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Old 01-31-2012, 11:23   #1
ALEX@LIN
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Thumb Up Look at here! Lots of pictures about J3's disassembling(finished yet)

I’m very pleased to bring you a disassembling of COWON J3, which I posted it in 2011.07 in Chinese iMP3 BBS (http://bbs.imp3.net/thread-10395061-1-1.html You can read it by Google translation engine). Now I translate and post part of it here. I have to say first, since I’m not good at English, there maybe lots of mistakes in this thread, I hope you will point out them for me, then we can communicate each other better, thank you.

First, I’ll introduce the way of confirming the manufacturing date of COWON MP3, it will be use behind. Look at the SN in the back of your device, the first two characters, such as JK is J3(base), JD is J3(DMB), KS is C2(base), KB is C2(DMB) and so on, and you could confirm the manufacturing date by the first four numbers. For example, JK1006 is a J3(base) made in 2010.06. You can compare the manufacturing date and the purchase date to make sure if your device is an inventory.

In the beginning of disassembling, we have to get some “weapons”.


Open covers of the bolts by a needle and Loosen all the bolts.


Insert into the seam with your nails in the USB port side and slide down along the seam , you’ll separate the cover .


We can see a high capacity battery inside, which signed “Li-ion”, but I find the manual writed: COWON J3 has a built-in Lithium Polymer battery (Li-Polymer is better than Li-ion). Obviously, COWON lied to us, though 4.1Wh is big enough for a non-smart MP3.


Let’s look at the motherboard. What first attracted me is the DAC chip WM8960G, it’s different from S9 and i9’s WM8750S. I remembered J3’s spectrum curve is more HIFI than S9’s in the RAMM, is the WM8960G better than the WM8750S? There is a FM chip under the WM8960G called AIROHA AR1010, which supports FM frequency band all over the world. I think the place with empty welding under the AR1010 is prepare for a DMB chip. And then, we can see a 16GB’s NAND flash chip made by Micron in the right side. Since I can’t see another NAND flash chip in the back side, I think 32GB’s J3 also use one NAND flash in V1.2M’s motherboard.


Here is a screenshot about WOLFSON’s DACs, but I can’t find out WM8750S and WM8960G in WOLFSON’s official website.


Separate the row line from the motherboard, we find the AMOLED display is made by Samsung.


Turn to the back of motherboard, the CPU of J3 is TCC7901 that is very familiar to us. The partner of CPU is a 60M, Hynix’s SDRAM chip, they protect the system to run smoothly. Upper left of the CPU is a power management chip called ACTIVE 8810QJ, it plays a major role in J3’s long battery life.


Well, The J3 that I disassembled was sold in Korea, produced in 2010.06. I’ll disassemble another one now, which was sold in China, produced in 2011.02. The result is…… they are almost the same, no matter chips or the layout of electric elements, their motherboard’s version are J3 V1.2M 20100113 , that made me disappoint for I had seen D2's different version of motherboard.


But things changed, a e-friend disassembled his J3 too (sold in Korea, produced in 2011.08) , I found something different. Firstly, the version of motherboard up to V2.0M 2010.01.15. Secondly, we can see the biggest difference on the right: a second flash chip replace the DMB’s empty welding. Finally, V1.2 has large number of marks and empty welding, which looks like electric elements, but V2.0 doesn’t, it’s very clean.


The display is supplied by Samsung too, but the data is 2010.05.13, and the color is lighter than the one I disassembled(the data is 2008.10.21).


Front (V2.0M):


Back(V2.0M):


Thank you for reading.
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Old 01-31-2012, 11:24   #2
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I said I’ll post J3’s disassembling next month in 2011.12, I make it now.



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Old 01-31-2012, 11:31   #3
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hmm, having trouble downloading the images... anyone else?
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Old 01-31-2012, 12:53   #4
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Works fine here. Is there an error shown?

ontopic: I'm disappointed that Cowon thought it was necessary to lie to us costumers. The battery life is great and I love this feature of the J3, but the decision to make us think the J3 has a LiPo instead of a LiIon is pathetic. I would have also bought the player if Cowon had told us it has a LiIon battery...
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Old 01-31-2012, 13:07   #5
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... that makes me wonder... what benefits did Cowon gain from this lie?
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Old 01-31-2012, 13:09   #6
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thanks so much for the breakdown and images saved me a lot of issues in planning some mods, really appreciated.
youtube freeze frames werent quite doing it for me.

planned mods:

i found some batteries that should be compatible, with 4x the capacity of the default cell's 200 hours here i come.

im also hoping the screen cable can be adapted\moved somehow to allow the circuit board to sit higher up into the middle of the casing which in turn would let me shave a cm or two from the bottom, removing the elongated edge at the bottom of the screen.

sdcard selector (probably 4 cards) will sit on the north half of where the default battery is, and new larger battery placed over the top of it all, leaving a slightly thicker shorter player.

that in turn will need a new casing which will be moulded using jbweld and sanded smooth, then finished off with a spray job:p

wish me luck.
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Old 01-31-2012, 13:16   #7
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Quote:
what benefits did Cowon gain from this lie?
poly sounds new and will be instantly compared to other high end products rather than the older battery being plugged as a negative issue. (yey! for detail-less Amature review sites ><)

50 hours is 50 hours, doesnt matter how it's accomplished, if you dont notice the size,weight its not really worth you considering.
it's a different matter with larger packs on bike lights for example where your talking at least a few hundred grams between pack sizes, in that situation it is very noticable.


on the plus side thats false advertising and we can all get a full refund whenever we get bored with the player

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Old 01-31-2012, 13:24   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kizune View Post
Works fine here. Is there an error shown?
No error, just the download wheel spinning and never completes, no matter which image I pick. Which based on the sizes, shouldn't be that hard to download.
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Old 01-31-2012, 13:45   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Enzyme View Post
on the plus side thats false advertising and we can all get a full refund whenever we get bored with the player
Yay, unofficial unlimited warranty.
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Old 01-31-2012, 21:11   #10
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SE mobliephones use Li-Po battary more, such as BA750、BST41、BST38. But it's rare in other digital products, MOTO is Li-ion, HTC is Li-ion, almost NoteBooks' battary are Li-ion. Anyway, J3's battary life is long enough for us. Look at Sony X1051, which battary capacity is 2.4Wh only for it's big volume.

Does any image can't download? The smallest sizes of them is 35KB while the largest is 93KB. You can click the attached thumbnails' to view them too.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:10   #11
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Very interesting data Alex@Lin! Thanks a lot for sharing.

Using this, I found out that my J3 is stated as having been manufactured in October 2011 (JK1110). Seeing as I bought it in December, I've really got a fresh unit.
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Old 02-01-2012, 04:26   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RedlanceEQ View Post
Very interesting data Alex@Lin! Thanks a lot for sharing.

Using this, I found out that my J3 is stated as having been manufactured in October 2011 (JK1110). Seeing as I bought it in December, I've really got a fresh unit.
HAHA, with this, someone found their COWON MP3 bought not long
was produced more than one year ago, that made they feel depressed.
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Old 02-01-2012, 05:07   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ALEX@LIN View Post
HAHA, with this, someone found their COWON MP3 bought not long
was produced more than one year ago, that made they feel depressed.
Heh... yeah, the reverse is true as well. I guess the place I bought it from was well stocked. It also shows Cowon is still producing the device, even after over a year of it being in service.
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Old 02-03-2012, 21:04   #14
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mine's a 32gb, and it appears to have two 16 gig chips. weird huh?
date of manufacture is 2011.06 btw (not bad for a refurb)
I was afraid to take out the motherboard because I didn't quite understand what you meant by "seperate the row line from the motherboard" and also I'm very afraid of breaking it (even though it does have the unofficial unlimited false advertising warranty)
Cool experience though, and it's nice to know that I could put in a new battery, and maybe even screen if such an operation were to prove necessary (tho I'm not gonna mod it, as 50h is plenty for me)

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Old 02-04-2012, 01:22   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zinjanthropos View Post
mine's a 32gb, and it appears to have two 16 gig chips. weird huh?
Your's version of motherboard is V2.0M, is a little different from V1.2M. I'll metion it and update the thread tomorrow. And the screen row line…… you could separate it up and down like the image carefully.

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