Friday, November 16, 2012

My happy ending with Insignia HD radio!

Finally I figured out how to fix the DOS (Dead of Silence) problem that happened to my two Insignia portable HD radio.


A little history:

  • the first one, NS-HD01, is perfect on every aspect - good reception and battery life, except one thing: it crashes frequently and need to push into the tiny reset hole often. So often that I had to enlarge the hole so I can inert the headphone plug into it.
  • the second one, the same version as the first, does exactly the same thing. Then I knew, it was a common design flaw, not just a defective unit that I happened to buy.
  • the third one, firmware 04.00.14, no longer crash. But, one day I heard a huge explosion from it while I was plugging it into USB charger, then it went to total silence. It still operates perfectly, just no audio. I tried everything, such as remove the battery, reset to factory, etc.
  • so I bought the newer model, NS-HD02. It is totally garbage. Unusable touchscreen, very poor reception and battery life.
  • once I saw the latest model, NS-HD01A, I bought it immediately, hoping Insignia have finally done everything right. It was perfect, for the first 3 weeks or so, then it went into DOS exactly like the third one.
Hopelessly, I opened the NS-HD01A to see if anything I can do, like the old Chinese saying: cure a dead horse as it is still alive - nothing to lose but probably a chance of gain. As soon as I saw the Cirrus CS43L21 D/A chip, I knew exactly what's wrong. I brought it back to life with a short wire. Then I added a component, to avoid the DOS problem forever.


I also did the same to the third one, the one with 04.00.14 firmware. Now these two have been working perfectly for several weeks now.


I also tried to fix the 1st and 2nd ones, in vain. They use an earlier version Cirrus D/A chip, CS42L51. This chip has a lot more functions than the newer version.


Now I'm happy, finally, after 3 years of struggling with 4 generations and 5 units.

The Fix

The newer cheap battery

18 comments:

  1. HD Radio is a scam!

    http://hdradiofarce.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Ok, can you show exactly what you did, I do not see your jump wire or component you said you added. I want to buy the portable unit, but want to be prepared for the 'break'.

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    Replies
    1. I have not posted the details. I'd love to share it with all radio lovers, but I don't want Insignia get it for free.

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    2. Would you send the fix to my email address? I have the NS-HD01 that is DOS. Just bought the NS-HD401a, hope it lasts longer.

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    3. http://kingoftweaks.blogspot.com/2013/03/fix-for-insignia-portable-hd-radio.html

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  3. My NS-HD01A turns on, changes stations, but there is no sound. Can you send details of the fix to thewiz4@att.net?

    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have the same problem as John. Could you send details of the fix to big__al@lycos.com

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have the same problem with no sound. I would love to know what the fix is, please e-mail me at .
    I spent $50 on the NS-HD01A and it stopped working!!
    Thanks...

    ReplyDelete
  6. Same problem here. Could you send it to
    dwaynelagrou@charter.net
    I would be forever in your debt.
    Thanks Dwayne
    :{ )

    ReplyDelete
  7. I am trying to open a NS-HD01 to dry it out after leaving it outside in the rain.
    I have removed the two small screws but the case does not open. How do I open it?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Use a guitar pick. Very fragile, but they are just for looks, so even if you break them, the radio won't fall apart and will still be fully functional.

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  8. I too would love the full set of instructions to fix this issue.
    I pray my solder skills are still up to par.
    Thank you for sharing the results of your hard work!
    Please send the instructions to MarkBarnardBoise@gmail.com

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  9. I would like the "fix" info too. The radio powers up momentarily and shuts down.

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  10. I have not heard back from Sean Chen. If anybody knows what to solder where, I would really appreciate hearing back. Thank you!

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  11. Hello Sean,
    I have an Insignia NS-HD01A HD Radio that works perfectly except it has no sound output. Please advise if you still repair these. I can send it to you if I get your address. Thank you Sean.
    Mike Davis, Jeffersonville, Indiana USA

    ReplyDelete