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Tips on charging your Zen Vision:M

Zen Vision:M is supplied with a sync adapter, with 3 ports:
1. Mini-USB port (for connecting to PC for data transfer and charging, with supplied USB cable)
2. DC port - for charging from external power source - 5v, AC adapter for this is optional.
3. AV port - for connecting to external AV with optional AV cable.

The mini-USB and DC charging circuits are separate, the use of mini-USB is conditional (see below) but the use of DC circuit is unconditional.
So the sync adapter is really an integral part of the player, without which you will not be able to charge the player, thus rendering it useless. So be careful not to lose it, or get a spare just in case.

Zen Vision:M used to be supplied with an AC charger, which plugs into the DC port (round) of the sync adapter. That is the proper/better way to charge the player than using the mini-USB port.
In around August 2006 Creative stopped shipping the player with any AC charger, leaving the customer no option but to charge via the mini-USB port with the supplied USB cable. And that is when many problems start with many users.

Though Zen Vision:M accept charge through the mini-USB port, provided (conditional):

1. The player must be connected and recognised with software - Creative software, or Windows Media Player 10 or later, which includes MTP driver (Zen Vision:M is a MTP device).
2. The player is connected with the PC with the above software running. Without the above software or driver, the player cannot be connected to the PC, thus the player will not be charged.
3. The player battery is not depleted. USB power from PC may not be enough to charge the player with depleted battery.

If you have got a new Zen Vision:M, with only USB cable, and it does not seem to charge or power when connected to PC, this is what you should do:

1. Install the Creative software.
2. If you do not want to install Creative software, Media Player 10 or later with MTP driver installed is OK. The problem is that MTP driver may not be installed by default. When you connect the player Windows (XP/SP2) will start installing the driver, but that is only if the player can be turned on. If the player does not even have enough battery power for it to be turned on, Windows will not find it thus not able to install the driver.

The problem with many users is that the player cannot be turned on when it first arrives. In that case you should install the Creative software and leave the player connected to PC and leave it charge overnight, with PC running. It should have enough power the next day.
-------------------------------------
So are there other ways to get round it?
Yes, there are plenty.

The best and proper way to charge the player is with an AC charger (or USB power) via the DC port. You can use any other charger other than the Creative ones as long as it has 5v output with the appropriate DC tip (4.0/1.7-diameter/internal pin- in mm). There are many electronic devices, PDA, DC Camera, MP3, etc etc using the same 5v and DC plug. You may have it even in your junk drawer left from a previous device which you no long have/use. If you are not sure, try plugging it into the DC port, if it fits then look at the adapter label, if it says output 5v (or 5.2v) - 2A (or 2000mA, or 1A, or 2.4A, this is not too important), then it is OK to use, provided that it is in safe working condition (do not use if it has been left in humid condition for a long time). If you want to buy a new one other than a Creative one because it is expensive or it is not readily available, you can get one for PSP, if you do not know what to look for.
-----------------------------------------
Other than giving a lengthy explanation, we have compiled some FAQ:

Can I use a Creative AC charger for Zen Micro, which has mini-USB?
NO. As mentioned above, to charge via mini-USB port, the player must be connected to a PC with relevant software/driver installed. The player can be charged only when it is recognised by the PC. With an AC charger, the player does not know it is connected, thus will not open the circuit for charging.
Having said that, there is a way to get round it. See explanation below.

I want to charge the player in another PC, I do not want to install any software or driver, I only have the USB cable, what can I do?
As mentioned before, the player player open the circuit for charging only if it knows it is connected to a PC. The way round it is to set the player as an UMS (Universal mass storage) device so any PC (with ME or later) will recognise it without any additional driver.
Go to menu and select Extras > Removable Disk > (assign a portion of the harddisk as portable storage if you have not yet done so) Removable USB disk icon is displayed. It is not in Removable Disk mode. Connect to PC and the PC will recognise it as an external harddisk. Since the player and the PC are now CONNECTED, the player can be charged with USB power. The same trick can also apply to using AC adapter with mini-USB plug. But not all such AC adapters will work as some devices use custom circuit in their chargers. A STANDARD mini-USB charger should work.

What do you mean "(or USB power) via the DC port" above?
It means powering with USB power through the DC port, not the mini-USB port. It does not matter what is the power source, as long as it is 5v (current output is not too important) and through the DC port. One good example is our dual-purpose cable - PU2MD (PR2MD) - it is a mini-USB sync cable as well as DC power cable. You can charge the player connected to a PC with the DC tip, even with the player battery depleted, with any PC, any OS, or connected to a USB adapter - car or AC. Remember that charging through the DC port is "unconditional".

I want to charge the player connected to PC but I also want to use/play it. But the player is always "Docked" when I connect it to PC, thus preventing me from using it. What can I do?
The player is "docked" when the player software (Creative/MP) is running.
If you have installed Creative software, open Media Source > Tools > Settings > Detector > uncheck enable Detector
This will "undock" the player so that you can use it, but still keeps it powered/charged. Other software may have similar settings.
Please note that if you run Windows Explorer (which automatically connects the player if MTP driver is installed), the player will be "docked".

How can I charge the player in car?
You can use any 5v charger with the appropriate DC plug (4.0/1.7) that plugs into the DC port of the sync adapter.
As mentioned before, there are many devices with similar power requirement so you should be able to find one easily.
If you are looking to buy from this site. these are the options:
1. CK203 + PU2MD - this plugs into the sync adapter DC port.
2. CK203 + ZVUSC - this plugs directly into the player sync port, sync adapter is not required.

How does ZVUSC charge the player?
As mentioned above, there are 2 ways to charge the player, mini0USB and DC, which have different circuits.
ZVUSC is multi cable and sync adapter built in one, It is equal to USB cable + sync adapter (USB cable connected to USB port of sync adapter) and DC cable + sync adapter (USB DC cable connected to sync adapter). So you can use it to sync with a PC, or charge (via the DC circuit) with a PC, without any software/driver, or with a car USB adapter (CK203) in car. or with an AC USB adapter.
Many other after market sync/charge cables may be built this way but we can only speak for ours.

How long does it take to fully charge the player?
It depends on the current input (or current output of your charger).
Creative quoted 2-3 hours using Creative AC charger (2.4A) and 6 hours with USB (0.5A).
It is not important what current output your charger has. Smaller (less A) means it takes longer to charge.

To sum up: you will not have any problem if you charge your player through the DC port, whatever the power source.

If you have questions about the above products please write to info-pcm @ pc-mobile.net
HomePocket PC  Cables Palm OS -Audio AdaptersSony PSPold GPS cablenew cables   Other GPSNikon Camera Information
 -Acer n30/n50HP IpaqPalm V / H.S.PDA>SerialKyocera 7135SE 750/800PSP 1000Garmin E-GEGarmin E-GUEG / Foretrex-Order Tracking
-Asus  A730HP JornadaPalm M/T/Z71USB>serial-PDASPV /TanagerTreo 600 PSP SLIMGarmin R-GRGarmin R-GURDelorme USBNikon GPSPaypal order
Latest NewsAsus  A620Fujitsu LooxPalm T5/T650USB>serial- PCMio 8380MPx200G. Rino - GOG. Rino - GUORS DigitravelerNikon CablesCCNOW order
-Axim X5/x3/30FujitsuLoox TSony ClieBT AdapterSony P800NEC616Iphone / IpodMagellan M/SMagellanM/SMeXplorist 456-Terms/conditions
 -Axim X50/50VToshibaiQue 3600DC AdaptersHitachi G1000Samsung i700-eXplorist  123eXplorist 123--Delivery/cost
GenericCasio PPCViewsonic/Mio--Siemens SX1Sharp GX32Zen Vision: WL iFinder GOL iFinderGOUSB>GPSGenericContacts
Cable/adapterEten M500T-Mobile/XDAHTC_HermesConnectorsEten M500T-Mobile/XDAZen Vision: ML iFinder H2OL iFinderH2OGPS AntennaCable/adapterSupport