Author Topic: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed  (Read 13398 times)

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Offline FraserTopic starter

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I own a thermal camera that uses a Linear Flash PCMCIA card for its operating system and calibration data.

Now for those unaware, PCMCIA memory cards come in several varieties including the common ATA type. Whether you can access such cards depends upon the capabilities of the readers chipset, its implementation and software. There are solutions available that work with ATA PCMCIA cards and some support for SRAM cards. Be warned however, many external PCMCIA card readers do not have Drivers for later versions of OS, so check before you buy.

I have tended to use PCMCIA port equipped legacy laptops running Win XP or Win 7 to access PCMCIA cards when the need arose. When I found a Linear Flash card inside one of my thermal cameras, I knew I was in trouble as LF is not supported in any modern or most legacy laptops. It is a specialist PCMCIA memory card format that has very different needs to ATA or SRAM type cards. I know of no laptop that can access an LF card, even my old 386SX and 486SX laptops could not access it under Win 3.1 !

Oops Lunch calls so more on this later :) .......

Fraser
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 08:19:44 pm by Fraser »
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #1 on: September 05, 2020, 01:56:41 pm »
I have a stack of linear FLASH cards somewhere. If you want them say so and next time I trip over them I'll send you a PM and arrange to slap them in the post.
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Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #2 on: September 05, 2020, 02:09:21 pm »
OK, lunch over....back to the story......

So as I previously stated, anyone wanting to read and write a Linear Flash PCMCIA card was out of luck when using any of the common methods, be they in a elderly laptop or external ATA PCMCIA card reader. There were some external PCMCIA card readers that had LF compatibility but they were rare, expensive and often ran on very old operating systems. As such, special drivers were needed. Even if you found one of the external ‘drives’, the drivers will likely be very hard to track down. Some such external readers had driver software that was charged as an extra depending upon the card support required !

ELAN used to make some pretty sophisticated PCI format internal PCMCIA card readers. The software was a bit of a nightmare and incompatibilities with the host PC were common. I am not sure whether even an Elan card could cope with Linear Flash. I had an Elan PCMCIA Card reader but I think I binned it due to the hassle of configuring it and silly Software activation requirements.

So I was bang out of luck accessing and backing up the irreplaceable data on my cameras Linear Flash card. I looked at various options but there is not much out there in the way of choice for modern operating systems. One company called CSM kept coming up in discussions about capable modern PCMCIA card readers.

CSM and their Omnidrive Professional External PCMCIA USB 2.0 External card reader/writer. It is designed to meet the needs of industry and offers ruggedness combined with PCMCIA standards comparability. It acts as a bridge to a modern operating system via USB2.0 and CSM software comes with the driver side of things. The Omnidrive Professional is an expensive product at around £300 ! It comes in several versions. The versions provide different card slots and/or enhanced compatibility capabilities. It was one such enhanced models that I wanted. Sadly the special enhanced PCMCIA card reader with added Linear Flash card support was even more expensive than the standard PCMCIA model. The unit has all the capabilities of the standard model but the hardware supports the differing needs of Linear Flash cards as well. Amongst these additional needs is a higher supply voltage for programming and the driver support in the CSM bridge driver. So close, yet so far..... way too expensive !

So what did I do.. ? Well time for a coffee so back soon  :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 08:28:55 pm by Fraser »
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Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #3 on: September 05, 2020, 02:11:50 pm »
Cerebus,

I would dearly love some Linear Flash cards please  :-+ They are relatively hard to find these days, as long obsolete.

The senior designer of the thermal camera that uses the Linear Flash card knew this when he wished me luck finding a means to read and write the Linear Flash card ! He knew I was in for a challenge  ;D

Fraser
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 08:31:01 pm by Fraser »
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Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #4 on: September 05, 2020, 02:28:19 pm »
Completely disconnected from my long term search for a means to read the Linear Flash card, I stumbled upon an eBay seller offering sets of 9 brand new rugged 7” Arbor Gladius G0710 Tablets for £175 per set of 9 ! I was interested and offered him £150 and he agreed. I already own an Arbor Gladius G0710 so thought it likely that I could get the new units working. Why the doubt ? Well these particular tablets were part of a dedicated medical tablet network and were configured as thin clients running WinXPe. There was no BIOS  access and the BIOS was hard coded to find the custom XPe client software on the CF card.

Long story cut short, I copied the BIOS from my Gladius G0710 onto the customised BIOS chip on the new units and they returned to standard Arbor Gladius specification. A great result and I created a modification document and the AMI G0710 BIOS .bin file for the seller. He did not ask for such but I wanted to help him as he had kindly included free docking stations with my tablets at no cost which he need not have done. He was very happy to receive all that is needed to return the tablets to a useful state for installation of a normal OS.

I had seen that the same seller was offering some CSM Omnidrive Professional PCMCIA card readers for £75 each. Not a bad price but I asked if the units were the “LF” suffix model. The picture of one units ID label confirmed that sadly it was the standard non LF model which was a shame. I was still interested in buying one of the Omnidrive units as they are nice quality and support the later operating systems. I negotiated a very good price for one and it arrived today. The seller has looked through his stock and sent me the “LF” model that I wanted. He did not even tell me, it was such a nice surprise :)  He is a lovely seller who I was glad to help with the Arbor tablets and he has reciprocated :) That Omnidrive Professional LF unit now gives me complete PCMCIA comparability and on a modern OS, which is a bonus.

If anyone ever needs to download data, back-up or copy a Linear Flash PCMCIA card, please feel free to contact me and I will see if I can assist :)

I attach pictures of my Omnidrive

Fraser
« Last Edit: September 05, 2020, 02:37:19 pm by Fraser »
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Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #5 on: September 05, 2020, 02:39:26 pm »
The CSM.de web page for their various card readers.....

https://www.csm.de/en/products/cards-and-drives

Fraser
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Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #6 on: September 05, 2020, 02:41:09 pm »
The range of CSM Omnidrive PCMCIA card readers......

https://www.csm.de/en/products/cards-and-drives/184-omnidrive-usb2-product-series

Fraser
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #7 on: September 05, 2020, 03:44:13 pm »
Cerebus,

I would dearly love some Linear Flash cards please  :-+ They are relatively hard to find these days, as long obsolete.

They're yours, if I can find where they got to.

Don't hold your breath, I had a seven segment display delivered today because I can't find the exact same one that I know I have somewhere.  :)
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Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #8 on: September 05, 2020, 03:58:56 pm »
Cerebus,

That is a regular occurrence for me as well ! It is easier to buy another than find the box containing the part in my stocks  :palm:

I will, of course, pay all postage costs  :-+

Thank you  :)

Fraser
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Offline TheSteve

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #9 on: September 06, 2020, 06:22:21 am »
The HP 8920B Service Monitor uses linear flash cards. When I wanted to read them I did some research into it and eventually found a program called "Memory Card Explorer". It will read them using an old laptop I have that runs Win98/XP. I then wanted to write to the cards and found that it is pretty standard to need 12 volts on the write line. This was part of the PCMCIA standard years ago but used so little that manufacturers stopped adding the hardware to drive the line to 12 volts. I opened up the laptop and cut a trace and added a toggle switch to 12 volts. It will now write the linear cards as well. It never hurts to have a stock pile of the cards. In the case of the 8920 there are not only optional software features that can be loaded but the same cards are also used for firmware updates.
VE7FM
 
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Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #10 on: September 06, 2020, 10:31:29 am »
TheSteve,

Thank you for this very useful information. I knew that a higher programming voltage was needed and most laptop manufacturers dropped that from their Designs, but I was not aware that it was so simple to add it to a standard laptop PCMCIA port  :-+ I think I found Memory Card Explorer previously but, from memory, I could not get it to work on the laptop I was using. That could have been due to the specific laptop though.

Fraser
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Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #11 on: September 06, 2020, 12:19:27 pm »
I just took a look at Memory Card Explorer and I do not think this is what I tried as my test was using free software....MCE costs a significant sum of money  :o On sale at the moment at 50% discount for $323  :scared:

https://www.synchrotech.com/products/software-pcmcia-pc_cards_01.html

The same company suggest the Omnidrive as a currently supported solution.... but just look at the prices !

https://www.synchrotech.com/products/software-pcmcia-pc_cards_02.html

$519 for the Omnidrive Pro LF model  :scared:

Obtaining legacy technology support can be really expensive ! I paid £40 for my Omnidrive USB 2.0 Pro LF  :)

Fraser
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 12:22:39 pm by Fraser »
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Offline Cerebus

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #12 on: September 06, 2020, 04:24:21 pm »
Cerebus,

That is a regular occurrence for me as well ! It is easier to buy another than find the box containing the part in my stocks  :palm:

I will, of course, pay all postage costs  :-+

Thank you  :)

Fraser

Five minutes, five ruddy minutes after I start plotting out what MCU pins to connect that new 7 segment display to - I found the one I already had! Grrrrr.

Still haven't found the linear FLASH cards - I've found a 440mb ATA FLASH PCMCIA card, also three 11mb wireless PCMCIA cards and a cardbus 10/100 Ethernet card, but not the linear FLASH cards.

BTW the other cards I've found are surplus to requirements, if they're any use to anyone reading this pipe up and they're yours.

I'll forget about it for the moment and then they'll turn up when they are good and ready, and (most importantly) not being actively looked for. I'll PM you if and when I ever find them. In Murphy we trust...
« Last Edit: September 06, 2020, 04:29:11 pm by Cerebus »
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Offline MonarkeIV

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #13 on: August 09, 2022, 12:48:39 am »

>>
ELAN used to make some pretty sophisticated PCI format internal PCMCIA card readers. The software was a bit of a nightmare and incompatibilities with the host PC were common. I am not sure whether even an Elan card could cope with Linear Flash. I had an Elan PCMCIA Card reader but I think I binned it due to the hassle of configuring it and silly Software activation requirements.
<<




>>
CSM and their Omnidrive Professional External PCMCIA USB 2.0 External card reader/writer. It is designed to meet the needs of industry and offers ruggedness combined with PCMCIA standards comparability. It acts as a bridge to a modern operating system via USB2.0 and CSM software comes with the driver side of things. The Omnidrive Professional is an expensive product at around £300 ! It comes in several versions. The versions provide different card slots and/or enhanced compatibility capabilities. It was one such enhanced models that I wanted. Sadly the special enhanced PCMCIA card reader with added Linear Flash card support was even more expensive than the standard PCMCIA model. The unit has all the capabilities of the standard model but the hardware supports the differing needs of Linear Flash cards as well. Amongst these additional needs is a higher supply voltage for programming and the driver support in the CSM bridge driver. So close, yet so far..... way too expensive !
<<


The Elan P423 32bit PCI slot Read/Write PCMCIA PC Card Controller will handle Linear Flash Cards.

The OMNIDriveUSB2 LF is currently $569.00US before shipping and sales tax. This does include any necessary drivers and the software.
https://www.synchrotech.com/products/card-rw_08_omnidriveusb2_lf_linear_ata_flash_sram_pcmcia.html

Since Syncrotech is the only "game in town" one is kind of stuck with their product price point.

Syncrotech sent me the demo for MCE v3.21 which has a 30 day trial to figure out the correct memory address window, and 5 lives to actually use the product.  After two weeks and finally figuring out (I think) how to manipulate the memory address window the demo software now reports it is EXPIRED!

The old Elan MCE v3.21 is still available for sale at $323.00US.  A lot of money to spend for a software package which now has no support from Synchrotech.

Some of the old Elan website pages (FAQ) were saved in the Wayback Machine archive, but not all of them.  Dealing with setting up the memory address window is a page from the FAQ which was not archived, sigh.   

I've been wrestling with this for over a year, first starting with the Ricoh version which runs under XP to no avail.  All this to try and update the firmware of an old piece of office equipment I have.  |O

Don Resor
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Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #14 on: August 09, 2022, 06:19:42 am »
Sadly legacy IT can be a real challenge if it is specialist and no one supports it anymore. PCMCIA cards became a legacy technology some time ago but such cards were used a lot in Industry on very expensive systems. As such any company that offers a current solution to read and write the more exotic Industrial PCMCIA memory cards can basically name their price and Industry will pay it. That said, some of the companies that produce legacy support products for modern IT systems have to develop the specialist solution in-house and the market may be small and slow moving in terms of sales. I was looking for an external PCI card enclosure to use with a laptop jut because I had an equipment that used a custom PCI interface card. The required Expresscard to PCI adapter exists, but it is so expensive that I built a small footprint desktop PC to support the card instead. 

Hence my post....if someone is really stuck with an exotic type of PCMCIA card and my Omnidrive can help, I am willing to offer assistance.

Best Wishes

Fraser
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Offline Achilless

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Hello. I have a Linear PCMCIA card that i m unable to read/write or do anything with it. My old laptop has a PCMCIA card reader but the device manager says "PCMCIA MTD-0002" as an unkown device.
This card was manufactured by White Electronic Designs.
 

Offline hatzie

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2024, 10:02:19 pm »
Linear flash is antique hardware.
I've used Elan Systems Memory Card Explorer running under Windows XP SP2 on one of my steam powered HP/Compaq NX7400 laptops to write 32mb binary images of linear flash cards for the Vetronix Tech2 handheld diag tool.  I didn't need an external device.  The internal PCMCIA / Cardbus slot was sufficient for the task.
Not all laptops will be able to write your flavor of linear flash memory. I have a couple Toshiba Satellite laptops from 2005ish and a Compaq 2100 from that same timeframe that do not work and play well with any linear flash cards and several Dell Latitude 620, 630 & 830 laptops that do. 
If you have 12v write Type I or Type II cards you need to find a mid 1990's laptops that will run Windows 95 or 98 like the T2130CS Toshiba for instance.

There's a thread on MHH Auto that goes into how to setup up MCE. I have a legal copy but the nuts and bolts of how to set it up is there.
 

Offline LesioQ

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2024, 12:55:33 pm »
To add to their obsoleteness - probably all SRAM cards have internal 3Volt battery (removable or not) so after years they will need replacing to hold the data without power.
My only contact with these were LeCroy scopes (old crt ones).
 

Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2024, 12:42:53 pm »
The PCMCIA (PCCARD) Linear FLASH and SRAM technology is indeed deserving of a place in a museum  :-DD

In its day these two memory technologies were very useful as you can build a computer that has “Run in Place” firmware/software on the memory card. That is to say, the computers boot process does not require the transfer of the operating system or software into RAM before execution. The code is run directly from the memory IC’s on the card. This provided designers with the option to place all of an operating system onto a removable media and not require it to be transferred to Volatile RAM memory. This is often the reason why an embedded computer would contain one of these memory card technologies or would run a software package contained on them as option cards. The two memory technologies are fast enough to make a decent embedded computer, as found in some of my thermal imaging cameras.

The problem for those of us who own equipment that uses Linear FLASH or SRAM cards is that it is a very old standard that has been abandoned in the computing industry long ago. The PCMCIA (PCCARD) format is also long obsolete. This situation means that procuring such memory cards and using them in the modern computing world can present some challenges ! Thankfully there are some suppliers of these vintage technologies who still support Industry as such technology is still to be found in many Industrial equipments of a certain age. There are good explanations of the two memory card technologies and their differing specifications. I shall not repeat those articles here but Google will find plenty of information.

It should be noted that these memory card technologies can present some pitfalls for those new to them. I shall list some below…..

1. Linear FLASH and SRAM cards came in 8 Bit and 16 Bit versions. The correct version is often needed by a host and programming an 8 bit card can be an issue unless appropriate hardware and software from the past is sourced. Some cards offered both 8 bit and 16 bit operation. Most found these days are 16 bit only.

2. Linear FLASH was available as Type 1, Type 2 and Type 5 (3). There was also an Intel “Value” variant that used different (cheaper) memory chips. Some hosts are fussy about which Type they will work with.

3. Linear Flash cards operate from a +5V power supply rail when being read. Many cards require a +12V power supply rail during writes to the card. Some host computers provide the required +12V power rail to the PCMCIA (PCCARD) slot but this was deleted on laptops as time moved on. A laptop that lacks the +12V rail will read these cards but cannot program them unless a hardware modification is made to the laptop. There are PCMCIA (PCCARD) Linear FLASH cards that use only a +5V power supply rail to operate in both the read and write modes. These cards offer compatibility with “5V only” PCMCIA (PCCARD) hosts. If a host needs the 5V only version of Linear FLASH the choice in the current market becomes more limited.

4. There were two main suppliers of memory IC’s for Linear Flash Cards. These were Intel and AMD. Different memory IC’s were used in the cards, often determined by the amount of required memory in the limited amount of space. I personally have not met problems with Intel Linear FLASH cards containing different sizes of memory IC but some hosts may be fussy about the IC brand and capacity ? Intel released a value line of less expensive Linear Flash memory that found its way into the PCMCIA (PCCARD) format. Intel 200 series “Value” cards are an example of such. The cheaper memory was named “StrataFLASH” and used a higher data density to lower production cost per MB. These cards may not play nicely in some host systems.

5. Linear FLASH PCMCIA (PCCARD) cards were available with or without an Attribute (CIS) memory eeprom that was separate from the Linear FLASH memory block. The Attribute memory block contains a digital description of the card and its specifications. This Attribute memory is required by some host computers to identify the memory type that is in its PCMCIA (PCCARD) card slot in order to communicate with it. If the attribute memory is not provided on a Linear FLASH card, the host knows nothing of the cards brand, technology or size until it determines such itself or reads a separate card specification file in the main memory block. As can be seen, the lack of an Attribute memory block can lead to incompatibility with a host system that expects such. SRAM PCMCIA (PCCARD) cards always contain the cards attributes so this is a non issue when selecting SRAM cards.

6. Linear FLASH and SRAM type PCMCIA (PCCARD) cards are not normally interchangeable in an embedded computer host as their firmware expects one or other technology. Laptops are different as they just require the loading of the appropriate drivers fir the desired technology compatibility. Linear FLASH and SRAM PCMCIA (PCCARD) cards are very different to an ATA FLASH card of the same physical format. An ATA card contains a memory controller that meets thecATA memory standards whereas Linear FLASH and SRAM types do not contain a memory controller and may be considered just a pack of raw memory IC’s that are linked to the hosts memory bus. This is one of the reasons why these fast memory cards could be used in a “Run in place” mode of data execution. They may be treated like relatively fast memory IC’s soldered to the hosts motherboard ! An external USB PCMCIA (PCCARD) ATA memory card reader as found on eBay is not compatible with Linear FLASH or SRAM cards unless such is explicitly stated, as in the case of the CSM Omnidrive.

7. SRAM PCMCIA (PCCARD) cards contain SRAM IC’s that require a constant power supply to maintain the data in their memory cells. Loss of power will result in loss or corruption of the data held in the card. For this reason, the cards contain their own internal power source that maintains the power supply to the SRAM IC’s when the host is not providing power or the card has been removed from the host. The technology of the power source is normally a removable Lithium coin cell or a rechargeable button cell. I have not met a card that contained a modern Supercapacitor. The removable Lithium cell versions contain a small capacitor to maintain the SRAM memory supply for around 20 seconds whilst the Lithium cell is changed. With the Lithium coin cell, the cards manufacturer will state a recommended cell changing regime, be it every year, or possibly a longer period. With the rechargeable cells there is higher self discharge and age related degradation to be concerned about.The manufacturer will recommend that the card is powered by a host for a period of time every few months. An elderly rechargeable card may need to have a new rechargeable cell fitted and these cards are not designed to be easily dismantled ! It is important to understand that if a host uses an SRAM technology PCMCIA (PCCARD) for its essential files, these will be lost forever if the cards battery becomes discharged in the absence of host power. This can really ruin your day if you do not have the essential data backed up and a means to program the SRAM card. I own a Spectrophotometer that uses a SRAM PCMCIA card for its operating system and calibration files ! Crazy in my opinion but the unit did come with a PC utility and all the required files to reprogram the card…. Unless, as in my case, the unique floppy disk has become lost over the years ! Fo4 this reason, SRAM PCMCIA card technology can be a poor choice for valuable data that must not be lost. Linear FLASH technology required no power to retain its data fir decades but it is a little slower than SRAM in terms of memory access speeds. Nowhere near as bad as ATA FLASH cards though !

Well that is enough for now. I hope this helps those who are new to these vintage card technologies  :-+

Before anyone thinks PCMCIA (PCCARD) technologies are long dead…. Think again. There are many legacy systems still using this elderly technology …. I bought some Linear FLASH cards from a supplier to Airlines fir their Avionics systems ! The cards are used to update onboard Avionics systems that only accept Linear FLASH cards and that would be too expensive to update to ATA standard cards such as Compact FLASH, SDCARD or USB Flash. Industry still uses these legacy technologies in many embedded computer systems that can still be “mission critical”.

Fraser
« Last Edit: April 07, 2024, 03:15:09 pm by Fraser »
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Offline FraserTopic starter

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #19 on: April 07, 2024, 04:29:23 pm »
I forgot to say earlier, I came across an excellent condition external “CSM Omnidrive Centronics Pro” Parallel port PCMCIA (PCCARD) drive on eBay recently. This PRO model supports all PCMCIA memory cards, including SRAM and Linear FLASH cards, as standard. There was no interest in the auction so I made an offer on the unit. It cost me £40 but that is a bargain for a unit of its capabilities. Unlike for some, a device that works from an elderly parallel port does not concern me. I connected the unit to a laptop that still had a parallel port and it works perfectly with the CSM card manager software. These units do require a true Parallel port so do not expect them to work with a USB to Parallel port adapter that is intended for use with printers. Such a unit is rare at sensible prices but well worth keeping an eye open for if you work with Linear Flash memory cards. With regard to laptops having parallel ports for such a unit, this does not present a problem for me as many of my older laptops and my more modern mil-spec rugged laptops have such a port on them.

https://www.csm.de/en/products/cards-and-drives/160-other-memory-card-drives-and-software-tools
« Last Edit: April 07, 2024, 04:40:00 pm by Fraser »
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Offline trondl

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Re: Fraser now has Linear Flash PCMCIA card read/write capability if needed
« Reply #20 on: April 10, 2024, 08:38:13 am »
Speaking of the sun!
I've just restored an old Acer TravelMate 340T that has the elusive 12Vpp, something most of my Thinkpads don't have, except the 600 I recently sold |O.

I have some questions if you don't mind, and thanks in advance for any input!

I'm repairing two old TC audio equipment units that has its firmware / boot loader corrupted, and the service manual for one of the units states 2MB SRAM to run-in-place, and according to the schematics, only an 8 bit data bus is used to the card.
The high 8 bits data bus goes to a 74hc541 buffer and to the address lines A21 - A25 (D8- D10 not used?)
The same top data bus also controls some card states (WP, RDY etc...) through another 74hc541.

My problem is that I only have access to an Intel 4MB linear flash card (not the Value series) that according to MCE (Memory Card Explorer) is 16 bit, and a Centennial 4MB linear flash that claims 16 bit with 8 bit compatibility.

Are LF and SRAM fundamentally different beasts and cannot replace each other on the host?
Is there a procedure to program a card in 8 bit mode, or is the bus width negotiated on the host?
As in if programmed on a 16 bit bus, it can work in an 8 bit bus.
Is an 8 bit SRAM with attribute register the only solution here?

I've tried one card per unit without success, but have not tried swapping their role yet.
Most likely TC used the same bus width in the other unit (similar age), but I haven't found the schematics yet.
 

Offline Leolo

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 1
  • Country: es
Has anyone been able to write old "series 2" linear flash cards using a PCI to PCMCIA adapter in a desktop computer??

Those old flash cards need 12v to write, and it seems that not all adapters are capable of supporting that voltage.

I'm thinking of getting a BUFFALO WLI-PCI-CA adapter, which is relatively inexpensive. I believe this adapter was initially sold with a wireless PCMCIA card inserted from factory, but some stores sell the adapter "empty" without any PCMCIA card inside.

This Buffalo adapter has a RICOH R5C475II controller, it also has a Texas Instruments TPS2206 power-interface switch, and nearby there's also a Linear Technology LT1086 adjustable regulator. Both the TPS2206 and the LT1086 chips support 12 volts, so I'm inclined to believe that there's hope that this adapter could write those older Linear Flash "series 2" cards using 12 volt

What do you guys think? Is there any hope using these PCI to PCMCIA adapters? Are there other adapters that you've verified to work with Linear flash "series 2" 12v cards??

I have many old computers with available PCI slots, but unfortunately I don't have any laptop with PCMCIA slots :(

Kind regards.
 

Offline Skivesey

  • Newbie
  • Posts: 3
  • Country: gb
Had fun learning this for using my Tech 2 on car, PCI riser possible in desktop and 12v for older cards on newer 5v PCMCIA.   :-+

https://www.uksaabs.co.uk/UKS/viewtopic.php?t=212728
 



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