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Rio Carbon Internals

Here is a picture of the Rio Carbon MP3 Player guts. Control components on the left, Microdrive in the middle, and the rechargeable Lithium Ion Battery on the right.

Attached Image:

Rio Carbon Internal.jpg

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 16 Dec 2004 07:43:06 -0800

Battery . . .

APlus/Callisto Electronics
Date: 4104

Anyone knows where to get a replacement if this one ever goes out?

Attached Image:


Chieh Cheng
Thu, 16 Dec 2004 07:46:33 -0800

I�ve found this page:
Specifications of available Li-Ion batteries (callisto electronics Ltd.)

Do you know the exact model�?

I want to use the microdrive for my powershot S1 IS, can I replace the microdrive with a 512 Mo Compact flash?

Thank you for your answer and I hope that I�ve helped you also

Anthony MAES
Mon, 20 Dec 2004 11:20:06 -0800

Let me know if the Seagate 5 GB drive works in your PowerShot S1 IS.

Because the drive has to be operating in True IDE Mode, the following CF storage devices cannot be used in the Rio Carbon:

* Any solid-state CompactFlash memory
* Creative Labs 340 MB Microdrive
* IBM 340 MB Microdrive
* IBM 1 GB Microdrive
* Magicstor 2.2 GB Microdrive

Currently there are only a handful of drives that can be used in the Rio Carbon, but possibly more in the future. The drives that can be used are:

* Hitachi 2 GB Microdrive
* Hitachi 4 GB Microdrive
* Seagate 5 GB ST1 Drive (included in my Rio Carbon)

The following drives are untested: (if anyone have results, please let me know)

* Hitachi 340 MB Microdrive
* Hitachi 500 MB Microdrive
* Hitachi 1 GB Microdrive
* Iomega 340 MB Microdrive
* Iomega 1 GB Microdrive

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 20 Dec 2004 11:27:08 -0800

UK Rio Engineer posted the following very informative message to Riovolution:

"We determined why flash cards (and maybe some HDDs) don't work - it's because they do not support the IDE flush cache command - we send this to the drive before spinning it down to ensure the drive's write cache is empty.

"This is why the player appears to work fine, then reboots a few seconds later - it's the point at which the player is spinning down the disk.

"It's possible the handling of this command will be changed in future releases which should mean it's compatible with many more flash cards, but I have to say it's not exactly a big priority for us!"

Chieh Cheng
Thu, 30 Dec 2004 07:04:47 -0800

I am successfully using the Rio Carbon 5GB drive in my Canon S1 IS. I just inserted it and formatted in in the camera using the camera's memory card options. I haven't used it for very long. I'm guessing battery life will go down some and write speeds will be a little slower. But man! I just increased my capacity by 10x!

Mon, 31 Oct 2005 15:37:51 -0800

Hey, that's great! Did you just get the Rio Carbon recently? Or did you have it for a while now?

Just wanted to know if the new ones shipping contains camera compatible Microdrives.

Chieh Cheng
Mon, 31 Oct 2005 16:25:49 -0800

Yea I'm using one in my 10d and man it sure is convenient but buy alot of backup batt's for your camera cause these little drives like juice! like 40-55 min shooting and reviewng time at 5 shots per min relaxed pace

Fri, 2 Dec 2005 11:17:46 -0800

I bought 5 Rio Carbons for the family, 2 of the 5 are still working, the constantly flash as if they are charging and won't boot or they boot and shut down. I can read the contents via Audible Manager and even add a new book but when I turn it on, I can't access the books. Seems to me the battery is the problem not the 5 GB HDs. Where can I get replacements? APlus/Callisto Electronics
Date: 4104
Thanks, Tom
[email protected]

Thomas Simack
Sun, 04 Jun 2006 03:47:42 -0700

If I bought a new sealed Rio Carbon and do not use it years down the road is the battery going to be dead. I have several Carbons four to be exact. If you never have used the battery does it stay in a dormant state. If the chemicals are never mixed by charging will it be good if I open it after the other four Carbons batteries die say some five years down the road..

Galen Biggs
Fri, 15 Sep 2006 05:50:08 -0700

Does anyone still know if these 5 GB microdrives are stil usable for Digital Cameras? I saw a FW version of 3.08 on one for sale on ebay, and earlier stories about this microdrive stated that the FW stated on the back of units of 3.04 meant that they were not usable any longer...

Has anyone 'carbonized' units lately...?


Paul Kiler
Sat, 16 Sep 2006 13:44:07 -0700

I have a Rio Carbon 2.5 GB and it stopped working. I opened it and replaced the Li-ion battery with a 4,8 power source and it worked. I wanna know where can I get a new Li-ion battery so I can replace the other one.

APlus/Callisto Electronics
Date: 1105

Mon, 13 Nov 2006 18:23:10 -0800

What is the physical size (in mm) of the Rio Carbon battery?

Tue, 02 Jan 2007 13:22:55 -0800

i cant find the battery i need for my rio carbon ANYWHERE on that site you listed....

Fri, 05 Jan 2007 16:05:20 -0800

Judging by the naming conventions ar Aplusproduct's site, the dimensions are
6mm x 19mm x 47mm.

Anyone know if the voltage etc. is standard, and if a similar or close enough replacement can be had in retail?

My second Rio
Mon, 29 Jan 2007 16:34:52 -0800

I've been working on a friend's old Rio Carbon Pearl on and off for several months, and today I surmised the Microdrive was dead. I went and picked up a Sandisk Ultra II Compact flash card, hooked it into the Rio and flashed the firmware to 1.43 and the player booted up flawlessly. I can not guarantee this will work w/ all CF cards, but I had no problem. Strike "Because the drive has to be operating in True IDE Mode, the following CF storage devices cannot be used in the Rio Carbon:

* Any solid-state CompactFlash memory " from Chieh Cheng's earlier post, as it is obviously wrong. Don't be afraid to experiment ladies and gents, most places have a pretty liberal return policy if you can't get it to work.

Tue, 06 Mar 2007 17:12:42 -0800

I found a Rio Carbon with a dead battery. To test I removed the old battery and replaced it with an "exterior" 3xAA battery holder. I am using 3 AA Ni-Mh rechargeable batteries. So far the batteries have lasted 6 hours of playback. It looks ugly and it's big but it proofs the idea. Any 3.7V battery (3 x 1.2V too)would work.
I am looking for a Li-ion battery to replace the original one. There's nothing that small in the market, so I am thinking to use an iPOD one ($12) and "mount" it outside the player.
I'll post more details as I go further.

Mon, 02 Apr 2007 12:25:25 -0700


I did the same thing, replacing the dead battery with 4 AA batteries (4.8V). The Rio Player worked fine, but when I plugged it on my PC, the windows did not recognize the hardware. So I tried to reinstall the software and It didn'd work. Have you plugged your Rio Player on your PC with the 3 AA batteries, and did it work?

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 14:24:28 -0700

It did work and I was able to access the drive.

Wed, 04 Apr 2007 14:50:39 -0700

try conditioning the battery. i have not used my carbon for a long time. and it shows only a quarter capacity. so i have been conditioning it for the part few weeks. a few days ago, i listened to it while driving to work. apparently i forgot to turn it off after getting to work, because when i came out six hours later, it is still playing.

Chieh Cheng
Sat, 14 Apr 2007 22:11:33 -0700

To condition the battery, charge the battery all the way up, then Discharge fully by running it all the way down. repeat the process many times. i probably did it over ten times in several weeks. make sure you charge and discharge continuously without stopping. otherwise you are basically conditioning your battery to run for short period of time.

Chieh Cheng
Sat, 14 Apr 2007 22:26:46 -0700

The microdrive in my Rio Carbon Pearl stopped working properly, so I think I'll buy a CompactFlash card to put in there instead. But first, I wanted to find out which cards would work, so I asked one of the two web shops in my country (Sweden) that sold that exact hard disk model, what cards I should be able to replace the microdrive with.

The answer I got:

"It was a while ago I studied CF cards, but if I remember it correctly, type 2 meant that the card communicated as a hard drive, while type 1 was communication of modem type. It means that you can safely use any memory card, but that it would be a waste of money to invest in the newer HighSpeed cards."

Note that those are not my words, and that I do not know if the information is correct.

Maybe it's old news, but I thought I'd contribute with my experiences...

And, this is what I found inside my player:

Hitachi HMS360606D5CF00

APlus/Callisto Electronics
Date: 2105

Tue, 02 Sep 2008 19:50:02 +0000

I put in a Sandisk Ultra II Compact Flash 2GB, and it works perfectly!

I've had four different Carbons, and I haven't been able to use any of them more than approximately five hours before having to charge them again. But after putting in the flash card, I installed the unofficial firmware "Developer's Cut 3.04", switched the dB limiter off, and let it play at highest volume until it died. The battery lasted for more than 15 hours! Two other good things: Transferring files goes faster than before, and the card doesn't get warm.

(Note that you have to reinstall the firmware when putting in a new disk/card.)

Fri, 12 Sep 2008 16:14:14 +0000

Thanks Tim! That's excellent information. I will upgrade to that drive when my dies. Maybe try the 4 GB or the 8 GB version.

Chieh Cheng
Sat, 13 Sep 2008 00:50:59 +0000

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Title: Seagate 5 GB ST1 Drive in PCMCIA
Weblog: GearHack
Excerpt: I took the Seagate 5GB ST1 Microdrive out of a Rio Carbon and inserted it into the PCMCIA slot on my Windows XP notebook, but the drive does not show up in "My Computer". So I looked at the Device Manager and it shows the "PCMCIA IDE/ATAPI Controller" driver, but no driver for the disk drive itself. . . .
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Title: Rio Carbon UPGRADER problem
Weblog: GearHack
Excerpt: Hi. I have a Rio Carbon 5 Gb mp3 player. The player worked properly since last week. Now when I swich on appear the Rio logo and after writes UPGRADER. If I put to charge it`s doesn`t charging. I tried the emergency reset but it`s doesn`t worked. I reed the pdf file at the Rio homepage then I t . . .
Tracked: Sat, 20 Jan 2007 13:57:18 -0800

Title: Rio Carbon Volume Control Failure
Weblog: GearHack
Excerpt: My kid has a Rio Carbon that must have fallen. The volume wheel is now loose. The device works otherwise. Does this mean that the wheel is broken or did it just come loose? How do you open the case? Thanks for your help.
Tracked: Sat, 20 Jan 2007 13:58:38 -0800

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