Using Clip in car - USB power suddenly causes "connected" state

I have a Clip’s that I play through a built-in car stereo with an Aux input adapter. I also have a USB charger to keep the Clip charged. For a few months it was working great. When I started the car, the presence of power on the USB port of the Clip caused it to turn on and start playing. I had Sleep mode set to 30 seconds, so 30 seconds after I turned to car off, the Clip would shut down.

I have not changed anything as far as I know, but now, when I turn on the car, the Sansa says “Connected” and won’t play until I disconnect the USB connection. There is no computer on the USB, just power (+5V and ground). Of course without the USB connection, the Clip is not getting re-charged. 

Why is this happening, and how can I get it to play when power is applied to the USB jack?

Try a different USB power adaptor.  Many of them have a connection to one of the two center “data” pins.  This connection is needed with some portable devices, including the iPod I believe.

Simply put, these other devices won’t charge unless there’s something persent on the data lines.

Take a wee piece of tape and cover the center two pins on the male USB plug,and plug in.  The Sansa should get DC power only, and should start up once it sees juice on the outer two pins.

My guess is that you need a replacement car USB charging adaptor.

Bob :smileyvery-happy:

I’ve tried another USB charger, and I get the same results. As soon as the USB connection is made, it goes into connected mode and will not play. As far as I can tell, it is not charging either. When I unplug the USB cable after having it in connected mode for hours, the battery shows a low state of charge.

Odd that it used to work just fine, and play while charging. The manual says it is supposed to play while charging. 

Should I try a full reset?

The Sansa should display “connected” when there is something on the D+/D- pins, the two center data lines.  Pins 1 and 4, the outermost two, are the power pins.  The Sansa will recognize power on these two pins, and will operate normally (plus it will charge).  If there’s something happening on the data lines, it thinks the cable is connected to a PC, and it will disable the controls.

See if we have a cable problem, or a power source issue.  The Mini-B USB cable is very common; see if you can borrow one and try substituting another cable. 

The two outermost pins are intentionally longer, a design carried over from the early days of the USB standard.  It’s important that the power connections are established before the data lines, a measure to protect the device from damage.  Modern operating systems make “yanking” a device from the USB port far less risky, but we still have those longer power pins.  Slowly insert the USB plug (the standard end, not the small mini-B), letting the power pins make contact only, about halfway inserted.  At this point, see if the Clip can still be controlled using the buttons.

If the Clip misbehaves as soon as it is inserted the rest of the way, your adaptor is the trouble maker.

Bob  :smileyvery-happy:

Wait a sec.  You’ve gotten your clip to automatically power down 30 seconds after turning your car off!  I’ve been wanting to do that forever.  How does one accomplish this?


A separate point to note:  it may not be the best practice to leave your electronics plugged into the car power, to turn on when the car power is applied.  Others may know better on this, but my stand-alone car GPS’ power adapter specifically warns against this.

“Why is this happening, and how can I get it to play when power is applied to the USB jack?”

Get a power only usb cable. Sometimes they are hard to find separately, but the three usb power packs I have(Tekkeon mp1550, Duracell Instant Power, and Lenmar Powerport Mini) each came with one that has a mini usb connector on the end. A power only cable will also let you play your player while it is being charged by your pc.

I just reread this thread. I guess what was happening was that the player kept playing all the time. When the car stereo was turned on with the ignition, then you heard the music again. I guess the cigarette lighter still gets power when the ignition is off, otherwise the player would turn off  within around 12 hours or so after the car ignition was turned off, and the player battery was drained, requiring you to boot the player again. This seems like excessive wear on the player