* NJB3 Tapers FAQ *
* 2005 Sep 14 - v2.3 *
[/pre]I gathered all this info primarily from taperssection.com, NJB3Tapers Yahoo group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/njb3tapers
), and Nomadness (http://www.nomadness.net
). Stick me in Des Moines, IA on a Mon evening after a long, tiring (but relatively easy) work day and this is the result. Undecided
*  I'm a little confused about how all this stuff works, generally, much less specifics about the NJB3. Where should I start?
*  What are the pros and cons of the NJB3 v. DAT or MD?
*  With what size hard drive does the NJB3 come?
*  How many hours of recordings will fit on the NJB3?
*  I heard the NJB3 supports 24-bit recording, is this true?
*  I also heard it supports 96 kHz sample rates, is this true?
*  Can I use a different Creative model other than the Nomad Jukebox 3?
*  Is it bit-perfect when fed a digital signal?
*  Where do I get a digital signal converter?
*  How do I power my Hosa ODL-312 or ODL-276 digital format converter?
*  So does this mean I can use it to patch in digital patch chains? What about analog patching?
*  What about patching multiple NJB3s together in a chain?
*  Can I split the optical signal after my DFC and before my NJB3 to patch two NJB3s off the same DFC?
*  How do I transfer or copy files from one NJB3 to another?
*  How long will the internal battery(ies) last?
*  Where can I buy another internal battery?
*  What about external power for longer than ~6 hrs run-time?
*  What size DC external power plug does the JB3 use?
*  So if I use an external power source, how long will my NJB3 run?
*  Should I use external power with the internal batteries in or out?
*  If I run out of power will the NJB3 shut down gracefully, saving my recording?
*  I'm used to having or like to have physical backups of my recordings, but I can't do this with the NJB3 - what are my options?
*  Should I turn the infrared remote sensor on or off?
*  Do I have to use an outboard ADC?
*  Can I run my mics or the soundboard directly into my NJB3?
*  What kind of cables do I need to run analog-in from mics or soundboard?
*  Since I'm running analog-in to my JB3, how do I set my recording levels?
*  What kind of cables/adapters do I need to run digital-in from an outboard ADC?
*  How do I operate this thing?!?
*  How do I connect my NJB3 to my computer for transferring recordings?
*  I'm having connectivity and/or transfer problems. Help!!
*  My stereo mini or optical mini connector doesn't quite fit properly in the female mini jack, what can I do?
*  Is there a time or file size limit when recording?
*  How do I start a new recording quickly?
*  Can I lock the buttons when I'm recording so I don't flub and press one accidentally?
*  Can I still use the backlight when the buttons are locked?
*  What software / firmware should I use?
*  How do I upgrade the firmware?
*  How do I downgrade the firmware?
*  Do I need to do any regular maintenance?
*  How often should I do regular maintenance (i.e. format the drive)?
*  How do I set it up to load a neat-o custom startup screen it boots up?
*  My optical / line-in connection is shot - what are the symptoms, how do I fix it?
*  Can I replace the hard drive with a larger one?
*  Can I modify it to take a digital coax S/PDIF signal instead of optical?
*  My scroll-wheel sticks and jumps - how do I fix it?
*  My power / hold button sticks - help!!
*  Opening JB3-recorded WAV: "File header reports a size that is different than the system reports..."?!?
*  What other resources are there about the NJB3?
 I'm a little confused about how all this stuff works, generally, much less specifics about the NJB3. Where should I start?
In the Where To Begin forum, of course! (http://taperssection.com/index.php?board=46.0
 What are the pros and cons of the NJB3 v. DAT or MD?
* long run-time on internal batteries (up to 6 hrs with 2 internal batts)
* no media!
* low cost
* easy and fast transfers to PC via USB or Firewire: < 5min for a 3 hr recording via firewire v. real-time transfers for DAT or analog transfers for most MDs
* supports uncompressed WAV recording (16-bit, 44.1 or 48 kHz) in addition to various MP3 qualities
* 3 hour recording time per WAV recording session
* fast start of new recording session with the push of a single button (5 seconds or 1/2 second depending on firmware)
* no ATRAC compression a la MD
* similar ADC quality compared to portable DATs (depends on how discerning your ears are, of course - also easily resolved by using an external ADC)
* similar line-in performance compared to portable DATs (again, depends on how discerning your ears are)
* holds theoretical max of 30+ hrs of recordings (great for festivals)
* optical input though most ADCs and patch chains use a coax S/PDIF signal (easily resolved, search this page for "digital format converter")
* a bit bigger than the smallest portable DAT decks (form factor of a portable CD player)
* poor mic-in performance compared to portable DATs (though you shouldn't be running mic-in, anyway)
* doesn't run on standard rechargable batteries (i.e. AA), requires specific LiON batt(s)
* rare reported accounts of device shut-down related to knocks or overheating (? unsure about this one, mine's been very reliable and knocks and overheating should only be a possibility if you're stealthing and have it stashed away real snugly)
* limited Mac support - must transfer via USB instead of Firewire
 With what size hard drive does the NJB3 come?
20GB or 40GB. Most people use 20GB NJB3's because they offer plenty of disk capacity and are much less expensive than the 40GB models. Note: HD manufacturers do not label hard drive size properly. Most HD manufacturer labelling uses an incorrect definition of a megabyte: 1 MB = 1,000,000 bytes, instead of the correct 1 MB = 1,048,576 bytes.
 How many hours of recordings will fit on the NJB3?
The NJB3 supports 16-bit recording at either 44.1 kHz or 48 kHz sample rates. We know from the archives the bit-depth and sample-rates take up the following amount of HD space:
Bit-Depth Sample Rate (kHz) MB Per stereo-track-minute
16 44.1 10
16 48.0 11
Just do the math. For example, at CD quality (16-bit, 44.1kHz) using the 20GB NJB3 and recording in stereo (two tracks, left and right):
20GB = 20,000 MB *
20,000 MB / 10 MB/stereo-track-minute = 2,000 minutes
2,000 minutes / 60 minutes = 33.33 hours
* HD manufacturers do not label hard drive size properly. Most HD manufacturer labelling uses an incorrect definition of a megabyte: 1 MB = 1,000,000 bytes, instead of the correct 1 MB = 1,048,576 bytes.
You likely won't get 100% efficiency out of your hard drive, and the 20GB also stores some system files, so...you won't quite be able to utilize the full 34.13 hrs or hard drive space, but you get the idea: LOTS of space! (FWIW, 16-bit/48kHz gets you a theoretical max of 31.03 hrs.)
 I heard the NJB3 supports 24-bit recording, is this true?
Nope. The NJB3 is strictly a 16-bit recording/playback device. If fed a 24-bit digital signal, the NJB3 will still only record a 16-bit signal by simply truncating the last 8 bits.
 I also heard it supports 96 kHz sample rates, is this true?
People have attempted to feed NJB3s a 16-bit, 96 kHz sample rate signal. The NJB3 records the incoming signal with 16-bit, 48 kHz file header (and the clock appears to run at double-time), but appears to actually store the 96 kHz data. After transferring the recorded file back to a PC, simply changing the WAV file header from 48 kHz to 96 kHz will yield a playable 16-bit/96 kHz file. However, this doesn't appear to work reliably as users report ticks, pops, diginoise on the resulting recordings. So, the answer is: while the NJB3 can be "tricked" into storing the 96 kHz sample rate, it's not usable due to artifacts in the recording.
 Can I use a different Creative model other than the Nomad Jukebox 3?
Nope, the NJB3 is the only one of the bunch which offers analog and digital input recording capability to WAV. There may be another NJB3 model which supports analog recording, but I don't know of anyone using it, nor of any tests to identify whether it works properly for field recording.
 Is it bit-perfect when fed a digital signal? How do I feed the NJB3 a digital signal if my ADC outputs coax S/PDIF or AES/EBU?
Whether the NJB3 is bit-perfect depends on the device providing the digital signal, basically. The Edirol (Roland) UA-5 works well and has a direct optical output. Most other devices have a coax S/PDIF or AES/EBU output and require a digital format converter*. The two Hosa digital format converters are popular and I've tested the ODL-312 as bit-accurate out of the V3 (and suspect it's bit-accurate out of most devices): ODL-312 (AES/EBU <-> optical) and ODL-276 (coax S/PDIF <-> optical). Users have experienced mixed results with other digital format converter boxes: M-Audio CO2, M-Audio CO3, the ubiquitous "grey box" (POF-820). Jamie Lutch has posted some testing results over on the NJB3Tapers Yahoo group Files section and I've tested the ODL-312 quite a bit.
* Note: these are not analog to digital converters (ADCs). They merely convert one digital format to another digital format.
 Where do I get a digital signal converter?
EBay is always an option, and Full Compass seems to have competitive pricing at ~$50 shipped. Give 'em a call, though, their online listings don't reflect their actual pricing.
 How do I power my Hosa ODL-312 or ODL-276 digital format converter?
Both these units run on 9VDC external power. Both the ODL-312 and -276 are field powerable by a NiMH 9.6v RC rechargable battery. Simply build yourself a power cable to convert the stock RC battery connectors to the connector required by the ODL boxes. I cut off my ODL-312 connector from the stock wallwart cable and crimped it to a male Tamiya connector (the RC battery has a female Tamiya connector). Even a 1600 mAH RC battery will power the Hosa boxes for a long time. The Hosa boxes specs say 50mA current draw, so theoreticaly max run-time on a 9.6v NiMH 1600 mAH RC battery would be 1600 mAH / 50mA = 32 hrs. That's a loooooong time!
 So does this mean I can use it to patch in digital patch chains? What about analog patching?
Sure, either analog and digital.
Simply feed it an analog signal via stereo mini connector and you're all set. Probably want to run line-in as it sounds better than mic-in. Mic-in is known to suffer from nasty artifacts like hard drive whine and a high noise floor. While line-in is much better than mic-in, you're ultimately far better off patching digitally. You can send an analog output to patchers via the Line 1 analog out as well.
The NJB3 takes an optical input via a optical mini connector. Since most outboard ADCs and recording decks pass a coax S/PDIF signal, how the heck do I patch with my optical NJB3? Just pick up a coax barrel splitter - one of the outputs runs to your digital format converter and the other passes the signal on to the next patcher in queue. The apparently most reliable digital format converter which supports coax S/PDIF <-> optical conversion - and therefore ideal for patching - seems to be the Hosa Hosa ODL-276 (S/PDIF coax <-> optical). The -276 will be most useful for patching since it converts a S/PDIF coax signal, the most common digital signal passed in patch chains. Users have experienced mixed results with other digital format converter boxes: M-Audio CO2, M-Audio CO3, the ubiquitous "greybox". Jamie Lutch has posted some testing results over on the NJB3Tapers Yahoo group Files section and I've tested the ODL-312 quite a bit.
 What about patching multiple NJB3s together in a chain?
The NJB3 doesn't support digital passthrough of a digital signal, hence the need for the coax barrel splitter to split the coax S/PDIF feed. However, splitting the signal multiple times will weaken the signal and will likely eventually render the signal unusable for the digital format converters (or for DAT decks far down the chain after a long run of NJB3s). For this reason, it's probably a good idea to drop in a DAT deck in between every two or so NJB3's in the chain because the DAT decks re-generate the coax S/PDIF signal bringing it back up to full strength. OR, NJB3s can simply copy the recorded files across NJB3s after the show (neat!).
 Can I split the optical signal after my DFC and before my NJB3 to patch two NJB3s off the same DFC?
You can try, but anecdotal evidence suggests it won't work. The passive optical splitters available at places like Radio Shack basically halve the strength of the signal feeding each device behind the splitter. The weakened signal apparently is not strong enough to feed the NJB3 properly.
 How do I transfer or copy files from one NJB3 to another?
 Download and install the latest Firmware
 Conect both players with the 4 pin to 4 pin 1394 cable
 Turn both units on
 Go to Music Library, All Tracks view.
 Press the Side Scroller and select Send Track
 You can then select each file, one at a time and send it to the other player.
Note: Copy protected tracks such as WMA(with DRM) or preloaded content cannot be transfered from the player units.
 How long will the internal battery(ies) last?
A single internal battery runs ~3 hrs recording time. Two will get you around 6 hrs recording time, more than long enough for any single-evening recording event! The battery bay holds up to 2 batteries, and the batteries are charged while in the bay - I know of no external battery charger available.
 Where can I buy another internal battery?
Most folks seem to pick them up from EBay for ~$30.
 What about external power for longer than ~6 hrs run-time?
Lots of options for external DC power. The NJB3 runs on 5v external power, tip (+), ring (-). Only catch is there aren't really any batteries out there that natively provide 5v of power. Soooo...best bets are to take a battery which provides more than 5v of power and  regulate its output to 5v, or  build a battery pack which outputs ~5v.
 Regulate output to 5v
Popular options which output more than 5v are sealed lead acid (SLA) and RC batteries. SLAs are readily available in both 12v and 6v output. RC batteries are typically 7.2v or 9.6v. For the 6v SLAs, it may be possible to wire two diodes in-line on the hot wire to drop it down to 5v. For the 12v SLA and 7.2v/9.6 RC batteries, two main ways to drop the voltage:  with a 7805 voltage regulator and heat sink, and  with a Creative/third-party car adapter which supports 5v output. For pics of a Creative car adapter hacked for use with a 12v SLA, check out this thread:http://www.taperssection.com/index.php?board=25;action=display;threadid=10272;start=250#msg222880
 Build 5v battery pack
A couple people have had success building ~5v battery packs out of 4 x 1.2v NiMH cells. Fully charged NiMH cells will put out ~1.4v each, so this pack will deliver around 5.6v fully charged - which is a bit too high for the NJB3, outside it's operating voltage specs. If you run it with a slightly too high voltage, you may lock up the JB3 which will require resetting it by either removing all power (including internal batteries) and putting them back in, or pressing the reset button on the back with a paper clip. If the voltage is a little high, run the batts for a few minutes on another device (e.g. small light bulb) to drain the battery which will reduce the output voltage enough to fall within the NJB3's voltage specs.
 What size DC external power plug does the JB3 use? What polarity to use for wiring?
Outer Diameter: 4.0mm / Inner Diameter: 1.7mm
Radio Shack Adaptaplug B
Tip (+), Ring (-)
 So if I use an external power source, how long will my NJB3 run?
Thanks to Todd in Buffalo for these current draw measurements:
* Boot-up and harddrive 'punches' : 750 mA spikes
* Toggling thru the menus (back light on): 120 mA
* At rest, no back light on: 70 mA
* Recording: 230 mA with an occasional spike to 750 mA when the HD punches, I'm calling it 300mA.
So how long the NJB3 will run on an external power source depends on the capacity of the battery. Roughly estimated:
run-time = ( battery capacity / current draw )
(Note: Since SLA rated capacity (AH) is calculated using a slower draw, multiply by .80 to account for the fact that we drain SLAs more quickly than the rate used by the manufacturer, and to cover the fact that we don't want to damage our SLAs by draining them 100%).
 Should I use external power with the internal batteries in or out?
Best bet is to use external power with the internal batteries out. The NJB3 always looks for external power first. If it finds external power, it will run the NJB3 and try to charge the internal batteries at the same time. Charging your internal batteries and running the NJB3 from your external power source is a good way to drain your external power source quickly. If the batteries are fully charged, you should be okay as it won't try to charge the internal batteries while on the external power source. But why risk it? If you have your external battery fused (as you should!), you may blow the fuse if the NJB3 draws power for both running itself and charging the internal batteries.
 If I run out of power will the NJB3 shut down gracefully, saving my recording?
Running on internal power, the NJB3 may shut down gracefully, saving your recording. Then again, it may not. Users have reported mixed results iwth auto-saving the recording when the internal battery dies. Running external power, it will not save your recording.
 I'm used to having or like to have physical backups of my recordings, but I can't do this with the NJB3 - what are my options?
Some people are hesitant to switch to the NJB3 because they like to have physical backups of their recordings, i.e. DAT or MD masters. There are several good options for backing up master NJB3 recordings:
* Archive the master WAV as data (not audio) onto a CD or DVD.
* Archive the compressed (FLAC or SHN) master recording onto a data CD or DVD.
* Keep at least two copies at all times: audio and archived
* Share copies with your friends.
* Share copies with the greater live music trading community.
* For bands that allow open taping and have agreed to allow Archive.org to host their live recordings, host the mastered recording on http://www.archive.org
 Should I turn the infrared remote sensor on or off?
The IR remote sensor is a battery hog. Be nice to your batteries and turn it off.
 Do I have to use an outboard ADC?
You don't have to, but you'll generally achieve signicantly better results if you do. While the NJB3 isn't terrible, it's not all that great, either (depending on how discerning your ears are). There's a reason it's such an inexpensive device: they had to cut corners somewhere. Two popular outboard pre/ADCs for the NJB3 are the Denecke AD-20 / Zefiro Inbox and the Edirol UA-5. Inexpensive (relatively speaking), easily powered in the field, and significant sound quality improvements over the NJB3s analog inputs and ADC. There are plenty of other options as well, but the AD-20/Inbox and UA-5 are two great lower cost starter pre/ADCs which will improve sound quality significantly.
 Can I run my mics or the soundboard directly into my NJB3?
Sure. Just need to make sure you  have a hot enough signal to run line-in, and  have the proper connectors to get the analog signal into your NJB3's stereo mini connector.
 What kind of cables do I need to run analog-in from mics or soundboard?
Mics may have any number of analog outputs - the key is converting the mics' (or battery box's, or preamp's) output connectors to a 3.5mm stereo jack. There are inexpensive adapters to convert to thte JB3s 3.5mm stereo jack from just about any connector type. See below for some examples.
Soundboards may have any number of analog outputs: usually XLR, RCA, or 1/4" mono, and occasionally 1/4" stereo headphone outputs. The adapters or cables you need will depend on the input connector for your ADC/recording device.
For example, many folks will run the soundboard patch directly into a device with a 3.5mm female stereo connector (e.g. Sony portables, NJB3). So, you need to  take XLR, RCA, and 1/4" feeds and convert them to a 3.5mm stereo male connector, and  provide some length of cable run to get your gear out of the way of the sound engineer. Two ways to do this:
Option 1 - adapters + cable run
 RCA male | RCA male 6' cable run
 RCA female | RCA female barrel
 XLR female | RCA female adapter
 1/4" female | RCA male adapter
2 x RCA female | 3.5mm stereo adapter
Option 2 - input-specific adapters
2 x RCA female | 3.5mm stereo adapter
2 x XLR female | 3.5mm stereo adapter
2 x 1/4" female | 3.5mm stereo adapter
The problem with option 2 is if you want a cable run to support all three input-specific adapters, you'll have to carry around a separate cable run for RCA, XLR and 1/4" connectors - that's a lot of cable runs to schlep around, IMO.
 Since I'm running analog-in to my JB3, how do I set my recording levels?
Use either your preamp or the JB3 itself to adjust and your JB3 to monitor the recording levels. The downside: the JB3 level meters aren't very useful, even with the info to follow. They include no labelling, so there's no easy way to tell precisely where your levels are hitting. David Klein mapped out the levels as follows (http://taperssection.com/index.php?action=dlattach;topic=16338.0;id=11104;image
). If you're unableto view the pic in the link, here's an ASCII representation - the numbers within the box indicate the row of boxes in the LCD display:
| 01 | 00
| 02 | -01 \
| 03 | -01 grouped
| 04 | -01 /
| 05 | -01 /
| 06 | -01
| 07 | -01
| 08 | -04
| 09 | -08
| 10 | -12
| 11 | -16
| 12 | -20
| 13 | -24
| 14 | -28
| 15 | -32
| 16 | -36
| 17 | -39
| 18 | -42
| 19 | -45
| 20 | -57 \
| 21 | -57 grouped
| 22 | -57 /
| 23 | -57 /
 What kind of cables/adapters do I need to run digital-in from an outboard ADC?
Remember - while most digital format converters (like the Hosa's listed above) or optical output devices use a standard toslink optical connector, the NJB3 takes a mini optical connector so you may need a toslink/mini adapter. Some commonly used optical cables and adapters:
* Sound Pros SP-TMOC-RA toslink right-angle to mini right-angle cable (http://www.soundprofessionals.com
* SonicWave DTOSGOC01 1m glass optical cable (available at http://www.cablesamerica.com
* Phoenix Gold DTX-910 optical cable (available at http://www.partsexpress.com
* Acoustic Research Pro II optical cable (available at http://www.partsexpress.com
* Dayton Audio optical cable (available at http://www.partsexpress.com
* Velocity DTOS35RA toslink - mini right-angle adapter (available at http://www.cablesamerica.com
* Velocity DTOSRAA toslink - toslink right-angle adapter (available at http://www.cablesamerica.com
 How do I operate this thing?!?
This is a massive topic in and of itself. Check the NJB3Tapers Yahoo group Files section, NJB3Recording_1_4.txt (also copied at TS.com: http://www.taperssection.com/index.php?board=14;action=display;threadid=16341
). It covers:
-Terms And Other Information
 How do I connect my NJB3 to my computer for transferring recordings?
The documentation which comes with the NJB3 should address this question in more detail. But basically, you need these components in place:
 NJB3 firmware for the NJB3 to function
 PC drivers to enable firewire
 PC drivers to provide connectivity between Windows and NJB3
 File Manager software to provide a view/edit interface to the NJB3
The NJB3 should come with  already on it (though you may wish to upgrade - see below). Windows should have taken care of  already. So now you need  and .
 There's a separate set of NJB3 drivers which must be installed on the PC in order for Windows to recognize the NJB3 over the firewire port/cable. These drivers should have come on a CD with your NJB3. Since Nomadness and Creative (below) either don't seem to have them any longer or they are difficult to track down, they're in the TS Reference | Software | JB3
). Nomadness also may still host the driver upgrades (http://www.nomadness.net/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=viewdownload&cid=7
). You might also find them on Creative's website, here
. See #2 or #3 under the Drivers section.
 In addition to the drivers above which provide connectivity between Windows and the NJB3, you'll need another set of software to provide an interface that allows you as a user to view and edit the contents of the NJB3. Best option is NOMAD Explorer, available in TS Reference | Software | JB3
Creative might still host Creative's File Manager software (ugh) (http://www.nomadness.net/modules.php?name=Downloads&d_op=viewdownload&cid=12
). And Redchair Software's Notmad Explorer (trial, $20 for permanentlicense) (http://www.redchairsoftware.com/notmad/trial.php
) costs a few bucks but works well. Or Creative's Nomad Explorer
may still do the trick (see Applications section, #6,
http://www.creative.com, Support | Downloads
). FWIW, I previously used Notmad Explorer and think it's a far better piece of s/w than creative's File Manager, but now I use Nomad Explorer.
 I'm having connectivity and/or transfer problems. Help!!
Go to Creative's Knowledgebase (http://us.creative.com//support/kb/
), key "SID 8763" in the search field (without the quotes), and follow the instructions. Hopefully that'll take care of it. If not - give us a try in the TS.com Ask The Tapers forum or the NJB3Tapers Yahoo group.
 My stereo mini or optical mini connector doesn't quite fit properly in the female mini jack, what can I do?
Some users report poor results from stereo mini or optical mini connectors that don't quite fit properly in the female mini jack. Low levels, mono signal, drop-outs, etc., may all be symptoms of this problem. To ensure you don't have this problem, make sure your mini connector clicks firmly into the female mini jack. Unless the mini connector clicks firmly into the female mini jack, you may encounter this problem in the field. There are at least two solutions:
* Buy a different stereo or optical mini plug and see if it fits better
* Use a Dremel or similar tool to sand down the plastic casing which prevents some mini connectors from seating properly in the female jack. Thanks to David Klein for the directions paraphrased here (for David's complete set of directions with pictures, see http://firstname.lastname@example.org/audio/
o place a piece of masking tape over the female mini jack
o put a tapered grinding tip on your Dremel
o hold the NJB3 firmly and start to grind down the plastic
o be careful not to grind the white input jack itself!
o stop and use your finger to feel the ridge to tell when you're close to grinding the plastic flush with the face of the jack
o clean off the NJB3
o remove the masking tape
 Is there a time or file size limit when recording?
When recording in WAV, time limit is 3 hours (sorry, don't know if there's a time limit when recording in MP3). After 3 hours (or before, at a convenient time between songs) you'll want to start a new recording. Starting another recording is easy: just press and hold down the FWD button and the NJB3 will automatically save the initial recording and start a new one. Older firmware (pre-1.4x) will start up a new file in around 3-5 seconds. New firmware (>= 1.4x) will start a new file in around 1/2 a second.
 How do I start a new recording quickly?
As mentioned above: just press and hold down the FWD button and the NJB3 will automatically save the initial recording and start a new one. Older firmware (pre-1.4x) will start up a new file in around 3-5 seconds. New firmware (>= 1.4x) will start a new file in around 1/2 a second.
 Can I lock the buttons when I'm recording so I don't flub and press one accidentally?
Just tap the power button (but don't hold it down!) to bring up the Lock Buttons option.
 Can I still use the backlight when the buttons are locked?
Yup. Just tap the power button quickly twice and the light will turn on. How long it stays on depends on how you've configured your NJB3.
 What software / firmware should I use?
To take advantage of the latest features, run the latest firmware. Firmware 1.40.06 supports the fast (almost seamless) start-new-recording feature. I'm running stably on 1.32.02. And others have reported stable running at 1.20.06. Seems like 1.40.06 is stable, so why not upgrade (I will shortly)? Also a good idea to use the latest drivers on your PC to minimize transfer and connectivity problems. Nomadness hosts the latest firmware and drivers.
 How do I upgrade the firmware?
To upgrade the firmware:
 download the latest firmware from Nomadness.
 plug the NJB3 into the wall
 plug it into your computer with firewire/usb
 click the firmware .EXE file downloaded from Nomadness
 How do I downgrade the firmware?
1) Backup all you data (music/file manager)
2) Boot into Rescue Mode by pressing the reset button, holding stop, the pressing play once you see the "Creative Logo"
3) Select "Reload OS" and answer yes to the warning
4) Load the Unpacked Installer of the firmware you wish to you downgrade to (you must be on DC power to do this)
5) After it loads, you will be prompted to reset your player, do so
6) You now are on a lower firmware
The above referenced procedure works to downgrade your firmware from a higher level firmware, tested with the following configurations:
1.36.02p -> 1.32.02p
1.36.02p -> 1.20.06p
1.32.02p -> 1.20.06p
You are unable to downgrade your firmware to a version earlier of 1.20.06p
Before doing a downgrade or upgrade, I recommend backing up all data in case of any issue which might occur while doing this; also incase you select format all instead of reload os (be careful)
 Do I need to do any regular maintenance?
It's probably a good idea to do a Format All regularly to ensure you don't run into problems like excessive fragmentation. Instructions:
1. Remove the battery or press the reset button.
2. Either while reinserting the battery or after reset ensure that the stop button is held down.
3. As soon as the 'Creative' logo appears on the screen during the boot sequence, release the stop button. Immediately press and release the play button. The unit should boot to a diagnostics mode with several recovery options.
[a.] Clean Up (Performs a scan disk on the HDD)
[b.] Format All (*WARNING* ALL contents will be lost, including pre-installed content)
[c.] Reload OS (*WARNING* THIS IS AN ADVANCED OPTION. DO NOT choose this unless you are sure of what you are doing as you could render your player unusable. You must also have a suitable firmware file on your PC for reloading via USB)
As best I could find, Clean Up scans the disk for errors and rebuilds the songlist index but does not perform a defrag. The Format All does just what it sounds like: formats the drive, negating the need for an actual defrag (and good thing as there doesn't appear to be a maintenance operation to do just the defrag while maintaining your data). Reload OS is probably overkill and you shouldn't need to do it unless you're having serious problems.
 How often should I do regular maintenance (i.e. format the drive)?
I don't think anyone really knows at this point. I haven't formatted mine yet - in about 6mos or so - but probably should do so. A little regular maintenance shouldn't hurt - just to it every month or so to be safe (or even every week if you're an avid taper!).
 How do I set it up to load a neat-o custom startup screen it boots up?
 save the new image (.BMP) and remember where you save it!
 open the play center with the jb3 connected
 click the "settings" tab
 in the bottom right hand corner there is "change startup screen" section and a "change" button.....click that and open the image.
 My optical / line-in connection is shot - what are the symptoms, how do I fix it?
Some users have reported bad optical / line-in connections on their JB3s, usually the result of moving or levering the input connector while in place. Remember - don't stress the cable connection in any way (on any device, not just the JB3), else the risk of this problem increases. The symptoms: optical and / or line-in input stops working outright, or causes inconsistent but regular problems. Narrow down the problem to the input by swapping out cables - if multiple cables have the same problem, the problem likely resides with the JB3 and not the cables. The problem: the input connection comes loose on the JB3s internal board. So...how to fix it?? Thanks to Dave for the following info:
I don't have the time to give you pictures to go along with my description but here it is.
There are five screws holding the JB3 together, four under the rubber pads/feet and one underneath the battery door compartment directly between where both batteries are inserted. Remove all five screws, and the top cover of the jb3 should lift off fairly easy without any prying of the cover. Now there are several screws you will see on the top of the main circuit board. Two are used to attach the main board to the housing and four larger screws are used to attach the hard drive to the main board. The two smaller Phillips head screws to the bottom left and right of the display are the only ones you need to remove. Once removed, carefully lift the main board out of housing by lifting the top end of the main board, which has the firewire/usb/lineout connectors. The bottom of the main board has several flex connectors which need not be removed to exposing the rear of the mainboard. Think of it as a flip-top lid, which you open and leave on its hinges. You now have access to the optical connector which you can reseat flush to the main board and re-solder. There are two solder pads holding the optical connector on from the top, three from the bottom and three from the left side. It's important you make sure the optically jack is seating as flat on the board as possible. To do this optical job right, ideally you should use a tiny drop of liquid flux to each pad and add only a bit of solder to melt the solder which is all ready there. Do not gob it on. If you have a variable temperature soldering iron, do not set the temperature over 650 degrees, which is the high-end temperature for surface mount repairs. Excess heat for any duration of time can cause components to fail. BE FOREWARNED!!! If you have some soldering experience, it is a pretty simplistic job, as there are few components laid right near the connector and the ones that are there are relatively large. If you have second thoughts on the soldering job, don't do it. Send me A PM and I'll see if I can help.
 Can I replace the hard drive with a larger one?
Yup. The NJB3 takes 2.5" hard drives. Use a lower RPM drive to conserve your batteries.
1) Remove the face plate on the front.. it pulls off from the top. Remove the 4 feet off the back, they pull out.(not glued). Remove the battery cover, there should be 5 screws.. 1 under each of the 4 feet, and 1 in the center under the battery cover. Remove the 5 screws. Now separate the front of the jukebox from the back.
2) On the circuit board there should be 2 small gold screws holding the circuit board down, remove these. Carefully lift out the circuit board as far as you can without pulling on the wires that link it to the casing. Note: The on - off button will come out at this point as you take it apart... take a moment to notice how it is inserted, so you will know how to replace it later.
3) There are 4 larger screws holding the hard drive in place, each with a small spacer between the circuit board and the hard drive... carefully remove the 2 bottom screws... and then with extra care, unscrew the 2 top ones, (these 2 do not fully come out because of the LED screen). Be very careful with the 2 screws by the LED screen. Remember: the screen is extremely brittle and can chip with the slightest pressure or contact (even less than you think, so try not to let the screwdriver even touch it). Remove the hard drive, being careful not to lose the spacers, and again remembering not to pull on the wiring between the circuit board and the Jukebox’s casing.
4) Finally, insert the new hard drive and go through this process in reverse order to put it all back together.
Setup and Boot-up
(Read carefully and in full before proceeding)
After changing the hard drive (described above), it will boot up into the emergency screen,(if not, remove the battery, hold the stop button, put the battery back in, release the stop button as soon as the screen lights up, then press and release the play button.) go to "format all", run the format, it should then ask for an upgrade… if not, just hook up the firewire or USB, connect the power adapter, and run the latest upgrade that you downloaded from nomadworld.com: follow the on screen instructions... when it says to "reset your njb3, just pull out the batteries and/or disconnect and then power up again...
After booting up you should have the new hard drive installed and it should read the correct size. You are set to go!
IMPORTANT: Do not choose the "load OS" option in the emergency screen, or the downloaded firmware will not install: it will give you a message saying you can't upgrade because your version is newer, and when you boot up it will show a 20 gig hard drive, even though you have a bigger one… so once again: DO NOT CHOOSE "LOAD OS”!
 Can I modify it to take a digital coax S/PDIF signal instead of optical?
Thanks to Todd R for this one:
Ok, I'll attempt english, but it might turn out to be techno-babble, who knows.
The true SPDIF standard is -0.5volts for a logic 0 and +0.5volts for a logic 1. Most gear doesn't really follow the SPDIF standard exactly (probably since the spdif standard is assinine). So A/D gear will put out 0volts for a logic 0, and 2-5 volts for a logic 1.
Semiconductor chips (ICs) in general require "TTL" logic levels--transistor-to-transistor logic. Theoretically, TTL levels are 0volts for a logic 0 and 5volts for a logic 1. In practice, most ICs require somewhere 3.2 and 3.6 volts to recognize a signal as being high enough to be called a logic 1 (this is the 3.3volts Doug is talking about).
The trouble is the voltage level of the digital signal coming over the coax from the A/D converter might be high enough to meet or exceed the spdif standard, but it is not high enough to meet the TTL standard required by the ICs onboard the JB3. This is the case, I believe, with my V3. Apparently according to Doug, the Sony SBM1 puts out a TTL level signal on its 7-pin out (meaning, more than ~3.3volts for a logic 1, meaning alternatively that Sony does not conform to the spdif--Sony/Philips Digital InterFace--since they know the spdif standard is moronic).
So if you're using a SBM1, you could replace the optical jack with a 1/8" jack used for a coax input. Tie this right to where the old optical went on the board (well, with the de-coupling capacitor Doug notes on the hot lead) and all would work fine. But then when you upgrade from the SBM1 to a V3, it would not work since the V3 doesn't meet TTL levels.
You can get buffering chips that will take lower than TTL levels and boost them to TTL levels. A good coax-to-optical converter design for example would do this. I imagine this is what is done in say a Hosa coax>optical converter. The crappy infamous "greybox" converter (which I bought and have lying around somewhere) does not use these buffering chips. Which is why the greybox converter does not work with the V3.
Doug also says that rather that trying to install the buffering chips onboard the JB3 so it can take any coax output from an A/D converter, it might be easier to modify your A/D converter to be sure it sends out TTL level signals over its coax out. The trouble with this approach is that if you change outboard A/D converters, your mod'd JB3 may stop taking the coax signal.
Bottom line to all this is that it just won't be too easy since the most flexible way will be to do all the changes on the JB3, but this will require adding circuitry to an existing surface-mount board. I've thought numerous times of trying to attack it, but I don't want to mess with my JB3 and I haven't gotten motivated enough to buy a second JB3 that I can f*ck with and probably destroy.
 My scroll-wheel sticks and jumps - how do I fix it?
Apparently, this is a fairly common problem. It just gets a little dirty, that's all. Here's one user's tip on how to clean the scroll wheel:
Quote from: silverbullet on November 11, 2004, 06:23:56 AM
I got a can of stuff from Radio Shack ... Contact/Control Cleaner & Lubricant worked wonders. I opened up my Nomad Jukebox 3. The cleaner is under great pressure so don't spray directly. Spray in a cup first and get some q-tips. With a Q-tip addes a few drops sparingly with a few quick blasts for a dust blaster. Did that several times, turning and pushing the wheel. I didn't wait very long to dry. The can's instructions say wait five minutes. A few blasts of dust blaster (air can) and I waited about 30-60 seconds, closed up everything and it works like new.
 My power / hold button sticks - help!!
Another fairly common problem, and one that can be a major PITA - if you're especially unlucky, it may stick when you attempt to put the JB3 on hold while recording, and instead power off! Two potential problems / solutions:
* It's just plain dirty. Open up the JB3 and clean it.
* The hole in the case through which the power button slides is a bit snug. Sanding / shaving down the hole just a wee bit will create enough clearance so it doesn't stick.
 Opening JB3-recorded WAV: "File header reports a size that is different than the system reports..."?!?
When opening JB3-recorded WAVs in CD-Wave, what's with the message: "File header reports a size that is different than the system reports. Do you want to adjust the size? (Yes to override header, No to trust header, Cancel to abort)"
The JB3 appears to add 8 bytes of "junk" at the end of some WAV files recorded onto the JB3. At any rate, if prompted with this message by CD-Wave, it doesn't matter whether you select Yes or No, CD-Wave strips the "junk" 8 bytes out of the file in either case. All other commonly used taper programs - Cool Edit, Wavelab, Soundforge, etc. - seem to strip the junk bytes out but don't present a message to the user. Bottom line: don't sweat it!
 What other resources are there about the NJB3?
NJB3Tapers Yahoo group (http://groups.yahoo.com/group/njb3tapers
For answers to the following questions and more, check out the Nomadness JB3 FAQ (http://www.nomadness.net/modules.php?name=FAQ&myfaq=yes&id_cat=6&categories=Nomad+Jukebox+3
· Can I use the NJB3 while jogging?
· How can I enter the rescue mode?
· How to delete the Media Database in PlayCentre 3?
· Why does my NJB3 lockup after charging?
· Why does my NJB3 not show Albums under the Artist category?
· How do I do a disk cleanup on the NJB3?
· What charging strategy should I use with the LiIon battery?
· What are the .MET files appearing in my music file directory?
· How do I enable Smart Volume Management (SVM) analysis of my tracks?
· Where can I get the IR codes that the Jukebox 3 remote uses so I can program my programmable remote?
· How does PlayCentre handle upload of MP3's with v1 and v2 ID3 tags?
· What happens to my v1 and v2 ID3 data when copying tracks back from PlayCentre?
· Are there any plans to support future codecs? e.g. Ogg, MP3Pro
· How can I tell how much play time I have left in my battery or batteries?
· How do I disable Creative Disc Detector?
· What charging strategy does the LiIon charger use?
· Does the NJB3 appear as a drive letter?
· Why are my tracks appearing out of order?
· How can I tell which version of PlayCentre I am using?
· What alternatives are there to PlayCentre for ripping/encoding/tagging?
· How do I disable the PDE (Creative Player) Detector?
· What alternatives are there to PlayCentre for copying files on and off the NJB3?
· The NJB3 is not being found when connected via firewire
· Can I backup the bundled content on my NJB3?
· I cannot register the CDDB, or get CDDB to function in PlayCentre
· Is the NJB3 compatible with the Mac?
· Why does the battery not last as long as specified?
· My hard disk is X Gb, but my Nomad shows less. Why?
· Does the NJB3 support or show files/folders?
· How do I change the Startup Screen?
· How do I get music to playback from the NJB3 on my PC/line out socket when using MediaSource?
· How do I get gapless playback?
· Can I upgrade the NJB3 hard disk?
· How do I reset the player?
· Why do I get the error "This installation requires that you have the latest version of the Sound Blaster Live! DriverPack installed on your system. Please download and install this before continuing." when trying to install PlayCentre 3.02.52?
· Why is the volume quiet on the headphone jack from my NJB3?
Seems I've exceeded the max posting size, so...see follow-up post for version history info