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Old 08-12-2011, 10:43 AM   #1
Franko
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Smile Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

Thanks to Drewlio77 over on AmigaWorld.net I've just bought myself an SD to IDE Reader/Writer board from eBay at a much cheaper price than Vesalia sell them for...

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/AMIGA-A600...ht_1894wt_1141

http://www.vesalia.de/e_sdide44adapt...%5d.htm?slc=uk

I'm hoping to use this on my desktop A1200's with 4xEDIE & FastATA boards to cable it towards the outside of the case and use it as a hot swapable card reader/ writer instead of using my SubWays boards (which while good are a bit on the slow side) to make transferring data between Amiga's a lot easier...

Never liked the CF versions of these board and been looking for a cheap SD one to test out for some time now, (won't be using it as a replacement for my HD's though, too small storage space and not as fast as real HD's), hopefully this will work and be a cheaper alternative to the SubWay boards which I only really use for transferring data between my Amiga's and Macs...

Anyone actually own one of these and tested them yet...
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:09 PM   #2
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

Nice buy there, although you could have got them a lot cheaper from here - http://amigamaniac.com/cf_to_ide.html

I am pretty sure you won't be able to use it as hot-swappable though since the IDE bus still sees them as non-removable drives, but if anyone can work out how to do it I'm sure you can.
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:43 PM   #3
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

BEWARE!!! SD is not near as reliable as CF!
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:50 PM   #4
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

Thanks for the info Cammy...

But at only a 30p difference (after shipping costs) I think I'm better with the one I've just bought...

It's supposed to be hot swappable but I have my doubt's about that mainly as you say it being on the IDE bus, but that's one of the reasons I've been looking for a cheap one to test, so that I can maybe write a program for it to allow it to be truly hot-swappable...

Plus after having one of those CF card thingies a couple of years ago and throwing it in the bin, I've been wondering after reading many posts from people having bother setting them up easily if I could write a utility in assembler to easily format and install CF & SD cards for folks who have problems doing so...

But mainly I just needed something new to tinker with...



@ XDelusion

From experience in using SD & CF cards in camera's and other devices I would say the exact opposite, in fact I wouldn't buy anything that uses a CF card again...
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:52 PM   #5
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Cammy View Post
Nice buy there, although you could have got them a lot cheaper from here - http://amigamaniac.com/cf_to_ide.html
Could have got them EVEN CHEAPER here

http://www.dealextreme.com/p/sdhc-sd...-8gb-max-19737
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Old 08-12-2011, 05:56 PM   #6
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

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Originally Posted by Franko View Post
Plus after having one of those CF card thingies a couple of years ago and throwing it in the bin
?? Broken from too many writes?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franko View Post
I've been wondering after reading many posts from people having bother setting them up easily if I could write a utility in assembler to easily format and install CF & SD cards for folks who have problems doing so...
They don't have problems formatting them (do they?) The proble is partitioning them. If you don't know to set the MAXTRANSFER to 0x1FE00 in HDToolbox then you don't know it. Once you've learned it then that's it.

FYI SD->IDE adapters will have the same problem.

The majority of CF card incompatibility comes from the existing Amiga IDE or PCMCIA->CF drivers and the FIXED / REMOVABLE feature of the CF card. You could potentially patch or re-write these drivers I guess?

As for the Hot-Swap capability... dream on. I won't say "never" but it is very unlikely anyone will start writing a new IDE driver to add that feature.

Plus with the reboot time of the Amiga being so quick why would you ever need it?

Last edited by alexh; 08-12-2011 at 06:04 PM..
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Old 08-12-2011, 06:11 PM   #7
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

@ all

Hmmm... ok so the one I bought on eBay was cheaper than the same one from Vesalia and now you all tell me I could have bought one elsewhere cheaper...

BUT... the ones you all link to are limited to 8GB (hope the one I've bought isn't) cos other than transferring data between my Amiga's an iMacs then 8GB is nowhere near big enough to be useful as an HD (I was hoping to test it out as an HD too)...

Like I said at the start I really only want this to do away with the slow SubWay boards but I was hoping to try it as an HD too for test purposes, just need to hope it can handle bigger than 8GB cards I suppose...

@ alexh

Only had it for about 8 months, never liked it as it seemed very slow in comparison to a real HD and two CF cards I had kept giving write errors. At first I thought it was just the Amiga that was causing this but upon using the same cards in one of my cameras I soon found out it was the actual cards themselves that were failing (they were nearly two years old and had been in constant use in my cameras)...

I just wouldn't trust my data to CF or SD for long term storage much rather stick to HD's which have never given me any problems on the Amiga and some of them are more than 20 years old now and still running fine (just need to remember to boot them up a couple of times a year to stop anything seizing up)...
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Old 08-12-2011, 08:57 PM   #8
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

Quote:
Originally Posted by XDelusion View Post
BEWARE!!! SD is not near as reliable as CF!
why you say is not reliable as CF?
if amigamaniac and vesalia sell the adapters is because they work fine
or you have another focus?

Last edited by LaserBack; 08-12-2011 at 08:59 PM..
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Old 08-12-2011, 10:05 PM   #9
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

That won't be hot swappable on the ide franko. any reason you dont want to use the pcmcia->cf adapter? its got pretty fair speed.

good quality cf and sd cards are reliable. dont buy cheap ebay junk thats counterfeit(believe me there are tons of counterfeits!)
the sole problem is people trying to get away cheap with junk cards.you can verify the number on the card with the mfg if you are unsure its real.

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Old 08-13-2011, 01:05 AM   #10
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

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Originally Posted by Franko View Post
BUT... the ones you all link to are limited to 8GB (hope the one I've bought isn't)
You can see in the photo it uses the KTC-FC1306T which is limited to 8GB in at least one of it's firmware versions. But some people have had luck with later versions:

http://www.amibay.com/showthread.php?t=15654

A good indicator seems to be the colour of the capacitor above the main chip. Yellow and it's an older version, Black and it's a newer version. Not very scientific but hey.

The one in the photo on the auction you bought is unfortunately yellow

Let us know how you get on.

Last edited by alexh; 08-13-2011 at 01:12 AM..
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Old 08-13-2011, 01:37 AM   #11
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

I've been using SD for a long time due to the fact that my Nintendo DSi XL, Wii, Atari 8-bit, and Commodore 64 depend upon them!

There have been numerous times that I have popped my SD card into my computer to add or delete contents, and low and behold, all the tile names were garbage, and many of those that did not appear corrupt, were.

As for the CF cards which I have been using even longer, I have NEVER had any issues of data corruption what so ever. If you browse around the web, you'll find links with related stories. There is something about how the CF card stores data vs how the SD stores data that causes this, but I forget all the technical mumbo jumbo at the moment.

For the note, I ONLY buy name brand and not crappy Ebay clones...

I've been burned before.
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:27 AM   #12
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

@ Mechy

The PCMCIA adapters on most of my Amiga is usually "switched off" as they all run of various Blizzard boards with BlizzKick and I use the module to remove the PCMCIA, mainly to save some chipram space & system speed but also for the fact that the PCMCIA slot is never in use on any of my Amiga...

I only ever buy SanDisk cards as they have proven to be the most reliable for me over the years. I've deliberately bought some cheap ones too for testing and was lucky to get just over a year out of them before they began to fail...


@ alexh

Shame if it can only handle 8GB, but I still want to look into trying to make it hot-swappable if possible. This might require a completely new IDE driver but that's a wee challenge and I may just take it on...

Like I say, I only bought one to test it out and for something new to tinker with so whether or not it works as I would like or I can get it to work as I would like is no big deal really, if it's naff then in the bin it goes, no big loss, it's just something to tinker with just now...


@ XDelusion

Like I said, over the years I've found the exact opposite to you. Almost every CF card I've used has failed at some point (even the SanDisk ones) but I've only ever had two SD cards fail and they were cheapo Maplins own brand ones that one was faulty when bought and the replacement lasted less than a week...
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:33 AM   #13
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Franko View Post
Like I said, over the years I've found the exact opposite to you. Almost every CF card I've used has failed at some point (even the SanDisk ones) but I've only ever had two SD cards fail and they were cheapo Maplins own brand ones that one was faulty when bought and the replacement lasted less than a week...
Oh ya, I remember reading something on the Tech pages...

It says that CF's work better in America, and SD's better in Scotland.
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Old 08-13-2011, 03:56 AM   #14
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

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Originally Posted by XDelusion View Post
Oh ya, I remember reading something on the Tech pages...

It says that CF's work better in America, and SD's better in Scotland.
That's because you lot are so far behind the rest of world (I mean NTSC fer frigs sake) that old technology like CF is much simpler for you to use than new fangled stuff like SD...
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Old 08-13-2011, 04:07 AM   #15
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Default Re: Amiga SD Card Reader/ Writer

Naghhh, America was the furthest ahead until you Euro tw@ts came over here and chased us out of our happy life in the trees and tied us up in your so called legal system! ;P

OH that was harsh!!! Ha ha!

I agree with you though, America is ass backwards when it comes to nearly everything. We speak backwards, we lost our accent, our choice in tech sucks, you name it. Which is why both of my Amigas are PAL...

...though that has recently caused me grief as they are not compatible with my NTSC video production hardware. Though of course this is no fault in my PAL hardware but rather in me not having the foreknowledge to buy PAL hardware to compliment my PAL Amigas.


None the less, I am sticking with CF, which btw is no longer an American standard, SD is. :/
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