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Sony PMW-300, PXW-X200, PXW-X180 (back to EX3 & EX1) recording to SxS flash memory.


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Old June 23rd, 2008, 10:19 AM   #1
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Problem with SXS driver,new pc

Ok, i have a laptop which is about 1 year old, nothing special just a 1.6ghz single core.
Clip browser is installed and i use the sony sxs card reader, no problems at all.
However because the card reader requires mains power it can sometimes be a pain trying to get mains power, so as i have a spare pcmcia slot in my laptop, today i tried to use one of these

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/s...tml?NBA-EXPADA

it wouldn't work, i installed the sxs driver (which i never had to do before) and still no good.

So, on to plan B..
I was in my local pc shop at the time so i looked at this pc, which i was thinking of buying

http://www.novatech.co.uk/novatech/r...nb&c=all&r=RAS

it's got an express 34/54 slot so i thought it would work, so i installed clip browser and the sxs driver on it on the shops demo model.

Clip Browser couldn't access the card, it showed up in the tree view on the left but when i clicked on it it said it couldn't access the media.
Windows see's the card when i look in "computer" then all the drives, it actually displays the drive (e) as an SXS card but when i click on it i got a message saing that the card needs to be formatted before windows can use it, obviously i can't do that every time i pull a card from my EX1.


So, my question is what are all the other laptop users with an sxs card / 34 slot doing ?

Thanks, Paul.
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Old June 23rd, 2008, 09:56 PM   #2
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The SxS cards ****REQUIRE**** a PCI Express slot. So the PCMCIA adapter will not work.

The notebook lists the slot as...

PCMCIA Port 1 x Express Card Slot (34/54)

a PCMCIA Port. If so, then that too will not work, it MUST be a PCIe slot.

I picked up an Acer notebook just for the PCIe Express Card 34/54 slot. The Acer is dedicated to EX1 video and works like a charm. I have just upgraded the HD to a 250GB drive, so now I have lots of space for off loading SxS cards.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 04:30 AM   #3
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John, thanks very much for this information.

Can you tell me the specs of your laptop and the full model number so i can look it up.
I've got an acer at the moment, just a cheap one but i'm happy with it for what it is, i'd have no problem spending more money on another acer.

Thanks, Paul.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 04:45 AM   #4
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John another quick question.
If i put the sxs card in a pc without the sxs driver or clip browser installed, will windows be able to see the card and let me open it without telling me i need to format the card ?

The reason i ask is because not all shops are going to let me install software on a shop laptop.
Unlike my local shop, Novatech, they were excellent, letting me wander around doing what i wanted. However they don't appear to have any laptops with pci slots.

Thanks again.

Paul.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 05:35 AM   #5
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Paul,
Somehow I can't believe that the laptop whose specs say: "PCMCIA Port: 1 x Express Card Slot (34/54)" is not what you need; it's just that the ExpressCard standard has replaced the PCMCIA, and this is a (not very precise) way to say that the pc has ExpressCard slot rather than the PC Card. Unless this really is a PCMCIA slot, capable of reading the USB interface of an ExpressCard, which I doubt.

As to your last question: for an ExpressCard slot in a laptop (or PCIe->Expresscard reader in a desktop), you DO need the SxS driver installed for it to see the SxS card content.

The driver is not needed when using the (slower) USB interface, e.g. with the original Sony SxS reader (or the EX1 connected via USB, for that matter).
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Old June 24th, 2008, 05:44 AM   #6
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All modern notebooks have ExpressCard slots instead of PCMCIA (which is an older technology). Some manufacturers still (incorrectly) list PCMCIA, like Novatech. For example their economical Rasor notebook lists:

Quote:
PCMCIA Port 1 x Express Card Slot (34/54)
This actually is an ExpressCard slot and not compatible with PCMCIA. It will take your SxS card though and with the driver installed it should show up in the Explorer window.

Apart from the Sony SBAC-US10 reader you will find that USB ExpressCard readers do not support the PCIe interface needed for reading the SxS.

The ExpressCard standard defines two interfaces for cards, USB and PCIe. The first one is for 'slow' devices (USB-stick like memory or wireless modems etc.) the latter is high-speed for eSATA and high-speed memory like on the SxS.

Computers are required to support both interfaces to comply with the ExpressCard standard (and carry the logo). Cards can implement one or both.

Regards,
George.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 06:33 AM   #7
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Hi Paul,

I also am inclined to think that the Novatech Rasor should have read the SxS card without a problem, I can only think perhaps that the demo unit was needing a bios/firmware update (or something was just a bit funky with it).

Novatech re-brand 'generic' models from various manufacturers, I think this particular model comes form Clevo...
http://www.clevo.com.tw/en/products/...p?productid=70
(this is perhaps the previous version of the Rasor)

The specs here clearly state "One New card (Express card 54/34) slot" which can only mean pciexpress card.

Perhaps on another visit to their store you may find better results from a different demo unit ?

Cheers,
Dave.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 10:16 AM   #8
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Thanks to everyone for explaining all this.
I just want a laptop which can read my sxs card.

What laptops are others using ? Some make and model numbers would be nice.

Thanks guys.

Paul.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 10:29 AM   #9
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Paul, I'm using the Vaio (VGN-AR51SU), but frankly, there is no need to pay premium price if you'll mainly need it for in-field offload.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 10:43 AM   #10
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Piotr, what is the slot type on your pc ? Is it pci-e/32 or pcmcia/34 or what ?

Thanks.
Paul.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 12:29 PM   #11
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Paul,
Nowehere in the specs PCIe is mentioned (I guess this term is only valid for desktop expansion slots); it is simply called "ExpressCard slot".
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #12
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I have never heard of a laptop with an ExpressCard slot that cannot read SXS-cards. I have a Dell Vostro 1400. Works like a charm. Offloads an 8 GB card in just over three minutes to the internal 7200 RPM-drive.
I have also used an Acer Travelmate 5520 without problems.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 01:50 PM   #13
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Piotr,

Read bullet point #3: http://www.expresscard.org/web/site/about.jsp. It's also in the interface specs, but this was an easy place to point at.

Paul, a.f.a.i.k. all new notebooks have ExpressCard/34 (34mm wide) and most can take the wide ExpressCard/54 (54mm). All computers must implement both interfaces USB 2.0 and PCI Express (PCIe).

The SxS cards are PCIe based, not USB 2.0. Examples of USB 2.0 ExpressCards are Wireless (WiFi) cards, modems, serial ports, memory, etc. USB speeds are fine for these applications. The high speed PCIe interface can be used for SATA adapters, RAID, etc. and is used by the SxS cards.

I've already pointed out a sub 500 quid notebook from you fav. reseller, but frankly any will do.

The Sony USB reader is 'special' (and expensive) because it implements a PCIe host (like a computer) and marries that to USB 2.0 for reading cards. No mainstream OEM will ever create such a thing because it makes little sense for anything except SxS cards. If a card implements PCIe it usually needs the interface speed (like a RAID controller), funnelling that into USB is silly and won't work. It is however fine for reading/writing files to SxS (just not so fast).

Hope this clears things up some more.

George/
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Old June 24th, 2008, 02:55 PM   #14
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Thanks guys.
I don't know why the original laptop which i was going to buy wouldn't work, it's good spec for the money aswell, i might go back to the shop and try again.
However, i went to another shop today and took a usb stick with sxs driver installed and sxs card. I installed the driver and put the sxs card in and bingo, the pc saw the card, the BAPV and all the folders inside it, i might go back and install clip browser and see if i can watch the clips.

Thanks again guys.

Paul.
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Old June 24th, 2008, 08:58 PM   #15
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Paul,

FWIW I'm using a VAIO VGN-NR298D laptop which I got real cheap just to read and offload SxS cards. It's a Vista machine and all I did was install ClipBrowser(no card drivers) and it worked fine.

Windows reports it as connected to the Intel PCI Express chip set.

I guessed(hoped) that a Sony machine with a the flash card slot would be compatible.

Glad to hear your problem is solved.
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