MicroSD Memory Card Transport Project


2008-01-01 6:59 pm
Hi Bunpei,
After many years of use my SD Trans is not working. I was changing cards and when the new card loaded, the display went blank then displayed a row of solid alfa-numeric blocks on the top row only. I have checked the display connection, the power supply, and unplugged it for several minutes and still nothing. Any ideas as to what I can do? I really do like the player and hope it can be fixed. Thanks


2008-08-30 10:31 am
Hi, marklivia!

I think TDA1545 only accepts a Right Justified (LSB Justified) serial input signal. (BCK frequency can be either 32*WS or 64*WS.)

You can choice one of two methods.
1. You make a simple logic circuit for shifting 15-bit on DATA signal with commodity logic ICs to convert I2S to RJ.
2. You order a custom FPGA program that outputs RJ formatted serial data. Chiaki might accept your special request with a reasonable charge.


The Monica DAC produced by DIYParadise.com used that DAC chip. While they do not seem to be very active, you might want to contact them about an adapter board. They do list one, the 'Black Crow', though it is marked as 'sold out'. They may be able to assist you in finding one.

It is also worth a general post in the Digital Line Level Forum asking for assistance with an appropriate adapter board... I bet there are other ones out there.

OTOH, a special request to Chiaki might be the easiest!

Greg in Mississippi

First, I hope you and yours are all well.

Second, I have a question regarding my SDTran384. I have been enjoying exploring very high-quality digital playback with this device connected to a Soekris DAM DAC. But I received an error last night trying to play back music I had transferred onto SAMSUNG Micro SD Cards. I tried several cards of this brand and model. They are all recognized ok, but I receive a Time Out error when I press play. The Sandisk card shown in the picture works ok and has been setup in the same manner using the same hardware.

I plan to reformat one of the cards and re-copy some music onto it using a different card writer. Anything else I should try?

Many thanks for any suggestions!

Greg Stewart


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Paid Member
2006-12-07 11:37 am
A quick update... I tried re-formatting the Samsung card and copying some music back onto it. No dice, it still does not work.

I got several of this brand/type card to use in the SDTran, I'm hopeful there is a solution.


Greg in Mississippi

Hi Greg,

My experience with mine was that indeed some grade of cards did not go well with the SDTRANS and indeed sound changed between some of those that did.

I ran extensive tests and find that medium speed cards are best, i tend to stick to those that give best results.

The fact that we always tend to use the "best" high speed cards is not relevant here.

I use various samsungs and the work flawlessly but have lower read speed than yours.

I found that LEXAR were among the best so i stick to that as much as possible.

hope this helps you somewhat.

PS: check my previous post on this : http://www.diyaudio.com/forums/digi...ry-card-transport-project-47.html#post3005369
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THANKS for your response. Now that you've pointed to them, I do remember seeing your posts when I re-read this thread as I was considering whether to buy an SDTrans. I guess now that I have one and am using it, I need to go back through the whole thread again... not only is there great info on getting the best out of the SDTrans, but a lot of other good info on cutting-edge digital music playback.

I looked at some LEXAR SD Cards... OUCH, some of the most expensive 32Gb cards I've seen. Oh well, you pay for quality. I'll get some along with some other lower-cost cards so I can at least get a good selection of music available for playback on my SDTrans. I may be re-ripping my CDs anyway, I've seen some comments on Tir Na HiFi and had seen some on CA suggesting some gains are available there. So that's worth looking at as another way to up my digital playback game (which the SDTrans has already helped a LOT!).

Also, going back over your comments in this thread, I noticed you were planning to compare a TPS7A47xx-based regulator to the Salas BiB you had been using to feed your SDTrans. Did you ever get a chance to do that comparison? If so, what were your conclusions?


Greg in Mississippi
Ever since getting my SDTrans and discovering how good digital audio can be I started thinking about how we load our SD cards.

I came to this after using a purpose built computer as my player. After ten years I realized this is not getting anywhere and after hearing the SDTrans I realized how far it has to go.

Then I realized ... I am still using a computer to get the music from the CD and to copy it onto the SD card. Where my playback computer was highly refined with linear supplies and all sorts of gadgets I was using my regular computer for ripping.

Drawing on what was learned with cPLAYcMP with regards to minimizing XP I thought I will make a dedicated ripper/OS and the result is pretty amazing.

First off the whole thing is 31 mB including dBpoweramp.

AS was found when using XP with cPLAY - the more unnecessary stuff you remove the better it sounds.

At this point I had no idea just how good digital sound can be. AND yes, I know how many times that has been said.

I started on this with the thought: how could we be so particular and obsessive with the playback side and completely nonchalant about getting the information off of the disk? Now looking back I can see nothing but delusion but for many years I never thought about it much at all. I did wonder but then thought about how I did not want to go to the trouble.

Due to the prompting of randytsuch who posts here and at TIR NA about the neglect of ripping I thought this is a good time to find out. (Randy is expecting delivery of his SDTrans soon)

I am using an MSI H81 motherboard with a 4130T CPU. 2 gB of memory. CPUZ shows 0.144 vore voltage running at 800 mHz. Using an OPTIMA battery for P4 and the video card; using the ASROCK riser to make remote powering of the video card easy and allows one to get that heat producing thing away from the processor. The riser also allows use of the x1 slot. AS "Serge" instructed using the video card relieves the CPU of video duty. Serge is the father of XP modifications for music purposes.

Even without going full on with linear supplies the amount of information revealed is surprising. There IS lots of information on REDBOOK we have been denying ourselves.

I had initially used a USB writer - one of the nicer ones with a cable so I could splice in and power it with a linear supply - I also used a REGEN in the chain. AND THEN Greg Stewart suggested the SATA -SD writers and this is the only way to go. If you have only used some USB device to "fill" your SD cards you are in for quite a surprise. Not usre if they are all equal but I can report that this one works really well:

It is inconvenient in that you have to turn the machine off to insert and remove the card and it could be even slower that USB but it is worth the trouble.

Getting the music off of the CD is every bit as important as any other aspect of digital playback. Obviously, has nothing to do with downloads but the SATA SD writer would be important for that also.

I am using two SSDs for the ripper and copier OSs. I switch back and forth as needed. The copy OS is much larger (256 mB) but then I have not been trying to whittle it down. I use it for copying and for maintenance of the ripper OS disk. I use a linear powered laptop HDD for music destination

Both OSs no longer have any USB capabilitiy. The ripper OS opens with dBpoweramp CDGrab.exe as its shell. There is no EXPLORER. There is nothing there that isn't needed for dBpoweramp and writing the files to the destination disk.

USB is a wonderful thing for everything BUT music. If you want to get music out of your digital playback chain DO NOT USE USB.

If you want to hear how good REDBOOK is you need a purpose built ripper.