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Miscellaneous Technical Notes Volume 2

This page contains miscellaneous short technical notes for various products.

Contents
Using the 4-pin iLINK and USB to 6-pin FireWire extension cable
Using the IOFlex PC CardBus to FireWire IEEE 1394 Ruggedized with MacOS
Finding Unusual PCMCIA Products
Identifying a Computer's PCI Slots Types
What should I do If I have the following symptoms/problems running Windows XP or Windows Vista?
Express2PCC Workaround for Some 16-bit R2 PC Card Issues
Device-side Pin Assignments for IU-100, IU-110, and IU-120

Using the 4-pin iLINK and USB to 6-pin FireWire extension cable

The FireWire to 6 in 1 Multi-Card Read-Writer 2 Slot was designed as a very low power device, based on its sister product for USB. This low power attribute allows it to operate under the 5VDC when using the extension cable. As such, the 4-pin iLINK and USB to 6-pin FireWire extension cable designed specifically for this device is not intended for use with any other product. Furthermore, do not use the extension cable when 6-pin FireWire ports are available. See the user guide included with the FireWire to 6 in 1 Multi-Card Read-Writer 2 Slot for instructions on using the extension cable. Using the extension cable with any device other than the PCM-CR-FW6EMUL is unauthorized, and may damage the device or host system. Never use the cable with any device other than the PCM-CR-FW6EMUL.

Using the IOFlex PC CardBus to FireWire IEEE 1394 Ruggedized with MacOS

Introduction and Configurations

Because of its low cost, many Macintosh users may be interested in the PCM-FIO-01X1 card. As it was not designed for MacOS, the Card is unsupported. However, it was tested and known to work with the following configurations:

Configurations Tested
PowerBook G3 400MHz 1024MB RAM (M7711LL/A)
Mac OSX 10.1.5 (5S66)
PowerBook G3 400MHz 1024MB RAM (M7711LL/A)
Mac OS 9.2.2
Power Mac G4 867MHz 640MB RAM (M8360LL/A)
Using the PCI Bus to PC Card and CardBus Read-Writer 1 Slot Internal Rear P111 (PCM-CR-PC1IC2)
Mac OS 9.2.2

The card should work equally as well on any CardBus capable PowerBook.

FireWire Devices Tested
Canon ZR50 MC Digital Video Camcorder
UltiFire 20GB FireWire IEEE 1394 Hard Drive Series I Mini
Formac Studio DV/TV FireWire Digital/Analog Video Capture-Converter Mac
FireWire IEEE 1394 Repeater Hub 6 Port
generic pc card icon

General Observations

While the PC Card functions fine with Hard Drives and other mass storage media, it cannot boot from drives connected to it under either OS9 or OSX because PC Card drivers are loaded after the System. The Startup Disk Control Panel/System Prefs allows selecting connected drives as startup devices, but will fail on boot. The system will boot off the last selected OS from an internal drive in this case.

Although the PC Card provides two 6-pin connectors, it does not provide bus power and unlike some other host adapters, does not have an optional power supply. Any device connected to the PC Card must be self powered. A reasonable work around is to place a powered FireWire repeater hub in the chain between the PC Card and any bus powered devices.

We suspect that the card will provide higher throughput than some Macintosh models with under performing FireWire host controllers built on board. However, we have not tested this assumption as of yet. For more information regarding this issue, please see: Why do certain computers achieve less than ideal interface speeds?

Use with Mac OS X

Using the PCM-FIO-01X1 with Mac OS X wasn't noticeably different than using the built in FireWire ports.

Use with Mac OS 9

OS9 mounts a generic card icon (see image generic card icon is the last on the bottom) for the host adapter. Before removing the PC Card from the Mac, always unmount the card first by choosing Put Away from the File Menu (Command-Y), Eject from the Special Menu (Command-E), or dragging the icon to the Trash. When using devices such as FireWire Hard Drives, always unmount the drive or device in the finder before unmounting the PC Card icon. Unmount the FireWire devices by choosing Put Away from the File Menu (Command-Y), Eject from the Special Menu (Command-E), or dragging their icons to the Trash.

Always unmount a FireWire device before powering it down or disconnecting from the FireWire chain.

Finding Unusual PCMCIA Products

Synchrotech receives many calls for PC Card products that we do not carry. In some cases they may be products that we carried in the past, but in others they are just general questions. We provide this list as a service to customers looking for some of these items, it does not constitute an endorsement of any of these products or vendors.

3D Video PC Cards (PCMCIA)
Do not and have never existed. One look at the size of a 3D GPU and cooling fan on any PCI or AGP graphics card will explain why.
Analog Video Capture PC Cards (PCMCIA)
Check with ebay or similar sites for auctions on used video capture cards from Margi Systems, Inc. or Nogatech Inc.
GPS PC Cards (PCMCIA)
Delorme
Sony/ETAK
ISDN PC Cards (PCMCIA)
3Com
Sound PC Cards (PCMCIA)
audioMIDI.com
Terminal Emulator PC Cards (PCMCIA)
Check with ebay or similar sites for auctions on these cards.
Token Ring PC Cards (PCMCIA)
Check with ebay or similar sites for auctions on these cards.
MIDI PC Cards (PCMCIA)
Check with EXP Computer, Inc.
Game Port PC Cards (PCMCIA)
Check with EXP Computer, Inc.

Identifying a Computer's PCI Slots Types

The following illustration should make it easy to identify the types of PCI slots that are inside a computer. 66MHz slots are keyed so that 33MHz cards cannot be used in them, nor can 66MHz cards be placed in 33MHz slots. 33MHz 32-bit cards are keyed so that the cards will physically fit in both 32-bit and 64-bit slots. Typically, compliant 64-bit slots will run any 32-bit card. 33MHz 64-bit slots cards are keyed so that the cards will physically fit in 64-bit slots. 64-bit cards will also fit into 32-bit slots as long as there is enough physical space behind the trailing edge of the slot. Some 64-bit cards will work in 32-bit slots, albeit with some loss in functionality. An example is Synchrotech's FW8-FIO-01 FireWire 800 host adapter which will provide something between 400 and 800Mbps speeds when used in a 32-bit slot. Before trying to install a 64-bit PCI card into a 32-bit slot read the documentation carefully, or check with the manufacturer to make sure that it will work and that it won't damage the card or computer.

What should I do If I have the following symptoms/problems running Windows XP or Windows Vista?

Q: What should I do If I have the following symptoms/problems running Windows XP or Windows Vista?

Symptoms/Problems with USB-HUB-HU1310B or USB-HUB-HU1311W:

  1. USB flash drive drops frequently, need to re-plug.
  2. When plugging USB Flash drive too fast or/and too many at once, Windows error blue screen will come out and system restarts.
  3. Slow detecting USB flash drive
  4. USB Flash drive detected but can't access file.

A: To solve these problems, please update your Windows XP/Vista to Service Pack I, Service Pack II or Windows XP Service Pack III

Express2PCC Workaround for Some 16-bit R2 PC Card Issues

These instructions are for attempting to correct an issue sometimes seen when using some 16-bit PC Cards on modern systems via the ExpressCard 34 to PCMCIA PC CardBus 16/32-bit Read-Writer Express2PCC

ExpressCard 34 to PCMCIA PC Card SYMPTOMS

The R2 (PCMCIA Release 2.x) PC Card does not start, and you see the following error message in Device Manager:

This device is either not present, not working properly, or does not have all the drivers installed. (Code 10)

Try upgrading the device drivers for this device.

CAUSE

This behavior occurs because some R2 PC Cards do not support interrupt request (IRQ) resource sharing. In The Windows XP or in Windows Vista, and perhaps Windows 7, 16-bit PC Card (PCMCIA) PCI readers can use R2 PC Cards (the 16-bit ISA type) without requiring an ISA runner paddle to obtain ISA interrupts.

RESOLUTION

All of the following procedures must by done under a user account with administrative permissions in order to work correctly.

To resolve this behavior, setting IRQ Route To PCI Controller to allow these PC Cards to function in laptop computers:

  1. Start Registry Editor (Regedit.exe).
  2. Locate and click to select the following key in the registry: HKEY_LOCAL_MACHINE\System\CurrentControlSet\Services\PCMCIA\Parameters
  3. On the Edit menu, click New, click DWORD Value, type IrqRouteToPciController in the New Value box, and then press ENTER.
  4. Click to select IrqRouteToPciController, click Edit, and then click Modify.
  5. In the Value data box, type 8, and then click OK.
  6. Quit Registry Editor.

Alternatively, download the IrqRouteToPciController.reg (IrqRouteToPciController.zip) file. First unzip and then double click to add the entry to the registry. Quit the Registry Editor when done.

Registry prior to editing.
Registry prior to editing

Registry after editing.
Registry after editing

This procedure disables PCI routing for 16-bit PC Cards.

With this feature, you can successfully install 16-bit PC Cards on computers that are low on ISA interrupts by using a shared-PCI interrupt.

Device-side Pin Assignments for IU-100, IU-110, and IU-120

Device-side Pin Assignments for IU-100, IU-110, and IU-120

This information is applicable to the following Synchrotech part numbers.

These USB to serial devices feature DB9 connectors, frequently used in RS-232 applications. RS-422 and RS-485 tend to use different connectors, so speciality cables (e.g. DB9 to Mini Din 8) are often needed to accommodate certain serial peripherals. The above image and following table should be helpful in selecting or designing application specific cables to deploy with the IU-1** series USB to Serial device.

Pin Transmission Signals
RS-422 4-Wire RS-485 2-Wire RS-485
1 Tx- Tx- D-
2 Tx+ Tx+ D+
3 Rx+ Rx+  
4 Rx- Rx-  
5 GND GND GND

See the user manuals for the individual devices for futher information including: DIP Switch settings, and internal jumper settings.

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