmware. If that fails you can always put the microdrive back.
 
I have looked around on the internet, but found no pages with this sort of mod for the JVC. So you might be treading into unknown territory, being one of the first to have a go at this.
 
As I have already written, microdrives made with the same size specifications as CF cards and apparently can be used in place of CF cards in cameras. So in theory a 32GB CF card in true IDE mode should work on your JVC (provided that you can find firmware and manage to load it onto the CF card...)
 
Aug 8, 2010 at 12:29 AM Post #6 of 8

Danneq

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Quote:
So JVC makes mp3 players also. Would their IEM product line sound better with these...


 
I've never heard any JVC IEM:s (nor a JVC DAP for that part), but apparently the Victor/JVC DAP:s are pretty good when it comes to sound. The old HDD based XA-HD500 that Goody bought was released internationally around 2005 or 2006 and after that flash based DAP:s have been released, the XA-V series being the current top of the line. It comes in 2, 4 and 8 GB versions. I am not sure if they can use memory cards to expand the capacity. The current Victor/JVC players are only released domestically in Japan and are a bit difficult find.
 
Here is a link to them at JVC:s homepage.
 
Aug 8, 2010 at 12:38 AM Post #7 of 8

Danneq

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We already discussed this in a PM, Goody, but in order to possibly help other people I paste some of the stuff from my PM in this thread.
 
I have looked around a bit on Google for any pages in Japanese or anything about any mods on JVC XA-HD 500, but I have not found anything. I also looked a bit for info about CF cards and true IDE mode.
I found this old thread from 2007 on a forum.
There is some interesting stuff there.
 
In the first post a member writes "Typically most Compact Flash has a True IDE Mode and a removable drive mode and auto switch between the mode depending on the socket."
Well, perhaps only that post was interesting for you... They discuss SanDisk Extreme CF cards. I have read somewhere that SanDisk Extreme can do true IDE without problems.
 
So perhaps you could start with trying a cheap Kingston Elite Pro X133 CF card. The lowest capacity should be enough to test if it works. I think a 2GB card might cost up to £15. It might be best to try out with that one so that you do not spend a lot of money on a 32GB card that does not work...
If the Kingston does not work, perhaps the lowest capacity of SanDisk Extreme might work. But SanDisk Extreme CF cards are more expensive than Kingston but I think they only go up to 8GB. I think that Kingston Elite Pro are the best then it comes to combining low price and good quality.
 
I found an interesting page here. It shows how to put a CF card into an iPod Mini. The interesting thing is that the iPod Mini had a microdrive. So in your case it should be the same as in this article.
Getting into the JVC is different, and I have no idea of how it looks like inside. On the iPod Mini, it seems easy to get access to the microdrive. Hopefully, it will not be difficult on the JVC.
 
I found some interesting stuff for the XA-HD500 Here is an online quick start in English.
Here is the Japanese manual. On pages 26 & 27 it is shown how to open the player for replacing the battery. That is good since you can see what to do to open it.
I do not understand everything in the instruction, but basically it describes what steps to take to open the player. The images clearly show what to do, so knowledge in Japanese is not necessary.
1. First you have to turn off the battery by pressing the play/stop button. (it says something like "keep pressing" the button). Can you turn only the battery off? On my Kenwood, there is a switch that turns the battery off. When the battery is off, the player will not start even if I press the start button. So the battery have to be turned off before the player is opened.
2. Remove the screws as on the image.
3. Pull the front cover up from the bottom as shown on the image
4. The control pad is connected as shown on the image, you need to unplug its connector.
5. The white arrows show four spots where you need to press with your fingers and softly "rock" the motherbord so that it comes loose from the back cover.
6 and 7. After that you can turn the motherboard over and get access to the battery. The only thing I wonder is - where is the microdrive?!?!
It might be the square thing next to the battery. It looks like some sort of dampening material is used on the sides of it as is custom on HDD:s inside portable music players to protect them from shocks. Compare it with the iPod Mini.
 
It seems that in order to update firmware you need a special software updater that is on the CD that you get with the JVC XA-HD500.
Here is an online instruction on how to update firmware.
Apparently you cannot update firmware without that installation CD that comes with the JVC.
It might be possible to find that updater software on the internet, but my quick search revealed nothing.
 
Jun 27, 2020 at 4:38 AM Post #8 of 8

thanhlonglt1231

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Dear all,he
Anyone is still using this HD500? Mine is broken. The error message is "HDD time out"
Previously, the original hdd is broken. I forgot backup the system files,
I bought an identical hdd but it is not recoginized by the player.
I am using a virtual winxp to run the software "maintenance" but it is not recognized via USB port.
I wonder If any who is using this player can send the system files to me?
I really need it.
 

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