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CompactFlash Extenders

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What are the differences between the CF extend 160/160A and 160B?
  2. Do your extender cards have any active buffers, level converters, or isolation?
  3. Can I use an external power supply to power a CompactFlash PC Card?
  4. The connector that CompactFlash card is inserted into is damaged. How can I get it repaired?
  5. I have the ability to replace the card side connector myself, can I just buy the connectors from Sycard? Are the connectors available from distributors?
  6. Can I replace the host side connector?
  7. I'm using one of your extenders in a test fixture. Do you have detailed mechanical drawings available?
  8. I'm using your CFextend 180 flexible extender. Can I use longer cables?
  9. What are those factors?
  10. Can Sycard provide longer cables?
  11. What is the typical capacitance to ground for your PCCextend 160A and 180?
  12. I have a CFextend 160A. Can I have it upgraded to a CFextend 160B?
  13. Will the CFextend 160A/B or 180 work with the IBM Microdrive?
  14. What kind of cables and connectors are used on the CF extend 180?
  15. Does Sycard sell these connectors?
  16. Do I need a software driver to use any of your CF extend cards?

  1. What are the differences between the CF extend 160/160A and 160B?
  2. The CF extend 160 is our original CompactFlash™ extender. It supported only Type I (3.3mm thick) CompactFlash™ cards. The CF extend 160A was designed to support both Type I and Type II (5.0mm thick) CompactFlash™ cards. We created the CF extend 160B when the card-side connector used on the 160A was discontinued.There are some mechanical differences between the 160A and the 160B.

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  3. Do your extender cards have any active buffers, level converters, or isolation?
  4. No, all Sycard PC Card, CompactFlash™ and SmartMedia extenders are passive.

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  5. Can I use an external power supply to power a CompactFlash PC Card?
  6. The CFextend 180 and 160A/B allow for external power connections,however, please do so with care. Using an external power supply can cause damaging CMOS latch-up to occur. Latch-up can damage (smoke!) your host system and/or card. In general do not apply external power to your card until the slot is powered up.

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  7. The connector that CompactFlash card is inserted into is damaged. How can I get it repaired?
  8. Sycard offers a fixed price repair service for these connectors. Contact customer service for pricing and lead-time at (408)-749-0130.

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  9. I have the ability to replace the card side connector myself, can I just buy the connectors from Sycard? Are the connectors available from distributors?
  10. The connectors used in the CFextend 160 and 180 are custom machined to our specifications. We do not sell the connectors only.

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  11. Can I replace the host side connector?
  12. Replacing the host side connector requires special tools and techniques. We recommend that the user send the extender back to Sycard for this type of repair.

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  13. I'm using one of your extenders in a test fixture. Do you have detailed mechanical drawings available?
  14. We have drawings for several of our extenders. Drawings can be found in the Support web page. If you can't find one, contact Sycard and we should be able to provide the information. Tech support contact is:
    In an effort to spam proof our website, we ask that you type this email address into your email program. Thanks.

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  15. I'm using your CFextend 180 flexible extender. Can I use longer cables?
  16. It is possible. Sycard designed these products with 5" cables because it is the maximum length that works reliably with a wide variety of cards and hosts. We have run much longer cables with certain cards with success. However, there are a wide variety of factors that will determine if a particular card/host combination will work.

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  17. What are those factors?
  18. These include the the drive characteristics of the CompactFlash™ card/host, the characteristics of the receivers in the card/host and the capacitance of the cable. The user will need to analyze their specific situation or experiment with different cable lengths to determine if longer cables will work.

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  19. Can Sycard provide longer cables?
  20. No, Sycard only provides the standard 5" cable sets. However, the CFextend 180 is designed to use standard 26-pin 0.1" IDC connectors. Cables and connectors are available from a wide variety of sources.

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  21. What is the typical capacitance to ground for your CFextend 160A/B and 180?
  22. The capacitance for the CFextend 160A is approximately 16-18 pF for all signals. The CFextend 180 with the standard 5" extension cable is approximately 25-28pF.

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  23. I have a CFextend 160A. Can I have it upgraded to a CFextend 160B?
  24. No, the PC boards are not the same.

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  25. Will the CFextend 160A/B or 180 work with the IBM Microdrive?
  26. All of our CFextend products will work with the IBM Microdrive or any other Type II CompactFlash card.

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  27. What kind of cables and connectors are used on the CF extend 180?
  28. The CF extend 180 uses a total of four standard 26-pin IDC (insulation displacement) ribbon cables. These socket connectors and cable materials are available from a wid variet of sources.

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  29. Does Sycard sell these connectors?
  30. No, however, they are commonly available. The following IDC cable connectors are available from Digikey:

    Digikey AKC26G-NG (26-pin IDC Socket Connector-AMP)
    Digikey CSC26G-ND (26-pin IDC Socket Connector-CW Industries)

    Cables:
    Digikey MG26G-25-ND (3M 26-connector cable 25 foot roll)

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  31. Do I need a software driver to use any of your CF extend cards?
  32. No. Our CF extend cards are passive extender cards. They require no drivers or special software to operate.

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