View Full Version : What's with PC cards types I/II? or have I been cursed again?

Billy T
23-09-2002, 07:18 PM
Hi Team

I decided it was time that my Toshiba Libretto 50CT sub-notebook (Win 95 original) joined my network family, so after checking in the manual and finding that it would accept types I & II cards, I raced out and bought a DSE 10/100 PC network card.

The installation instructions were dead easy (oh joy :)) and simply say to insert into a Type II PC card socket, switch on computer, follow the dotted line etc.

So, I powered down the computer and inserte, oops; inserte, sorry; inserte, damn; inserte, BUGGER; inserte, WHAT THE! ?:| I couldn't get the @#$%*&^# card to go all the way into the PC card slot. It stopped 5mm short of complete insertion, and that's a problem I haven't had in years! :O

Closer examination revealed that the DSE card has a row of eight bumps exactly 5mm back from the front edge of the card, and I assume that these are the reason for my frustration.

So, if my computer accepts types I & II cards, and the DSE card is a type II, what gives? The only clue is a reference to PC Bus cards in the installation instructions but all it says is that Win95 will require loading of additional drivers (I think, but I'm not going back to look right now).

Do the eight bumps mean that it is neither a type I nor II card, or what exactly is going on? I have a sneaky feeling that I'm going to have to go back and return this bumpy little beast to the orphanage.


Billy 8-{) :(

Billy T
24-09-2002, 12:16 PM
Nobody got any ideas yet ?:| :(

24-09-2002, 12:43 PM
Well, there is type I, type II and type III cards.

Tpe III take both slots but connect to the lower one.

Cannot find any reference to what you have discovered, but where are the plastic bumps, assume they are on the outer portion preventing it sliding in. Does that imply your laptop PCMCIA slots are separated, (or do you only have 1 slot)?

I looked at my lpatop, it has no division between the card slots so any protrusions would not prevent it being used.

I wonder if it is designed to occupy the lower of a double slot, and prevent a second card being used - perhaps its power requirements are such it cannot allow a second card?? Just guessing...

Billy T
24-09-2002, 03:10 PM
Thanks God.

Actually, I have only one slot, and to use Type III cards requires an add-on unit called a "Port Replicator".

The normal PC slot is built into the main unit and the manual clearly states: "the PC card slot can accommodate a PC card that meets industry standards for Type I/II (5V)"

The bumps are on a metal strip on top of the card but 5mm back from the socket, however I have since found that they are not the problem. The obstruction is on the card though. The leading edge of a usable card has plastic guides on either side and each is slotted to allow the card to slide in.

The problem card is slotted normally on the LHS (looking at the socket) but the RHS only has a shallow slot at the top and solid plastic where all sliding-type activities should occur.


I was tempted to file the problem lump off but that would result in an unreturnable card and might also lead to an unhappy PC if it was put there for good reason!

It would seem probable that this card is neither Type I nor Type II, and is not a PC card at all. According to the DSE site, it is in fact a "cardbus" card, whatever the heck that is. Stupid thing is that it says PC card on the packaging and on the card itself so I dunno!! Does anybody know what's going on here?

I've been had :( DSE, here I come.


Billy 8-{)

24-09-2002, 03:27 PM
Perhaps this is of help??

"Any notebook created in the past three years should have a CardBus interface, and the interface is backward-compatible with the PCMCIA standard. However, the reverse isn't true--you can't put a CardBus PC Card in a non-CardBus notebook. CardBus cards are easily recognized by the gold edgecard connector on the PC Card."

Graham L
24-09-2002, 03:40 PM
I'm wondering if this might be a 3.3V card, and have the pips as a protection against being inserted in a 5V slot. I'll see if any of the books here have a description of how they do it. (I suspect that they will have switching supplies to get useful voltages out of 3.3V, so will accept 5V happily ... just pull less current).

Billy T
24-09-2002, 04:19 PM
That's the one God. You got it!

Pity DSE didn't think to clarify that in their catalogue or on the packaging.

Mind you, I was totally unaware of this development until you mentioned it. Now, where can I get a PC card network adapter that is not cardbus?

Do such things exist these days? Alternatively, what is the difference in specs between a standard PC card and PC card bus? If the notebook sockets are backward compatible with PCMCIA cards then pin-outs, signal levels and voltages must be the same, so maybe I could get away with just filing the blockage off and use it anyway.

Any thoughts out there in notebook expert land?


Billy 8-{)

24-09-2002, 04:33 PM

PCMCIA is apparently 16 bit bus, Cardbus is 32???

Billy T
24-09-2002, 05:43 PM


Billy 8-{(