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Miscellaneous Technical Notes Volume 1

This page contains miscellaneous short technical notes for various products.

Contents
Why Choose ExpressCard 34 CompactFlash Memory Card Adapters
Why doesn't the PCM-CR-FW1ES see SmartMedia when it is inserted?
USB to Two Slot SmartMedia and PC Card Read-Writer Installation
USB to PCMCIA Media Read-Writer 1 Slot Mini Windows XP, Mac OS X Installation
PCI to PC Card(Bus) Bridge Chips in Select Card Readers
PCI Bus to PC Card and CardBus Read-Writer 1 Slot Internal Rear P111 with Mac OS
ADP-PCM-EXPUSB (ECA16) Compatibility Table
USB 2.0 Based ExpressCard Compatibility Table
ExpressAdapt ExpressCard Adapter Compatibility Table

Why Choose ExpressCard 34 CompactFlash Memory Card Adapters?

With several ExpressCard 54 CompactFlash adapters are on the market, why choose an ExpressCard 34 CompactFlash adapter instead? The answer is ExpressCard 34 CompactFlash adapters can be used in either ExpressCard 34 or 54 slots, while an ExpressCard 54 version can only fit ExpressCard 54 slots. Many host systems like Apple's MacBook Pro and Sony's VAIO VGN-FE790 have an ExpressCard 34 slot, meaning they can only accept ExpressCard 34 CompactFlash Memory Card Adapters. Synchrotech's ExpressCard 34 CompactFlash Memory Card is intended for photography professionals and other users needing fast access for CompactFlash applications.

Why doesn't the PCM-CR-FW1ES see SmartMedia when it is inserted?

The FireWire IEEE 1394 to SmartMedia Read-Writer 1 Slot (Synchrotech part PCM-CR-FW1ES) is unusual in that slot orientation is upside down in regards to the unit. In order to read SmartMedia™, insert the card with the gold contacts area facing down in regards to the card Read-Writer.

USB to Two Slot SmartMedia and PC Card Read-Writer Installation

On both the Windows and Macintosh platforms, install the software on the CD ROM that comes with the PCM-CR-U2EPS Card Reader/Writer before connecting the device to a USB port. Alternatively install the latest driver software download before connecting the device to a USB port.

USB to PCMCIA Media Read-Writer 1 Slot Mini Windows XP, Mac OS X Installation

This device series (Synchrotech parts PCM-CR-U1ECF2, PCM-CR-U1ESM, PCM-CR-U1EMMC) has been tested with several USB 1.1 and 2.0 compliant systems running Windows XP and Mac OS X (versions 10.1.x), and has worked with out of the box without any additional driver installation. Both operating systems provide generic support for this reader, and no further software should be required. In the case of the Memory Stick reader (PCM-CR-U1ESMS), some Windows XP installations may require additional driver support. These drivers are provided on the CD-ROM and are also available for download on the product page.

PCI to PC Card(Bus) Bridge Chips in Select Card Readers

This information is superceded by PCI to PC Card(Bus) Bridge Chips in Select PCMCIA PC Card Readers. This information remains for historical reasons.

PCM-CR-PC2IC2
PCI Bus to PC Card and CardBus Read-Writer 2 Slot Internal Rear P222
Uses the PCI-1420 (TI Compatible) CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC1IC2
PCI Bus to PC Card and CardBus Read-Writer 1 Slot Internal Rear P111
Uses the PCI-1410 (TI Compatible) CardBus Controller which is the one slot version of the PCI-1420 or the PCI-1211 CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC2IF2
PCI Bus to PC Card Read-Writers 2 Slot Internal
Uses the PCI-1420 (TI Compatible) CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC1IF
PCI Bus to PC Card Read-Writers 1 Slot Internal Low Profile
Uses the PCI-1410 (TI Compatible) CardBus Controller which is the one slot version of the 1420 or the PCI-1211 CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC2EF
PCI Bus to PC Card Read-Writers 2 Slot External
Uses the PCI-1420 (TI Compatible) CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC2IFR
PCI Bus to PC CardBus Read-Writer 2 Slot Internal Front Rear P416
Uses the PCI-1420 (TI Compatible) CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC1ICL
PCI Bus to PC CardBus Read-Writer 1 Slot Internal Rear Low Profile P311
Uses the PCI-1410 or PCI-1211 (TI Compatible) CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC1ICFL
PCI Bus to CompactFlash Type I-II Read-Writer Internal Rear Low Profile P312
Uses the PCI-1410 or PCI-1211 (TI Compatible) CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC2IF
PCI Bus to PC Card Read-Writer 2 Slot Internal
Uses the Ricoh RL5C475 CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC2IR
PCI Bus to PC Card Read-Writer 2 Slot Internal Rear
Uses the Ricoh RL5C475 CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC1IR
PCI Bus to PC Card Read-Writer 1 Slot Internal Rear 5 Volt Only
Uses the Ricoh RL5C475 CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PMC1I
PCI Bus to PC CardBus Read-Writer 1 Slot Internal Mezzanine PMC
Uses the PCI-1410 or PCI-1211 (TI Compatible) CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC2IC3
PCI Bus to PC Card and CardBus Read-Writers Internal Rear R5C486
Uses the Ricoh R5C486 CardBus Controller
PCM-CR-PC2IC
PCI/ISA to PC CardBus Read-Writer 2 Slot Internal Rear
Uses the Ricoh RB5C478B CardBus Controller

PCI Bus to PC Card and CardBus Read-Writer 1 Slot Internal Rear P111 with Mac OS

IMPORTANT NOTICE

All of the following information applies only to Elan cards using genuine Texas Instruments bridge chips. All current models use the ene equivalents of those chips and do not work with OS 9 or OS X. Unfortunately, we can no longer get the TI based models of the readers. We will try to see if we can get Apple to fix the situation.

Introduction

Elan discovered their PCI Bus to PC CardBus Read-Writer 1 Slot Internal Rear works with certain models of the Power Mac G3 and G4. We tested the device with the only tower model we have, and it performed admirably with a variety of PC Cards. The good news is PCM-CR-PC1IC2 is the first card reader that works on the Macintosh providing both Card and Socket Services and CardBus support as opposed to just ATA memory card support. The bad news is only certain Power Mac models seem to work with the device. That being said, neither Synchrotech or Elan support the device on Mac OS. The following notes are provided as a customer service. Elan is maintaining a listing of models that have been tested with results of the following page: Using the P111 in an Apple Macintosh.

The PCM-CR-PC1IC2 works because it uses a Texas Instruments compatible PCI-1211 CardBus Controller (or equivalent PCI-1410), which is the same CardBus controller that Apple uses in its CardBus capable PowerBook G3 and PowerBook G4 models. When the reader works it requires no additional drivers or software, as Apple's PC Card stack treats the reader as it would the slot on a PowerBook. This means that any PC Card that is supported under Mac OS on the above mentioned PowerBooks should work with the PCM-CR-PC1IC2. It also means cards requiring additional driver installations on a PowerBook will need the same drivers with the PCM-CR-PC1IC2, and may or may not work (we have not tested any like this yet). We also tested the reader with an older PCI Power Macintosh (7200/90), but the PCI card was neither recognized correctly, nor worked. We suspect that this is a 'New World' versus 'Old World' ROM issue, but have not verified if this is the case.

What We Tested

Synchrotech tested the PCM-CR-PC1IC2 (TI Based) with a Power Mac G4 867MHz 640MB RAM (M8360LL/A), running Mac OS 9.2.2. We tested it successfully with the following devices:

Synchrotech 40MB ATA Flash Card
Camera formatted (ie. FAT)
IBM 340MB Microdrive in a PC Card Adapter
Macintosh HFS+ formatted
Synchrotech IOFlex PC CardBus to FireWire IEEE 1394 Ruggedized
Connected to an UltiFire 20GB FireWire IEEE 1394 Hard Drive Series I Mini via an FireWire IEEE 1394 Repeater Hub 6 Port

Synchrotech tested the PCM-CR-PC1IC2 (TI Based) with a Power Mac G4 867MHz 768MB RAM (M8360LL/A), running Mac OS X 10.2.5. We tested it successfully with the following devices:

Synchrotech 40MB ATA Flash Card
Camera formatted (ie. FAT)
IBM 340MB Microdrive in a PC Card Adapter
Macintosh HFS+ formatted
Synchrotech IOFlex PC CardBus to FireWire IEEE 1394 Ruggedized
Connected to an UltiFire 20GB FireWire IEEE 1394 Hard Drive Series I Mini via an FireWire IEEE 1394 Repeater Hub 6 Port

Every device test conducted above behaved identical to our control model (PowerBook G3 400MHz 1024MB RAM (M7711LL/A)). Having been in the PC Card business for over a decade, it was somewhat astonishing to see a Macintosh desktop system work with a PC Card reader. Synchrotech encourages customers that are interested in purchasing the reader to take advantage of our 15 day money back guarantee to test if it works with a particular model. We would appreciate feedback on what does and doesn't work, so that we can help Elan keep their compatibility listing up to date.

Future Directions

Once we have a solid listing of what models and OS versions work consistently, we may sell the PCM-CR-PC1IC2 as a supported device. We have attempted to use the device under Mac OS X 10.1.5 (works with 10.2.5 or later on the same test machine). The system recognized the PCI card correctly, but gave IOPCCardBridge error during startup and subsequently didn't work. We suspect that this may be due to the fact that OS X only expects certain models (namely PowerBooks) to have PC Card slots. Synchrotech will be working with Elan to try and resolve this issue with Apple. Our long term goal is to see the reader work with all recent PCI capable Power Macs. This may be helped by customers providing Apple with feedback to support the device under OS X.

Synchrotech will also be testing the newer Elan models that utilize the PCI-1211 CardBus Controller (or equivalent PCI-1410) to see if they work as well. This would include the Low Profile PCI models PCM-CR-PC1ICFL and PCM-CR-PC1ICL.

ADP-PCM-EXPUSB (ECA16) Compatibility Table

The ADP-PCM-EXPUSB (ECA16) only works with ExpressCard 34 devices utilizing the USB 2.0 portion of the ExpressCard specification. It will not work with and ExpressCard 54 device, or any ExpressCard utilizing the PCIe (PCI Express) portion of the ExpressCard specification. The following table is by no means comprehensive, nor guaranteed completely accurate.

USB 2.0 ExpressCard Supported by the ECA16

Device Type Manufacturer Device ECA16
3G Wireless Novatel Wireless Merlin XU870 Yes
Novatel Wireless Merlin EX720 Yes
Novatel Wireless Merlin V740 Yes
Option Wireless GT Max 3.6 Express Yes
Media Adapters Synchrotech, Inc. EXP34-ADP-CF2-01 ExpressCard 34 to CompactFlash Memory Card Adapter Yes
Synchrotech, Inc. EXP34-ADP-MUL5-01 ExpressCard 34 to Multiple Memory Card Adapter Yes
Storage Devices Datafab Systems, Inc. expSSD ExpressCard Solid-State Storage Device Yes
Host Adapters Synchrotech, Inc. EXP34-RS232-01 ExpressCard 34 to Serial I/O (RS-232) DB9 1 Port Host Adapter Yes

MicroU2E and MicroU2E-MV ExpressCard Adapter Compatibility Table

USB 2.0 to USB Mode ExpressCard Adapters only work with ExpressCard 34 devices utilizing the USB 2.0 portion of the ExpressCard specification. They will not work with and ExpressCard 54 device, or any ExpressCard utilizing the PCIe (PCI Express) portion of the ExpressCard specification. The new MicroU2E-MV adds support for ExpressCards utilizing both 3.3 and 1.5V portions of the ExpressCard standard, while the original MicroU2E supports 3.3V only. The following table is by no means comprehensive, nor guaranteed completely accurate.

USB ExpressCards Supported by MicroU2E and MicroU2E-MV

Device Type Manufacturer Device Carrier MicroU2E Model
3G/4G Wireless WAN Kyocera KPC680 EV-DO Rev. A Verizon Both
Novatel Wireless Merlin XU870 Both
Novatel Wireless Merlin EX720 Sprint Both
Novatel Wireless Merlin V740 Verizon Both
Novatel Wireless Merlin V740 Verizon Both
Sierra Wireless Air Card 597E Sprint Both
Option Wireless GT Max 3.6 Express AT&T MV Only
Option Wireless Option GT Ultra Express AT&T MV Only
Option Wireless GlobeTrotter Express 7.2 (Web'n'Walk) T-Mobile MV Only
Option Wireless GlobeTrotter Express HSUPA MV Only
Option Wireless GlobeTrotter Express 401 MV Only
Media Adapters Synchrotech, Inc. EXP34-ADP-CF2-01 ExpressCard 34 to CompactFlash Memory Card Adapter N/A Both
Synchrotech, Inc. EXP34-ADP-MUL5-01 ExpressCard 34 to Multiple Memory Card Adapter N/A Both
Storage Devices Datafab Systems, Inc. expSSD ExpressCard Solid-State Storage Device N/A Both
Host Adapters Synchrotech, Inc. EXP34-RS232-01 ExpressCard 34 to Serial I/O (RS-232) DB9 1 Port Host Adapter N/A Both

MicroU2E-MV and Option Wireless ExpressCards

Unlike most WWAN Wireless ExpressCards, Option Wireless ExpressCards utilize the 3.3 and 1.5 voltages from the ExpressCard slot. The MicroU2E-MV model provides both of these voltages.

ExpressAdapt ExpressCard Adapter Compatibility Table

The ExpressAdapt PCMCIA PC CardBus to USB Mode ExpressCard Adapter only works with ExpressCard 34 devices utilizing the USB 2.0 portion of the ExpressCard specification. It will not work with and ExpressCard 54 device, or any ExpressCard utilizing the PCIe (PCI Express) portion of the ExpressCard specification. The following table is by no means comprehensive, nor guaranteed completely accurate.

USB ExpressCards Supported by ExpressAdapt

Device Type Manufacturer Device Carrier
3G/4G Wireless WAN Kyocera KPC680 EV-DO Rev. A Verizon
Novatel Wireless Merlin XU870
Novatel Wireless Merlin EX720 Sprint
Novatel Wireless Merlin V740 Verizon
Novatel Wireless Merlin V740 Verizon
Sierra Wireless Air Card 597E Sprint
Option Wireless GT Max 3.6 Express AT&T
Option Wireless Option GT Ultra Express AT&T
Option Wireless GlobeTrotter Express 7.2 (Web'n'Walk) T-Mobile
Option Wireless GlobeTrotter Express HSUPA
Option Wireless GlobeTrotter Express 401
Media Adapters Synchrotech, Inc. EXP34-ADP-CF2-01 ExpressCard 34 to CompactFlash Memory Card Adapter N/A
Synchrotech, Inc. EXP34-ADP-MUL5-01 ExpressCard 34 to Multiple Memory Card Adapter N/A
STL, Inc. ExpressCard CardReader C-350 N/A
STL, Inc. ExpressCard CF CardReader C-400 N/A
Storage Devices Datafab Systems, Inc. expSSD ExpressCard Solid-State Storage Device N/A
STL, Inc. ExpressCard SSD Series N/A
Host Adapters Synchrotech, Inc. EXP34-RS232-01 ExpressCard 34 to Serial I/O (RS-232) DB9 1 Port Host Adapter N/A

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