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'[OT][EE] PCMCIA (PC CARD) data xfer to laptop'
2000\05\04@131249 by jamesnewton

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Does anyone know of a ready made embedded PCMCIA (PC CARD) writer that can
write a format readable in the standard PC (laptop) like it was a drive?

I have a friend who needs to instantly transfer mega-bytes of data to a
standard laptop.

---
James Newton spam_OUTjamesnewtonTakeThisOuTspamgeocities.com 1-619-652-0593
http://techref.massmind.org
All the engineering secrets worth knowing

2000\05\04@165659 by Mark Willis

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face
I do this ALL the time - Lots of good answers for this one, James;  Buy
a SanDisk (or Delkin, or Simple Tech., or or <G>) PCMCIA Flash card
(either Compact Flash with an adapter if needed, or a PCMCIA Type II
Flash Card) - install that into a unit like an SCM SwapBox (eBay has 'em
all the time - I have a spare, could ship it to you if you'll replace it
with a good unit.)  $35 should get you one.

search-desc.ebay.com/cgi-bin/texis/ebaydesc/results.html?query=scm+swapbox&dest=&cobrandpartner=x&SortProperty=MetaEndSort&SortOrder=&maxRecordsPerPage=&srchdesc=y&category0=&category1=&category2=&category3=&textonly=n&tc=&ht=1&st=&minPrice=&maxPrice=&ebaytag1=&ebaytag1code=&ebaycurr=&psURLSaveMethod=PersonalShopperSaveSearch&userid=&pass=&psreg=&psfreq=&psdura=
gives 10 hits <G>

I like these as the upper slot will handle a Type III HDD - can stack
that atop a Type II card and transfer data easily.

Other co's make these as well, in differing varieties too (DataBook has
a Parallel Port unit that's not bad - get the later one if you go with
those, TMD-650 or newer.)

Definitely check h/w and s/w requirements on the unit you plan to get
(the earlier ISA SCM's need an IRQ for the board, newer one's don't,
also these need one add'l IRQ for most installed cards.)

Another answer:  Get a NIC card (or parallel port NIC) for your laptop -
Pull the data down to the laptop's HDD, then transfer it onto the PCMCIA
Card if you still need to do that (may be able to do this directly if
you set it up right.)

Also, SRAM cards are pretty nice (leave them plugged into some power
source i.e. powered-up desktop when not in use, or yank the battery, as
otherwise the battery eventually dies from the slow drain of the card;
Flash cards are LOTS less pricey, though, an SRam 4Mb card costs the
same as a 175Mb Flash card roughly.

You'll usually need to initialize either card (CF / Flash or SRAM) -
sorta like "FDisk" for these media.

BTW: "instantly"??!?  <VBG>

 Mark

James Newton wrote:
{Quote hidden}

--
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2000\05\04@171554 by jamesnewton

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I wasn't clear enough... I need to be able to write to this thing from a PIC
in a remote device. Megabytes of data. Then pick it up, pull the card
(Compact Flash, SanDisk, PCMCIA FLASH, whatever), push it into the Laptop,
copy the file or files to hard drive, erase, reinsert into device and leave.

Critical points:
A) ultra fast transfer speed. 16 Meg in several seconds.
B) standard unaltered laptop and no fancy software.
C) multi-meg storage ability.
D) fairly low power. will only fire up briefly, capture data, then shut down
so can't be ram or hard drive.

Basically, if I could buy that part of a digital camera...

---
James Newton jamesnewtonspamKILLspamgeocities.com 1-619-652-0593
http://techref.massmind.org
All the engineering secrets worth knowing

{Original Message removed}

2000\05\04@182934 by Mark Willis

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face
Aah.  For the connectors, DigiKey sells both PCMCIA and CF sockets (68
or 50 pins respectively, 0.050" pin spacing, two rows 0.050" CTC.)

You'll need PIC Code to handle reading/writing the FAT16 / directory /
file structure, know people working on that but none done yet.  Several
doing this on Atmel's.  One has FDD code on an 8051 that was working for
a commercial product (he's moved & not back on here yet, I guess.  He'll
get settled in.)

Another option:  Could just swap media when you visit the remote site
(then read speed's not so critical - if you're trying to keep a constant
log,  you might consider doing *something* to prevent a write from
occuring as you remove the card - don't want to corrupt any data.

I've found one rather decent URL for you, and a few others:

http://www.rdrop.com/~cary/html/pc_card_faq.html  PC Card FAQ
115k of good data, should help.  (I need to read that again.)

Also,
http://hwb.acc.umu.se/index.html (The Hardware Book) has lots of
connectors, http://hwb.acc.umu.se/co_PcCard.html,
http://hwb.acc.umu.se/co_PcCardAta.html, and
http://hwb.acc.umu.se/co_CompactFlash.html specifically would be germane
<G>

(http://www.programmersheaven.com/zone5/cat20/index.htm has a bunch of
old good ASM (for 80x86 machines) routines, if the Linux sources don't
tell you what you want to know.)

I have lots of old AT/XT BIOS books etc. so if you need to know
something I can look it up...

 Mark

James Newton wrote:
{Quote hidden}

> {Original Message removed}

2000\05\04@211137 by Byron A Jeff

face picon face
On Thu, May 04, 2000 at 02:14:03PM -0700, James Newton wrote:
> I wasn't clear enough... I need to be able to write to this thing from a PIC
> in a remote device. Megabytes of data. Then pick it up, pull the card
> (Compact Flash, SanDisk, PCMCIA FLASH, whatever), push it into the Laptop,
> copy the file or files to hard drive, erase, reinsert into device and leave.
>
> Critical points:
> A) ultra fast transfer speed. 16 Meg in several seconds.
> B) standard unaltered laptop and no fancy software.
> C) multi-meg storage ability.
> D) fairly low power. will only fire up briefly, capture data, then shut down
> so can't be ram or hard drive.
>
> Basically, if I could buy that part of a digital camera...

You can. Just spent a few minutes reading up on CompactFlash for a future
MIDI sequencer project. Basically CF is a flash memory with an embedded
controller that makes it look very much like an IDE device. In fact it has
what's called True-IDE mode that makes it look exactly like a minature IDE
disk. You read/write the disk using the 8 byte IDE task file and the 16 bit
dta bus. The bus can programmatically be reduced to an 8 bit bus if you need
to conserve pins.

Your project would have to maintain a DOS filesystem with a 12 bit FAT. This
limits your filesystems to 32MB but I'm sure you can live with that. Dave
Dunfield has a sample 12bit FAT implementation in C in this file:

ftp://ftp.dunfield.com/embedpc.zip


As for power consumption it seems to be quite small in standby but can grow
up to 90ma a pop when writing. You can probably conserve simply by buffering
512 bytes of data in RAM then writing a whole sector when full.

Interface to the PC is dead dumb simple. Plug in with a CF to PC-Card adapter,
slide into the PC-Card port, treat as a hard disk.

One caveat about True-IDE mode. It does require power-cycling the card to
set this mode as it's detected on power-up. So you need a way to power-cycle
the CF when you remove it.

Take a look here for an Hitachi CF family that has all of the relavent
specifications:

http://semiconductor.hitachi.com/products/product_abstract.cfm?p_id=895

Also Digikey has the 50 pin connectors for CF.

It looks like the winner to me.

BAJ
>
> ---
> James Newton EraseMEjamesnewtonspam_OUTspamTakeThisOuTgeocities.com 1-619-652-0593
> http://techref.massmind.org
> All the engineering secrets worth knowing
>
> {Original Message removed}

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