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PCMCIA I/O Cards That Don't Exist Yet. (Maybe we'll see them at the N

PCMCIA I/O Cards That Don't Exist Yet. (Maybe we'll see them at the November 1994 COMDEX)

In the few years since the PCMCIA release 1.0 RAM cards came out, we've seen increasing capacity, up to 20MB, and dropping prices. With the PCMCIA release 2.0, we now have Fax-modem, LAN, Ethernet, Pagers and even hard-disk drives on Type III cards.

Here are some new product ideas for PCMCIA Type II, release 2.0 & up cards that can be done with today's available technology, and my own PSRP (Possible Suggested Retail Price):

AM/FM Stereo PCMCIA II (PSRP $129.95)

Listen to your favorite radio station by just plugging your Radio-card into the PCMCIA slot of your 100LX. The on-card software will let you 'tune in' to stations using your keyboard, and the Palmtop LCD screen will show you the frequency, signal strength, stereo indication, volume levels, etc. and save 'preset' frequencies on the card's built in EEPROM memory.

Powered by the 100LX AA's, it gives you up to 15 hours of music. Plug in the headphones (used as an antenna at the same time, like SONY'S Walkman) on the edge of your card, and enjoy!

B&W Television Receiver PCMCIA II (PSRP $299.99)

Watch your favorite programs or news on this compact PCMCIA B&W T.V.! The TV screen will be your 100LX LCD. The resolution will be 528 x 200 pixels (4:3 standard TV ratio with doubling the horizontal resolution) leaving the right side of your LCD (112x200) for channel, volume control and other indicators.

The built in digitizing process of the card converts incoming signals to a 4-gray-scale image which gives an acceptable picture on the 100LX screen. Image refresh is 30 frames per second not interlaced, because of the 100LX screen hardware speed.

The earphone plug on the edge of the card will provide the sound and the earphone's wire is also used as an antenna. This card is also powered by the 100LX's AA batteries. The T.V. should run a couple of hours since the LCD isn't backlit. (I have a CASIO 3-inch Color backlit LCD TV and it works for about 4 hours with 4 AA batteries.)

Digital Multi-Meter PCMCIA II (PSRP $189.00)

Great for electronics technicians or hobbyists. By plugging your PCMCIA multi-meter on the 100LX and running the built in software on the card, you will be able to have readouts of AC or DC voltages up to 500V, read OHMS from .001 to 20M ohms, and even test diodes. The digital multi-meter card will be auto-ranged and overload protected up to 750V. The software will be able to take down 'voltage-notes' while you measure, for example a 40 pin IC. This is very practical for comparing voltages between chips. The alligator clips can be plugged on the edge of the card, and the card is powered by the 100LX AA batteries.

Digital Oscilloscope PCMCIA II (PSRP $679.99)

A must for electronics technicians. This is a dual-trace 20 MHz digital oscilloscope on a PCMCIA card. The card's built in software will give you analog/digital waveform readouts on the LCD screen of your 100LX.

The digitizing process will help you view very low or very high frequencies that are not possible to display in 'real-time' on the LCD because of the 100LX screen refresh speed. The probes can be connected to the edge of the PCMCIA card.

This is not science-fiction! Today's technology is ready for such products. I hope to see some of these ideas on the market in the near future, maybe at next years COMDEX! Harry Konstas CompuServe ID: 72540,620

iPhone Life magazine


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