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XEL-CF Compact Flash Adapter for 1088XEL (formerly XEL-I3)

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Just tried the movie player and it works great on my Transcend 4GB cards :)

No difference from the SanDisk 4GB cards...

 

Good to hear some Transcend cards work with the player :thumbsup: .

 

This is the only one I have (2GB size) and it refuses to allow the video to stream. Seems to have some sort of initialization problem (I forget what the error was that it threw), although it works just fine for everything else.

 

post-42561-0-34236300-1524884370.jpg

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So I know this device was mentioned in one of the threads in past months, but can anyone definitively say how well it works before I shell out $13 and change for a such a niche item? Thanks! :)

 

SD Card CF Adapter

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Perhaps a few other people can jump in here. The last time I used mine although it did appear to work, it only did so with one SD card of mine and not a few others (I forget which ones). So basically the same situation we see with some CF cards working, and some not. It also has a few other quirks, such as always being identified as the adapter, and not as the SD card plugged in. And quite frankly it feels and looks very cheap. And I really wish it had been designed to stay in place instead of needing to remove it every time you want to switch SD cards. Back when it was looking like CF cards were going to cost us an arm and a leg, switching to SD cards was attractive. But now that we have an inexpensive source for new factory refurbished cards direct from Sandisk, I think I'll be sticking to CF cards. Besides how many cards does a guy need for our teeny tiny 8-Bit files :grin: .

 

That's my 2 cents.

 

So I know this device was mentioned in one of the threads in past months, but can anyone definitively say how well it works before I shell out $13 and change for a such a niche item? Thanks! :)

 

SD Card CF Adapter

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So I know this device was mentioned in one of the threads in past months, but can anyone definitively say how well it works before I shell out $13 and change for a such a niche item? Thanks! :)

 

SD Card CF Adapter

 

They're a bit hit and miss when it comes to hot-swapping, but they do work if you're prepared to try a few different SD cards. To my mind, it was well worth having one of these things, since they're officially recommended (by Lotharek) for use with SIDE2, and the fact they work OK with XEL-CF is a nice bonus. If you already have sufficient CF cards and you're not too worried about running out or them suffering failures, then it's an entirely optional purchase. But given that we waited so long for an affordable SD/CF adapter to appear which supports 8-bit mode (many others don't), I considered it a no-brainer purchase.

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Well, I bought one. I happen to have a lot more older 1 - 8GB SD cards around than I do CF cards, so it's worth the gamble I guess.

​At some point in the next month or two I'll be buying parts to build an XEL-CF3 as well. I'm one of the handful of folks who sort of miss the Swap button from my SIDE2 cart - I like playing multi-disk games without needing to dig around for cracked/hacked single-file versions. :)

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I believe those are also said to work with the wi-fi SD cards. That alone is reason to have one.

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I believe those are also said to work with the wi-fi SD cards. That alone is reason to have one.

 

Yep: I'd forgotten about that compelling selling point. :) Must get one of those some time.

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So I know this device was mentioned in one of the threads in past months, but can anyone definitively say how well it works before I shell out $13 and change for a such a niche item? Thanks! :)

 

SD Card CF Adapter

 

 

They work very well. And specifically, you can use them for the wireless SD cards. Outside of that application, I cannot see the justification since CF cards are just so dang cheap nowadays.

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Well, I bought one. I happen to have a lot more older 1 - 8GB SD cards around than I do CF cards, so it's worth the gamble I guess.

​At some point in the next month or two I'll be buying parts to build an XEL-CF3 as well. I'm one of the handful of folks who sort of miss the Swap button from my SIDE2 cart - I like playing multi-disk games without needing to dig around for cracked/hacked single-file versions. :)

 

 

Just as a not so gentle reminder . . . . I have ALL the parts! Even for the button! ALL OF THEM! ;-)

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I was thinking today...

 

Most all of the Mini-ITX cases have a combination Power and HDD indicator LED built into the power switch. Since the SIO and CF activity indicators were moved to the LED Status Panel, the switch's HDD indicator is up for grabs, so why not make that the swap button indicator? That way you just need to find a place for the swap button :) .

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Did minor update on XEL-CF3 BOM.

 

- Added part numbers and links to the mounting hardware, and also added a note pertaining to the Dual CF-IDE44 adapter pertaining to standoff clearance.

 

On my original first run XEL-CF-][ boards I had found some very small diameter 'round' standoffs which didn't interfere with mounting the adapter. But unfortunately my cheap source for those dried up, and it is very difficult to buy any in the size required unless you want 1000 pieces. So taking a cue from MacRorie, I switched over to hex standoffs which are readily available from Jameco in small quantities, and for very little money. The only problem is when specifically using the Dual CF adapter board the front standoffs get in the way. The solution to this is to either remove a little material from the standoffs, or do so from the side of the plastic housing that the CF card slides into. MacRorie uses a Dremel tool to create a 'dent' in the side of the plastic housing where the standoffs are hitting.

 

Go to XEL-CF page to get the new BOM download.

 

Edit: after measuring stuff with a digital micrometer I opted to go a bit longer on the #2-56 screws that go with the standoffs, figuring a bit more meat to bite into was better. Also just a reminder, MacRorie has all of this stuff on hand, so you might want to PM him to kit up something for you, since his pricing and shipping will probably be very reasonable.

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XEL-CF3 Chip Upgrade

 

post-42561-0-93683300-1527022389_thumb.jpg

 

I discovered that by switching over to all 'F' series chips I get a bit better CF card compatibility (I have 8 different types of cards, and now they all work).

 

Although I upgraded the PCB gerber files with a new silkscreen to show 74Fxxx parts, there were no physical changes to the PCB so simply changing chips on the previous rev board will upgrade it.

 

New schematic, BOM, and gerber files are available on my website :) .

 

 

Edit: Remember as always not all CF cards like to be hot plugged, and this upgrade doesn't change that. And although hot-plugging many of the Sandisk series cards will work, it's best not to rely on this, and instead power-down when plugging in CF cards.

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I have worked on building a CF-3 over the weekend and ended up with a slight problem.

For the boards I used the link to OSH-Park from the website already a few weeks back (I think just a few days after got published)

Found out that the holes for the SIL connector (for switch and LED) are too small.

It is not easy to see, but they are really smaller than the rest.

 

a6a9ca2612952afc4e785ffacc4948cf.jpg

 

5a73f9a3693646d30db5ad2faff1c6d1.jpg

 

Are the files on OSH-Park wrong or did I work with an earlier revision?

 

I will try to drill the holes bigger - let’s see if the pads survive.

 

Cheers

Michael

 

 

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I have worked on building a CF-3 over the weekend and ended up with a slight problem.

For the boards I used the link to OSH-Park from the website already a few weeks back (I think just a few days after got published)

Found out that the holes for the SIL connector (for switch and LED) are too small.

It is not easy to see, but they are really smaller than the rest.

 

a6a9ca2612952afc4e785ffacc4948cf.jpg

 

5a73f9a3693646d30db5ad2faff1c6d1.jpg

 

Are the files on OSH-Park wrong or did I work with an earlier revision?

 

I will try to drill the holes bigger - let’s see if the pads survive.

 

Cheers

Michael

 

 

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Nope, those are smaller. There are versions of pins that fit those earlier holes. They aren't perfect, but it will allow you to not drill holes in the PCB. You might also be better served bring to sand the pins themselves down a little bit.

 

I can send you some pins that will work in those holes without drilling or sanding. Send me your address in a PM.

 

I also have the newest version of the PCBs that do not have that problem.

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Nope, those are smaller. There are versions of pins that fit those earlier holes. They aren't perfect, but it will allow you to not drill holes in the PCB. You might also be better served bring to sand the pins themselves down a little bit.

 

I can send you some pins that will work in those holes without drilling or sanding. Send me your address in a PM.

 

I also have the newest version of the PCBs that do not have that problem.

Thanks for the offer!

 

I am living in Germany, so I think postage would not be reasonable at all for three set of small pins.

 

What ist the vendor for the smaller pins, so I can try to find them here in Europe.

I did a first quick research yesterday and found pins with two different diameters: 1.00 and 1.05mm, but I thought these 0.05mm difference is not the one helping me out here.

 

 

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@LarrlL -- Sorry about that, but as MacRorie pointed out the first files posted had the wrong size holes for that header. The easy solution is to file the corners of the header pins where they insert into the board, so that they resemble something round instead of square. It doesn't take much filing to make it work.

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@LarrlL -- Sorry about that, but as MacRorie pointed out the first files posted had the wrong size holes for that header. The easy solution is to file the corners of the header pins where they insert into the board, so that they resemble something round instead of square. It doesn't take much filing to make it work.

Yeah, filing could be the easiest solution.

Don’t worry, will handle it :-)

 

 

 

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Filing did it, now the pins are fitting.

 

To test it I think I need a new firmware for the 1088XEL, right?

Is this already released - I did not see anything on FJC homepage?

 

Regards

Michael

 

 

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To test it I think I need a new firmware for the 1088XEL, right?

Is this already released - I did not see anything on FJC homepage?

Not yet, but I just sent you the RC firmware via PM. :)

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Okay I need help. I've spent hours over the course of months trying to get the XEL loader to work for me. Any time I bring up the XEL loader on a CF card the screen garbles. (pictures attached).

 

I have eliminated the 1088XEL as the issue (same issue on both ones I have built), same issue on xel-cf2 and xel-cf3, same issue on earlier bios and the latest 2.0RC bios, and the issue happens with the officially blessed sandisk 30MB/sec refurb cards bought direct from sandisk.

 

I had a breakthrough today and discovered that if I formatted the CF card in Linux (usually type "c" W95 FAT32 (LBA)) then the card could be seen in my windows 7 SP1 machine and the card could be read properly in the XEL loader. I can make multiple FAT32 partitions in linux and see them in the XEL loader (nothing made in win7 sp1 works).

 

Currently what I can't do, is get any card to work in the XEL loader that has APT partitions and FAT32 partitions on it. My understanding is that this use case is supported. APT partitions on a CF card which also contains a FAT32 partition work fine in SpartaDosX on the 1088XEL, but the XEL loader screen garbles up (again see attached pictures) if I try and read that CF card.

 

If someone could tell me exactly how to setup a CF card with APT and FAT32 partitions using nothing but the SpartaDosX tools and Linux tools I would be grateful. I'd really hate to have to swap CF cards just to use the XEL loader...

 

post-62746-0-34403400-1528693195_thumb.jpg

post-62746-0-46291300-1528693207_thumb.jpg

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You appear to have two systems with identical faults there, then. Nothing I can tell you to do in terms of settings will fix what you're seeing.

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Hmm, I have not seen that problem with any of mine. It only does that in the loader? Those glitches look like they would be more pervasive than just the loader.

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Hmm, I have not seen that problem with any of mine. It only does that in the loader? Those glitches look like they would be more pervasive than just the loader.

Only in the loader for that sort of glitch. MacRorie, if you put in the microsd card that you ship with the uno cart into the SD card adapter and that then into the SD CF card adapter and then bring up the XEL loader, does the screen glitch for you? It does for me.

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I do not ship a microSD card with the UNO. If you got one in yours, then you got the one that went missing a bit ago! I always wondered where that went to. ;-)

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