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Author Topic: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes  (Read 1104 times)

Offline Heywood

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A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« on: January 16, 2020, 07:28:10 pm »
Hey, there's no A600 specific child forum but this problem I'm having perhaps could be in common with an A1200 I suppose but the A600 is not an AGA chipset board :) but I digress..

A 3COM 3XCE589ET just arrived in the mail (I liked this model because it has an integrated Ethernet port rather than needing a dongle that I will most likely lose or break) however for the life of me I cannot get it to mechanically fit in the PCMCIA socked on my A600.  Before I get all medieval and consider taking a file and or a hammer to it is this a known problem?  Looking at both the computer and the card they don't appear misshapen at all but it just doesn't seem to have the card making into the entrance and get to the pins (writing this makes me feel a little ashamed and dirty for some reason  :P)

Offline epsilon

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #1 on: January 17, 2020, 06:07:49 pm »
Hey, there's no A600 specific child forum but this problem I'm having perhaps could be in common with an A1200 I suppose but the A600 is not an AGA chipset board :) but I digress..

A 3COM 3XCE589ET just arrived in the mail (I liked this model because it has an integrated Ethernet port rather than needing a dongle that I will most likely lose or break) however for the life of me I cannot get it to mechanically fit in the PCMCIA socked on my A600.  Before I get all medieval and consider taking a file and or a hammer to it is this a known problem?  Looking at both the computer and the card they don't appear misshapen at all but it just doesn't seem to have the card making into the entrance and get to the pins (writing this makes me feel a little ashamed and dirty for some reason  :P)

Gotta hate it when you can't insert your expansion inside your Amiga... ;-)

Hmm..seriously though. Before you get out the hammer, checking the 3com 589 drivers on Aminet this model you mentioned is not listed as supported. I can see  3CCE589ET but not the xjack variant you describe. Does it have Cardbus listed on the label? Cardbus doesn't work with Amiga. They have an extra bit on the connector top that ensures it can't fit standard PCMCIA ports, only Cardbus compatible ports. List from the manual in the archive of supported models is:

http://aminet.net/package/driver/net/3c589

 @{b}3Com@{ub}                         
                                 3C562
                                 3C562B
                                 3C562C
                                 3C562D
                                 3C563B
                                 3C563C
                                 3C563D
                                 3C589B
                                 3C589C
                                 3C589D
                                 3C589E

 @{b}3Com Megahertz@{ub}               
                                 3C3FEM556C
                                 3CCE589EC
                                 3CCE589ET
                                 3CCEM556
                                 3CCEM556B
                                 3CXE589D
                                 3CXE589EC
                                 3CXEM556

If it isn't Cardbus, unless you have another OS3 driver that supports your 3Com model you may still be out of luck.

I would suggest finding a wireless model that can use the Prism v2 drivers - there are drivers for that on aminet too. Make sure to get a supported model. The manual in the archive has a list.

http://aminet.net/package/driver/net/prism2v2

I got one myself and covered it on my blog here:

http://amigax1000.blogspot.com/2014/05/wireless-network-card-on-a600.html

Catcha,
Epsilon

« Last Edit: January 17, 2020, 06:19:13 pm by Epsilon »
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Offline Heywood

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #2 on: January 17, 2020, 06:27:35 pm »
Hey Epsilon,

Thanks for that - I'm thinking you have hit the nail on the head here - https://www.manualslib.com/manual/57/3com-Series-760.html?page=11  "3CXE589ET CardBus PC Card with XJACK"

Looks like I might have to get in touch with the ebay seller as they sold this as something that would work with an A600/1200 - original listing - https://www.ebay.com.au/itm/254455254352

I guess I might need to get a crappy dongle variant card after all :(

Offline Amigaman

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #3 on: January 18, 2020, 08:18:29 am »
Hey Heywood,

Cardbus is easy to recognise. Can you post a picture of it?

A cardbus card will normally have a metallic strip along the top, similar to err, this card: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/PC_Card#/media/File:XJACK_network_card_extended.jpg - that will definitely not work on an A600/A1200.


Offline Heywood

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #4 on: January 18, 2020, 11:48:32 am »
Hi Amigaman,

Top and Bottom pics of the card are attached to this post - as you can see there's no metal bumpy thing on the card like in the picture you reference.

I guess the bottom picture itself is most helpful here where it shows PC Card 5V 16 Bit.

The seller responded to me and said he tested it in an Amiga prior to sending, so I guess it may be a mechanical problem I am having (or user error where I don't have the right angle/force applied)


Offline Heywood

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #5 on: January 18, 2020, 05:29:07 pm »
I ended up opening up the A600 and removing the mainboard from the case and while it was a somewhat tight fit, the PCMCIA card did end up being able to be inserted, so I put it back in the case but didn't yet screw the mainboard down as it seems that at least for my system, the external PCMCIA hole didn't 100% line up with the connector which gave too much of an interference fit.

Thankfully in the end I was able to get it inserted and have been able to validate initial IP connectivity using the Roadshow Demo, so my tale of woe looks like it has a *cough* Happy Ending after all.

Photo shows the card identified and Roadshow using the 3C589 driver

Thanks for the advice in getting to this point.

Offline epsilon

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #6 on: January 18, 2020, 09:07:34 pm »
I ended up opening up the A600 and removing the mainboard from the case and while it was a somewhat tight fit, the PCMCIA card did end up being able to be inserted, so I put it back in the case but didn't yet screw the mainboard down as it seems that at least for my system, the external PCMCIA hole didn't 100% line up with the connector which gave too much of an interference fit.

Thankfully in the end I was able to get it inserted and have been able to validate initial IP connectivity using the Roadshow Demo, so my tale of woe looks like it has a *cough* Happy Ending after all.

Photo shows the card identified and Roadshow using the 3C589 driver

Thanks for the advice in getting to this point.

I am glad it worked for you. I can see from the photos you supplied that it is not a cardbus and I guess the fit was not lined up with the motherboard. Taking it out was a good idea to confirm.

I was worried the card may not work because it was not on the supported list - I am glad it did work after all!

Good result in the end! Happy endings are always good :-)

Catcha,
Epsilon
« Last Edit: January 18, 2020, 10:33:43 pm by Epsilon »
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Offline Heywood

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #7 on: January 19, 2020, 08:48:26 am »
If you look at the ebay listing - the photo of the card is actually one of the supported cards in the driver list, I did ask the seller about it (kind of being annoyed that the item shown not actually the item being what is sold, or at the very least not being the same model number) he mentioned that he's sold these for quite some time and no one noticed or at least called him out before.

To be fair, if it slotted in correctly first go, I probably wouldn't have noticed it myself and just been content with a working component.  The good thing is I guess is that there is an additional known working card variant available, I guess it comes down to whether or not its worth trying to find the maintainer of the driver to get the card added to the list?

Offline epsilon

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #8 on: January 19, 2020, 01:41:53 pm »
If you look at the ebay listing - the photo of the card is actually one of the supported cards in the driver list, I did ask the seller about it (kind of being annoyed that the item shown not actually the item being what is sold, or at the very least not being the same model number) he mentioned that he's sold these for quite some time and no one noticed or at least called him out before.

To be fair, if it slotted in correctly first go, I probably wouldn't have noticed it myself and just been content with a working component.  The good thing is I guess is that there is an additional known working card variant available, I guess it comes down to whether or not its worth trying to find the maintainer of the driver to get the card added to the list?

Probably worthwhile to try. I think the author's contact details are on the 3com driver listing on Aminet.

caffer@cs.ucc.ie (Neil Cafferkey)

Don't know if it is still valid or not, but worth a shot as it is worth updating the working cards so others know they can purchase that card in confidence.

Catcha,
Epsilon
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Offline Amigaman

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #9 on: January 20, 2020, 07:11:42 pm »
Hi Heywood,

Glad to see that you got it working! Very odd that the motherboard wasn't lining up. It is a real tight fit and quite difficult to remove and install (in my experience), perhaps the motherboard wasn't fully lined up after a prior install?

Offline Heywood

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #10 on: January 20, 2020, 09:21:35 pm »
Epsilon - I dropped Neil an email over the weekend and haven't gotten a bounceback, so it's possible that the email account is still alive (or ucc.ie spamfilter doesnt let you know about inactive accounts) so if there's any opportunity to get it updated by him, I think I may have done all I could, noting that timestamp on the last update is about 10 years ago...

Amigaman - probably just loosening the mainboard retaining screws and giving the board a very small shove and then tightening the screws back up would have sorted it if I had realised what the initial problem was, since it needed to move less than 1mm to resolve the issue.

At the moment, I'm kind of not liking how proud the PCMCIA card is sitting from the edge of the A600 - I could possibly look at something like https://rastport.com/products/KA02/ I suppose - it's aimed at the A1200 but I'm guessing that the angle would be probably okay for the A600 even so it is not the cheapest of things, so I may just learn to deal with it..

Offline epsilon

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #11 on: January 21, 2020, 10:04:10 am »
Epsilon - I dropped Neil an email over the weekend and haven't gotten a bounceback, so it's possible that the email account is still alive (or ucc.ie spamfilter doesnt let you know about inactive accounts) so if there's any opportunity to get it updated by him, I think I may have done all I could, noting that timestamp on the last update is about 10 years ago...

Great, thanks mate for doing that! Hopefully he responds so your positive experience with a different model 3Com card can help future people buying a PCMCIA card for their Amiga. If not, at least you tried to. :-)

Catcha,
Epsilon
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Offline Heywood

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #12 on: January 22, 2020, 10:34:36 am »
Just a quite update - Neil has responded to my mail and he's actually still developing stuff for the Amiga (his wireless driver was updated last month) and he will update the documentation for the 3c389.device driver to mention the card is supported in the next update to that.

Offline epsilon

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Re: A600 PCMCIA Card Insertion woes
« Reply #13 on: January 22, 2020, 01:25:03 pm »
Just a quite update - Neil has responded to my mail and he's actually still developing stuff for the Amiga (his wireless driver was updated last month) and he will update the documentation for the 3c389.device driver to mention the card is supported in the next update to that.

Excellent news - glad to hear it! Thanks for doing that.

Catcha,
Epsilon
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