Topic: Which USB keys work

I am running Control Panel 2.6.54 and I think that it is great!

I have one request (1) and one problem (2).

Request (though already noted):
1) is it at all possible to reduce the screen brightness in night mode further - or an option to just turn off the screen and have it turn on briefly when hit or is just too bright to sleep with and I turn it upside down at night.

2) What usb keys work with the Chumby... I am trying to play music from a USB...I have tried:
512mb Datatraveler
4G Lexar
2G pqi (micro usb)

All formated in FAT32 on a windows (not mac). Tried both Usbs on the chumby. The music files are mp3s. They are short files names as recommended in the forum (song01.mp3, song02.mp3, etc). All keys are not even visiable under FILES from the pi menu.

thoughts? Could we start a list of known compatible USB keys if this is an issue....

Re: Which USB keys work

The brightness level of night mode is done in hardware - it's not under the control of software.  A bug has been filed for Product Management to look into the "turn the screen off" functionality.

As far as USB flash drives are concerned, obviously we can't and don't have access to every product out there.

What's weird about this is that some people report that some drive will fail, and others that it works.  One possibility is that they're talking about different models or capacities, which may use completely different chipsets, although I've even seen hardware with different chipsets for the *same* model.

I've created a wiki page where users can list which flash drives work and which don't.  I've seeded it with a few known functioning drives.

Re: Which USB keys work

Plot thickens.
I have two OLPC here that I have been working on upgrading. They also are funny about USB drives. As I am in the process of updating them - I had to play around with the formating of the USB drives. On one of their forums, it said that formating it with a Mac to FAT worked. Well it did....

Formating the Kingston 512MB drive with windows XP in FAT or FAT32 then coping the music files over - The chumby did not like it at all - did not see the files or drive. 

Partition/formating the same Kingston on a Mac with the disk utility - as a DOS FAT partition then copying the files over from windows XP. The chumby did like and plays them!

I will now try this same process with all the USB drives.

Is this somehow related to FAT: utf8 errors which show up on my OLPCs?

As you can see, I know just enough to be dangerous - but there is something here...let me know if want more information or if you want me to try something.

Re: Which USB keys work

Here is one of the OLPC links where they talk about USB compatibility: … p;t=150779

Also so the 512MB USB drive is the datatraveler mentioned in the first posting.

Windows properities just list it as File System: FAT. The full brand name is: Kingston DataTraveler 2.0 USD Device.

Re: Which USB keys work

Very interesting.  Somebody else was reporting issues with the Data Traveler, and this might be the same issue.

Re: Which USB keys work

More information - the DataTraveler certain works fine. I have experimented some more.

There is more too it - clearly the USB drive must be inserted at a certain time. If you insert it while in the control panel at any screen of the control panel then when you go into music - it will not be seen.

However, if you insert it while the widgets are playing then it will be seen in the control panel under music files. Plus - it depends on how many files you have on the USB drive. If you have a lot of files and you immediately go into control panel then to music - it will not see the USB drive. But if you give it a while to mount/read the files or whatever it is doing, then you will see the files under music.

Hope this help - still working on the other USB keys.

Any thoughts on what I have posted - is it helpful...

Re: Which USB keys work

I have now been able to get the micro IPQ 2G micro USB key to work - same process. Format on the MAC in FAT and copy files under Windows. This has 290 mp3 files on it now. I paid attention to when I inserted it - not under the control panel screen.

Now oddly enough - I can not insert this key all the way into the Chumby - it must be ever so slightly un-inserted to get the contacts to align right (not the case on a Mac Book Black or a Dell Latitude or Canon printer). There is something about the align of USB keys in both the OLPCs and Chumby that is not quit right - do you two by chance share the same supplier....

I now believe that I can get any USB key to work with a Chumby.

Re: Which USB keys work

Yes, keep posting with what you find out.  I'll ping bunnie about the connector.

It does indeed take a few seconds for the flash drive to mount, so plugging it in and immediately rushing into Music will not show anything.

Re: Which USB keys work

So I now have all USB drives working that did not work before.

It comes down to two things - in my opinion:

1) I partitioned the USB drives on a MAC with Disk Utilities. There is something about partitioning the drives on the MAC into FAT which maybe makes the partition match the formating...maybe it is like returning the drives to new. Just reformating on Windows does not work or partitioning in Windows. Basically I partitioned the drives on the MAC as FAT / DOS and format them there. Then copy the files using a windows machine. Honestly, I have not tried partitioning in DOS ... this may work too.

2) There is clearly something about how certain USB drives can be inserted in the Chumby - some appear to allow themselves to be inserted too far. So you need to play with it.

Finally - if you have a lot of files remember to allow the Chumby time to read them before going into the control panel.


Re: Which USB keys work

Hi all - thanks for the help on this issue.
I'm using XP and the only way I can get MP3's to work is using the HP format tool to do so.
The presently working link is: … ode=4&

I have found however, that using Windows Explorer seemed to 'damage' this setup requiring me to reformat after I had moved some files on and off the USB drive.
It seems (so far) that DOS is the best way to add and remove files.

Re: Which USB keys work

We're still pursing this - so far it appears to be a partitioning issue rather than a formatting issue.