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Ritek Mini CD-R: Part 2

Ritek Mini CD-R: Part 2

Hi everyone,

Today, I burned a few more Ritek Mini CD-R media, where I found out they have a surface issue:

Ritek CD surface issue 2

I didn’t realized this, but it seems to be a plant manufacture problem. I opened another of the 100-pack I have and it have the same problem.

The problem is that the data was burning fine, with no errors on my Lite-On iHAS524, but it failed to verify on some parts of the disk, as it was approaching the end. I was burning them at 24x, the maximum speed it supports on the writer.

I decided to use the Optiarc AD-7561A drive I have to see if it would burn fine with it, since slim drives usually burns at a lower speed.

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - 10
Optiarc AD-7561A

When the CD is inserted in this drive, it is detected as a 10x media:

I burned the CD with this drive, where it was able to both burn and verify successfully. It also seems that the drive burned surface is a bit darker than with the LiteOn drive, so maybe that makes it handle the bad surface better.

Quality tests

I burned 2 CD’s with the Lite-On drive where both burned successfully but didn’t read fine. One was able to read completely, but lowering the read speed at the bad section. The other one failed with unrecoverable errors.

Let’s see their quality tests with the LiteOn drive first, followed with the Optiarc drive:

CD #1 – LiteOn

This is the CD that was able to read completely but lowers the speed. When playing it back, it pauses while reading the wrong area. It can be ripped, but will struggle in the bad area. The ripped file appears to be fine, but EAC reports timing problems. Listening to the track didn’t revealed any issues.

You can see the excesive amounts of C1 and C2 errors.

CD #2 – Optiarc

Here is another burn of the same data, burned with the Optiarc drive and tested on the LiteOn drive. You can see that it only reports a maximum of 10 C1 errors and no C2 errors. The quality score is 99%. Same media, but burned on a different drive, at 10x speed.

CD #3 – LiteOn

This CD failed to test properly. Once again, you can see the excessive amounts of C1 and C2 errors. The positions of the C1 and C2 errors seem to match the ones of the previous LiteOn burn.

CD #4 – Optiarc

Here is another burn of the same data of the previous burn. You can see this time it was successful, with only a maximum of 8 C1 errors and a total of 19. Again, the quality score is 99%, which is the same as the other Optiarc-burned media.

Conclusion

As seen from the above tests, it seems the Optiarc AD-7561A drive can successfully burn these discs if we intend to use all of its capacity. Maybe it is because of the slower burning speed, or because the optical laser can burn them better than the one on the LiteOn drive.

The LiteOn drive can only burn these CDs at 16x and 24x, while the Optiarc can only burn them at 10x. I’ll test burning a disc at 16x at a later time and see if it works. If not, I’ll continue using the Optiarc drive, which has proven to burn them correctly and without any issues.

Ritek Mini CD-R Photos and Quality Tests

Ritek Mini CD-R Photos and Quality Tests

Hi everyone,

Yesterday, I received some Pocket/Mini CD-R I purchased on eBay, which were being sold for cheap due to them not being branded or not having their specs listed.

The seller was selling 3 packs of 100 unbranded silver surface Mini CD-R, and since the price was lower compared to other branded media, I decided to buy all 3.

Ritek Pocket CD-R 210MB media - 1

The discs were wrapped with no spindle.

Ritek Pocket CD-R 210MB media - 2

The discs have a silver surface:

Ritek Pocket CD-R 210MB media - 3

Here we can see a single CD-R:

They have the usual light green color on the data side.

The disc loaded fine on my LiteOn iHAS524 drive. I launched ImgBurn which says that the discs are made by Ritek. Their media ID is 97m15s17f:

Pocket CD 97m15s17f Ritek Media 1

They also have a capacity of 210MB or 24 minutes and a maximum write speed of 24x.

Pocket CD 97m15s17f Ritek Media 2

This is the first Mini CD I use with this LiteOn drive, which has the unique LabelTag feature to add labels to the data side. The software detected the disc and a label can be created:

Pocket CD 97m15s17f Ritek Media 3

I burned some of these CD-R with Nero Express, which allows the creation of the label on the same run. I also burned them at its maximum speed of 24x without any failure.

Quality tests

I ran a Disc Quality test using Nero DiscSpeed. Below you can see the results of those tests. I limited the test to the first session of it, as the second one is the label produced with the above software and contains unreadable data. This makes the test fail. By limiting it to the first session, we can get the actual data track quality.

Disc 1

The first test gave us a maximum of 14 C1 errors with a total of 58. The average was 0.11. There were no C2 errors reported. The Quality Score was 98%.

Disc 2

This test was perfect! No C1 or C2 errors were reported, making the Quality Score be 100%.

Disc 3

This disc had a maximum of 9 for the C1 Errors with a total of 13. The average was 0.07. No C2 errors were reported. The Quality Score was 99%.

Disc 4

This final disc I burned had a maximum of 13 C1 errors with a total of 27. No C2 errors were reported. The Quality Score was 98%.

Final Thoughts

These blank CD-R media seems to be good to write small amounts of data. This could be an MP3 album, some photos, or software you’d like to archive. The burns seem to be of good quality and the 24x burning speed is adequate. This sure was a great find on eBay!

The M Way External DVD Drive Teardown

The M Way External DVD Drive Teardown

Hi everyone,

In this post, I will be tearing down the M Way External DVD Drive.

This is a slim external CD-RW/DVD-ROM Combo drive that can read and write CDs but can only read DVDs.

Let’s begin with the teardown.

First, we must remove 2 screws that are found on the back to open the drive enclosure:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - 1

We can then open the enclosure:

We can see the DVD drive along with the board and USB Cable. We can also see that it seems that the USB cable is not actually soldered to the board.

Removing the DVD drive from the enclosure, we can see that the cable is in fact a Mini USB cable. This means the cable is not an actual USB 3.0 cable:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - 4

The fact that the cable is not soldered to the board is good news for us since we could replace it if the original cable goes bad or we want to use another cable.

On the back of the drive, we can take a closer look at the USB board:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - 5

Taking it off reveals a nice surprise:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - 6

The board is a USB to PATA/IDE adapter. This is interesting and somewhat makes sense, since the drive is just a CD-RW/DVD Combo Drive, and back in the days, we could see tons of CD writers for laptops. It uses the Initio INIC-1511 IC.

Here, we can see the PATA/IDE conector of the drive:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - 7

I decided to take off the sticker that it has on the top, revealing something more:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - 8

The included TEAC DW-224E-C drive was manufactured in November 2005. This could mean they are recycling old DVD drives or using refurbished drives. If this is true, this is good news for the environment, since they are repurposing drives that are in working conditions.

Here, I have the original drive connected to my computer without the enclosure:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - 9

Because the drive is basically an internal drive on an IDE to USB enclosure, we should be able to use it with other drives. I tested it with an old Optiarc AD-7561A drive. This drive is a CD/DVD writer with Lightscribe technology, which I haven’t used it for years:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - 10

When I connected the drive to the board, and to the computer, it recognized it without any issues:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - Optiarc Device Manager

And here we can see its capabilities as reported by ImgBurn:

M Way External DVD Drive - Colorful Flame Pattern - Teardown - Optiarc Capabilities

The Optiarc drive still works after a lot of years of not using it. This also means that we should be able to use other PATA/IDE drives with this particular USB board and exchange the original drive if it ever goes bad.

That’s basically it for this teardown. If you’re interested in getting this CD-RW/DVD drive, you can get it on Amazon here.

Unboxing the MagaBolt MagX Magnetic USB-C Cable

Unboxing the MagaBolt MagX Magnetic USB-C Cable

Hi everyone,

Today, I’m sharing my unboxing video of the MagaBolt MagX Magnetic USB-C Cable which was a campaign that ran on Kickstarter.

This is a Magnetic USB-C cable that resembles Apple’s MagSafe connector. It is compatible with all USB-C devices, so you can use this cable to charge your phone, for instance.

Watch the video below to see how the cable looks:

Unboxing the BaseUs USB-C Hub for Phones (NuDock on Kickstarter)

Unboxing the BaseUs USB-C Hub for Phones (NuDock on Kickstarter)

Hi everyone,

I uploaded a new video to my YouTube channel. This time, I present you the BaseUs USB-C Hub, also called NuDock when it ran on Kickstarter. The final product turned out to be this BaseUs USB-C Hub, with identical features to the Kickstarter project.

The project creator told us that because NuDock was already being used, they had to rename the dock to BaseUs.

Watch the unboxing video below:

Fixing the Orange LED of the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

Fixing the Orange LED of the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

Hi everyone,

I have found a solution for when my Tempotec iDSD Plus gets the Orange LED.

The solution is fairly easy. I believe that something may not be making good contact with the printed circuit board and may be preventing the DAC from working. However, slightly pushing around the SmartAction SA2000 chip, it seems to make the LED change back to green and allow the unit to work.

You can see the video below where you can see the fix in action:

To put it back in the case, I put a small piece of paper to make a bit of pressure around the SA2000 chip and so far, I haven’t yet had the orange LED issue again.

I hope that it keeps working fine, because I really enjoy the sound this DAC produces.

How to install Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18875

How to install Windows 10 Insider Preview Build 18875

Hi everyone,

Today, I finally managed to install Windows 10 Insider Preview, build 18875. Previosuly, I was getting an error with code 0xca00a000.

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 1
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 1

After reading around the Feedback hub, it seems that disabling the Windows Search service and deleting the content of the Windows SoftwareDistribution folder fixes this, and the update is able to be installed succesful. Here, I’ll show you step by step how to do it.

Disabling the Windows Search service

First, press the keys Win + R and type services.msc, then press OK:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 2
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 2

The Windows Services management console will open. Go down and right click on the Windows Search service. You’ll click on Properties:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 3
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 3

Once you are in Properties, go to the Startup type drop down and select Disabled. Then, press OK:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 4
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 4

Right click on Windows Search again, and click on Stop:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 5
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 5

You may be prompted to disable other services. Press Yes:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 6
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 6

The Windows Search service should now be stopped.

Cleaning the SoftwareDistribution folder

The next step involves navigating to C:\Windows\SoftwareDistribution and deleting everything inside:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 7
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 7
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 8
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 8

You may be prompted to give administrator permissions in order to delete the contents. Press Continue:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 9
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 9

The contents will be deleted:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 10
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 10

And the folder will be empty:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 11
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 11

Now, on Windows Update, press Retry:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 12
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 12

It will begin getting ready, downloading, and installing the update:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 13
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 13
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 14
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 14

Finally, you’ll be prompted to restart your machine. Click on Restart Now:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 15
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 15

Everything should run smoothly now and the update should install fine:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 16
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 16
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 17
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 17

Once the installation finishes, you’ll be on the 18875 build of Windows 10:

Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 18
Installing Windows 10 Insider Preview 18875 18

That’s it! Hope these steps were useful in getting you to install Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18875!

Can’t get Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18875 to install…

Can’t get Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18875 to install…

UPDATE 4/13/2019: Yesterday, I published how to install build 18875. Click here to read the post.

Hi everyone,

Today, Microsoft released Windows 10 Insider Preview build 18875, but I’m unable to install it on my machines. For some reason, it fails at 7% when it’s configuring the update when attempting to restart, and then, if I try to download the update again, it returns a 0xca00a00 error.

I removed the contents in C:\windows\SoftwareDistribution\Download and it seems to be able to download the update again, but it still fails at 7% when restarting.

Hopefully, Microsoft will release an updated build sometime this week. Downloading the ISO also didn’t worked, as it fails at 100% giving an installation error…

A week with the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

A week with the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

Hi everyone,

It’s been actually more than a week with my new Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus, and my experience with this new unit has been very positive.

First of all, I haven’t faced the Blue LED problem again. As I wrote in my teardown article, they changed some components inside that may prevent this problem from happening again, but it also seems to have introduced a problem where the unit main LED turns orange. This happens rarely, and the unit works once the LED turns green again.

The second thing is that the charging speed is back to normal as well. My previous unit was having a slow charge rate of just 0.06A. Here, you can see it’s drawing a full amp, as I also have the unit turned on:

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus charging
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus charging

Once the unit finishes charging, the LED turns off, as expected:

Fully charged Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus
Fully charged Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

The device not only is working great in my Windows PC, with Tidal and Foobar, both using WASAPI for a bit-perfect playback experience, but it’s also working great with my Hiby R3:

The Hiby R3 also has an excellent sound, but I use my Tempotec Sonata iDSD as the sound is more open to my ears, and sounds more natural too.

It’s been several days with the DAC, and I’m really pleased with it. I’m listening to Tidal Masters, which are actually MQA-encoded music files and they sound excellent with this DAC, as a sample rate of either 24-bit/88.2Khz or 24-bit/96Khz, depending on the track being used:

Hiby R3 streaming Tidal Masters to the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus
Hiby R3 connected to the Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus

I hope this DAC work fine for a lifetime, as it’s the most enjoyable sound I’ve ever heard.

The USB cable I’m using with the DAC is the UGREEN USB to 2x Micro USB (Y) Cable, which allows me to listen to music and keep my unit charged at the same time.

New Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown

New Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown

Hi everyone,

Today, I decided to do a Teardown of the new Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus unit I received to compare the internal components to my previous Tempotec/Hidizs DAC. The unit is identical from the outside, so I did the same teardown process I did before for this new unit.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 1
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 1

The best way to open it is to use a sharp object to very careful try to detach the glass. To my surprise, this new unit wasn’t glued entirely. It felt as if the glass was just placed on it, with some simple glued tape behind.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 2
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 2

What I can see from it is a thin tape that covers that metal shield which was holding the glass. Now that the glass is removed, I can remove the 4 screws holding the metal plate to the DAC:

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 3
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 3

It’s pretty much identical to the previous Tempotec iDSD Plus unit, except that a quick look reveals that there’s no capacitor at the C46 mark.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 4
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 4

In the above picture, you can see that the old unit (the unit below) has a capacitor in the C46 mark. Let’s tale a closer look:

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 8
C46 capacitor missing in the new unit

It’s missing in the new unit, as can be seen in the photo above.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 9
C46 capacitor in the previous unit

And above you can see it in the previous unit.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 5
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 5

Taking a look at the actual DAC printed circuit board, it also look pretty much identical. I didn’t noticed any difference at first sight, but it does has an IC changed.

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 7
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 6

The D4 diode was changed. Above you can see the diode from the new unit, which seems to have been replaced by hand, as it’s not placed straight there. Below, you can see the IC used in the previous unit:

Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 6
Tempotec Sonata iDSD Plus Teardown 7

You can see that one is straight.

It seems that these 2 changes have fixed the Blue LED problem for the new units, and that’s great! They didn’t did a new board revision, and instead they just switched the D4 IC and removed the C46 capacitor. Both boards have the same V1.1 revision written in it.

The battery is the same. Ironically, they also have the same dates. I wonder if Tempotec had to fix old units by hand, sealing it, and selling them as new, or if these are returned units which have been refurbished. Either case, the new Tempotec iDSD Plus works fine, charges fine, and has an excellent sound.

I did, however, noticed that the new unit sometimes have both Green and Red LED turned on simultaneously, making it seem to be orange. The unit doesn’t work at all when this happens.

Tempotec iDSD Plus Orange LED
Tempotec iDSD Plus Orange LED

It seems to work again after I charge the unit a bit. It makes me wonder if it may have to do with the battery voltage when it gets low. While this has been happening rarely, it may represent another underlying problem with this DAC.

I’ll, of course, keep using this DAC because it produces an awesome sound that I really like, and I’ll soon be receiving the newest Hidizs Mermaid MS1 and MS4 In-Ear Monitors which I’d love to use with this DAC.

UPDATE 3/25/2019: Added closer pictures of the C46 capacitor.