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pointertovoid

Which FW400 CFcard reader?

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Hi everybody and everyone!

 

I consider adding a CF card reader, this time on my machine's Firewire 400 ports.

 

- Which reader is the best? I've seen "the" Lexar one (are there several?), but maybe others are better, or are cheaper and equivalent because they use the same chip...

 

- Can some readers accommodate SD cards as well?

 

- No experience with FW. I see some readers have two connectors. Can I have two cables to the computer to cumulate the throughput?

 

- Do you confirm that FW400 and FW800 have uncompatible connectors that need adapters?

 

Thanks!

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The 400 and 800 connectors are different (Alpha vs. Beta) but worse than that, since there are adapters for the different connectors, the issue is that a Firewire 800 port (on the PC) can manage a Firewire 400 device (backward compatibility) but a Firewire 400 port cannot make use of a 800 device. :(

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/IEEE_1394

 

There is little around about these readers, because they are almost exclusively used in the Macintosh world, you have to go more about "brand name" or reputation, Lexar, Sandisk or DeLock are "known" names (though I believe DeLock only made a Firewire 800 version), but  as often happens with these kind of devices, it is more a hit and miss game than anything else.

 

There are "multireaders" that can use both CF cards and SD cards but they are all AFAIK/AFAICR USB.

 

There is however (JFYI) another option  (example):

http://www.amazon.com/SD-CF-II-Type-Adapter-Supports/dp/B000YZGCIU

http://www.wired.com/2009/06/compact-flash-to-sd-adapters-provide-unneeded-solution/

These CF/SD card adapters are either brilliant or bafflingly bad. The trouble is, we’re not sure which.

jaclaz

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Well, if Sd+Cf readers don't exist with Firewire, I'll read only Cf there.

And take a Fw400 reader since my ports are Fw400, thanks for the info.

 

Hints for the model? I suppose several chips exist, so there must be differences.

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Hints for the model? I suppose several chips exist, so there must be differences.

No, sorry  :(, as said Firewire is already "rare enough" in the PC world, and the 400 even more so, I have seen in all my life maybe two or three of those Firewire readers, all of them 800, and you have to see the faces of the good Mac peeps :w00t::ph34r: when I go near their neat, shiny, stuff holding my Leatherman or set of small screwdrivers ;).

 

jaclaz

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Meanxhile I've had a Firewire 400 (1394a) reader from Lexar. It worked right after connecting to my mobo (chip TI Tsb43ab23), without adding drivers, on W2k-Xp that brought the OHCI drivers, and on Linux (Ubuntu 14, GPartEd and others). Said to be fast, but it was slow on my computer. I can't exclude that Lexar changed the chip over time. Sold again.

I've just received a FW800 (1394b) card on Pci-E and a CF-card reader on FW800 and they don't work. Please help!

----------

The Pci-E card is a new Iocrest SY-PEX30016 with a TI chip XIO2213BZAY. Both W2k and Xp install their OHCI driver which is said to suffice for FW800. Everything looks fine in the device manager, as described by Iocrest. I also tried the Unibrain Firewire driver on W2k, it installs too and the device manager shows it. Linux starts with the card, I can't analyze more.

The CF reader is a Sandisk extreme Firewire SDDRX4-CF bought used from a Mac user who claims it works. About zero doc available from Sandisk, I shall remember that.

If I connect the reader when the OS runs, no additional disk reader is shown by Win nor Linux, but they run. Same if I boot the OS after connecting the reader.

If I insert a CF (both 32GB UDMA 7 and 4GB UDMA 4, both formatted), the device manager refreshes after 10s as it uses to when detecting a new hardware, then Windows freezes but Linux doesn't; the device manager and task manager stop before the applications. I have no time to access the Disk manager. The Cpu fan doesn't accelerate. If I insert the CF then connect the reader to the running machine, the same happens as if inserting the CF. If booting with the reader and the CF, both Windows and Linux freeze.

The Unibrain driver does nearly the same: it fails some seconds later, giving time to see on the device manager that Windows tried to install a disk driver but failed.

----------

I suppose that the new FX800 card is sound, as it gets its driver and detects the reader. A sound SDDRX4-CF is rumoured to work with Windows 98-Seven with the built-in drivers and shouldn't freeze Linux.

Comments, ideas, suggestions, explanations...? I'm in the mood of returning the reader to the seller but wouldn't like to be unfair.

Edited by pointertovoid

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I've just tried on a 32 bits Windows Seven that I installed minutes before alone on its disk. I suppose the session has administration rights because it accesses the Device Manager.

Nearly the same happens as with W2k and Xp. Minor change: Seven installs its v6.1 driver when I insert a CF and runs long enough to show me it comprises disk.sys and partmngr.sys, after what it freezes too. Disconnecting then the reader doesn't heal.

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