Connection a PCI card to a mini-PCI slot? - diyAudio
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Old 15th March 2010, 04:11 PM   #1
jbop is offline jbop  Sweden
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Default Connection a PCI card to a mini-PCI slot?

Hi there.
I've been as active here on diyaudio as I am doing the dishes so I'm bit embarrased dumping questions without actually contributing, but perhaps I can give someone an exciting idea for a project.

Anyway..
I'm in need of a good sound card with multiple inputs to use with a laptop and there's a BIG gap in price between 2 channels and =<4 channels. I'm therefore starting to explore the prospects of making an adapter from miniPCI in the laptop to regular PCI-cards. Obviously the PCI card won't fit inside the laptop, but that's just a matter of ingenious use of Al plates and a table saw.
The adapter from miniPCI to PCI is another matter.

Has anyone tried this and failed? There's the question of power consumtion of course, but that can be solved with additional wiring.

My question is simple: Can it be done?

I think so, but allthough inventing the wheel again is fun, it's still a waste of time.
So, has anyone tried this?
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Old 15th March 2010, 08:43 PM   #2
gooki is offline gooki  New Zealand
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Not answering your question directly, but have you considered multiple USB sound cards?
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Old 16th March 2010, 12:03 AM   #3
00940 is offline 00940  Belgium
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It exists. It isn't cheap: IM380A (Mini PCI Type III to PCI Adapter Card) [IM380A] - $233.00 : Interface Masters, Inc., Innovative Network Solutions
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Old 16th March 2010, 09:44 AM   #4
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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I was trying to build such adapter. It has been almost finished for many months now but still a few hours to go.

I have custom built a PCB for the miniPCI connector, soldered 80wires IDE cable, and half-way soldered the (hopefully) corresponding wires to a PCI female connector extracted from an old PC motherboard.

I guess I will put the remaining hours into this project, strain my eyes when soldering those numerous tiny wires, and test whether the concept is technically correct. My motivation was to use a linux embedded router equipped with a miniPCI slot to drive a full-fledged PCI soundcard.
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Old 16th March 2010, 03:17 PM   #5
jbop is offline jbop  Sweden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gooki View Post
Not answering your question directly, but have you considered multiple USB sound cards?
Well, I have considered it but it would require that I throw out XP from that computer. Allthough this is a tempting idea for many reasons it's not practical, at least not right now. If it is possible to use multiple USB devices on a proper operating system like Linux that would be an option in the long run.
However. The cost of 4 inputs on one card would be the same as 2x2 inputs on two separate cards. I think.
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Old 16th March 2010, 03:20 PM   #6
jbop is offline jbop  Sweden
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Thank's! That will be my last resort. They seem to have some kind of circuitry on the board. Probably to make timing corrections.
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Old 16th March 2010, 03:23 PM   #7
jbop is offline jbop  Sweden
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Quote:
Originally Posted by phofman View Post
I was trying to build such adapter. It has been almost finished for many months now but still a few hours to go.

I have custom built a PCB for the miniPCI connector, soldered 80wires IDE cable, and half-way soldered the (hopefully) corresponding wires to a PCI female connector extracted from an old PC motherboard.

I guess I will put the remaining hours into this project, strain my eyes when soldering those numerous tiny wires, and test whether the concept is technically correct. My motivation was to use a linux embedded router equipped with a miniPCI slot to drive a full-fledged PCI soundcard.
Sounds like you are half way there and it sounds just like the concept I had in mind.
Have you considered the lower power ratings on the mini PCI compared to the full size PCI?
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Old 16th March 2010, 03:29 PM   #8
phofman is offline phofman  Czech Republic
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jbop View Post
Sounds like you are half way there and it sounds just like the concept I had in mind.
Have you considered the lower power ratings on the mini PCI compared to the full size PCI?
I will supply all +3.3V, +5V, +12V to the PCI socket from an external PSU, probably a standard PC PSU for tests. That was one of the anticipated improvements opposed to sticking the soundcard to a regular PC. I have to check if my card requires -12V, probably not.
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