Re: Corrections re: PCMCIA/PC Card/CardBus/PCI/etc.

From: Eric Johanson (
Date: 2002-03-20 04:54:32 UTC

Unless you really need cardbus and/or you don't have any ISA slots, I've had good luck with the ISA Vadem VG-469 based bridges. Most of them have two pcmcia slots, and most of them have those slots in a 3.5" drive bay. I've had them work great under linux, windows, and openbsd. You need to make sure you have IRQs mapped to the ISA slot in your system, else they'll just hard lock the system when you insert a card. Otherwise, they work great. I've used lucent silver wlan cards on them a number of times.

The plus part is the price; I've purchased a few of these on ebay for under $10.

This is the vendor (and card) I've purchased:

The 'swapbox'. It even has a cool name, if it was only 1980 again.

As for PCI based versions, I would stay away from PLX based bridges; they are not very well supported. The Ricoh *476 chipsets work great under linux; not sure about the voltage issues. They will do cardbus under linux with no problems; freebsd & openbsd didn't like using cardbus cards, but standard 16bit cards worked groovy. I could be wrong on this, but I think the dlink bridges are using the ricoh chipset; I've seen them sell for around $30 new. You should check the chipset on the dlink card, befor you purchase them.

Hope this helps,

On Tue, 19 Mar 2002, Wim Lewis wrote:

> I read Erik Walthinsen's comments a while back on the difficulty of
> finding adaptors to use a Proxim RangeLanDS in a desktop system. I've
> been looking for something along those lines as well.
> I've found a few products that look promising, which I wanted to run
> past the list to see if anyone has any comments on them, or experience
> using them with *bsd or linux:
> - Synchrotech PCI -> PCMCIA/CardBus adaptor: [1]. Specifically claims
> that it supports 3.3v operation. Web site imples, but does not state,
> that it's based on the Vadem VG-469, [2] which is 82365-compatible and
> therefore (I hope?) ought to work with anyone's favorite open source OS.
> $72 at CDW [8] for the 1-slot version, $160 for two slots.
> - Amtron "PCMCIA & CardBus PC Card Drive" [3]. Again, specifically
> claims 3.3v operation. Based on the Ricoh R5C476 II, [4] also
> 82365-compatible, and mentions that it works with Linux (and gives
> specific pcmcia-cs versions to use!). $75/$99 from (1/2
> slots).
> Other CardBus<-->PCI adaptors (which, presumably, also work for 3.3v
> PCMCIA cards, but don't actually say so):
> - trendnet TEW-PCIA: [5] $44 at[9] (1 slot); $46 at
> [10]
> (this one doesn't say up front it does CardBus, but buried in the
> mfr's pages was
> something that made me think that it does. I'm curious about this
> one.)
> - actiontec PC750: [6]
> (I don't know why this is on my list --- it doesn't specify 3.3v
> or CardBus in
> its specs --- but it is the only one that puts the card slots in a
> drive bay
> instead of a rear panel, which could be handy. Based on the TI
> PCI-1225 [7],
> which *can* do 3.3v and CardBus...)
> [1]
> [2]
> [3]
> [4]
> [5]
> [6]
> [7]
> [8]
> [9]
> [10]
> Anyone have any information on these?
> Wim

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