New Project: Converting Micro SD to M2

I recently rediscovered my PSP go and decided it would be fun to play again. The issue I ran into was that I’d like all my games on the console at once, including emulators and all the roms for them. The built-in memory of 16Gb would not be sufficient for this purpose so I needed to see what was available.

Proprietary format can burn in hell!

Proprietary format can burn in hell!

I started looking at the proprietary Memory Stick Micro (m2) Sony had developed for the PSP go and select other Sony devices, mostly mobile phones. These sticks were generally over double the price of an equivalent Micro SD card which bothered me too much to buy one, especially when you consider that these have been discontinued for at least a few years by now. On top of that the maximum size available is 16Gb, and for around 80 dollars. I began my search for an adapter.

The search wasn’t long, a resounding “NO!” cried the internet. The issue here is that SD and Memory Stick are not compatible formats. The two formats are written to and read from in completely different ways. For the larger Memory Stick Duo and Memory Stick Pro Duo this isn’t an issue when adapting to micro SD because the Micro SD is so small that there is plenty of room inside the adapter to put a chip which adapts one format to the other in a more complex manner than your typical adapter. This is necessary because unlike normal adapter for format x to format y simply rearrange the pins and the size/shape of the card to make it fit the slot properly; Memory Stick is not a typical card, it was developed by Sony specifically so that people had to use them and could not adapt cheaper cards to the format. So what could I do? Dead end right? Wrong!

Micro SD to Memory Stick Pro Duo Adapter

Micro SD to Memory Stick Pro Duo Adapter

Here’s the plan, I’ve purchased 2 Micro SD to Memory Stick Pro Duo adapters as well as 2 1Gb m2 cards that came with an adapter from m2 to Memory stick Pro Duo adapter. I purchased 2 of each because both were relatively cheap and this way I could disassembly one of each and still have a spare left in case I ruin it on my 1st attempt. The idea here is that if I can convert Micro SD to Memory Stick Pro Duo, and m2 is essentially a tiny version of that, then it should be possible to convert it externally of the slot. I plan on removing (or at least disconnecting) the memory in the 1Gb m2 card and hijacking the pins to run to the micro SD to Memory Stick Pro Duo adapter. I’ll use the m2 to Memory Stick Pro Duo adapter that comes with it to determine which pins connect to which on the micro SD to Memory Stick Pro Duo adapter. By doing this I should be able to read the micro SD cards just fine. The fact that this is external and may be ugly is a non-issue because my PSP go is always in a case which could be easily modified to accommodate the adapter and a flat ribbon cable.

m2 card w/ Memory Stick Pro Duo adapter

m2 card w/ Memory Stick Pro Duo adapter

The adapter I purchased is capable of accepting 2 micro SD cards which is perfect because I already have one 16Gb card and a second would be dirt cheap. This would allow me to meet the maximum capacity for the PSP go at 32Gb. It would be possible to go even higher if Sony hadn’t limited the maximum capacity card readable in the PSP go’s firmware, however I think 32Gb from the cards and 16Gb internal should be just fine for my purposes.

I’ll update when the adapters arrive, one is set to be here within 7 days and the other 3 weeks so I may make an update for each or just update when they both get here and the real work begins.

Info:

M2 pinout

MSPD pinout

Useful SD info

Micro SD to MSPD adapter teardown

Wikipedia comparison of memory card formats

Wikipedia SD size

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Filed under M2 to MSPD, Projects

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