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maybeinterested
The new c3000 seems to have an internal Hitachi microdrive with the same type of standard CF interface as those that have been popular to dissect from eg the Muvo2 MP3 player. Could anyone speculate on the possibilities to take out the drive of the Zaurus and instead fit an embedded CF WiFi card in the internal slot?

Given that the NIC has the proper physical dimensions to fit inside and that the wireless range will be affected, are there any other obvious hurdles?

I am not skilled in the ways a PDA is usually built and would be very interested to know if the internal CF can be expected to work differently from the ordinary slot for plug-in cards...
mk500
QUOTE(maybeinterested @ Oct 29 2004, 01:38 AM)
The new c3000 seems to have an internal Hitachi microdrive with the same type of standard CF interface as those that have been popular to dissect from eg the Muvo2 MP3 player. Could anyone speculate on the possibilities to take out the drive of the Zaurus and instead fit an embedded CF WiFi card in the internal slot?

Given that the NIC has the proper physical dimensions to fit inside and that the wireless range will be affected, are there any other obvious hurdles?

I am not skilled in the ways a PDA is usually built and would be very interested to know if the internal CF can be expected to work differently from the ordinary slot for plug-in cards...

This is an awesome idea. The only problem is that all wifi cards "stick out", so are slightly larger than the microdrive.
Mahoro
Good imaginatoin......
But......
I doubt it works...really doubt.

Let say:
Can I put my CF wifi card to my digital camera and make it syn w/ my computer, so whenever I shot a photo, it sends to the computer.
Well, I know Nikon and Canon D-SLR have this function, but not in the CF card thing, they cutom-designed.

My friend once put a wifi card into a card reader. The next thing he going to do was sent it back for waranty.
dz
Not just that, but it would be constantly on I'd imagine. That would suck for your battery sad.gif
tumnus
It depends how the internal microdrive is interfaced. The XScale CPU/chipsets can drive two PCMCIA/CF slots. In all other Zauruses the 2nd slot is unused, but maybe they used this for the internal slot.

If this is the case, then the internal connector would be like another CF slot and you could put whatever you wanted in it, as long as it could physically fit in the space available.

But if you can cut a WiFi card down to fit in the same space as a microdrive, why not just put it in the external CF slot??? Also if it is possible to do this, then why haven't any companies done it, like Socket did with their Bluetooth CF card?
Mahoro
2CF and 1 SD slot in a PDA....interesting biggrin.gif
But that give me a weird image of Zaurus....
bluedevils
The other consideration is that you can't just take out the HDD without a plan for where /home is going to reside.
lardman
QUOTE
The XScale CPU/chipsets can drive two PCMCIA/CF slots. In all other Zauruses the 2nd slot is unused, but maybe they used this for the internal slot.


This would be an interesting hack for a C7xx machine then - anyone know how it could be done? I assume this is how the sl 6000 and iPAQs run their CF jackets (I think the 6000 has this?)?


Si
dhns
QUOTE(bluedevils @ Oct 29 2004, 01:01 PM)
The other consideration is that you can't just take out the HDD without a plan for where /home is going to reside.

That is the key issue - you could NFS- or SMB-mount a server through WiFi :-)
It is sometimes called a Thin Client or X-Server or similar
bluedevils
More than likely it would have to go onto SD as putting it on another CF card would kind of defeat the purpose. Performance would take a hit.
iamasmith
I think it's far more interesting to consider replacing the Microdrive with a solid state CF card for extra performance and I'm assuming better battery life especially when we start to see cheap 8Gb cards (or bigger).
amrein
Doesn't compact flash exist with mass storage feature and wifi / bluetooth at the same time?

If the port is completely wired, this is just a question of drivers and this will be possible. Perhaps "maybeinterested" has found the hidden Christmas plan of Sharp: release a SL-C3000 with an internal CF + WiFi + Bluetooth in Europe and US.

Well, I begin to save money for my Christmas gift, just in case... smile.gif
amrein
QUOTE(mk500 @ Oct 29 2004, 11:01 AM)
This is an awesome idea. The only problem is that all wifi cards "stick out", so are slightly larger than the microdrive.

If this can be done, it's better to have the aerial not on the motherboard but connected to the chassis for example. I don't know if you already saw those pcmcia cards with external cable for extra aerial.
amrein
QUOTE(iamasmith @ Oct 29 2004, 05:46 PM)
I think it's far more interesting to consider replacing the Microdrive with a solid state CF card for extra performance and I'm assuming better battery life especially when we start to see cheap 8Gb cards (or bigger).

Or add a 60 Go hard drive and put all your MP3 on it wink.gif

Well, I would really like to know if battery life could be saved with a CF instead of the HD.
iamasmith
I'm pretty sure that we would save battery life and (I know we are still speculating on it being a MD) solid state has gotta be better R/W performance than a Microdrive.

I know, I made the mistake of doing my first NAND backup to a 1Gb IBM Microdrive on my SL-C860 and it took about 1.5hrs (ouch), doing the same thing with my 512Mb SD card takes about 10 mins (and about 5 mins to restore).

Surely this has GOT to be better....
maybeinterested
Great discussion!

Can't the external cf bay be assigned the home catalog (I don't know myself)? As for the size issue, maybe there is room inside for a standard card, who knows... We'll just have to wait for pictures... Another idea I had though, would be to use something like this:

http://www.wneweb.com/wireless/products/kcc-3.htm

An embedded NIC with coil antenna. Allready smaller than the drive, and with a coil antenna for better performance. Maybe there is an issue with drives though?

If you must, for some reason use an ordinary card, maybe the plastic can be trimmed to fit the space, and/or the card could be tilted a bit.

btw, I found one standard card for external antenna if someone is interested.. Maybe someone wants to add one to improve the range. Don't know about drivers and all that, but here it is anyway:

http://www.artem.de/dyn/epctrl/mod/artem00...pri/artem/lng/1

wink.gif Don't stop this wonderful discussion now!
dhns
QUOTE(maybeinterested @ Oct 29 2004, 08:10 PM)
Can't the external cf bay be assigned the home catalog (I don't know myself)? As for the size issue, maybe there is room inside for a standard card, who knows...

Well,
you could fill the standard CF slot with a 4GByte CF card (if you can afford) and try to replace the HDD with a WiFi card.

Or even better to keep the CF slot available for camera, GPS, GPRS: wait until SanDisk has a new ConnectPlus card with Wifi plus 4GByte flash - but unfortunately there is no Linux driver yet (help still welcome!!!).

I personally would not see enough benefit in doing such replacements just to get rid of a (small) antenna sticking out of the CF slot.

-- hns
amrein
At present, they are only seling 256Mo CF and SD cards:

http://www.sandisk.com/retail/256mb-wifi-sd.asp
http://www.sandisk.com/retail/c-plus-wifi-cf.asp

The good question could be: do the mass storage and the Wifi can work at the same time.
I mean downloading files via Wifi directly into fhe internal card memory...

Note: Bluetooth is still missing...

I saw a review on last iPaq models. They were saying that you could use bluetooth + wifi at the same time without issue. As the Z use the same kind of processor and componants, I guess the same inbuild wifi/bluetooth componants should be available somewhere.
kopsis
QUOTE(iamasmith @ Oct 29 2004, 10:39 AM)
solid state has gotta be better R/W performance than a Microdrive.

Not necessarily. The 4GB Hitachi drives are pretty good (much better than the old 1GB IBMs). Recent benchmarksI ran on my C760 showed very little difference between a microdrive and a Sandisk CF card. In both cases, the CPU in the Zaurus seems to be the limiting factor and not the drive. The C3000 with it's newer CPU may do a bit better, but I still don't think you'll see any performance or power gains by going from the built in microdrive to a large solid state CF card.
kopsis
QUOTE(amrein @ Oct 29 2004, 11:47 AM)
I guess the same inbuild wifi/bluetooth componants should be available somewhere.

These generally are not components--they're chips (or chipsets) that are integrated with the "motherboard" in the device. PDAs are not "modular" like PCs. For the most part, everything that doesn't plug into a card slot is integrated into the motherboard. That's why it's so difficult to upgrade RAM, Flash, etc.

Sharp could certainly design a Zaurus that integrates those chipsets, but they really can't be added on later.
raybert
How was WiFi added to the 6000? I thought I remember reading that it was a daughter board. Could it actually be using the second CF port mentioned in this thread?

~ray
maybeinterested
A couple of pictures of the SL-6000... No text, but maybe somebody understands what the different parts are.

http://zaurus.logix.cz/img/sharpapart01-small.jpg
http://zaurus.logix.cz/img/sharpapart02-small.jpg
skoorb
not a 6000
Violator
wink.gif Sorry Maybeinterested but those pics are from a SL5500 not form a 6000 so no wifi is included anywhere.
tumnus
QUOTE(raybert @ Oct 31 2004, 03:38 PM)
How was WiFi added to the 6000? I thought I remember reading that it was a daughter board. Could it actually be using the second CF port mentioned in this thread?

I think from what I've read so far it is attached to the USB bus. Remember the SL-6000 has a sleeve to add a second CF slot, so that probably takes up the spare slot without requiring extra hardware.

I still think it would be far easier to leave the SL-3000 internals as is and cut down/hack together a WiFi card that fits within the external CF slot.
BarryW
The SL-6000 wifi is a daughterboard. You can't cut down a cf wifi card and expect it to work. There isn't enough unused space on them to remove. I wonder if the drives in these things are like the new ones in the muvo. They have the hard drive controller parts removed. It only works in the muvo now, can't be pulled from it and used in a camera or whatever. I'm just waiting for my 6000's warantie to run out so I can add a better antenna to it.
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