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10.09.2008

Cheap Storage with SD, MicroSD, CF Adapters


I found the coolest adapter kit at Meijer a couple of weeks back. It's branded GFM, which is the Meijer "house brand" for their cheap electronics. I think it was actually made by a company called Eagletec judging by the part numbers. It was on clearance, probably because it's a PCMCIA kit and that technology is rapidly being replaced by ExpressCard. The kit included a PCMCIA to Compact Flash adapter, a Compact Flash to SD adapter, and a Secure Digital to MicroSD adapter.

The whole thing was on clearance for $9 when I bought it, and I recently saw that they had dropped again to $6.
The part numbers of the adapters are:
PCMCIA to CF - ET-PCMCIADPT
CF to SD - ET-CFAII45
SD to MicroSD - no part#.

So far I've been really happy with this set, as my TravelMate C110 TabletPC doesn't have an integrated card reader. Now I can carry the whole nested set of adapters in my unused Cardbus / PCMCIA slot.

There is little to no documentation on the packaging for these adapters, so I've been playing around with them. So far I've found:

The PCMCIA to CF adapter will accept Type I or II cards. It seems as speedy as dumping cards via USB 2.0, but I haven't actually done a throughput test.

The Compact Flash to Secure Digital adapter works great to adapt SD cards up to fit in my Compact Flash equipped camera (Canon EOS Rebel XTi / 400D). I've heard this is slower than real CF cards, but so far I've not had a problem using it this way. I suppose you could have problems if you were shooting bursts of photos in RAW format, but this camera has a pretty good buffer, so I haven't had any issues. I've even used a MicroSD card w/ adapter and it works fine.

The CF to SD adapter does NOT support High Capacity cards (SDHC). I tried a 4GB card in it, and it did not work in either my camera or a SDHC compatible card reader.

While I wish for SDHC support on these adapters, I'm pretty happy right now because 2GB SD cards are plentiful and cheap. Micro SD also seems to be very cheap right now and easily adaptable into other formats. I found a GFM 2GB MicroSD card with SD adapter at that same Meijer for 20% off last week, I think it ended up being $8.50 after tax.

I'm going to keep using good quality CF cards with my XTi, but it's nice that in a pinch I can take spare SD cards from my HDV178 pocket camcorder, or Canon point-and-shoot cameras and give myself some extra space if I need it.

I'm planning on picking up a MicroSD to Memory Stick Pro Duo adapter soon for use with my PSP. Once I have that I should be able to use MicroSD as my common memory for most of my consumer devices and just change adapters as needed.

2 comments:

  1. I purchased this adapter for $6 on clearance a few months ago. I finally got around to using it and it burned out my pcmcia port... I have not found a single other instance of this product being mentioned on the internet, so I just wanted people to beware of this and the chance that it might happen to them. I am using a compaq evo n610c. I am going to see if meijer will at least refund my money if not take care of the cost of fixing my laptop.

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  2. Thank you is all i have to say, you are doing some good job, just keep impressing us, I am really very happy that i came across your blog.
    Chris

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