User avatar
fxgogo
Website

Posted Thu Aug 20, 2020 10:17 am

I have never really used a PCMCIA slot over the years. Not in any computer really. I have a 4MB ram card and a CF adapter on the way.

Is this slot hot swappable?
Do I need to power the machine off before adding and removing cards?
Apart from ram and HD space, what else can I use this slot for on the A1200?

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Fri Aug 21, 2020 3:28 am

To be honest, nowadays the PCMCIA is superfluous.

For some time there was a certain usability with WiFi cards. They needed a special chipset, though, and have nowadays issues with encryption.

Other uses were CDRoms via a special adapter.

With a PCMCIA to CF adapter the slot might be good for data exchange.

User avatar
mscdex

Posted Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:44 am

What about wired ethernet cards?

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Fri Aug 21, 2020 10:21 am

Good point, can’t say if they are supported by the Amiga‘s TCP-stacks.

Would have never bothered, tbh.
If you get a RapidRoad USB adapter and a compatible USB2Ethernet adapter you have both networking and USB.

Costs a lot more, though, probably.

User avatar
fxgogo
Website

Posted Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:35 pm

And the ''hot swapability''? Is that possible?

User avatar
Zippy Zapp
CA, USA

Posted Fri Aug 21, 2020 9:06 pm

McTrinsic wrote: To be honest, nowadays the PCMCIA is superfluous.

For some time there was a certain usability with WiFi cards. They needed a special chipset, though, and have nowadays issues with encryption.
The thing is that with the A1200 the PCMCIA slot it is not nearly as good as the A500s side expansion. So if you want ethernet and Wifi at decent speed then the PCMCIA slot is your main choice. And while yes the encryption is usually a joke on those old PCMCIA WiFi cards, usually WEP, which is a total joke, it is your only choice for WiFi. (Not counting the WiFi Modems that plug into the Serial Port, since these are not true network devices with a stack available on the OS side) While newer routers usually won't accept it, you can easily plug in an old router to your network and us it for connecting to the Amiga when needed. You could also isolate this router on a Virtual network, like I do for my old devices, so that it cannot access your network and compromise your security.
mscdex wrote:
Fri Aug 21, 2020 5:44 am
What about wired ethernet cards?
Certain 3com 10base-t cards are supported.


Even though the PCMCIA implementation on the Amiga is not that great it is perfectly fine for all the things you mentioned. The Wifi cards that are known to work are cheap and abundant, same with the Ethernet card and with the CF card adapters.

The cards that are not abundantly available are the various SCSI cards. I lucked out earlier this year and found an Adaptec SCSI card with the Cable for $3 at a local thrift store. Not sure I can get it to work though. Cards that don't work are the CardBus variety. You can usually tell these if the card edge, the side that plugs in to the Amiga has a series of bumps on the top of it. These won't work in the Amiga's 16-bit implementation.

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Sat Aug 22, 2020 12:11 am

Good points.
Maybe it comes - as usual 😉 - down to the question of money.

You may get a simple expansion that works by finding the respective PCMCIA card.

My impression is that for all of these uses there are better alternatives.
Of course I will admit they cost more.

Just think about if you want an easy entry solution, knowing that eventually you would replace and then have spent money twice.

I may have gone a bit far when calling the Pcmcia superfluous. My impression came from seeing the A1200‘s on display in all the forum showrooms that only rarely have a pcmcia installed.

Cheers
McT

User avatar
fxgogo
Website

Posted Sun Aug 23, 2020 6:23 am

Ok, I got my CF adapter up and running and I now am facing a tough choice.

Run my A1200 on a 4GB card and have a 32GB transfer card
or
Run my A1200 on a 32GB card and have a 4GB transfer card

It is a difficult choice, cause my OS is currently on the 4GB card.

User avatar
McTrinsic

Posted Sun Aug 23, 2020 9:25 am

Run a disk benchmark on the internal drive and pcmcia drive.

Whatever is faster should be your main drive.

IMHO :)

User avatar
fxgogo
Website

Posted Sun Aug 23, 2020 12:36 pm

Good point. Looking at the cards, I have a 133X which generally translates to 20MB/s and a 60MB/s card. Don't think I need to do a benchmark test. Doubt the former would get close the latter.





Return to “Hardware”