Sharp MD-MS100/MS200 Battery Charging

W. Richard Jhang (, Edward Y. Chung ([email protected]), and others contributed information for this article.

See also Nic Boyde's MD page article describing a fix for the Sharp MS-200 power problem

The Sharp MD-MS100 (a.k.a. Denon DMP-R50, Kenwood DMC-F5R, Pioneer PMD-R1) and MD-MS200 (a.k.a. Denon DMP-R70, Kenwood DMC-F7R, Pioneer PMD-R2) portable MiniDisc recorders made for the Japanese domestic market use a 3.6V 1300mA Li-Ion battery or 5V 800mA DC adapter designed for 100V power outlet (90~110V)

The following symptoms occur when used with North American 120V 60Hz outlets:

* As you can read from the [Included: E-mail correspondence], the cause of these symptoms are primarily due to the North America's 120V outlet. (The included adapter is designed to operate with Japan's 100V outlets.)

** As an aside, please note that if you plug in your home stereo system's LINE-OUT to the recorder's MIC-IN, you may permanently damage the MIC-IN's stereo recording feature. Once damaged, you can only record in Mono even if you connect a stereo microphone to MIC-IN. This may burn the fuse of your home stereo, too. Use the recorder's LINE-IN to record from LINE-OUT!

Possible solutions:

  1. Get a step down transformer (120V -> 100V with at least 700mA) and use it with the included 100V AC to 5V DC adapter
  2. Get a Sharp MD-MS100 adapter. However, MS-100 is just released in North America, and your local dealership may not have an adapter for it available yet. For information on the adapter please call Fox International at 800-321-6993.
  3. - Get Sony's 4.5V 700mA (designed for North American 120V outlet) and use it as a substitute of the included adapter. This adapter is the one that is included with Sony's MZ-R3 portable MiniDisc recorder, and available at CD$29 (before tax) or so from Sony dealerships. Kenwood Customer Service (Japan) told me that the adapter can be used as a substitute safely although it may take a little more time to fully recharge the battery.
  4. Use two diodes to drop the voltage from 6 to 5 volts as explained in a solution Mike Harris developed.
  5. Use an AC adaptor from a existing portable CD player or Walkman that provides the proper DC voltage.

Richard Jhang received the following from Kenwood regarding this unit:

From: [email protected]
Subject: Product Information
Date: November 29, 1996 11:38

We would like to thank you very much for your email of 26th this month. I regret to inform you that DMC-F5R works on the 100 volt condition since the product is designed only for Japanese market.

We have made an experiment on charging on the 120 volt of Canada condition. We also found that it stopped after a few seconds play -it is shorter than your case.

This product is guaranteed when you use it on condition of 90~110 volt, but is not on other voltage conditions. But if you still want to use it, please get a step-down transformer, which you can find at overseas travel centers.

Again, thank you very much for taking your time to write us. Should you have any further questions or problems, please feel free to contact us at any time.

Best regards,

Hiroko Maeda
CI Planning Section, CI Division,
Kenwood Corporation

However, Richard notes:
Someone else who had this sort of problem with his Sharp MD-MS100 kept on using his unit at a half-battery life for a week or so, and his battery has begun to get fully charged. And in fact, I am experiencing a similar case... My battery which used to be charged for only 7-minutes worth of play-back time now charges nearly fully after charging and recharging over and over again for a few days.
Edward Y. Chung reports:
It looks like my problem has finally been resolved, I went out and bought a Sony AC adapter (AC-E45HG: Input 115V, Output 4.5V at 700 mA). Although this AC adapter is not a perfect match for the Sharp/Denon/Kenwood units (5V@800mA), it is close enough to power up the MD player and charge the Li+ battery and it shouldn't go bad with use here in the US.
Thomas Holmbom ([email protected]) reports:
I have succesfully been charging my DMC-F5R with a 1.2-1.5A 5V power supply. I have been using this setup for over 3 months and probably charged and discharged the Li-battery at least 50 times.

It's really a regulated 220V to 5V transformer built around the 7805 regulator (originally made for the Commodore 64). Side-effects so far: Charging time is now 2 hours instead of 3h. Possible future side-effects: Shorter battery life???, Damage to unit??? (I doubt it.)

Daniel Wikstr m ([email protected]) reports:
I got a Pioneer PMD-R1 that a friend of mine bought in Hong-Kong, supplied with the Japanese adapter. I tried to recharge the battery with a balanced 5V 800mA power supply, and although I never got it to recharge the Li-Ion battery, I could run the unit from the power supply. I went searching in my hometown for a dealer who could supply me with an adapter for the Sharp MD-MS100 and I found one, at the "Big Point" chain of stores. I believe that the adapter for the Sharp is sold all over Europe, so this probably applies to all European countries. The Sharp adapter was very expensive though, 700 Swedish crowns (aprox 95US$), but it worked fine.

Big Point, Box 9073, 850 09 Sundsvall // Phone: 060 121790 (Thats from within Sweden)

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