· When I move the player between the car and the house, what does it do differently?
(Entry last updated on April 6th, 2011)
The player has two different personalities, commonly referred to as "Home" and "Car", or "AC" and "DC". The player decides which personality to use depending on how it's getting its power.
If it's getting its power from an AC adapter plugged into the AC adapter jack on the back of the player, it assumes it's in the house, and uses its "Home" or "AC" personality. If it's getting its power from the connector on the car docking sled, it assumes it's in the car, and will use its "Car" or "DC" personality.
Note that the terms "AC" and "DC" are actually used incorrectly. The player always runs on DC 12v current, we just say "AC" as shorthand for "current that comes from the indoor AC adapter power supply".
If needed, you can use one of the features of the Hijack Kernel to force the player into AC mode or DC mode.
You can also fool the player into thinking it's running on AC-adapter power even though the current is coming from the docking sled. You can fool it by tripping the sensor switch on the AC adapter jack, usually by inserting a "blank" non-wired 2.1mm DC power plug into the jack. This trick is commonly used by owners who have built in-home docking stations for their car player, but still want the player to have two distinct personalities. This sensor switch can also malfunction, causing the player to remain stuck in the "Home" personality, as described here.
The following things change when the player switches personalities:
Note: The above is most likely an incomplete list. Contact TFabris on the Unofficial Empeg BBS if you can think of any additions. Thanks.
- If you have installed custom boot-up logos on your player, the logo will change depending on whether it's using the home or the car personality. The logo editor software should allow you to create two completely different bitmap images, one for the home personality and one for the car personality.
- The speed of the player's serial port is 115200 bits per second in Home mode, and 4800 bits per second in Car mode. See here for more details.
- The power-on boot upgrade sequence, which normally listens for an upgrade signal from a host PC, is disabled when in Car mode. See here for more details.
- For the Mark 2 and Rio Car players, there is a Dimmer option available in the Settings menu when in Car mode. The dimmer has two levels, depending on the state of the headlight-illumination-sense wire on the car docking sled. See here for more information on the operation of the dimmer.
- In Car mode, there will be a front/rear fader option in the Sound menu, allowing you to balance the sound between the front and rear outputs on the docking sled. This option is hidden in Home mode, and the fader is locked to center.
- In Car mode, you will have an option to switch the equalizer to 4-channel (front/rear/left/right) mode. In Home mode, you can only have a 2-channel (left/right) equalizer. 4-channel mode gives you five parametric EQ bands per output channel. 2-channel mode gives you ten bands each, but for left and right only. And before you ask, there is no way to make it give you ten bands each for front and rear. If you want ten bands, the only option is left and right. If you want front/rear, then you only get five bands. This is a limitation of the player's DSP chip, not a limitation of the software. But hey, they're fully parametric bands, so they give you a lot of flexibility.
- The player has two storage areas for remembering certain settings: one for the Home personality and one for the Car personality. So when you change a setting in the car, it remembers that change for the car. When you change that setting in the home, it remembers that setting for the home. The following things are remembered differently between home and car:
- Volume setting.
- Loudness setting.
- Balance setting.
- Fader setting (locked out in home mode, remembered for car).
- EQ Preset number 1 details.
- EQ Preset number 2 details.
- EQ Preset number 3 details.
- EQ Preset number 4 details.
- EQ Preset number 5 details.
- EQ Preset number 6 details.
- EQ Preset number 7 details.
- EQ Preset number 8 details.
- EQ Preset number 9 details.
- EQ Preset number 10 details.
- EQ Preset number 11 details.
- EQ Preset number 12 details.
- EQ Preset number 13 details.
- EQ Preset number 14 details.
- EQ Preset number 15 details.
- EQ Preset number 16 details.
Note that the selected EQ preset is not one of the things that's remembered separately. If you change it to EQ preset number 4 in the car, then it will come up with EQ preset number 4 selected in the house. The individual details of EQ preset number 4 are remembered separately for home and car. It's meant to be "set it and forget it" for each environment, so remember to adjust your EQs while you're in the environment you're adjusting them for. Do not create a "preset 1=home, preset 2=car" situation, because then you will have to manually switch it. Just use the same preset for both, adjust them while in the proper environment, and it will automatically be different between home and car.