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USB in a 486 PCI motherboard

GottaLottaStuff

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It could be a power problem. Most pcmcia to USB cards have a socket to plug in an optional power supply, the pcmcia socket doesn't have enough power to run something like a USB hard drive. That's also a lot of stuff daisy-chained off of a 486 slot. How many watts is the motherboard power supply good for?
 

RWallmow

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do they really exist? I have never seen one

I have seen them before, but they are not easy to find, I guarantee all the USB 2 ones will be cardbus, but USB 1.1 cards could go either way. Visually the connector edge of the cardbus cards is usually gold colored, and PCMCIA is usually silver, that makes it easier to tell when you cant trust the sellers ad.
 

twolazy

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It could be a power problem. Most pcmcia to USB cards have a socket to plug in an optional power supply, the pcmcia socket doesn't have enough power to run something like a USB hard drive. That's also a lot of stuff daisy-chained off of a 486 slot. How many watts is the motherboard power supply good for?

No extra power socket. :( PSU is a 300W, more then ample for a p166 system. I really don't think its power. Guess I am stuck till I can locate another pcmcia usb card, and try again. I know i have another cardbus usb 2.0 card somewhere. I'll keep my eyes peeled for a usb 1.1 card...
 

Tetrium2

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What an interesting chain of developments here!
I don't have any PCMCIA adapters to test with, nor any of the required USB adapters, but the idea to even consider this would never have popped up for me if noone had mentioned it :)
 

twolazy

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Ok just got done trying a few diff things, still no luck. Beginning to wonder if its just the pc I am using. It has integrated usb 1.1, that has no option to turn off. I will try again perhaps tomorrow with an older machine , sans integrated usb.
 

Eudimorphodon

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I have seen them before, but they are not easy to find, I guarantee all the USB 2 ones will be cardbus, but USB 1.1 cards could go either way. Visually the connector edge of the cardbus cards is usually gold colored, and PCMCIA is usually silver, that makes it easier to tell when you cant trust the sellers ad.

Just to chime in on that subject, I've likewise never heard of a non-Cardbus USB PC Card. 1.1 cards are not (or at least once upon a time were not) particularly rare... probably just about every Macintosh user who owned an early G3 Powerbook ended up with one. But a PCMCIA one? I'd be surprised to find out one ever existed. It seems like from a driver standpoint USB has always been incestuously intertwined with PCI.

Of course, if someone can document the genuine existence of a 16 bit USB card I'll stand corrected. There's probably some crazy Macintosh PB 1400 user who would pay handsomely for it so he could try hacking drivers to get USB on his technically NuBus-based machine.
 

RWallmow

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It has probably been 10+ years since I have laid eyes on a PCMCIA USB card, but I know I have seen them in the early days of USB and I seem to recall the price tag on it being north of $100 then. I cant imagine they were ever real popular at that price, and there were really only a few machines out there that could make use of them, fastest PC laptop I ever saw without cardbus support was a Pentium 166 and like the poster above says the PB 1400's on the Mac side. Limited market, high price = not many, if any, left to be found.
 

RWallmow

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Oh also something like this may work http://www.ratocsystems.com/english/products/CFU2U.html CF to USB, CF is electrically the same as 16-bit PCMCIA, just need $0.50 adapter. I cant find any current references to 16-bit PCMCIA USB1 cards, but like I said last time I saw one was over 10 years ago, but that CF USB1 card proves its possible to implement over a 16-bit PCMCIA bus.

Couldn't tell you if Win95/98/2k/MacOS would have drivers for that CF card since its designed with Windows mobile in mind, but I have had other CF cards that were designed for WM platform work on regular windows. I used to have an HP Jornada with all the goodies (circa 2001), had a 14.4 CF modem and a CF 802.11b wifi card for it, and both those cards worked on my Win2k laptop back in the day with a simple adapter (modem picked up as a generic modem, and WIFI card had 2k drivers available).
 

twolazy

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Contacted a friend last night, who happens to be an engineer of wince devices. He helped make a few things, mostly Icebox / Salton brand devices. Hopefully he can provide some insight. Quite a few of the products he helped design featured usb 1.1.
 

schlang

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Contacted a friend last night, who happens to be an engineer of wince devices. He helped make a few things, mostly Icebox / Salton brand devices. Hopefully he can provide some insight. Quite a few of the products he helped design featured usb 1.1.

actually I would be interested in one :)
 

Eudimorphodon

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I cant find any current references to 16-bit PCMCIA USB1 cards, but like I said last time I saw one was over 10 years ago, but that CF USB1 card proves its possible to implement over a 16-bit PCMCIA bus.

Anything is possible certainly, particularly now that inexpensive microcontrollers with built-in USB hub support are available for a few bucks each. (There are USB host devices out there for Atari 800XLs) I'm still just... a little skeptical that they ever sold a "Windows Compatible" general purpose one that fit into the standard driver hierarchy, only to have all record of them so completely disappear. It certainly might be possible to write a driver patch that could get something like that PDA card working to a limited degree, but the fact it's for a PDA makes it more of "the exception that proves the rule". If you actually ever find one of those 16 bit cards and can document it it would be a find because "The Internet Consensus" is that they were never sold. (IE, Googing on the subject says pretty flatly that it's Cardbus or bust for USB, across every thread I've seen.)

Anyway, I suppose that's neither here nor there. Personally the oldest machine I've gotten USB to work in via an add-on card is in a 200Mhz (non-MMX) Pentium Dolch PAC-6x lunchbox with no onboard USB I "refurbished" a while back. (430VX chipset) Pathetically enough it has a rotgut USB 2.0 card in it because of the trouble I had finding a working serial mouse, and it works fine under Debian. (The machine can dual-boot to DOS to run the original network sniffing software it came with, and I guess I did get a DOS mouse driver to work, but that's all I've done with it there. No idea if any version of Windows that would work well on that system would puke or not.) My impression with USB+486 boards was that is was hit-and-miss because of some combination of iffy PCI compatibility in those early motherboards and drivers that assumed you had a Pentium or better if you had USB.

(Coincedentally enough my Dolch has an *ISA* 16 bit PCMCIA adapter in it that I use with an original Lucent WaveLan Silver card. With the soft-firmware-loading Linux driver that setup can do up to WPA1/TKIP. It was fun making that work alongside the Soundblaster AWE32 card...)
 

RWallmow

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I'm still just... a little skeptical that they ever sold a "Windows Compatible" general purpose one that fit into the standard driver hierarchy, only to have all record of them so completely disappear.
I'm only going based off memory, and it has failed me before in my old age ;-) I am willing to concede that I am completely full of crap, lol. I just seem to recall seeing 16-bit usb card, and I know those CF cards date back to about the time frame but like I said, just based off memory, I could be TOTALLY WRONG, and I will be the first to admit it.

I know they make all kinds of modern micro-controller based USB solutions for apple II, Atari, C64, etc... (kind of funny no one has made an ISA bus one for us vintage enthusiasts, but I suppose with CFFA and XTIDE thats more than good enough for most needs).

Oh and general FYI I was reading of a linux driver being available for one of the CF USB host solutions, so it has successfully been used in a PC, however no mention of Windows/MacOS support, so I wouldnt drop the $100-140 just to find out.
 

Eudimorphodon

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I'm only going based off memory, and it has failed me before in my old age ;-) I am willing to concede that I am completely full of crap, lol. I just seem to recall seeing 16-bit usb card, and I know those CF cards date back to about the time frame but like I said, just based off memory, I could be TOTALLY WRONG, and I will be the first to admit it.

Eh, I'm getting old and fuzzy myself. I just remember pretty distinctly that USB cards for pre-PCI machines in any form were unobtanium and I'm pretty sure I would of laid my hands on one if they'd existed. (I still have an adorable little VLB-based Mitac 486 laptop I can't bear to throw out from that period. It ended up with 16 bit 100mb Ethernet and WiFi cards before being packed away, a USB card would of been a natural.)

I didn't mean to give you the fourth degree about it. I just didn't want anyone to get their hopes up unless you had a source. ;^)

Oh and general FYI I was reading of a linux driver being available for one of the CF USB host solutions, so it has successfully been used in a PC, however no mention of Windows/MacOS support, so I wouldnt drop the $100-140 just to find out.

Heh. If my 16 bit ISA-PCMCIA adapter had multiple slots I could buy one those CF hosts for my Dolch and use it under Linux as the most expensive mouse adapter in history.
 

Chuck(G)

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The first time I encountered USB "in the flesh" and not just mentions in trade rags was on a Tyan P1 motherboard. The UHCI chip was there, as were headers but no cables to connect to a USB "A" side connector. The motherboard manual was completely silent on it. Details and a preliminary driver were posted later on the Tyan BBS. The board had PCI and ISA slots.

Early USB was a nightmare. I have some very old USB peripherals and they're pretty much unusable. I have an Anchor Chips PC-to-PC link cable (one of the earliest USB devices that I know of), serial no. 00011 and a crate of Toshiba 7200 InTouch modules--neither is recognized by any host that I own. The InTouch even uses the old Intel N82930A3 68-pin PLCC controller that was used on Intel's USB development board. Nothing sees it.

I was very interested in USB when it came out, as I was looking for a peripheral interface that was faster than either serial or parallel ports that could be used across a wide range of systems. At the time, I gave up--early USB turned out to be far too quirky.
 

twolazy

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I'm only going based off memory, and it has failed me before in my old age ;-) I am willing to concede that I am completely full of crap, lol. I just seem to recall seeing 16-bit usb card, and I know those CF cards date back to about the time frame but like I said, just based off memory, I could be TOTALLY WRONG, and I will be the first to admit it.


your old noggin hasn't failed, I found what you were refering to!
http://www.amazon.com/Macally-UH276-Cardbus-Adapter-Powerbook/dp/B0000511JG

Problem is, its cardbus also, not 16bit. It is usb 1.1 however, does work on mac too par your description.

:popcorn: +3 points LOL
 
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