"IDE" to CF adapter

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Hi,

I'm repurposing some equipment.  Currently,
there is an IDE44 interface in the device.
I.e., it works "as is" (mechanically and
electrically) with a 2.5" drive.

I would like to cobble a CF interface onto
the existing IDE44 to replace the rotating
media with something solid state (CF being
a shorter path than any other technology).

IIRC, I *should* be able to do this just by
dealing with the *mechanical* differences?
Or, is there some subtlety that I am overlooking
(installing a COTS IDE<->CF adapter is problematic
due to the mechanical constraints of the board...)

Thx,
--don

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
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I think it should be as easy as you expect (but have
not dealt with CF cards).
I have seen plenty of adaptors some of which is perhaps
what you need at DX ( dealextreme.com ), I think they were
under "hardware parts" or something like that.

Dimiter

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
Hi Dimiter,

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Yeah, I already took a browse through DX's listings.
Most of their adapters are large (I am space constrained)
and *all* of them would require making a special cable
to mate the "adapter" to the on-board connector.  :>

I was hoping to find something that made a CF card look like
a 2/5" drive (only *smaller*) *and* with the "drive connector"
at right angles to the CF card.  I.e., the connector on my
device has pins standing up at right angles to the board
yet the CF card must be situated *parallel* to that board.
So, a female 0.1 gridded connector soldered *into* the
adapter board (i.e., so that the connections are perpendicular
to that board) would allow the adapter board to mate with mine
and still be parallel to my board...

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter

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Apart from the last requirement, easy. The need to look like a 2.5"
drive precludes the "connector at right angles to the card" request.
All the adapters I've bought are a small PCB with a right-angle 2mm/
44pin connector at one end and a CF slot at the other, and they
retrofit into a 2.5" HDD application with just a little double-sided
tape.

I added a few of those to one of my dealextreme orders a while ago and
used them to convert some old HDD-based micro-laptops (Sony Vaio
Picturebook) into SSD "netbooks". It's as simple as you'd think.

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
In article <c02c9305-1101-4b1c-b91a-
snipped-for-privacy@r4g2000prj.googlegroups.com>, snipped-for-privacy@gmail.com says...
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Persistor Instruments used to make an adapter called the "1-2 Punch"
that sounds exactly like what the OP asked for.  It's not on their
web page now, but they might still have some in stock.

The board even had pads for a second CF connector--presumably so
one CF card could be master and the other the slave.  The second
connector on the board I have isn't placed, so I've never tried
that.

You can find contact info at www.persistor.com


Mark Borgerson

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter

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btw IDE44 is 2mm not 100 mil. Also, the adapters I bought have through-
hole IDE connectors so you could desolder and resolder if that's your
need.

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
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I've done this successfully. A bit painful soldering
wires from a ribbon onto the CF socket, but it worked.

Clifford Heath.

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
Hi Clifford,

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Actually, that might not be a bad idea!  Glue a female
header/connector to a small piece of perf board
(this gives me the "right angle" needed to ensure the
board ends up parallel to the main board) and a socket
(or male header) to the board a few tenths of an inch
away and just do point-to-point wiring by hand.

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter

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Check out one of the SD to IDE adapters like this one

http://www.cyberguys.com/product-details/?productid24%839

SD cards are cheaper than CF now days.  I've used an adapter
similar to this for about a year now in a test system.  The test
is for a external device that has to power on/off the host system.
I wanted to go solid state due to the frequent power on/off cycles.

--
Joe Chisolm
Marble Falls, Tx.

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
Hi oe,

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*Way* too big.  I have just barely enough space for the CF card
*if* the CF card's connector was at right angles to its body.
The (proprietary) board (module) that is intended to be plugged
here is shorter than a CF card -- and a tiny bit wider (to
span all of the pins in the IDE44, naturally).

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Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
says...
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Are you constrained just in board area---or total system
volume?  If there's extra volume, a cable and some ingenuity
in 3D packing might suffice.  I guess the key would be
whether the adapter + CF card is thinner than the 2.5" drive
by the thickness of a ribbon cable--if you want to use the
same space.

 I run into that situation all the time in oceanographic instruments
where there's a lot of above and below the PCBs in cylindrical cases.
The boards just have to get narrower as you stack them.

Mark Borgerson


Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
Hi Mark,

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This is just a "one off" (well, maybe "half-a-dozen-off") project
(i.e., "repurposing some equipment").  Otherwise, I'd layout a little
PCB and be done with it.

A 2.5" laptop drive works directly with the interface (the I/F
was undocumented -- I took a guess that it was IDE44 and used
the laptop drive to prove it to myself).  But, there is no way to
mount a laptop drive.  And, if installed *anywhere*, it would
interfere with the PCI card that sits in this area (it's a
1GHz/1GB PC with a single PCI slot that fits in a 2x8x10" box).

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I can operate with the laptop drive if I leave the case "open"
with the drive "flying".  But, I would like to be able to
button up the cases and slide them out of the way (think:
"appliance").

The existing, proprietary "flash modules" are too small (512MB, IIRC)
and too *scarce* to meet my needs.  But, I figure a small (capacity)
CF would fit in the space *and* give me enough elbow room to be
useful (the 512M device is more than enough for a working "system"
but doesn't give me much room to play).

I could also plug in a thumb drive but then there's something
dangling out of the case...

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
<snip>

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Have you looked into the mini flash drives?  The form factor can be so
small you hardly notice anything sticking out of the case.

Seems like this is a small qty issue.  I'd do like Mark said and use
the ribbon cable and double sided tape.  Are these things going out
to customers or internal use only?


--
Joe Chisolm
Marble Falls, Tx.

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
Hi Joe,

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Good point.  I think there may be two ports on the rear of
the case (so I could leave the two on the front accessible
for other "removable" things)

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They're just for my own use.  I am trying to replace more
conventional machines with quieter, smaller, lower power
alternatives.  OTOH, once done, they "have to work" (i.e.,
I don't want to wonder why my name server stopped working
only to discover that something got jiggled loose when
I bumped the case, etc.).  Consider it the difference
between "jury-rigged" and "jerry-built" -/

I can't get a laptop drive to fit in the case *with* a PCI
card (unless I carefully select the PCI card to minimize
component height, etc. -- recall the PCI card mounts in
a riser card so the PCI card's components compete with the
laptop drive for the space inside the case).

I think I will try to get *one* box working with a "big enough"
CF card that I can PXEboot the other boxes and run them
truly "diskless".  It means everything will depend on that
first box but I think that's something that I can live with (?).

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter

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Check to see if the motherboard has USB headers.  If it does it's
pretty simple to build a small prototype board that would plug in
to the header and have a USB connector on it.  You can buy setups for
taking MB headers to a case IO slot.  Small cable with a 100mil plug
on one end and a USB A on the other.  Take it apart and use it on the
inside of the case.

<snip>

--
Joe Chisolm
Marble Falls, Tx.

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
Hi Joe,

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It's not a "motherboard" in the classic sense.  These were
originally X terminals (not really but that's a good first
order approximation to the hardware available within).
E.g.,
- audio in/out
- two serial ports
- parallel port
- 10/100 NIC
- 2x2 USB
- DVI + VGA video (dual)
- PS2 keyboard/mouse
- two DDR DIMMs

Plus this wonky IDE44 connector that talked to their
proprietary FLASH module.

But, architecturally, it is very much like a typical PC.
So, it is relatively easy to get other things running
on it (perhaps controlling the front panel LED might
be a bit of a challenge :-/ ).  That was the initial
appeal for using them to replace "real" machines...

I recall seeing one of these with a PCMCIA card socket.
I will see if I can find that one -- I can stuff a CF
adapter into the PCMCIA slot and save myself a lot of
hassle!  :>

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Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
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The change in interface is transparent as you suggest. Just deal with
the mechanical issues. The only problems that creep up are ones you
have to deal with if you intend to hot-plug the CF card. Then you need
smarter firmware, something to detect the card detect pins, and
possibly some hardware to protect your IDE controller pins
electrically.

If you want details, the CF spec is available by googling.

Chris

Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
Hi Chris,

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That's not a concern.  I could (conceivably) *solder* the
CF card into place (but I wouldn't!).  It's role, here, is
"like a disk"

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Re: "IDE" to CF adapter
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