SD Card Adapter





Introduction: SD Card Adapter

This Instructable tells you how to make an SD adapter which will enable you to add up to 2GB of memory to your microcontroller projects. It includes a card inserted LED and is used in SPI mode.

A kit inluding all the parts necessary to build the SD Card Adapter can be purchased here. If you wish to do so, you can also make your own version without purchasing the designated kit, but getting the SD card slot may be challenging, as there are many different versions. Purchasing the kit, however, provides much greater support if you have any problems or questions.

This project requires approximately 30 minutes to assemble, and some parts may be a bit challenging to the beginner in soldering.

If you have any questions or comments, feel free to add them in the designated area below.

Without further adieu, plug in your soldering iron and get all the parts together. For those of you who are building your own version, check the link given above and on the bottom left you will find an option that says "parts list." Selecting that will show a menu of all the parts required to make it.

Step 1: The Hard Part First....

This is one of the hardest parts of the project because it requires some "surface mount soldering." (note the quotations) Now, follow the steps shown in the image notes in order to get the SD slot on your PCB.

Step 2: Wires, Wires, and More Wires!

Now that you have your SD card slot on your pcb, you have about 15 or so jumper wires to solder. Again, follow the steps shown on the pictures to assemble the project.

Step 3: The Final Four

Only four more components to solder! To finish it up, follow the steps in the image notes.

Step 4: Finished!

You now have a fully assembled SD card adapter that will add extra memory to your projects! If you need any help or have any questions, feel free to add them in the comments.



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    I haven't had much time to post anything on Instructables lately, but I think I am going to be making a MicroSD version of this, which will probably include a circuit board etching tutorial.

    Will you Please give the details of the pin outputs and how to use with Microcontroller ?

    3 replies

    Hmmm....   What microcontroller are you trying to use?

    I will hunt down the schematic and post it here so you can see what the pinouts are.  Lately I have been doing a lot of pcb etching and plan to make an instructable on that.  :)

    Sorry about the delay--I have been working on a different project, and didn't have the chance to even get on the computer.

    Here's the pinout:
    SD adapter header      | |     | |     | |     | |     | |     | |
                                            cs   di     sck  do  gnd  +3.3v

    Abbreviations (if you don't already know):
    CS- Chip Select
    DI- Data Input
    SCK- Clock
    DO- Data Output
    GND- Ground (obviously)

    This does require a 3.3 volt regulator, because it does funny stuff if it's on 5 volts.

    If you need a bit more info on the pinouts of an SD card, look at this site.

    Good luck.

    You could have also added the 3V3 regulator.

    1 reply

    Hmmm... Yes, I could have added the 3.3 volt regulator, but since most microcontrollers use 3.3 volts, it would be slightly pointless. If you do need a 3.3 volt regulator, go to Texas Intsruments and get free samples of their regulators.

    File system? How would I go about adding a file system...? It would make interfacing with the computer nicer. Even if I had to create a file on the computer, for the uC to write to.

    5 replies

    I don't think I understand what you mean... Are you trying to write files to the SD so the mcu can use/view them? What mcu are you using?

    I can use either an AVR or a PICAXE 28X1. Both are capable of SPI. A filesystem is what a computer uses to arrange files. Without it, the data wouldn't have starts and stops, it would just be a big EEPROM. What I want is for the uC to be able to write to one of these files as if it were a person typing data then saving.

    Well, I know you usually have to format it to FAT16 in order for the uC to recognize it... Do you have the code for the picaxe? I could take a look at it and see what I can do...

    No code just yet, I'm in the concept phaze, and an SD card is an option. A mate of mine suggested an XD card, but I'm not too sure, as I don't have one. FAT16 would be great, I'll do a bit of research on how it all works.

    Well, I myself am a user of the Propeller Chip, which has an object exchange filled with SD card code... So, which mcu are you primarily planning this for? That would give me an idea of which programming language I should learn overnight... =)

    I do know how to format an SD card to FAT16, which is definitely what you will need for any mcu.... What size SD card are you using?

    ahm... Pardon me for asking, but what is your issue of the kit...? It seems as if you don't particularly like kits... =)

    Perfboard, jumpers... ugh , and in kit form. Haven't had need of more memory yet, but have had a few data logging, counter ideas though. Was thinking of just soldering leads to the card connectors. Got a bunch 1 gig or less, that I don't use anymore, so destruction wouldn't bother me. Socket would be nice though, make it easier to get data into the computer later...