PCMCIA in ExpressCard

how to use older PC card in new ExpressCard slot

There are 16-Bit PCMCIA PC Cards and 32-Bit CardBus PC Cards that no longer work with the newer laptop PCs that have an ExpressCard slot. This is particularly true for people who have mobile Internet cards, and can’t use them with the new laptops that only have an ExpressCard slot. How can you use your PCMCIA PC card with the ExpressCard slot? With millions of PC Cards out there, I’m surprised how challenging it is to find this info. Here’s what I’ve found::

[disclaimer: there is no guarantee that solutions listed below will work with your particular hardware — check compatibility information and return policy before making purchases]

There are primarily 3 solutions available, and it looks like you’d have to order them online — these aren’t the kind of product that local computer stores (Best Buy, Circuit City) would carry. I’ve listed them in order of prices from low to high::

ExpressCard CardBus adapter [it says “no driver necessary”, which I think is nice]

Duel System’s DuelAdapter is designed to connect the latest generation of ExpressCard notebook computers with existing PCMCIA cards. The DuelAdapterâ„¢ seamlessly converts input from PCMCIA cards designed for cellular broadband, wireless networking, video, audio and memory expansion to an ExpressCard compatible format.
$119 from manufacturer, or $109.95 from Sewell Direct, or $101 from Synchrotech.

Elan’s U142 USB Interface Adapter for 32-bit Cardbus Wireless Modem 3G Cards
$192 – be sure to check compatibility list! Synchrotech has this U142 adapter for $175; Sewell Direct has this U142 adapter for $179.95. For example, this U142 adapter does NOT work with Sony Ericsson cards.

Alternative view: This article claims that, “The best available solution for this problem is to use a USB to PCMCIA adapter. This adapter consists of a USB cable that is attached to an adapter that is designed to allow you to insert your cellular PCMCIA card. Simply plug the USB port into your computer and do a simple install to take advantage of wireless internet with your new ExpressCard laptop.”

Looking at the compatiblity list and incompatibility issue, it looks to me like a USB-to-PCMCIA-Card would not be the fool-proof solution. On another note, it’s much easier to find info to use an ExpressCard with an older PCMCIA CardBus slot.

Contact me with the combination that works for you. I’ll list your combo here for others to be informed.