IBM PCMCIA/A 2 Slot Adapter For Microchannel

This is my take on the IBM PCMCIA/A adapter...some of this (outline, corrections, Littelfuse datasheet) is my work. The rest is "stolen" from Louis Ohland. You can find the original here.

Pictures of my adapter as I received it. Good luck finding one--this is one of the "wild things" for Microchannel-bus equipped computers...

pcmciamc.exe PCMCIA Adapter/A Option v1.0 720K image!
Dos PCMCIA drivers.
PlayAtWill Win 3.1x / Dos utility to install Windows PCMCIA support

(most of the above links don't work right now...sorry!)

PCMCIA /A with Remote 2 Slot
PCMCIA /A with Rear Opening Slots (Maybe Japan only?)
Stinger under Linux Success?
Full WinNT4 Support (commercial)
Half-Assed W95 Support
95 Bezel Hack
More Refined 95 Bezel "Hack"

Adapter Outline:


J1, J2 - 80 pin connectors to remote mounted PCMCIA "drive"
U1 - IBM 34G3547 "Stinger" PCMCIA controller for MCA
U3-U6 Littelfuse 0459001 surface mount fast blow fuse, 1 ampere rating. Datasheet here.
X1 40.0000 MHz

PCMCIA "Drive" 81G4238

Stinger "Drive" 81G4238

Linking this to the PCMCIA/A adapter is an 80 pin IDC cable. (Sorry, Louis, but I counted the pins. There are 80.) Mine is made by Thomas and Betts. Each connector end is identified as a 311-8030. Thomas and Betts did away with their electronic cables division in 2000 by selling it off to Tyco International. Neither company would provide any information on this cable.

Japanese Rear Opening 2 Slot PCMCIA /A

Japanese PCMCIA/A (Image: Tatsuo Sunagawa)
C1-C2: 47uF 16V
C3: 22uF 16V
F1-F4: SOC 1A U1: 34G3547, IBM, 19328E, Japan
U2,3: solder pads
Y1: 57G8386, .KD9248

Curses. This makes my PCMCIA outline look poor. I'll fix it by removing all of Tatsuo's outlines from my site...

OS/2 (?)

If you are using OS/2 version 3, install the ThinkPad 720 PCMCIA drivers... The PS/2 E is an ISA machine... Duh!

NOTE: An OPTIONS BY IBM HARDWARE MAINTENANCE MANUAL SUPPLEMENT (S83G-9902, 83G9902) is available in support of this product.
These adapters come with the brackets required to install them into the special bay in the new IBM systems (6875 and 6885) or a standard 3.5-inch drive bay. Installation in a 5.25-inch drive bay requires the use of a standard 3.5-inch to 5.25-inch drive bay conversion kit (70G8165).

(Ed. The PS/2 E doesn't even use this controller! I don't think this belongs under here!)

Stinger Under Linux Success

> Did anyone ever make a working Stinger driver for Linux?

Heinz Rath wrote:
The Stinger chipset is working under linux! I have tested this with my Thinkpad 720 (MCA Based Laptop which also uses the Stinger chipset). Simply add the do_scan=0 boot parameter for PCMCIA or directly patch one line in kernel.

do_scan=1; into do_scan=0

The 2 sockets are detected and also the inserted Network card is found. Without the do_scan change the kernel will freeze when detecting the chip. The chip is a VD468. (Ed Thought it was the 468 or 469..)

Posted by Landon Sheely
I purchased one of these a while ago for a project I was working on and had it installed in my 8595. It did, indeed, work great under DOS/Win and OS/2 Warp. Problem is that the adaptor uses the "stinger" chipset which is the same as what IBM used in the ThinkPad 720 series. This chipset is unsupported in Win9x and, if memory serves, you can only use the real mode drivers and not have any 32-bit support. Tis a bummer.
Editor's Note: NT 4.0 will not even SEE it.

Full WinNT4 Support

David Ress was stalking the chimera, and bagged it!

I would like to report that I just finished testing my PCMCIA Adapter/A under NT, and it looks like all is well. Looks like CardWare for NT solves our problem. Latest version is 6.00.041, and this version includes the refinements to work with the MCA bus. The download is a trial version that only works for 14 days.

Tested a 3Com EtherLink III LAN PC Card (model 3C589D-TP) and it found it right away. Interesting enough, it provided me with the IO address, IRQ and other information neccessary to install it, including opening the Network control panel. Oh, you need SP6 in order to install CardWare for NT.

I have been experimenting with the CardWare for NT software for the past two nights, and based on the cards I have tried, I can honestly say that if the pcmcia card is on CardWare's list of supported adapters, it will work no problems. If it is not, then it takes a little monkeying.

That said, it appears that New Media GameJammer and WAVJammer appears to be the only sound pcmcia adapter on CardWare's list. Does this mean your card does not work, of course not. My DaqCard-1200 from National Instruments is not listed either. It mounts, but CardWare for NT is not aware of its driver. Just takes some fiddling with the PC Card Database.

For supported adapters, it may simply require the installation of a driver and a reboot - as I found out last night with the Adaptec APA1640 SlimSCSI card (needs sparrow.sys). Funny, for a while I had four SCSI adapters in my 9533. Tall about overkill.

Tested PC Cards
NT Trial Version (link does not work)

Half-Assed W95 Support
From Louis Ohland

Well, I am reporting "success" with the Stinger under W95. I got a mixed result that you all might accept- Install Ezplay. When it complains about not being able to rename config.pcm to config.sys, hit OK. Fire up Exploiter and save c:\ezplay\config.pcm as c:\config.sys
Now open up c:\windows\ios.ini and add "diskdrv.sys" to the area with the rest of the IBM PCMCIA drivers. Reboot.
Results- you will be able to use your hard drives in protected mode. The two PCMCIA slots and your CD Rom will be in compatibility mode. You got to suffer a little bit...
The problem seems to be when IOS tries to issue Int 25 commands to the PCMCIA and CD. The diskdrv.sys is the crux of the matter. Look in IOS.LOG for errors.
I tried must_chain, non_disk, monolithic. I got the same results with just the diskdrv.sys entry, so I just left it that way. I'm not totally sure what this will do with communications and network PC cards. It worked with my 105MB PCMCIA HD. YMMD
95 Bezel Hack

Got tired of the dorky look of a bare B: drive bay. Did some measurements and started cutting. Basically, you cut the bottom of the PCMCIA opening flush with the bottom of the horizontal angle of the blank floppy cover.
Measure 1.5" from the left and right edges of the floppy bezel. Those are the edges of the left and right side of the opening. I am still fighting with the top edge of the opening. .43" was too low. Much easier to cut excess away than put it back....

More Refined 95 Bezel "Hack"

Tom Webster quit doing one arm pushups long enough to type:
Installation on a Model 95 is quite simple. Use a QIC Tape Drive bezel, IBM part number 34F2719 (ASM 34F2721), and add four 0.156 inch high, 0.127 ID, 0.25 (or there abouts) OD spacers, or equivilent stack of number 4 flat washers, between the 'drive' and the skid.
This centers the 'drive' vertically in the bezel opening with ample clearence to insert/remove the PCMCIA cards. NO BEZEL HACKING REQUIRED. (Ed. What fun is that?)

Hardware Installation

I prefer mounting the PCMCIA into the B: drive bay in a 95, but it works just as well in the A: drive bay...

HW - Installation (Adapter and Bay Assembly)
1. Mark the cables as J1 and J2
2. Plug the cable marked J1 into J1 connector on the logic card
3. Plug the cable marked J2 into J2 connector on the logic card
4. Power-off the computer and unplug the power cord
5. Remove the cover (Computer)
6. Plug the logic card into a 16-bit slot
7. Mount the bay card assembly into the external DASD bay
8. Plug the cable marked J1 into J1 connector on the bay card
9. Plug the cable marked J2 into J2 connector on the bay card
10.Verify that cables will not interfere with re-installation of cover.
Re-route the cables if there will be interference.
11.Re-install the cover (Computer)
12.Plug power cords back in the outlets and power-on the computer

Software Installation

Copy the files from the enclosed Micro Channel Options diskette onto the back-up copy of your system reference diskette. Start Update the System Configuration

For All Systems
Having successfully installed this option into the computer, you are now ready to plug PCMCIA cards into it. This adapter allows the hot plugging and removal of PCMCIA cards. Depending on the PCMCIA card that is used, you may be required to install the drivers which were supplied with that card.

Installing the Adapter Device Driver

DOS Driver Installation
1. Install DOS (Disable the PCMCIA drivers, if these have been included in the version of DOS)
2. Insert Option Disk in A:, type A:\UINSTALL and press ENTER
4. Follow the installation instructions shown on the display
5. Select Option 17: Any with INTEL PCIC
Restart the system The Option Driver will install two logical drives (i.e. D and E) for PCMCIA memory cards under DOS. Use the utility EZPLAY.EXE to obtain the PCMCIA cards information (card information structure- CIS) by typing EZPLAY and pressing enter. Some PCMCIA cards such as the PCMIA IR cards need to be enabled by its software first in order to display CIS.

Windows 3.1 Driver Installation (includes DOS installation)
1. Start Windows (Enhanced Mode)
2. Select FILE from the Program Manager Window
3. Select RUN from the pull-down menu
4. Insert Option Disk in A:, type A:\PCMINSTW and press ENTER
5. Select Select any with INTEL PCIC
6. Follow the installation instructions shown on the display
7. Restart system The Option Driver will install two logical drives (i.e. D and E) for PCMCIA memory cards under DOS and Windows. Click on the icon PlayAtWill to obtain PCMCIA card information (card information structure- CIS)
8. The utility DICRMU01.SYS may cause some configuration to run slowly. If slow operation occurs, please edit the CONFIG.SYS file by selecting the file editor and insert REM at the beginning of the line DEVICE=C:\EZPLAY\DICRMU01.SYS

OS/2 2.1 Driver Installation
1. Start OS/2
2. Start Full Screen OS/2
3. Insert Option Disk in A:, type A:\PCMINST2 and press ENTER
4. Select Select any with INTEL PCIC
5. Follow the installation instructions shown on the display
6. Shutdown and Restart the system
7. Click on PlayAtWill icon to obtain PCMCIA card information (card information structure- CIS)

Personal Experience- To install the dual slot adapter under OS/2 v.3, go to OS/2 System, System Setup, Selective Install, click on the button to the left of PCMCIA Support, choose the IBM ThinkPad 720.

Preparing this Adapter for Use
Having successfully installed this option into the computer, you are now ready to plug PCMCIA cards into it. This adapter allows the HOT PLUGGING and REMOVAL of PCMCIA cards Depending on the PCMCIA card that you choose to use, you may be required to install the drivers which were supplied with that card.


Adapter does not operate
1. Confirm logic card is installed correctly in computer's 16-Bit slot.
2. Confirm bay card is installed correctly in a 3.5 or 5.25 Inch bay.
3. Confirm that device drivers and support software have been installed and are operational. You will see a response from these drivers during the power on or re-booting sequence. (Ed. Use F8 during boot to do a step-by-step confirmation under Doze/W95)

PCMCIA card does not operate in a slot
1. Make sure that the card is completely inserted in the slot. There will be an audible beep when the card is properly inserted or removed.
2. Make sure that the device drivers for the PCMCIA card have been installed in this computer.

PCMCIA card does not operate in either port
1. Confirm cables are plugged according to instructions.
2. Confirm bay card is installed in 3.5 or 5.25 Inch bay

Error message Invalid Drive Letter appears.
This may occur if the host computer has assigned drive letters above C: for devices such as a CD ROM, additional hard disk or partitioned hard drives.

Insert the following statement in the CONFIG.SYS before any device driver statements: lastdrive = # where # equals the letter of the last drive in the system. You must include two letters for the adapter and letters for all of the previously configured drives.

DOS Configuration Example




The installation program modifies the DOS CONFIG.SYS file to include the appropriate DEVICE statements in the following order.

DEVICE=x The letter x specifies the Socket Services already installed on the computer.
DEVICE=y The letter x specifies the Socket Services already installed on the computer.
DEVICE=[drive:][path] PCMATADD.SYS /baseslot=n /stbtime=n
[drive:][path] The parameters [drive:][path] specify the location of the device driver file.

/baseslot=n This option sets the base slot address, where n specifies whether the address begins at (0) or (1). The default is 1. Set this switch to 0 only if you have a problem addressing the slots. If a value other than 0 or 1 is specified, this switch is ignored and the default setting is restored.

/stbtime=n This option enables the standby mode, where n specifies the number of minutes that will elapse before the card goes to standby mode. The minimum value is 5 minutes, the maximum is 20 minutes. If a value greater than 20 is specified, this switch is ignored. All sockets are effected when you set this switch. (This feature does not support solid state cards.)

OS/2 CONFIG.SYS file sequence
The installation program places the appropriate device statements in the OS/2 CONFIG.SYS file. They MUST appear in the following order.

DEVICE=C:\OS2\xxxxxx.SYS (the Card Services statement)
DEVICE=C:\OS2\xxxxxxxx.SYS (the Socket Services statement)
BASEDEV=OS2PCARD.DMD (Note... Card and Socket Services are not supplied with this option)

switch options for the main device driver
BASEDEV=PCM2ATA.ADD [/s:n] [/i:m] [/stbtime:n] [/b] where:

/s:n This option recognizes the PCMCIA sockets, where n specifies the number of physical PCMCIA sockets available. The default is 2 sockets, the maximum is 4 sockets.

/i:m This option ignores specific PCMCIA sockets, where m specifies the logical socket number to be ignored. Multiple settings are allowed. This feature is useful when a Type III card physically occupies two sockets.
BASEDEV=PCM2ATA.ADD /i:1 (First socket is ignored)
BASEDEV=PCM2ATA.ADD /s:4 /i:2 /i:3 (Second and third sockets are ignored)

/stbtime:n This option enables the standby mode. (Same as described above for DOS stbtime option)

/b This option specifies the OS/2 operating system to start (boot) from the PCMCIA-ATA card. If you specify this option, then PCMCIA.ADD module decreases the number of sockets specified by the /s switch because the startup PCMCIA-ATA card is treated as an internal IDE hard disk, not a PCMCIA-ATA card. When the OS/2 operating system starts (boots) from the PCMCIA-ATA card, if you use the /s:4 option w/o the /b option, the disk assigned to the last drive-letter will not be assigned to any physical socket. (To make this PC Card a bootable PC Card, see the documentation that came with the OS/2 operating system.)

Notes About the /b Option
1. Do not ignore the computer startup socket by the /i option when you use the /b option. Because the PCM2ATA.ADD module cannot examine whether or not the socket can start the operating system, the PCM2ATA.ADD module decreases the number of supported sockets by the /b option and subtracts the number of sockets to be ignored. For example, when you add the /s:4 /b /i:2 options to the PCM2ATA.ADD module, and the OS/2 operating system is started from socket 2, the PCM2ATA.ADD module can manage only two sockets. Sockets 1 and 3 are assigned and socket 4 is ignored.
2. This switch option applies only to the CONFIG.SYS file residing on the PC Card. Do not specify this option on the CONFIG.SYS file that resides on the internal hard disk drive.
3. If you started (booted) from the PC Card, do not remove the card until you shut down the operating system.


There are three types of PCMCIA cards, arraigned by size. The function of each type is only restricted by its size.
Type I -3.3mm thick SRAM or EEPROM memory cards.
Type II -5.0mm thick cards that allow more complex functions than the Type I cards. Type II PCMCIA cards include SCSI adapters, sound cards, modems, network adapters, and interface cards for external devices
Type III -10.5mm thick cards that are most often hard drives.

Software Drivers:
There are several layers of software drivers that allow the PCMCIA card and slot to function with the computer. These software drivers allow the applications and user to make use of the PCMCIA hardware. Which drivers are needed depends on the card, and the drivers used.

Card Services
Card Services works with the operating system to allocates memory, interrupts and other system resources to the card and drivers.
PCMCS.EXE Phoenix DOS Card Services
IBMDOSCS.SYS Yamato (IBM) DOS Card Services
PCMCIA.SYS OS/2 2.1 Card Services

Socket Services
Socket Services provides a low level interface for the socket hardware. Socket Services accepts configuration information from Card Services, and reads low level card configuration data from the PCMCIA card.
PCMSS Phoenix Socket Services
IBMDSS01.SYS Yamato (IBM) AT bus DOS Socket Services
IBMDSS02.SYS Yamato (IBM) MCA Socket Services
IBM2SS01.SYS Yamato (IBM) AT bus OS/2 Socket Services

Client and Super Client Enablers
Client Enablers can configure one specific card for use as a standard peripheral device. A Client Enabler is specific to the card it is written for, and works the same as a driver for that device. Super Client Enablers have the ability to recognize and configure a wider range of cards (two or more).
ESTDFM.EXE IBM Modem Client Enabler
MEGAHZ.EXE Megahertz modem Client Enabler
PCMSCD.EXE Phoenix Super Client Driver
AUTODRV.SYS Yamato Super Client Driver

Point Enablers

Point Enablers bypass Socket and (or) Card services and function as a Client Enabler. Point Enablers can save memory if one is available for the card, and matches the socket controller. Point Enablers will usually not work with each other, or other PCMCIA drivers. (There are no universal Point Enablers! Each is designed for a specific card, and must be provided by the manufacturer.)

Other Drivers

Some sets of PCMCIA drivers have additional drivers or utilities that take care of one part or another of the complete job. Some PCMCIA drivers, like the IBM-Yamato drivers, require POWER.EXE to be loaded before any of the PCMCIA drivers. The IBM drivers also have a Resource Map Utility that lets you tell the drivers which part of the excluded memory to use;
DICRMU01.SYS ISA Resource Map Utility (IBM)
DICRMU02.SYS MCA Resource Map Utility (IBM)

"Universal" PCMCIA Drivers
ThinkPad 350, 360, 510, 720, 750, 755, and PS/Note 425 all have compatible hardware. These models can use the Yamato PCMCIA drivers with EasyPlay. The file TPPCMCIA.EXE, will create an install disk for the Yamato drivers and EasyPlay. The file can be downloaded from the Internet.

Card Memory Requirements

PCMCIA Card Services requires 4K to load and function. Some PCMCIA cards will not make any other requirements, but some do. Modems and most memory cards do not need any more memory. The memory that is needed has to be set aside in the CONFIG.SYS file. To exclude 4K for Card Services, the EMM386 line may look like this:
For a system with an IBM Ethernet PCMCIA adapter, 16K needs to be set aside;
The exclude range will need to be increased if a PCMCIA card is installed that needs more memory reserved for it. Here are some of the common memory requirements that would need to be added to
Card Services 4K;
IBM Token Ring card 16K RAM + 8K ROM = 24K
IBM Ethernet = 16K
IBM 3270 card = 8K

Table of Host Controllers

Thinkpad Controller
310 TIPCI1131
340 Ricoh RF5C2661
350 Intel 82365SL
355 Ricoh RF5C266
360 Ricoh RF5C366
365C/E Ricoh RF5C596
365X Ricoh RF5C366L
370C Ricoh RF5C366L
380-385 D/E/ED Cirrus CL-PD6729
380-385 X/XD/Z TIPCI 1250A (Cardbus)
390 TIPCI 1250A (Cardbus)
500 Intel 82365SL
510 Ricoh RF5C366
560/E Cirrus CLPD6729
560 X/Z TIPCI 1250A (Cardbus)
600 TIPCI 1250A
600E TIPCI 1251 (Cardbus)
701 Cirrus CLPD6729
720 IBM "Stinger" MCA
710T-TPF Intel 82365SL (x2)
710T-HDD Intel 82365SL
730T Cirrus CLPD6720
750 Intel 82365SL
755C/CS Ricoh RF5C266 (x2)
755CD/CE/CSE/CV/CX IBM "Zipang" (x3)
760C/CD/L/LD IBM "Zipang"
760E/ED/EL/ELD/X/XD TI CardBus PCI 1130
765 D/L TI CardBus PCI 1130
770 TIPCI 1250 (CardBus)
770E/X TIPCI 1250
770Z TIPCI 1251 (CardBus)
1400 o2micro 6833
1720 TIPCI 1250A (CardBus)

Ricoh RF5C266 -- 1 SlotController
Rev. A can't use C0000 or D0000, Rev.B, C(Current)no restriction
Ricoh RF5C366 -- 2 Slot Controller
Rev. A can't use C0000 or D0000, Rev.B,C(current) no restrictions
Ricoh RF5C366L-- Low Profile version of RF5C366 silicon same as RF5C366Rev. C