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<  Firmwares, enhancements and upgrades  ~  PCMCIA PC memory card reader

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qwertyman
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 4:50 pm Reply with quote
Joined: 26 Jun 2005 Posts: 24
I have read the forum with interest for a while but not noticed anyone attempting to use the CAM slot for anything else apart from a TOPTV card (I know, a topic must be here somewhere). I presume that the slot is PCMCIA compatible?

Does anyone think it would be possible to add a PCMCIA PC memory card reader and use it for transferring files to and from the toppy? You can easily get adapters for all sorts of memory card SD, memory stick, MG etc

I know that memory card sizes are still a little limiting, but it might be useful for some files?

Any thoughts?
Shocked
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DX
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 6:07 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Apr 2005 Posts: 2695
The CI hardware spec is backward compatible with PCMCIA, so it should be theoretically possible. As far as I know however no-one has written software for the Toppy that allows you to do this.
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shenson
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 7:43 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 11 Apr 2005 Posts: 569
There isn't (AFAIK) any public documentation for the low level details of the CI interface and it isn't covered in the TAP API.

Accessing it would be at the "device driver" level which would be a huge task with nothing much known about it.

It has the potential for all sorts of things, USB host interface, direct ethernet, (drool) but I don't think that anyone will write support for that kind of thing any time soon.
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vroomfondle
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 7:43 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 09 Jun 2005 Posts: 1338 Location: TX: Hannington
qwertyman wrote:
I have read the forum with interest for a while but not noticed anyone attempting to use the CAM slot for anything else apart from a TOPTV card (I know, a topic must be here somewhere). I presume that the slot is PCMCIA compatible?

Does anyone think it would be possible to add a PCMCIA PC memory card reader and use it for transferring files to and from the toppy? You can easily get adapters for all sorts of memory card SD, memory stick, MG etc

I know that memory card sizes are still a little limiting, but it might be useful for some files?

Any thoughts?
Shocked

There is nothing in the firmware to support this and likely never will be. Lets face it Topfield can't write good software to make normal functions of the box work properly.
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simonc
Posted: Mon Sep 05, 2005 11:11 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 12 Apr 2005 Posts: 5642 Location: Cheltenham
It might be worth challenging DeadBeef with this idea. He did find the hardware addresses for manipulating the HDD directly. I suspect it might be a hack too far though.
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Aborigine
Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 12:08 am Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 28 Apr 2005 Posts: 447 Location: Amersham
Could it be worth putting PCMCIA support in the dream list section of Services? If everyone voted for it as essential maybe Topfield would do it one day, or at least provide info to help someone else do it. It would seem to be the only way with any hope of getting ethernet onto the existing hardware. If they could just add support for a single brand/model of ethernet adaptor that would be great, I could live without being able to add drivers for all sorts of cards. Though maybe a proper USB2 or Firewire, or WiFi...
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IanP
Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:14 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 05 Apr 2005 Posts: 330
DX wrote:
The CI hardware spec is backward compatible with PCMCIA, so it should be theoretically possible. As far as I know however no-one has written software for the Toppy that allows you to do this.
I know you can put a CAM in a PCMCIA slot and with the right software reprogram the CAM. But does the CI slot spec support the full PCMCIA spec? I'm not familiar with the technical aspects of either but I would imagine if it's possible to use PCMCIA cards in CI slots then somebody out there will have done it on some obscure satellite STB.
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DX
Posted: Tue Sep 06, 2005 7:55 pm Reply with quote
Frequent contributor Joined: 06 Apr 2005 Posts: 2695
IanP wrote:

But does the CI slot spec support the full PCMCIA spec?


Yes it does. The slot behaves as a normal PCMCIA slot, and supports any PCMCIA card. If a CAM is inserted the slot can be reprogrammed to provided extra functionality as the standard PCMCIA interface isn't fast enought to handle video datarates, but it is backward compatible by default.

One thing however is it's PCMCIA compatible, not Cardbus compatible. Many current laptop cards are actually Cardbus only and won't work in a PCMCIA slot, so the range of available cards may be smaller than it first appears.
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