Looking for an IDE simulator

Liam Proven lproven at gmail.com
Fri Aug 28 16:53:38 CDT 2020

On Fri, 28 Aug 2020 at 18:07, Noel Chiappa via cctalk
<cctalk at classiccmp.org> wrote:
> After having a run of almost half a dozen IDE hard drive failures recently in
> a short period of time (on my older desktops which use them, I've decided that
> I should see if there's an IDE emulator (using SD cards)

SD (and the related MMC, now obsolete, and the many subtypes of SD
such as SDHC, SDIO, SDXC, SDUC etc.) is a complex multiplexed
protocol. MMC used 1 pin, original SD used 4, some of the newer ones
use 8, etc.

But CF card _are_ EIDE. The interface is the IDE interface. Only a
conversion of connector is needed, no controller electronics at all.

CF cards are an old standard now, but professional photographers still
use them, and high-end digital cameras use them -- partly because of
the large storage capacity but also, I suspect, because they are
easier to handle in a hurry, or in suboptimal conditions. SD cards are
too small to manipulate easily wearing gloves, and MicroSD cards can
be lost in a decent carpet.

So my advice is: don't even consider SD. Use CF. Convertors from CD to
44-pin 2.5" hard disk connector and to 40-pin desktop connector are
widespread and very cheap.

CF cards with capacities in megabytes are $10 or under. Cards with
capacities in low numbers of gigabytes are only a little more. You can
get cards in the 256GB range now, for a few hundred bucks.

I think you'll find it much easier -- and cheaper -- to interface CF
cards to EIDE than any variant of SD, which is probably going to
involve multiple convertors and controllers: micro-SD to SD, then
maybe to SATA to PATA, and associated points of failure etc.

Liam Proven – Profile: https://about.me/liamproven
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