How to install JCAT cards

how to install JCAT USB Card FEMTO or JCAT NET Card FEMTO

Installing JCAT extension cards in a PC is not complicated. Follow these tips to make set-up a breeze.


What you need is a desktop PC with a motherboard that has at least one free PCI Express slot. Any PCI-e slot will do. It can be x1, x4, x8 or x16 lane – it is OK to install the cards into a wider (faster) PCIe slot. In fact it’s even better to do so as these offer higher bandwidth. miniPCIe slots are ok too, but a special miniPCIe-to-PCIe adapter cable must be used. JCAT cards can’t be installed in laptops.

The cards can be installed in both tower PC cases and HTPC horizontal enclosures. Both are fine. Just make sure that a PCIe slot is accessible. If it’s not possible to install the card directly in a PCI Express slot, use a PCI-e riser cable (can be found online on amazon or any shop with computer parts).The JCAT cards are low-profile and come with exchangeable PCIe brackets – both full-height and low-profile PCIe brackets are included, so the cards can be installed in vitrually all enclosures.

Optionally a 5V/2A external linear power supply is recommended for best results & sound quality. You can find one in the JCAT shop.


The JCAT cards can work with any Microsoft Windows and Linux OS. Drivers are loaded automatically in most systems. There are manufacturer drivers available too that can be installed over the OS drivers – these offer some additional features that are particularly interesting with the JCAT NET Card FEMTO.

Everyone who buys the JCAT NET Card FEMTO receives a complimentary guide with optimizations for best sound. The manufacturer drivers can be downloaded from the JCAT shop under additional information section.


1. Optional: mount a low-profile PCI Express bracket.(the cards come with full-height bracket installed)
2. Disconnect the power and remove your PC’s cover.
3. Look for a free PCI Express slot.
4. Once you have decided which slot you are going to use, you might have to remove the blank (a thin piece of metal that covers the hole in the chassis).
5. Align the JCAT card with the slot and gently, but firmly push the card into position. Once the JCAT card is seated firmly into place, insert the fixing screw.
6. Optional: connect a 5V/2A power supply either via LP4 molex or 2.1/5.5mm center positive DC jack connector.
7. Check to make sure nothing has been loosened during installation and then replace the case cover and connect cables – an Ethernet (LAN) cable for JCAT NET Card FEMTO and a USB cable for JCAT USB Card FEMTO.
8. Reconnect the power. When your operating system loads, check if the card works. Optionally: download and install the drivers.

a video from the installation of the JCAT NET CARD FEMTO by alpha-audio

if there is little space: JCAT Cards in a mini PC such as the intel nuc

Our NET & USB Cards do not require full blown music servers. They can be used successfully inside mini-PCs. The only thing needed will be a proper extension cable (riser). For Intel NUC it is an M.2 to PCIe riser cable as pictured below. For other mini-PCs it can be a mini-PCIe to PCIe riser cable. Best to check the motherboard’s specification. If in doubt, please contact us and we’ll recommend a solution.

JCAT NET Card FEMTO audiophile network interface inside intel NUC

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