Compact Flash to IDE

Do you have a question? Post it now! No Registration Necessary

Translate This Thread From English to

Threaded View
Seeing as Compact Flash uses a standard IDE interface, would it be
possible to attach an ordinary hard drive to a camera via a compact
flash slot?
There are many adaptors on the market that go the other way (allowing
you to use compact flash cards as hard drives in a PC), but I haven't
seen anyone attempt this yet, except with microdrives.
Is this possible?

TIA

Re: Compact Flash to IDE
Quoted text here. Click to load it

It depends on how the camera implements the CF slot, but the answer is
almost certainly not, for two reasons:

1. The CF storage cards can be operated in any of three modes;
memory-mapped, IO or True-IDE (which is the IDE emulation mode used by
those adapters). Cameras tend to use memory-mapped mode because
True-IDE mode does not support hotplugging.

2. Even if the camera does use True-IDE mode, it probably uses the
8-bit subset of this mode. CF cards are required per spec to support
8-bit data transfers. Only a VERY VERY FEW old IDE hard disks (designed
for compatibility with PC/XT computers) support this mode. Any modern
drive will only support 16-bit transfers.
Also, there is no way the camera will be able to power a hard drive.


Re: Compact Flash to IDE
Thanks for your reply.

Is this something that is implemented (read: can be changed) at the
firmware level?
Would buffering be required, or would a straightforward "mechanical"
adaptor suffice?

Cheers.

 >
 > 1. The CF storage cards can be operated in any of three modes;
 > memory-mapped, IO or True-IDE (which is the IDE emulation mode used by
 > those adapters). Cameras tend to use memory-mapped mode because
 > True-IDE mode does not support hotplugging.
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Re: Compact Flash to IDE
Quoted text here. Click to load it

It is _probably_ impossible, period. But this depends on how much work
you're willing to do and how much information you already have. It is
_certainly_ not worth the effort :)

The camera will most likely not implement the extra 8 data lines to the
slot. So you would need to find some way of "creating" 8 extra GPIOs
and wiring them to the slot connector. That's a given, since in order
to talk to a hard drive you MUST have the full 16-bit bus.

If the camera uses IO mode, it may have run the signals driving the CF
slot to hardware that generates the correct timings and select signals.
It might not be possible to change that even by changing the firmware.
You'd have to evaluate this on a case-by-case basis.

You'll also need mains power or a separate battery to power the hard
drive, since the tracks to the CF slot will not be rated for the couple
of amps a hard drive might require.

And of course, all this assumes that you have full access to the
datasheets and firmware source for the camera. If you also have to
reverse-engineer the chip and its software, then .......
This is not a feasible project.


Re: Compact Flash to IDE

Quoted text here. Click to load it

I'm tempted to agree.
It was worth a shot though :)


Re: Compact Flash to IDE
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Is there an easy way of telling whether all 16 lines are implemented?
Would the extra 8 data lines be tied low?  If that was the case maybe a
simple continuity test to earth would work.

Re: Compact Flash to IDE
Quoted text here. Click to load it
They would probably be open circuit, or might have pullup resistors.


Re: Compact Flash to IDE
: Seeing as Compact Flash uses a standard IDE interface, would it be
: possible to attach an ordinary hard drive to a camera via a compact
: flash slot?
: There are many adaptors on the market that go the other way (allowing
: you to use compact flash cards as hard drives in a PC), but I haven't
: seen anyone attempt this yet, except with microdrives.
: Is this possible?

http://www.advantech.com/epc/newsletter/v28-07-15_00/4IDEsup.htm



Re: Compact Flash to IDE
Quoted text here. Click to load it

Won't work in this application. The CF slot on those SBCs is a very
special case. It is simply the secondary IDE channel from the super I/O
chip, routed to a CF slot instead of a 40-pin IDE header. Since they
already have the full 16-bit bus "for free", they implement all 16
lines on the CF slot.

That passive adapter won't work on any device that only implements an
8-bit data bus, nor will it work on any device that uses a slot mode
other than True-IDE.


Site Timeline