Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

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Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by bmcoutinho » Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:30 am

Hi.

I'm getting some problem with H4n PRO. I have always used it connected into DC power without batteries, using a stabilized charger 5V 1.6A, but suddenly it started turning off and freezing. I noticed that it happens when Phantom Power is ON or when I reproduce songs at internal sound speaker. I tried updating firmware, cleaning connectors, changed the charger and wire, but nothing worked :cry: It seems like the charger is not suplying enough power to equipment. There's no problems using just batteries, or even batteries + charger. When using both, the system recognizes DC power and doesn't shows batterie level and works really fine. I need it connected and turned on for at least 1 hour to record live music and can't deppend of batteries and i'm really concerned if DC Power plug stops to work definitely. I'm really careful about my stuff! I used it 2 weeks ago and it was perfect, but in the very first moment i used it 2 days ago, the problem above has started.

Thanks a lot!!!
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by still_fiddlin » Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:47 am

That should be enough power, but I'd always consider trying another power source to determine if that's the cause.

I have used a couple of "phone" charger power banks with my H6 for years as the sole power source, but even the smaller is rated at 1.8A, and the larger (Anker brand) at 2.4A (5V). It's possible that 1.6A is optimistic, and if you've got phantom power on it's just detecting a low voltage and locking up. I've run phantom power on 4 channels on the H6 without problems, though I cannot recall which cell I was using for that test.

Anyway, it seems to be power related so just try something with a higher amperage rating would be my vote.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z9QVE4Q/ref=emc_b_5_i (newest version of what I have)
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by Wulfraed » Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:03 pm

bmcoutinho wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:30 am
When using both, the system recognizes DC power and doesn't shows batterie level and works really fine. I need it connected and turned on for at least 1 hour to record live music and can't deppend of batteries and i'm really concerned if DC Power plug stops to work definitely.
1) Per the manual, a fresh set of (non-bargain) AA alkalines should be good for ~6 hours

2) Since you state DC+batteries doesn't seem to have any problems, I'd recommend just keeping a good set of batteries in the unit.
2b) you might even want to experiment to see if loss of DC power will transition to using the batteries without glitching (might need to try pulling the wall-wart while keeping DC jack in place vs pulling the DC jack [I'm tempted to think you have a flaky DC socket, loose solder joint or such])
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by bmcoutinho » Mon Aug 13, 2018 7:54 am

still_fiddlin wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 10:47 am
That should be enough power, but I'd always consider trying another power source to determine if that's the cause.

I have used a couple of "phone" charger power banks with my H6 for years as the sole power source, but even the smaller is rated at 1.8A, and the larger (Anker brand) at 2.4A (5V). It's possible that 1.6A is optimistic, and if you've got phantom power on it's just detecting a low voltage and locking up. I've run phantom power on 4 channels on the H6 without problems, though I cannot recall which cell I was using for that test.

Anyway, it seems to be power related so just try something with a higher amperage rating would be my vote.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Z9QVE4Q/ref=emc_b_5_i (newest version of what I have)
Yes, i tryed using at least five chargers since 1.0A until 2.1A and happened the same problem. I've worked without AA batteries for two months, just plugging it directly in AC (or DC? don't know the difference) power, then suddenly it stopped working the way it should. Do you think that using the original Zoom AD 14e AC Adapter can solve the problem? Can it be too much different of any other good 5V 1A AC Adapter? It's really hard to find it here in Brazil. I could hardly find and buy it but... could it really solve the problem? I'm really afraid if the problem is related to DC Socket or some internal problem, as Wulfraed said :( Anyway, the DC Socket is not loose and never happened any accident while using the equipment either. I'm about to try other chargers too in this week.
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by bmcoutinho » Mon Aug 13, 2018 8:17 am

Wulfraed wrote:
Sun Aug 12, 2018 12:03 pm
bmcoutinho wrote:
Thu Aug 09, 2018 7:30 am
When using both, the system recognizes DC power and doesn't shows batterie level and works really fine. I need it connected and turned on for at least 1 hour to record live music and can't deppend of batteries and i'm really concerned if DC Power plug stops to work definitely.
1) Per the manual, a fresh set of (non-bargain) AA alkalines should be good for ~6 hours

2) Since you state DC+batteries doesn't seem to have any problems, I'd recommend just keeping a good set of batteries in the unit.
2b) you might even want to experiment to see if loss of DC power will transition to using the batteries without glitching (might need to try pulling the wall-wart while keeping DC jack in place vs pulling the DC jack [I'm tempted to think you have a flaky DC socket, loose solder joint or such])
Hi Wulfraed. Yes, the system changed to batteries when I pulled DC power off. I Attached it into PC via USB, it's also normal. As you said, I'm considering that something is loose inside DC socket, once externally it seems to be normal. Do you think it's easy to fix? I'll continue using it with just batteries or both, until I find a solution to it. I'm about to try other USB cable during this week. Mine is just like this one: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00NQ ... 53b80ac651
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by still_fiddlin » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:35 am

I'm still a little confused how you are powering it, but with my H6 it powers via the USB port. I've watched this video where the person uses the kind of power bank I use, but he plugs it into the DC jack on the H4n Pro instead of the USB port. Based on the Q&A answers at B&H Photo, it seems the H4n Pro cannot be powered for recording via the USB port, but must use the DC-in jack. If you are having problems with that, I'd consider trying a different cable connected to your DC supply.

It is possible that a 3rd party AC adapter will not work, but if it was working Ok before, unless you upgraded firmware, it would likely be a hardware fault in the charger, cable, or jack that would make it start to fail.

Also, while I've never experienced this problem, I've read some reports where an SD card may cause some problems, so always try to recreate the problem with a couple different, reformatted SD cards, just in case.

https://youtu.be/TmbIsycF-wI (YouTube video showing H4n Pro powered by cell phone charger/power bank)

Amazon (USA) link for the connector he's using: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XWWKPRW/re ... qBbPFJ1AR9
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by Wulfraed » Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:41 am

I wouldn't want to rely upon a USB<>barrel jack adapter.

For one thing -- the regular USB 2 specification is for just 500mA max on a port (most hubs have to distribute the current over each port). So using a USB<>barrel adapter with many "USB chargers" may still be limited to the 500mA, even if the all the ports on the charger together can supply 1.5A. There are special "charging" ports on some equipment but those rely upon some sort of negotiation with the device being charged before they will go to high current mode.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/USB_(Physical)#Power
The charging device identifies a charging port by non-data signaling on the D+ and D− terminals. A dedicated charging port places a resistance not exceeding 200 Ω across the D+ and D− terminals.
The highest rated single port charger I have is the one that came with a long-discontinued Nook HD+, which claims to be 2A output. The next highest is my Samsung phone, at 1A. It is unknown if the chargers require the high-current negotiation (the phone uses a USB-C connector, and the Nook is a multipin proprietary connector [there used to be an HDMI adapter for the HD+]).
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by bmcoutinho » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:24 am

Wulfraed wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:41 am
I wouldn't want to rely upon a USB<>barrel jack adapter.

For one thing -- the regular USB 2 specification is for just 500mA max on a port (most hubs have to distribute the current over each port). So using a USB<>barrel adapter with many "USB chargers" may still be limited to the 500mA, even if the all the ports on the charger together can supply 1.5A. There are special "charging" ports on some equipment but those rely upon some sort of resistance based negotiation with the device being charged before they will go to high current mode.
Wow! i do really need to consider this fact! So, maybe the charger can suply enough power, once it was designed to suply 1.6A to a cellphone, but the cable NOT!? Let me show the charger, that is exactly this one:

https://www.amazon.com/Motorola-SPN5864 ... to+g4+plus

So, could it be the cable? I didn't bought mine into Amazon like the one mentioned by still_fiddlin above or below (I just bought the charger there). Does it means this cable from Amazon was constructed to provide more than 500Ma, even beeing an USB cable? Thanks a lot! :)
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by bmcoutinho » Mon Aug 13, 2018 10:55 am

still_fiddlin wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 9:35 am
I'm still a little confused how you are powering it, but with my H6 it powers via the USB port. I've watched this video where the person uses the kind of power bank I use, but he plugs it into the DC jack on the H4n Pro instead of the USB port. Based on the Q&A answers at B&H Photo, it seems the H4n Pro cannot be powered for recording via the USB port, but must use the DC-in jack. If you are having problems with that, I'd consider trying a different cable connected to your DC supply.

It is possible that a 3rd party AC adapter will not work, but if it was working Ok before, unless you upgraded firmware, it would likely be a hardware fault in the charger, cable, or jack that would make it start to fail.

Also, while I've never experienced this problem, I've read some reports where an SD card may cause some problems, so always try to recreate the problem with a couple different, reformatted SD cards, just in case.

https://youtu.be/TmbIsycF-wI (YouTube video showing H4n Pro powered by cell phone charger/power bank)

Amazon (USA) link for the connector he's using: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XWWKPRW/re ... qBbPFJ1AR9
I've also watched this video. yes, It's kind of the same cable, but connected into a AC charger. As Wulfraed said, the USB connect can probably not suply enough power to H4n (only 500Ma). I bought this cable and the saller told me this same cable could be also used to power monitors (it seems weird). So, I imagine that, even the cables seen quite the same, they're internally different :? And yes, i may try to change the SD card as well. I'm also thinking about buying a power supply without USB connection, but the problem will be to find one different than P4 plug. I'll probably buy the Zoom's one. I'll tell you if i have some good news :)
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by still_fiddlin » Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:19 am

The cable doesn't limit power - it's the device using the power that determines how much it needs, though the USB spec for *ports* only requires 500mA, almost all chargers and power cells provide at least 1A and often closer to 2A.

What I meant was that the USB port on the H4n Pro cannot be used as a means to power the device for recording. I have not tried this because I only have an H6, but from the responses to the question about powering the H4n Pro via its USB port, the answers I saw said it only could be powered to operate in one of the computer connected modes, i.e., as a mass storage device or audio interface. It could not be powered to act as a recorder.

So, you're stuck with supplying power to the H4n through that DC-in jack at the bottom.

Have you tried powering it with an external battery pack, and not an AC adapter? This is known to work, and I'm still reading that you are just using AC adapters. Am I right or confused?

So, maybe "kind of the same cable" is an issue here. I can't, for instance, use the wall plug/converter for my Kindle e-book reader with the iPhone cable to charge my iPhone - just doesn't work. With an AC adapter, it's possible that it might throttle the output to the USB (device) spec if the cable is wired in a way that makes it believe it needs to do that, regardless of what is printed on the adapter plug, i.e., if it is only supplying 500mA, it will be detected, but not be sufficient to run the recorder. (That also could be why, I'm guessing, the video is specific about which USB to DC cable to buy from Amazon; though, of course, it might simply be they're ensuring you get the right size and polarity plug, which are just as critical as current capacity.)
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by bmcoutinho » Mon Aug 13, 2018 12:51 pm

still_fiddlin wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:19 am
The cable doesn't limit power - it's the device using the power that determines how much it needs, though the USB spec for *ports* only requires 500mA, almost all chargers and power cells provide at least 1A and often closer to 2A.

What I meant was that the USB port on the H4n Pro cannot be used as a means to power the device for recording. I have not tried this because I only have an H6, but from the responses to the question about powering the H4n Pro via its USB port, the answers I saw said it only could be powered to operate in one of the computer connected modes, i.e., as a mass storage device or audio interface. It could not be powered to act as a recorder.

So, you're stuck with supplying power to the H4n through that DC-in jack at the bottom.

Have you tried powering it with an external battery pack, and not an AC adapter? This is known to work, and I'm still reading that you are just using AC adapters. Am I right or confused?

So, maybe "kind of the same cable" is an issue here. I can't, for instance, use the wall plug/converter for my Kindle e-book reader with the iPhone cable to charge my iPhone - just doesn't work. With an AC adapter, it's possible that it might throttle the output to the USB (device) spec if the cable is wired in a way that makes it believe it needs to do that, regardless of what is printed on the adapter plug, i.e., if it is only supplying 500mA, it will be detected, but not be sufficient to run the recorder. (That also could be why, I'm guessing, the video is specific about which USB to DC cable to buy from Amazon; though, of course, it might simply be they're ensuring you get the right size and polarity plug, which are just as critical as current capacity.)
No, I didn't try an external battery pack yet, just used an AC adapter and AA Alkaline Batteries (as i said, when using just batteries ou batteries + AC adapter, it runs fine). The USB port of H4n can be used just as a mass storage or audio interface (I had just tested if the equipment got the same issue when connected in the USB port). When plugging the USB port into AC adapter, it shows "mass storage" or "audio interface", so it's useless for just provide power to normal usage. It can be the cable, but how could it works fine for two months with the wrong specifications? I came back to the store and tryed another cable and got the same problem. I also guess he just showed that link as an example. Anyway, i'll check for a cable from other store, use it in an external battery pack, and also look for the original AC adapter. Obs.: I'm gonna test with a multimeter what's the amperage in the end of the plug, as a friend recommended me.
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by Wulfraed » Mon Aug 13, 2018 4:58 pm

still_fiddlin wrote:
Mon Aug 13, 2018 11:19 am
What I meant was that the USB port on the H4n Pro cannot be used as a means to power the device for recording. I have not tried this because I only have an H6, but from the responses to the question about powering the H4n Pro via its
The OPs cable is a USB to barrel jack -- so it is not restricted by the H4n USB power limits (audio interface/card reader).

But my concern is if the cable and AC adapter can negotiate a high current mode. The original USB2 charging spec is that devices start as 100mA loads and negotiate for 500mA. Newer standards do allow for special charging modes to go higher, but they may still need negotiation. I suspect the cable does not do such negotiation. {I could be all wet of course}

And -- as mentioned -- it could be something as simple as a bad solder joint for the socket :2cents:
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by bmcoutinho » Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:20 am

I tested with an external battery pack, tryed to plug it in my PC and it didn't work. Now, there's two options: 1- The cable is not suppying enough power 2- The DC-in jack is damaged inside (a bad solder joint, as you told) - It's most likely to be it :( Whatever... I'm thinking about using it with just batteries and pray to not have the same problem with that too. I'm just bothered that my H4n is, somehow, defective in it's components, cause I'm really careful with my stuff. I'll tell you here if I find any solution to this issue. For now, thank you a lot! If u have any suggestions, please tell me too. :^:
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by still_fiddlin » Wed Aug 15, 2018 8:09 am

bmcoutinho wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 7:20 am
I tested with an external battery pack, tryed to plug it in my PC and it didn't work. Now, there's two options: 1- The cable is not suppying enough power 2- The DC-in jack is damaged inside (a bad solder joint, as you told) - It's most likely to be it :( Whatever... I'm thinking about using it with just batteries and pray to not have the same problem with that too. I'm just bothered that my H4n is, somehow, defective in it's components, cause I'm really careful with my stuff. I'll tell you here if I find any solution to this issue. For now, thank you a lot! If u have any suggestions, please tell me too. :^:
Why are you plugging it into the PC? You're confusing me (again). Once it's connected via USB, according to everything I've read, the H4n Pro is going to only allow 2 modes of operation: mass storage or interface. You cannot be connected to the PC and record to the H4n Pro, itself.

And, do you mean that you simply can no longer power the recorder with any external power, AC or DC, whether there are batteries in the unit or not?
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by bmcoutinho » Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:40 am

No, let me explain. I used the cable below (first link) connected indo DC-in jack, and attached the USB plug into a cellphone charger (second link).

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B06XWWKPRW/re ... qBbPFJ1AR9

https://www.amazon.com/Motorola-SPN5864 ... la+charger

With the same cable, i tryed connecting H4n into PC USB port and also tryed in the external battery pack (just to be shure if there were any problem with the charger). I did not use the USB side door of the H4n any moment. Yes, i can barely power it with only AC/DC power: when phantom power is switched on OR when I try to reproduce any song, the equipment turns off or freeze. When connected with AC/DC power + batteries OR just batteries, it works fine without any problem. Anyway, i have just bought APH-4n PRO today and may arrives in one week. If the problem persists, even using original acessories, i give up :nuts:
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by Wulfraed » Wed Aug 15, 2018 12:52 pm

bmcoutinho wrote:
Wed Aug 15, 2018 11:40 am
With the same cable, i tryed connecting H4n into PC USB port
Unless that computer port is explicitly marked as a high current/charging port, the most it will provide is 500mA
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Re: Why H4n PRO is turning off or freezing when attached into DC power?

Post by bmcoutinho » Tue Aug 28, 2018 8:17 am

Hey, good news! In fact, H4n has no problem. As I Said, i bought the Aph-4n, then I tested the AC/DC power adapter and it worked! So, it means that, even if the cable/plug is quite the same, internally they can be different. Anyway, thanks a lot for your help and patience! :clap:
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