PCMCIA USB card advice

Forum: Hardware Talk
Topic: PCMCIA USB card advice
started by: wireframewolf

Posted by wireframewolf on Feb. 23 2008,23:14
Hey all. I'm running DSL on a Libretto 110 CT which I don't really use much, so I thought it might be neat to use it as the brain for a robot. This means I'm going to need a PCMCIA to USB card that will work well with both the libretto and linux so I can plug in my Basic Stamp 2 board, and linux must be able to emulate serial through the USB port (Windows and Mac have handled this pretty well so far).

I'm a bit nervous though, since Linux often doesn't pick up that sort of hardware, and the Libretto itself is an old computer (1997 I think). Does anyone reliably use a PCMCIA to USB card with DSL, and if so what kind?

And should I even worry? I do have a wireless network PCMCIA adapter that DSL picks up just fine, but I don't want to buy a USB card based totally on experimentation.

Posted by roberts on Feb. 24 2008,19:38
I use a Zonet 2-port USB2.0 Pcmcia Cardbus Card.
Now I don't try to boot anything via this setup. But I can attach USB2.0 external hard drive and all works fine with DSL.

Don't have any experience with Libretto and if it can handle cardbus type pcmcia cards. On my old thinkpad 240 I need to boot with additional option of


to use cardbus pcmcia.


Posted by andrewb on Feb. 24 2008,22:08
I use a Libretto 100CT (identical to the 110, but only runs at 166MHz) with a USB card. The USB card I have is a Sitecom USB 2.0 card. It is a cardbus card. It runs fine, but gets fairly warm. The only quirk I have noticed is that I haven't been able to run a generic wifi dongle (Zydas chipset) at the same time as a usb mouse. If I try that I get a lot of 'hotplug' messages dumped to the console (or dmesg). Not sure if this is down to the card, the mouse, wifi dongle, or the PC.  The mouse & wifi dongle work fine independently  & the mouse works fine with other USB devices.

The PC Card Controller Mode in the BIOS is set to Cadbus/16Bit. No bootcodes are required to get it functioning.

The other alternative for a serial port on the Libretto is to get one of the expansion bars for the machine. They have a serial port on them & should be available on eBay fairly cheap. They don't add a lot of bulk.

Posted by wireframewolf on Feb. 25 2008,18:30
Thanks for your helpful replies. I ordered one of those Sitecom cards, and hopefully it'll do the trick :) I'll see if I can't get two devices working on it at the same time, and if I do I'll let you know
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