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External PCI Box for Laptops?

Cliff posted more than 9 years ago | from the screw-PCMCIA dept.

Portables 82

cagem0nkey asks: "I am in need of some type of external PCI card box for use with a laptop. I was able to find several different solutions, but these were all WAY to expensive for my wallet (at around $1,000 ea for one PCI slot!). Does anyone know of a cheaper way to add PCI card capability to a laptop? Possibly a USB or Firewire external enclosure?"

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82 comments

sorry but.. (3, Informative)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270233)

it's exotic, it's not simple - it's expensive.

tried to think about how to get around the problem in some other ways, build a mini-itx computer or something similar?

Not necessarily (1)

marcus (1916) | more than 9 years ago | (#11275130)

The cheapest way I can think of to do this is with a host-to-host SCSI link. It should be doable with 1394 as well, but I have no data there, only theory. The second host can be as big or small, expensive or cheap as he desires. All he needs is a SCSI card for his laptop. He could even use some old(AKA free) PC to host the PCI bus.

Does he know how to write code or does he need a plug-n-play solution?

Re:Not necessarily (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11283653)

probably plug'n'play.. but alas, we don't even know what he's trying to achieve even..

cardbus (4, Informative)

claudius0425 (679268) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270248)

I am unaware of the existance of such a thing, but it would be MUCH, MUCH simpler to implement as a cardbus device, as cardbus is a pure superset of PCI, whilst USB and 1394 are entirely different protocols (with lower bandwidths, at that).

It could be implemented as a cardbus card which just pulls the wires out to a PCI connector. Not pretty, but perfectly effective.

Re:cardbus (2)

paulius_g (808556) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270358)

Well... The external PCI slot connectors shown in this original article do function via cardbus (same as PCMCIA, right? If not, correct me)

Those things would cost less if it would be that simple.

Re:cardbus (2, Interesting)

reverius (471142) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270797)

not quite the same thing, but the cards are the same size, with the same plug, and most laptops allow cardbus and pcmcia in the same slot.

pcmcia is older, and is basically ISA

cardbus is newer, and is (as described) a superset of PCI with more bandwidth than pcmcia (afaik).

Re:cardbus (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284062)

Uh, the simplicity of the device does not determine the price by any means, except to occasionally make something more expensive. The price is determined by what people are willing to pay crossed by what someone is willing to sell it for. The former is largely determined by the overall demand and the utility of the device, while the latter is a function of greed and cost of production. The complexity is only a portion of that final consideration.

Anyway there were Zorro II expansion boxes for the Amiga 1200, which plugged into a non-cardbus PCMCIA slot. An entire case with ZII slots that connected into the A1200 could be had when new and can still be had for significantly less than $1000, so there is no excuse for Cardbus (basically a small hotswappable PCI) to PCI device to cost that much except for greed, which is if not lauded then at least vigorously protected under a system of capitalism.

Re:cardbus (1)

HeghmoH (13204) | more than 9 years ago | (#11286462)

If you think the price isn't justified, why don't you start manufacturing your own expansion boxes and undercut them?

Or maybe you think the government should step in and set prices for these things? I can certainly see that working out real well.

Re:cardbus (0)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11290170)

I think going from nothing to making those boxes would probably require some intermediate steps. Your second sentence came out of the wromg orifice and as such does not deserve a dignified response. Your third is predicated upon the second, proving that you are an asshat. Good day.

Re:cardbus (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11303330)

Pwnt!!!

Good job there!

Re:cardbus (1)

arkulkis (728025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11304392)

Translation: I, drinkypoo, think that the free market should be replaced by an expansion of the military's procurement system.

Re:cardbus (1)

liquidzero4 (566264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270691)

I agree with you 100%. Your a sharp guy. You are 100% correct. That is the only way to do it for the exact reasons that you mentioned. I have actually seen one but do not remeber who made it. The box that I saw was PCI to Cardbus PCMCIA. It would have been used to house a processor card for a high speed 4000 fps camera.

Re:cardbus (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11271980)

I agree with you 100%. Your a sharp guy. You are 100% correct.

Why don't you give him a blow-job while you're at it?

Interesting.. (0, Redundant)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270272)

Object not found!

The requested URL was not found on this server. If you entered the URL manually please check your spelling and try again.

If you think this is a server error, please contact the webmaster

Error 404

www.themis.com
Wed Jan 05 15:12:01 2005
Apache/2.0.35 (Unix)

Dell Latitude (4, Informative)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270282)

I have a Latitude C640 (thank you work place!)
and I have a dock station this thing [pangolin.com] , I think. In class right now, but its pretty darned close.

The dock has 2 pci slots, so I plugged in a radeon 7000 card and so I can run 3 displays (2 crt, laptop LCD).

If you have an insp laptop, it is possible to modify it (and flash with a latitude bios) so that it will work with a latitude dock station.

Note: the latitude c640 requires a 70 watt power supply, but with the dock it demands a 90 watt power supply. I don't have a 90 watt, so it works with the 70 watt, running the cpu at 1.2 gig instead of 2.4 gig. Doesn't matter for me because my work requires me to do simple graphical and text. No fancy graphics, etc.

Grump.

Re:Dell Latitude (0, Troll)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270821)

You don't measure processor speed in "gigs"

Unless you happen to work at Radio Shack or Best Buy, if that's the case you are excused for being half retarded.

Re:Dell Latitude (1)

nocomment (239368) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270862)

I wonder who was the first person to say "You don't measure RAM in Megs!".

Re:Dell Latitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11271436)

Probably billg. "640KB ought to be enough for anybody!" (to resuscitate a false rumour...)

Re:Dell Latitude (2)

Sancho (17056) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270864)

Why is it ok to measure hard drives in "gigs" but not processor speed? It's an abbreviation/slang for giga, meaning 1 billion.

It's because 'hertz' is never plural. (1)

infernow (529374) | more than 9 years ago | (#11273424)

My reasoning as to why this is is as follows:
The Hertz is the SI unit of frequency, and is equivalent to using the phrase "cycle(s) per second". Since the phrase always ends with "per second" (which is singular), the unit representing the phrase is always singular.

The byte can become plural, so its abbreviation can be as well.

(Of course, if $PREFIX="kilo", the abbreviation is always singular 'K')

Mod up, Grammar God (1)

jspoon (585173) | more than 9 years ago | (#11296733)

This is the best explanation of something so picky that I've ever heard. I salute you.

Re:It's because 'hertz' is never plural. (1)

arkulkis (728025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11304420)

Hertz is not *grammatically* equivalent to "cycles/second" Therefore, your anal-retentive mewling fails your own standards of pickiness. Since the phrase "X Hertz" does NOT end in "per second" (it ends in "Hertz!" you ninny), your entire so-called analysis is rediculous.

Re:Dell Latitude (1)

dubl-u (51156) | more than 9 years ago | (#11275372)

Why is it ok to measure hard drives in "gigs" but not processor speed? It's an abbreviation/slang for giga, meaning 1 billion.

Because we didn't say "megs" for older processors.

For something to be slang, lots of people have say it.

Re:Dell Latitude (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11271221)

You don't measure processor speed in "gigs"

Mod parent flamebait/anal-retentive.
Anybody reading the original comment would know that "gig" referred to Gigahertz rather than Gigabytes

Re:Dell Latitude (2, Funny)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11271762)

Oh, I understood him, it just rubs me the wrong way when I'm in RS or BB and I hear this week's clueless employee tell some nice old lady that this laptop has 2 gigs of processor and 40 gigahertz of hard drive.

Some may think I'm making that up, but I shit you not, that's what the kid said.

Re:Dell Latitude (1)

ian2000611 (846854) | more than 9 years ago | (#11273184)

It should never be that it has 2 gigs of processor and 40 gigs of hard drive. It should never have any ___ of processor. This is not how to express the speed of something. Would you say I was drive 2 miles of hour??? It should never be 40 gigs of hard drive either. The following are all valid: a 2 gig processor a 900 meg processor 20 gigs of hard drive space a 20 gig hard drive 900 megs of processor speed I do understand that BB and RS employees should never be allowed to abreaviate anything because if your lucky 1% of all of them combined will do so correctly.

Re:Dell Latitude (1)

WhatAmIDoingHere (742870) | more than 9 years ago | (#11275231)

You may not think so, and five other people posting here may not think so, but when you say "2 gig processor, 900 meg processor" you sound like a complete idiot.

How the english language has evolved in relation to tech terms is that "gig" and "meg" refer to storage mediums, and you report the speed of the processor as "mhz" or "ghz"

Unless you're thinking outside the box, and in that case.. get back inside, it's cold out.

Re:Dell Latitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11283702)

Amen. "2 gig processor" indeed.

Re:Dell Latitude (1)

ian2000611 (846854) | more than 9 years ago | (#11302130)

Excuse me, I should have been more clear. I was refering to how people abreaviate those terms when they speak. When written those terms are abreaviated mhz and ghz. I would like to hear you say "mhz", with out saying "megahertz".

Re:Dell Latitude (1)

Ohreally_factor (593551) | more than 9 years ago | (#11303339)

muHUZ

mehiz

emmmmmshz

=)

This retarded moment brought to you by the O'Really Factor.

Re:Dell Latitude (1)

arkulkis (728025) | more than 9 years ago | (#11304442)

How the english language has evolved in relation to tech terms is that "gig" and "meg" refer to storage mediums
Well, maybe to small-minded people such as yourself, but the educated segment of society understands that those are just stems of the Greek numerical prefixes, and that in themselves imply NO particular type of unit at all (the unit type is defined by context). Of course, saying 2 gig *of* processer sounds rediculous, because you wouldn't say "2 gigahertz of ____" for anything (unless you're a clueless RS or BB salesdroid).

Re:Dell Latitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11280616)

Software dipsticks can make up whatever rules they want to for themselves, like K = 1024, just don't try to impose your stupidity on other people, OK? I've been using "megs" and "gigs" to refer to megahertz and gigahertz since you were in diapers, and so have many other ham radio operators.

Re:Dell Latitude (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11283470)

I also understand that commas make reading posts much easier. Too bad you forgot about that. Alan out

Re:Dell Latitude (1)

Wolfrider (856) | more than 9 years ago | (#11276061)

--I have a Dell Latitude CP (P166) that also has a 2-PCI-slot dock. Works in both Linux and Windoze. Bought the laptop a few years ago for ~$200; the docking station was on Ebay for less than $50 but I had to move quick 'cuz I lost the 1st one I bid on.

Also have a P166 Toshiba Tecra 520CDT with 3-slot PCI/ISA docking station, but the dock only works in Win98 and not Linux. (For the curious, I did try contacting a kernel developer about 1 1/2 years ago but he never got back to me. Appears to be a broken bridge driver.)

Neither of these are currently for sale by me; but you should be able to find them elsewhere for cheap.

Usage? (3, Informative)

Komarosu (538875) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270304)

Depends what your using them for!

If its a simple SCSI interface, network card / fiber interface, or summat pritty standard you could probably spend the dollars on a USB/Firewire bit of kit. If your using something really specialised (special render cards) then your probably better getting a desktop and spended the extra money on sync software.

Only laptop i know of that supports some PCI is Dell laptops which had 2 PCI slots on a riser card in a docking station.

Re:Usage? (2, Informative)

technos (73414) | more than 9 years ago | (#11272916)

IBM does too! [ibm.com]

It was pretty nice for running PCI development boards on the road.

And Why Do you NEED a PCI slot? (2)

bluedream (676879) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270407)

Cardbus is the PCI standard miniaturized for laptops. Sounds like your trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. -- Open Source Operating System for North America (http://www.technocracy.org)

Re:And Why Do you NEED a PCI slot? (4, Insightful)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270523)

Not if the hardware he's trying to use comes in PCI and not Cardbus. In that case, it doesn't help him that Cardbus is a kind of PCI. Still, it would help if we knew why he needed PCI in the first place.

That's the problem with a lot of Ask Slashdots: people focus on the technology they want to use, rather than the task they're trying to use it for. Cliff really ought to bounce back stories like this with the request that they fill in such details.

Re:And Why Do you NEED a PCI slot? (1)

LarryRiedel (141315) | more than 9 years ago | (#11271974)

That's the problem with a lot of Ask Slashdots: people focus on the technology they want to use, rather than the task they're trying to use it for. Cliff really ought to bounce back stories like this with the request that they fill in such details.

A problem I have with a lot of Ask Slashdots is that even though a simple straightforward question is asked, readers are not satisfied to simply either answer the question that was asked, or not post a reply, but instead insist on a either answering a different question, or berating the person who asked the question.

I think the question in this Ask Slashdot is fine as it is-- it is clear what is asked, and it is a reasonable thing to inquire about. If readers do not find the question interesting and/or do not know the answer, they can feel free to move on and leave it alone.

Larry

Re:And Why Do you NEED a PCI slot? (3, Insightful)

Alereon (660683) | more than 9 years ago | (#11272048)

A problem I have with a lot of Ask Slashdots is that even though a simple straightforward question is asked, readers are not satisfied to simply either answer the question that was asked, or not post a reply, but instead insist on a either answering a different question, or berating the person who asked the question.

Simply answering someone's questions is a very poor way to help them do what they want to do. In this case, I suspect that the original questioner MEANT something like "what is the cheapest, most portable, and easiest way to do foo." By telling us what foo is, we can come up with a better solution than they had even thought of.

For example, think of someone asking how to run a long run of CAT6 accross a highway in a safe, secure, and weather-proof manner. Rather than offering them methods of running CAT6 in this manner, suggesting that they instead use wifi and directional antennae would better meet their needs.

In the case where the original questioner DOES have the best solution in mind and just needs implementation advice, explaining the situation helps us know that they HAVE done their homework.

Re:And Why Do you NEED a PCI slot? (1)

Keen Anthony (762006) | more than 9 years ago | (#11273521)

I agree, but I could certainly use a device like the one he's hoping for. I do a lot of video processing from a laptop. The video capture components market is pretty small to begin with, and the video capture market for laptops is a niche within a niche. It would be nice to be able to throw in the latest greatest PCI tuner card into a box the size of a typical external IDE case, then use it with my laptop.

Re:And Why Do you NEED a PCI slot? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11289666)

Do what I do and get a Dazzle 150. It connects via USB2.0 and will do 720 x 576 (DVD) resolution.It will also connect to a USB1 port, but will not do DVD-quality.

USB too "slow"? Use the ADS tech PYRO AV. It captures from almost any video source and converts it to DV/FireWire.

Both of these products are under $200, and you probably already have the interfaces on your laptop for them.

Re:And Why Do you NEED a PCI slot? (1)

Keen Anthony (762006) | more than 9 years ago | (#11295114)

Thanks for the suggestion. I prefer the DAC-100 over any consumer grade capture box though... but my point was that the market for laptop-based video editing is pretty small. There's just a limited number of items from a limited number of companies, and each product really lacks one or two things that video editors regard as necessary. The PCI market faires much better, so it would be nice to use a device like the original article mention in conjunction with a PCI-based tuner... more options at an insane price.

Re:And Why Do you NEED a PCI slot? (1)

fm6 (162816) | more than 9 years ago | (#11273258)

A problem I have with a lot of Ask Slashdots is that even though a simple straightforward question is asked, readers are not satisfied to simply either answer the question that was asked, or not post a reply, but instead insist on a either answering a different question ...
There are plenty of places people can go with simple technical questions: Usenet, discussion web sites, Yahoo groups. Slashdot pretends to be more than that, with editors who are supposed to filter out the low-interest items and promote discussions that are interesting to a lot of people, not just a few people who want a specific technical question answered.
... or berating the person who asked the question.
I wasn't berating the person who asked the question. I was berating the editor who couldn't be bothered to work with the submitter to put the question in a form that would promote a useful and interesting discussion. I'm also irritated by some of the purely lame newbie questions I see in Ask Slashdot -- but again, that's not the fault of the submitter, that's the fault of the editor, who's supposed to exercise some kind of judgment as to the stories he accepts.

Re:And Why Do you NEED a PCI slot? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11280361)

A software developer explained, "When someone wants a 6mm drill, they don't actually want a 6mm drill. What they want is a 6mm hole in the wall".

The point being that presumably the poster doesn't neccesarily want to plug a PCI card into a laptop. He simply wants some of the capabilities of a specific PCI card, and some of the capabilities of a laptop. If its posted to Ask Slashdot, people will try to think outside the box, and try to solve the actual overall problem rather than the immediate problem.

Does it HAVE to be PCI Bus? (0, Redundant)

deemaunik (699970) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270489)

Why not just find a USB substitute for the device? They exist for 98% of hardware.

Re:Does it HAVE to be PCI Bus? (2, Interesting)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11272460)

http://www.newtek.com/ [newtek.com] -- look at their VT[4] (Video Toaster NT 4) -- tell me how to get that in USB form, heck, tell me how to get that data throughput in USB form
Gigabit LAN (please correct me if I'm wrong on this one, I'd love one, but I don't think USB can handle it)
TRUE Parallel Port -- Not just ECP, not just IEEE 1284, but TRUE PC Parallel, 8 data lines each way
Video Card
Professional Sound Card (like the Lynx-One)

Re:Does it HAVE to be PCI Bus? (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11274068)

none of which you should really have to use in a laptop..

and most which are not so cheap that buying a 1k extra pci card would _really_ matter.

Re:Does it HAVE to be PCI Bus? (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284455)

Parallel PCMCIA cards are $150, PCI cards are $25~45 PCI Video cards anywhere from $10+ Gigabit LAN PCI card - $35~40

$1000?!?!??!?! (3, Insightful)

m0rph3us0 (549631) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270552)

If the project is important enough to warrant an external PCI card surely it is worth $1000 to buy an adapter? You've probably wasted more money by waiting for /. to respond. On /. everyone wants 100K / year in order to work but doesn't think anyone elses time is worth more then $2.50 / hour. I know this may confuse some /. readers but time is worth money, at least, my time is worth money.

Re:$1000?!?!??!?! (2, Insightful)

GigsVT (208848) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270603)

What kind of crazy logic is that? If your time is so valuable, why did you click through the story, and spend the time to post a rant about it?

Re:$1000?!?!??!?! (4, Funny)

hords (619030) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270826)

If your time is so valuable, why did you click through the story, and spend the time to post a rant about it?

Because he's at work getting paid to do it. ;)

Re:$1000?!?!??!?! (1, Funny)

FinestLittleSpace (719663) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270834)

hahahahahahahhahaaaa you're assuming some kind of alter-wierdo ego, right?

right?

Re:$1000?!?!??!?! (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11271150)

" If the project is important enough to warrant an external PCI card surely it is worth $1000 to buy an adapter?"

Uh...no? Especially not if there's a $200 solution, which is what he's asking. Also, he never said "a project".

Re:$1000?!?!??!?! (1)

LordOfYourPants (145342) | more than 9 years ago | (#11271527)

If the project is important enough to warrant an external PCI card surely it is worth $1000 to buy an adapter?

I'm guessing you work for the government as a budget advisor.

Re:$1000?!?!??!?! (2, Insightful)

Detritus (11846) | more than 9 years ago | (#11284275)

The government would waste hundreds of man-hours in committee meetings discussing the problem and looking for a solution, rather than spend $1000 to solve the problem. This also holds true for many corporations.

anyone try this on a powerbook? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11270575)

I have wanted one for a while, but was curious about driver issues..

Luchbox... (2, Informative)

harrkev (623093) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270706)

You might also want to consider a lunchbox PC. These generally have a few PCI slots built-in. They are also likely to be smaller than having a separate laptop and PCI box. And this IS a comodity item (more or less). Even though the market for these is small, it is larger than a separate PCI box. This should keep the price down.

Here are some random sites which were the first hits off of Google using "Lunchbox Computer":

http://www.lunchboxcomputers.com/
http://www.th eportablepc.com/portable.htm
http://www.stealthco mputer.com/portables.htm

Ammo Box PC.. (1)

xtal (49134) | more than 9 years ago | (#11299969)

A contract I was working on put me in a similar problem to the poster; I needed a portable way to get a machine with a PCI port.

I put a mini-ITX machine together in an ammo box after reading an article somewhere on the web. You can cram everything in there, and it is very durable. The total cost of the project was under $400 CDN.

Rather than carry a screen around, I installed a VFD display on the front of the case to tell me that the system was ready for use. You could do this with a simple LED connected to the parallel port, too, or any variant of the above.

Then I connect via VNC to the box from my powerbook. Problem solved. The update speed is marginal, so I'll probably be installing windows XP to get the remote desktop functionality. I wish the application allowed me to run X11, but unfortunately it doesn't.

Why not a desktop PC? (2, Informative)

complete loony (663508) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270734)

Why not put together a small desktop just for this card. I'll be cheaper than $1000 and probably more useful. It could have lots of connectivity options like ethernet. It can run the supplied hardware drivers (which could be doubtful for an external enclosure).

Best Bet (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11270735)

Buy the 13-slot for $1900 and return 12 of them for a return of around $1753. Then, you'd have one slot for around $147

::avoids tomatoes::

in two words (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11270757)

docking station ... sigh

What is this PCI device? (2, Insightful)

kosmosik (654958) | more than 9 years ago | (#11270866)

* It has to be portable?

* You are certainly sure that you need to plug it directly in your notebook?

I mean if yes than you are focused on bandwith from/to this device, but you've mentioned about firewire and USB - they do not have awfully big bandwith as PCI so this would be a bottleneck...

IMHO for $1000 you surely can get equivalent of PCI device (what is this device?) on either USB, firewire or PCMCIA. If not you can get small case (mATX?) with two PCI slots as external device and export this PCI device via network (you surely can get it below $1000 including entire small PC system and Gb ethernet conectivity)...

Funny you should ask... (1)

yorgasor (109984) | more than 9 years ago | (#11271017)

I'm selling [ebay.com] a much cheaper solution with 2 PCI slots on Ebay right now. If you're interested, I also have an extra docking station available.

Re:Funny you should ask... (1)

gl4ss (559668) | more than 9 years ago | (#11271697)

but if a docking station would fit the need, surely any old pc with pci slots would fit the bill too?

One MiniPCI into multiple slots? (2, Informative)

dstone (191334) | more than 9 years ago | (#11271121)

I don't claim to be an expert in PCI or MiniPCI, but any notebook I've seen comes with a MiniPCI slot, and since I -think- MiniPCI is a "bus" in the true sense of the word, can this simply become a (carefully designed) cabling & connector problem? ie, extend your MiniPCI bus out into several MiniPCI (or ideally even PCI) slots?

Just thinking out loud.

Re:One MiniPCI into multiple slots? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11271457)

So what. Cardbus (eg. all those PCMCIA slots) is a type of PCI also and there are a crapload more laptops with that than mini-PCI.

But this discussion is pointless, mini-pCI, cardbus, whatever won't fit a standard PCI card (power requirements are different, etc.).

Just buy a docking station or use a regular small computer. There are tons of SFF cases out there that will make computers almost as small as a laptop plus have PCI and AGP slots even.

Re:One MiniPCI into multiple slots? (1)

ColaMan (37550) | more than 9 years ago | (#11274351)

I used to hack webplayers, and there was this one guy who got the PCI and Mini-PCI pinouts, and got soldering, with little jumper wires between Mini-PCI slot and PCI card. Although it *looked* like a dog's breakfast, it rather amazingly did seem to (almost!!) work. There were details of it on the net once... aha, bless you archive.org, here it is [archive.org]

But surely *someone* sells the proper mini-pci-to-PCI-via-a-ribbon-cable type adaptor?

It's probably easier to just go buy a cheap-o desktop PC and an inverter to suit.

Magma (1)

tang (179356) | more than 9 years ago | (#11271136)

http://www.mobl.com/expansion/pci/index.html
It looks like you've marked this one as too expensive. I thought they were around $500. Still pricey , I agree. I have used the single PCI version under linux (need 2.6.5 kernel or higher for some PCI cards), for cards that only need prefetch memory and under 4M ( I think) It will work with 2.4 kernels. Support under Windows is also good. Will be using it under mac soon as well.

i've seen one of these in use with a Tibook... (3, Informative)

capsteve (4595) | more than 9 years ago | (#11272511)

for interfacing a commercial grade digital camera back to the mac for previewing, capturing, and "developing" captured images. it was basically an custom scsi card built specifically for that brand cameraback. it looked very much like the 2 slot solution from magma(posted elsewhere in this thread). the photographer who owned the unit chose this paticular model to hook into a powerbook via the pc-card slot for portability sake, versus going with the stright pci card in a standalone g4. he was going to various locations, so the portability of a laptop and a pci box seemed attractive. the problem is, with most of the work he was doing, and all the crap he was shleping around, he would have been better off with the g4 tower... more horsepower, more RAM, more disk space. he traded a lot for portability's sake(and wasn't too happy with the final results. it turned out to be barely adequate).

you don't really say what this mysterious pci extension box is for, other than the fact that it'll hook up to a laptop. try to be a little more descriptive in your needs assesment and application before asking next time... a more descriptive scenario/needs assesment might have produced some creative esponses from this audience. instead, your vague question only brings more questions to my mind...

consider what your environ will be: will you have access to a power outlet? will you ever need to change or replace pci cards? how much are replacement parts for the pci expansion box? are there software requirments for the host computer in order to use the expansion box? would a stand alone computer be a better choice? is this really a true need, or is it a status object? can the solution be reached another way?

in the final analysis, the fact is you'll need additional power for the expansion box, and the expansion box is bulky enough to require it's own transporting container, you're gonna be lugging this whole thing in something bigger that a laptop bag. it not like you'll be using you laptop with expansion box off of battery power. maybe a SFF computer and a 15" lcd display would be a better option.

Re:i've seen one of these in use with a Tibook... (1)

tonsofpcs (687961) | more than 9 years ago | (#11272583)

"it not like you'll be using you laptop with expansion box off of battery power" Seen it done. It was cool, guy had a video edit system with the interface in one of the 2-card-high cases, and I think he had a hard disk in there too (with SCSI controller)

IBM Thinkpads are easy. (1)

compwizrd (166184) | more than 9 years ago | (#11272708)

Easy on a thinkpad: Buy the high end dock.. you can get them for about 30-40 dollars on ebay.. and it has a PCI slot built in.

course, now you have to cart that around...

My old omnibook 5500/5700's had docking stations with pci/isa slots as well.

isnt there (1)

drfrog (145882) | more than 9 years ago | (#11273114)

firewire based pci break out boxes?

Why do you need a laptop? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11273867)

It its just portability you need, an ITX case should solve the problem. Some cases even have carrying handles.

Re:Why do you need a laptop? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11274098)

See, he needs an external PCI case for a laptop. An ITX system would supply the external PCI case but it wouldn't be a laptop. Your suggestion is useless here.

It's like you asking me what movie to watch tonight and I tell you to read a book because it's just as good.

Re:Why do you need a laptop? (1)

91degrees (207121) | more than 9 years ago | (#11274205)

He doesn't say what it's for. He may simply be using a laptop because he needs something portable. Or maybe he has other reasons. If the suggestion is useless it can be ignored.

It's like you asking me what movie to watch tonight and I tell you to read a book because it's just as good.

Likewise, with this suggestion, I might consider it a viable alternative. If I simply want to be entertained, the fact that I can buy a good book for the cost of a video rental may not have occurred to me.

UGH? Docking Station (3, Informative)

haplo21112 (184264) | more than 9 years ago | (#11274844)

Most Laptop makers offer at least one model of Docking station that adds these capabilities to the system. The One I am using right now has 2 PCI slots(one of which I have populated with a second old video card to give me a second Monitor), a 50 Mini SCSI(Burner, HP scanner), firewire, USB(Mouse), PS2 connectors for mouse and Keyboard, Drive bay, serial, Printer Port, sound plugs and Network.

Found something... (1)

Cubeman (530448) | more than 9 years ago | (#11280039)

A quick Google search turned up this company [interfacemasters.com] which seems to make exactly what you're looking for. You have to have a Mini PCI Type III connector and it only supports 3.3v PCI cards, however. It's a development tool so the cost might be high. You'll have to contact them for details.

You might also have trouble getting that to fit in a laptop. I'm sure you could buy raw Mini PCI sockets and boards and wire your own extension.

Re:Found something... (1)

bhtooefr (649901) | more than 9 years ago | (#11289789)

And, you'll either have to have the laptop 6" above the desk if the Mini-PCI slot is on the bottom, or you'll have no keyboard if it's on the top (and it'll be hard to see the screen).

Change laptop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#11282476)

The fjuitsu-siemens docking station's i've seen have 3 PCI slots in them

eBay (1)

tyen (17399) | more than 9 years ago | (#11296940)

You can pick up a used unit [ebay.com] , or if that disappears, just wait long enough and the Magma units show up from time to time. Now if you demand a new unit, or like-new, that you can have right away, and cheaply...well, sorry, you're breaking a variation of the fast-cheap-right rule.

cardbus-pci enclosures (1)

william_w_bush (817571) | more than 9 years ago | (#11303939)

http://www.mobl.com/expansion/pci/index.html [mobl.com] cardbus to pci enclosures, everything you need. 1 caveat: some (newer) bus-mastering pci cards dont take too kindly to multiple bridging as used in these types of boxes. other than that they should cover you fine
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