PCMCIA and USB Sizes

  • Hey All,

    Is there any place that has the max sizes Fanuc recommends for PCMCIA and USB sticks? I know this is all based on controller. I have been searching Fanuc's sight, but haven't found anything yet.

    I want to make a nice Excel sheet to share with the others in our robotic group so we are all covered.

  • I have been successful with using up 4G CF cards on older RJ3 robots but you must keep this card clean. If the card is cluttered up if can freeze up the controller or run really slow. Keep the card empty and it will work. Same goes with Robots that have USB ports I have had luck with up to 8G sticks that are kept empty.

  • Above, member pdl mentioned searching the engineering bulletins to find for more info about using memory cards. I knew about the engineering bulletins on the cRc site, but never bothered to really look through them before. There is quite a bit of info there, about PCMCIA/USB cards and plenty other things. I dont know if many people here have access to the cRc site so I would love to just post the bulletins themselves here, but that would probably just get me banned. Instead ill just post some of the bullet points about memory cards here.


      • Must be formatted FAT(FAT16), not FAT32

      • R-J3(V5.xx) and R-J3iB(V6.xx) cannot format cards with a capacity greater than 256 Mbytes.

      • Cards greater than 256 Mbytes can be formatted on a PC or on a R-30iA controller(V7.xx). If using a PC make sure to manually select FAT as most PCs default to FAT32.

      • Largest size memory card supported for R-J3iB is 1gb, devices larger than 1gb have not been tested.(As mentioned above in other posts using above 1gb is possible. Personally i stay below 1gb with PCMCIA cards as I have had issues using larger size cards)

      • There is no memory card size limit specifically mentioned for R-J3

      • SanDisk memory cards with a capacity of 512 MB or less have been found to work for doing file operations on R-J3 and R-J3iB controllers. Fanuc recommends these memory cards be used.

      • The CENTON 512 MB card part#DC1M-512D31C1S-B also designated “CF0151 Industrial”, Fanuc part#KE-0357-K170, is said to have issues when used for file system functions on R-J3 and R-J3iB controllers and some operations may not work. The card can be used for controller load and image backup/restore. When this card is used on R-30iA controllers there are no restrictions.


      • Support for USB functionality was first released in V7.20 on the R-30iA controller.

      • The Type A connector on the front panel of the controller door is capable of supplying a standard 5 unit loads (500mA of current) to the function device.

      • R-30iA software is capable of handling FAT(FAT16) and FAT32 formats. NTFS and other Unix/Linux standards are not supported.

      • FAT(FAT16) formatting is preferred as it provides faster access but requires more space for file storage. FAT32 uses smaller cluster sizes, so the granularity of the file pieces is smaller. However this causes more host device interaction to access a file, thus slowing the overall access time.

      • Devices less then 2gb can be formatted FAT or FAT32. When formatted on the controller they will be formatted FAT.

      • Formatting the device on the controller is recommended over formatting on a PC. When formatted on a PC they may be automatically be formatted as FAT32 based on the size of the memory stick.

      • A smaller device is preferred. In general the larger the device the slower the startup and initial access will be. When a device is inserted, the controller will access the basic FAT information and the root level directory structures.

      • Devices up to 2gb have been tested with the R-30iA controller, devices larger than 2gb have not been tested and are not currently supported.(Myself and others have used devices larger than 2gb, Ive never used larger than 8gb though)

      • Fanuc does not qualify specific USB drives for the R-30iA controller, but have tested major brands such as SanDisk, PNY, Kingston, and Sony, and they worked with the R-30iA controller.

      • Memory sticks that utilize security, either Biometric or password protection, are not supported. These require proprietary interfaces to allow the controller to interact with the device.

      • The use of extender cables is not supported. If the USB port needs to be extended to a remote operator box, USB Extender hardware is available. Please contact Fanuc for details.

      • I attached a photo of USB drives that have been validated by Fanuc for use on the R-30iB controller.(This sorta contradicts the earlier statement that Fanuc does not qualify specific USB drives)

    I just want to point out that I am just posting the info from Fanuc's Engineering Bulletins, some of these bulletins are more than 5 years old. I know some of this information has already been proven untrue, the 1gb size limit for PCMCIA cards and the 2gb size limit for USB sticks for example.

  • Do any of you guys have the part number for the USB adapter? We currently have a Fanuc R-J3iB Controller with a PCMCIA port only. We are struggling to get backups on our robot. (R2000ia F165)

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