PCMCIA


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Thread: PCMCIA

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    Default PCMCIA

    I service Fanuc-controlled industrial equipment. A customer's machine has a Fanuc 0iB with a PCMCIA slot to accept a memory card, It works well, but requires opening the electrical cabinet to access the card and exchange it with a card with a different file on it.

    I want to mount an external card slot, accessible from the outside of the machine, so it is quicker and safer to change cards. This will also protect the built-in card slot, which is mounted on an expensive circuit board. I've looked for an "extension" cable, with a male connector on one end and a female on the other end. The length would need to be about 15", I estimate. I haven't been able to find anything that will work. Does anyone know of such a device, or even if individual parts exist where I could make my own? Thank you for any help you can offer.

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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    That probably won't work very well... PCMCIA was not designed for that kind of cable length; IIRC. I've only ever seen it directly attached to a PCB (either the motherboard of a laptop or PDA... yeah, remember those? ...or a PCI card). I suspect that unless properly terminated, you will get signal reflections, timing issues, and possibly noise on the lines going to the card (this is why SCSI was considered something of a "black art" to get working right; and why all modern data connections are serial... even internal ones like PCI Express - with just one line or a pair of differential lines, you can have the receiving end automatically adjust it's line termination and timing isn't an issue because because it's only a single channel, not 8 or more that all have to arrive at the same time).

    The physical hardware is still available (connectors, etc); and it might be possible to construct an adapter that had a PCMCIA card interface on one side; and a SPI connection to a SD card on the other end (that cable length is routinely seen on 3D printers, so I do know it works). However, this would be a substantial engineering effort; I suspect that at the least a CPLD (but a full FPGA might be required) and a reasonably fast microcontroller would be needed.





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    Member Mecanix's Avatar
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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    You can't just interface OPC-UA for them? Server is built-in, the license would run you cheaper... if for some strange reason it isn't part of their plc/control already.
    It would enable a whole other range of remote-access features also. Worth a look



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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    Back in the day I have seen a PCMCIA card reader with a long ribbon cable between the card slot and the PCI card. I don't think 15" cable would be a problem with that kind of speeds and frequencies.

    How is the card slot mounted now? Is it soldered to the circuit board, or does it have some kind of a connector?



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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    From all my experience on those, the PCMCIA is connected to the MB with a small snap on ribbon cable, similar to a cell phone screen connector.



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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    Quote Originally Posted by CitizenOfDreams View Post
    Back in the day I have seen a PCMCIA card reader with a long ribbon cable between the card slot and the PCI card. I don't think 15" cable would be a problem with that kind of speeds and frequencies.

    How is the card slot mounted now? Is it soldered to the circuit board, or does it have some kind of a connector?
    Its on a fanuc controller so it is soldered to the circuit board



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    Member Mecanix's Avatar
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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    Quote Originally Posted by drdos View Post
    Its on a fanuc controller so it is soldered to the circuit board
    Maybe not obvious but have you checked Digikey, or TE connectivity, for a 68P 1.27mm pitch cable-to-board connectors and ribbon cabling?
    A 68P conn re-work doesn't sound like a whole lot of work (20min?); if lucky to find a connector fitting within that circuit board land size.

    Lastly, a 15m L cable is a bit of a stretch but I'm sure you could get away with 1.5m~3m easy.



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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    i would buy and run the "Lan card "from Fanuc that is using the ethernet cable ,mount it on the cabinet and with a long ethernet cable pluged on a PC and transfer files all day long.



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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    Quote Originally Posted by zavateandu View Post
    i would buy and run the "Lan card "from Fanuc that is using the ethernet cable ,mount it on the cabinet and with a long ethernet cable pluged on a PC and transfer files all day long.
    I agree with you, however my customer doesn't want to do that. All of their machines use the PCMCIA to transfer files and they don't want to change that. (I don't know why)



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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    I am in the process of developing a pcmcia memory card with usb built-in. That way the card can be accessed by any computer, but not simultaneously by the control and usb.
    Would that help you?



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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    Quote Originally Posted by memoryman View Post
    I am in the process of developing a pcmcia memory card with usb built-in. That way the card can be accessed by any computer, but not simultaneously by the control and usb.
    Would that help you?
    The problem is each operator is handed a PCMCIA card with the current part program on it. I tried to get them to use Fanuc's Program Transfer Tool but they want to keep it as is. Only one machine has the PCMCIA poer inside the electrical cabinet and they rather their operator's not go in there. So they want to add a surface mount PCMCIA on the door and run a cable into the CNC. That is the only option that they are wanting.



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    Default Re: PCMCIA

    I can make some extender cables if you want. Let me know how you want it handled.



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