This CF card interface is specifically designed for use in A1200 and A600 computers. As opposed to all other products on the market, we've designed it to be fully buffered on all 22 critical signals, resulting in phenomenal compatibility with all sizes and card vendors we have tested.
This product is our answer to many support cases that were solved in our support forum. We found that in most cases where either a CF card does not work at all, or the IDE speeder of our accelerator(s) gives mixed results, an inferior product was used to connect a CF card. In all of the cases, an unbuffered adapter from a PC-based manufacturer was used, and many of them are using flat cables to connect the adapter to the IDE port of the host computer. Both are bad choices, as the A1200/A600 computers leave all IDE signals unbuffered. Using a flat cable increases capacitive load and may therefore affect stability of the computer, especially if an accelerator is used.
Further, CF card compatibility with unbuffered adapters is low, and it has become "common knowledge" in the past years that "Industrial cards" work better in A600/A1200 computers. This is due to the drive strength requirement that the unbuffered IDE signals demand. Our fully buffered CF card adapter lets you use any CF card, industrial or not, branded or no-name. Activate your IDE speeder with confidence: CF cards are fast enough these days, but they may lack drive strength that our adapter will add.
Since the IDE port shares signals with the PCMCIA port and the clock port of the computer, our interface makes sure that accesses to those ports are completely isolated from the CF card, further increasing operational safety.
The electrical design is based on our extremely successful buffered interfaces that date back to 1996, and we've only added two small details: This adapter will generate an independent reset signal, so the CF card will never see a keyboard reset. This reduces the risk of data loss due to an interrupted write command. Further, we found that some CF card models will not control the HDD LED properly: With other adapters, the LED may only change brightness, but never switch off completely, but our interface also takes care of that: The LED will really be "on or off", no matter what type of card you may use.
The true challenge we were facing during design was mechanical. With the goal of avoiding a flat cable, the 44-pin connector is so close to the circuit board that visibility of the mating parts is limited. Even with good lighting conditions, we found in an early design stage that it is extremely difficult to properly align the parts and avoid electrical damage due to shifted connection. Our solution is an elaborate custom-made connector and additional polarization parts that will keep you from connecting the unit mis-aligned. The solution is so effective that none of our testers has managed to install the unit the wrong way without using excessive force.
This product is not an IDE-speeder. The speed is determined by the host computer and can be increased with our accelerators ACA1233n, ACA1221lc, ACA1211 and ACA1234.
Pictures show a CF card and/or a computer; both are not included in the scope of delivery. Black circuit board pictured is actual colour.