Question about 3rd party SD-card readers

Hi, Do you have experience of 3rd party SD-card readers? I bought bunch of these readers and none of them seem to work. I have checked the continuity from the card reader pins to the motherboard and all of them seems to be okay. However, the switch does not recognize the SD card. I have one original SD card reader which has no damage on the outside (and the connector looks fine) but there is no continuity from pin 8 or pin 9 (the pins on the right end) to the motherboard. The switch recognizes the SD card though.

There is a possibility that the problem is in the female connector on the motherboard. It was missing few pins and I (most likely) successfully soldered new ones. The pins are solid and there is continuity.

Are these cheap readers useless?

I have a stack of aftermarket SD Flex/boards and while I’ve had a few which don’t work after install they are for the most part on par with the original ones in terms of failure rate.

This is typically an issue mainboard connector side.

Try pre-bending the flex cable so that when it’s screwed down the opposing top side of the flex connector sits parallel, if you don’t pre-bend the flex then it tends to tilt the connector at an angle, which potentially might be your issue here, though missing pins mainboard side will exacerbate this as there will ultimately be less “grip” as they also serve as spring locks (for lack of a better term) . It’s possible the original SD flex part is working as a result of a higher tolderance connector as compared to the aftermarket ones and that is just enough.

If pre-bending the flex works, then i still would be hesitant to trust the connection as it’s just simply giving you an indication, i would still set about either replacing the connector on the mainboard or replacing those missing pins.

Thanks severence

Just to clarify with a picture

This is a aftermarket sd card reader and I do get continuity from card reader to correct pads on motherboard but the switch won’t recognize the sd card.

Hmm check the switch contact (detect - goes to ground when closed) , manually push that lever an ensure continuity.

Visually inspect the nsde of the micro SD port and ensure it all checks out.

Spray some contact cleaner (or WD-40) inside the micro SD slot.

If still nothing, put downward pressure on the SD flex connector and see if anything changes. Same thing on the microSD shield

If you have a micro SD breakout board, then you could also take diode mode or resistance readings on the breakout and ensure they matched up to the contact on the PCB itself. This is desirable as your duplicating the SD pressure normally.

Out of five readers two were working. One reader gives error message “unable to access micro sd card” and two didn’t recognise the sd card. There could be a problem with the card reader’s detect switch. Some of the readers look like the the “switch contact” is closed even when there is no card inserted (like the one on the picture). I tried to bend it so that there is ground connection only when there is a card but didn’t help

I also tried pressing the connector and the card reader shield, no help. Let’s see if I am lucky with the dispute.

Fingers crossed :slight_smile:

I do get the impression on the aftermarket ones i have that the MicroSD card connectors they’re using on these flex PCB’s are possibly recylcled from other devices, I have a few which are using a different manufacturers SD connectors as they look slightly different from one to the next.