Sony CLIÉ NR Series Communications Sled Review


Product Requirements:
Sony CLIÉ NR70, NR70V

The Sony CLIÉ NR series devices are the
most innovative Palm PDAs available at the moment. How do you make an already
exceptional device even better? You kick it up a notch and give them a CF slot!
When I heard about the CF sled, I knew I wanted one. Just the idea of being able
to use my 256mb CF card with my NR70V made me giddy. Unfortunately, the sled
wasn’t available here in the US, so I had to resort to other methods to obtain
one. With the help of a contact in Japan, I had 2 sleds ordered for me. One for
me, and one for Judie.

With the sleds on order, Judie and I were both dreaming about listening to
lots of MP3s and storing lots of e-books on our CF cards…

Now here’s where the dream turned bad… we found out that these sleds were
ONLY for communications type CF cards (modems) and that they would not
work with memory cards. Talk about two disappointed gadgeteers!!! :o(  I
guess we can’t have everything huh?

Anyway, the two sleds arrived yesterday and even though they are not exactly
what was desired, I’m sure this accessory review will interest others.

The PEGA-CF70 Communications Adapter is a large plastic sled type device that
snaps on to the back of the NR70 or NR70V CLIÉ. The PDA plugs into the serial
port and is held in place by two spring loaded grips at the top of the sled.
These two grips match up with the two holes on the back of the CLIÉ. A small
release button on the left side of the sled allows you to disengage the sled
from the PDA when need.

The sled has its own rechargeable batteries, which can be charged via the AC
adapter that came with the CLIÉ. You can also plug the CLIÉ into the cradle
while it is attached to the sled. Both the CLIÉ and the sled’s batteries will be
charged while attached. A switch on the right side of the sled allows you to use
the batteries in the sled to power the CLIÉ… At least I think that is what
this switch will do… Since all the documentation that came with this device is
in Japanese, I’m making a guess here.

You can also sync with your PC / MAC while the sled is attached to the CLIÉ.

There is a switch and several LEDs at the bottom of the sled. The slider
switch controls power and also displays battery levels when slid all the way to
the right. Three LEDs reflect the battery level when you do the battery check.
Otherwise, the middle LED will light green when you are sending and receiving
data with a CF modem. The right most LED will glow amber when the sled’s
batteries are charging.

The CF slot is at the top of the sled. A plastic slug comes with the device
that you can use to fill the empty slot. Next to the slot is the spring loaded
eject button.

The bottom of the sled has a serial port so that you can charge and sync with
the cradle.

Now as far as testing the sled goes, I haven’t been able to accomplish much.
A CD comes with the sled which has a driver that you must install on to your
CLIÉ. Problem is that the driver is Japanese. It installs fine, but you have no
clue what the options are… I fiddled around with it and checked a box or two
and tested the sled with a Pretec CF modem
that I have. I must have checked the correct boxes because the driver showed
that it had a Pretec modem attached. My next step was to try dialing out…

Unfortunately, since dropping my dialup ISP and going with a Direcway
satellite dish, I didn’t have an ISP to test it out with. So, I searched around
on the net and found a free ISP to try out called I entered the access number
and other info into the Network prefs, and tried connecting. The modem initiated
the dial up and even connected. I knew this because the Data LED came on. But,
for some reason I was never able to actually get fully connected. This is
problem the free ISP though and not the sled or modem… I tried several times
and finally gave up.

The bottom line is that this could be a cool accessory if someone out there
could translate the driver into English and better yet, write a driver to allow
CF memory cards to be used with this sled. Or maybe even to allow the use of the
Symbol 802.11b CF card (for the Pocket PC) to work with the CLIÉ. As it stands,
it looks like this gadget is destined to take up space in my closet o’stuff for
the time being…


Price: 14,800 YEN = ~ $120.00 from

Ability to use CF modems with the NR series
Has own rechargeable batteries
Can charge and sync in cradle without removing

Drivers and instructions in Japanese
Can’t use CF memory cards


Product Information

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