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SDXC via PCMCIA?

LCARS

Well-known member
I'd like to sidestep the LBA shortcoming by using a 256GB SDXC card in a PCMCIA adapter but I'm starting to have some reservations on its effectiveness. From what I can tell, SDXC is mostly firmware locked to exFAT. I'd like to use this with 9.2.2

Before I buy a card, has anyone used this method before? The dream is to have the Pismo hold the entirety of my iTunes library and all my Classic software without using a USB flash stick or external HD. Still looking for an MCE expansion bay HDD.
 

Tom2112

Well-known member
I've been shopping for SD-to-PCMCIA cards lately, and I haven't found a single one that says it supports anything over 32gb. If you know of one, I'd love to try it. I may just buy one ($20 on Amazon) and see if it is, in fact, limited to 32gb. I've seen several devices that claim this limit, but still recognize larger cards.
 

LCARS

Well-known member
I have also seen the 332GB ceiling listed on most of those cards. on eBay I found a NOS SanDisk 4-in-1 PCMCIA reader without any size claims (but it also doesn't specifically mention SDXC, I think its from 2002 or so). I'm leaning towards buying a 256GB SDXC card to test it out. If it doesn't work it can always be used in a camera.

If that doesn't work, there are 512GB CF cards now, though they are much more expensive than a SD card.
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
So what exactly is the issue here? Adapting the SD card to work in an old
Mac, or having the SD card read on a new machine with a PC Card adapter?
 

LCARS

Well-known member
The issue is: will a high capacity SDXC card work in the SD PCMCIA adapter. A few on eBay state that the adapter can only accept cards up to 32GB. Or for that matter, will a SD card over 32GB work at all.

I'm not sure why there would be a size limit, especially if its going into a CardBus PowerBook.
 

Tom2112

Well-known member
Well, I just ordered one from Amazon (SD-to-PCMCIA). It says 32gig is the limit, but I will test it and find out if that is indeed the case.
 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
FWIW, I’ve used 64GB SD cards in several different SD to PATA adapters and they see the whole capacity… which is possibly relevant because the chipset used in those devices was primarily designed for use in SD to CompactFlash adapters. If anyone is actually still making new direct SD to PCMCIA adapters they may well use that exact same chipset since PCMCIA and CompactFlash are basically the same thing. But an older one… dunno.

You could try stacking a dumb CompactFlash to PCMCIA adapter with a new SD to CompactFlash adapter if you really want to get weird. I think the former are basically passive plug adapters with no “smarts”, but not positive enough to swear to it.
 

Tom2112

Well-known member
Well, I received my PCMCIA-to-SD card, and it's not a pretty picture so far. Every time I insert the card into my PowerBook 1400c/166, it locks it up. I have to pull the power to get control back. I'm planning to mess about with it, change formats, sd card sizes, and see if I can get it working.

This is the one I got: https://amzn.com/dp/B07XXWN9WD
 

Fizzbinn

Well-known member
Hmm, I wonder if the adapter is 3v vs. the 5v slots the PowerBook 1400 has. Cards are supposed to be keyed to prevent mismatch use though.

I had this problem in reverse trying to read QuickCam 5v smart media cards through a PCMCIA adapter meant only for machines with 3v slots.
 

LCARS

Well-known member
@Tom2112 Oh no! I'm sorry to hear that. Is it locking up with or without a SD card in the slot? I have yet to try my Sandisk version of it but will report back when I do. I'll try it in my 1400, 3400, and G3 with a SD card in.

I also thought that there is a key employed to prevent it from being inserted if its the wrong voltage.
 

Gorgonops

Moderator
Staff member
Not sure if it being for a car has any bearing on it at all?
I would assume it’s just a standard adapter that’s been “certified to work” in the car application, but I suppose it’s remotely possible there’s something proprietary about it.
 

LaPorta

Well-known member
I would assume it’s just a standard adapter that’s been “certified to work” in the car application, but I suppose it’s remotely possible there’s something proprietary about it.
I’d generally agree; just trying to rule out any possibilities.
 
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