ACA 500 Plus - CF AUX slot does not like SD cards via adapter, but Boot slot does?

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  • Hello,


    I was wondering if anyone can help. I have purchased a compact flash to SD adapter with my ACA 500 Plus.


    The ACA is plugged into a Rev 6 Amiga 500, and is on firmware 0.127.


    The FlashAir seems to work fine if I use it on a modern system but I was hoping to use this in the auxiliary CF slot so I could transfer files wirelessly. The card works fine in this capacity on anything, and I can transfer files via WiFi and WebDAV fine, even when plugged into the ACA card. But it's getting the Amiga+ACA to see the card as a normal mass storage device (reading and writing).


    I have also tried with an old 1GB SD card and various 32GB SanDisk SD cards, the same problems which leads me to think it might be the CF to SD adapter, but I have got it working in a fashion on the Boot CF slot (see end.)


    This is the adapter I have: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Qumox-Compact-Memory-Adapter-Reader/dp/B019REDBY6/


    If you plug in just the SD to CF adapter in CFAUX you get CFAUX:NDOS on Workbench.


    On boot with the CF->SD in CFAUX with either the 16gb FlashAir or any of the other SD cards I have tried one of the three below happens:


    • Almost all the time: On boot whether choosing 1.3 or 3.1 there is a noticeable delay booting compared to it not being in the CFAUX slot, and when finally in Workbench 3.1, nothing appears on screen for the CF card. When booting 1.3 it mostly crashes.
    • Occasionally it appears as CFAUX:NDOS and then a reboot means it then works properly through reboots until the Amiga is switched off
    • Very very rarely it seems to work from first power on

    If you plug in the card (again with the CF->SD in CFAUX with either the 16gb FlashAir or any of the other SD cards I have tried) whilst the system is on and Workbench is on:


    • Most of the time, the Amiga power light starts flickering very strangely, not like a Guru flashing but lots of activity
    • Sometimes, nothing happens at all
    • Rarely,, you get CFAUX:NDOS and then after a reboot it is fine and through successive reboots until the Amiga is switched off

    After much tinkering, I tried the CF->SD in the Boot slot and eventually with the Fat95 filesystem and a suitable DOS Driver, so long as I issue DiskChange SD0: from CLI, the card always works and I can write files to it from the Amiga no problems at all, no strange power light activity, always works. I moved the boot Amiga compact flash card to the CFAUX slot and all partitions etc. work fine, the only thing you do get on Workbench is CFAUX:NDOS oddly.



    So, any ideas why this CF->SD adapter doesn't like working in the CFAUX slot, but seems ok in the Boot slot, is it the adapter?


    Are there any problems with above solution, what I have found is if you issue another Diskchange command after having written files to the card, after reboot the files are gone, I'm guessing that's down to scsi.device not expecting a diskchange whilst the disk is online or something (sorry I'm not technical enough to understand this.) Likewise if I write files over wifi+webdav to the SD card, I have to reboot the Amiga to get it to see the updated file structure (you can't go to Window menu and Update).


    I just thought it was odd that no matter what SD is used in this adapter it causes the same behaviour in CFAUX, but in the boot slot it's all fine.


    Hope this all makes some sense, thanks!


    :)

  • The difference between the AUX and Boot slot is that AUX can switch power off and on again. This electronic switch may not be strong enough to provide the amount of power that a wireless adapter requires.


    Further, the power-off feature of the slot requires the CF card to execute it's own reset. I guess it does, but it may take a lot longer to start up, and the ACA500plus software does not recognize the card fast enough, assumes that the card is empty, unformatted, defective or whatever other error condition you can think of. With the amount of software running in that adapter, I'd assume it to require quite some time after a power-cycle to come up. This may be an explanation for the power light activity (AFAIR this is an artefact from the old ACA500 software, which attempted to wake hot-plugged CF cards with a few software tricks, as the old ACA500 did not have the electronic power switch).


    If it's the latter, we may be able to solve it with a software update. If it's an "amount-of-power"-problem, it can't be solved without a hardware modification. I'll talk to the programmer.

  • Thanks Jens, most appreciated.


    That makes sense between AUX and Boot.


    I did have problems with a normal 1GB SD and range of normal 32GB SD cards in the AUX slot via the CF->SD adapter too, which lead me to wonder if it's the adapter.


    Thanks for taking this up with the programmer.


    If anyone has used SD cards via a CF to SD adapter, I'd love to see which one you use so I can try a different adapter.

  • I did have problems with a normal 1GB SD and range of normal 32GB SD cards in the AUX slot via the CF->SD adapter too, which lead me to wonder if it's the adapter.

    You'd be the first to report a compatibility problem with the CF card slot(s). So it may really be power: If the power switch has been overloaded, it will of course also have problems supplying normal CF-cards. Would be good to see specifications of power consumption of the device you'Re attempting to use.

  • Sure, is there a tool that can get that for you? The packaging the adapter came in was quite sparse but it may be on there?


    Or do you want to the specs for FlashAir? Toshiba's specs suggested:


    "The power consumption of FlashAir is within the range of SDHC standards (up to 0.72W at 3.6V)."


    Sorry if I am a bit vague as to how to get these figures for you :)

  • ..and on top of the 0.72W, there's the consumption of the CF->SD card adapter. Any data about that?


    Measuring would be possible if you remove the FET that is used as switch. You should also remove the transistor that bleeds the caps of the CF cards if you bridge the FET with a current measurement device. Those are the two components I'd exchange anyway, as your description very much sounds like the power-switching part is damaged.


    Please note that the ACA500plus is built for use with CF cards, so we've already left the standard product support territory with the contraption you're attempting to use. However, you're probably not the last, and since we've already had trouble with one of these wireless cards in a Chameleon V2, we should just mention that these don't work in standard-spec'd slots like ours. So I'm willing to spend some time on this, but have to mention that it's purely on a voluntary basis.

  • Thanks so much Jens, very much appreciated.


    Unfortunately I'm not technical enough to understand all these things, I can plug cards into my Amiga but that's about it, as I don't have any electronics knowledge beyond making sure I handle things as safely as possible.


    If you want to look at the card in person you're more than welcome to and I can send it to you, otherwise I fully appreciate that as you say this is outside of the normal product support.

  • I have almost this same card as well ! (Looks the same, not sure of the brand)
    I hope its safe to use it as a mere passive CF to SD (and CF to microSD as I also have) , converter ! I am not using any wireless bridge.
    I get the NDOS thing sometimes too but the partitions seem to work anyway.

    EDIT: "NDOS:uninitialized"

    EDIT2: Also works with AmigaKits internal to External CF adapter on A1200.

  • Hello Jens,


    It's using the Checkmate 1500+ case and associated adapter. I tried with my standard Amiga 500 in its original Commodore case with the ACA mounted in its normal orientation yesterday and sadly have the same issue.


    I guess there must be some differences in the CF->SD adapters.


    Thanks

  • Note that the Checkmake1500 case suggests to use an ATX PSU, which is a bad idea for the Amiga. Most ATX PSUs have 12V as the main regulation rail, where the A500 has 5V as it's main consumption rail. The Zorro-kind-of-adapter does have some provisions to add extra load to the 12V rail, but they appear to not be assembled as standard, hence my recommendation not to use that adapter.

  • Hey guys, it is indeed the adapter. I had similar issues with this red SD2CF adapter. After reading through some forums i decided to buy another adapter, from DeLock. This solved my issues and i can recommend this adapter, very good quality. Not cheap, but it is worth the money.


    https://www.amazon.de/DeLock-6…&sprefix=delock+co&sr=8-3


    I can confirm that this adapter is working flawless. I am using this one in boot slot as my main OS system with a Sandisk 400 GB microSD card under AmigaOS 3.1.4, with ACA 500+, ACA 1233, X-Surf and Rapidroad.


    The red adapter is a cheap version. It works, but you are limited to cards under 32 GB. Sometimes they can work with 64 or even 128 GB. And sometimes even 32 GB is too much.

  • That explains my own experience with that "cheap" adapter: I have only started to buy larger (micro-) SD-cards just recently, as my Lumix camera was always happy with 16G :-)

  • Hey guys, it is indeed the adapter. I had similar issues with this red SD2CF adapter. After reading through some forums i decided to buy another adapter, from DeLock. This solved my issues and i can recommend this adapter, very good quality. Not cheap, but it is worth the money.


    https://www.amazon.de/DeLock-6…&sprefix=delock+co&sr=8-3

    Thank you for the suggestion I'll be more than happy to try another adapter out!


    I will feed back when I get such an adapter here.

  • You are welcome Marle2. Be carefull at buying. There are two versions of this DeLock adapter, called Type1 and Type2. Type2 is thicker, it does not fit in the slots of the ACA 500+.


    Jens : i think 16 GB is enough for anything Amiga related. But we had a good offer at our local Media Markt. I got this 400 GB card for 59 Euro, about 4 months ago and decided to try it out. They dont advertise these cards, you need to ask in the photo section of the store. These cards are hidden and locked away. At least in our store.