Firewire 800 to 400 adapter

Discussion in 'Mac Peripherals' started by macstatic, Oct 1, 2008.

  1. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #1
    I'm looking for a way to connect an external bus-powered Firewire 800 hard drive (Glyph Portagig 800) to an iMac which only has Firewire 400 ports, and still powering the drive through just the Firewire connector.

    All I've found are Firewire 400 to 800 adapters, allowing Firewire 400 peripherals to be connected to computers having only Firewire 800 ports. I need the opposite of course.
    Where can I get such adapters, and without sacrificing bus-power?
     
  2. macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #2
    That adapter will work, it is the same thing ie, one end of the cable is FW400 and the other is FW800.

    Firewire doesn't have a "direction" so as long as the cable fits, it will work.

    As for power, don't worry about it as long as you don't use the mini 4-pin connector. FW800 has more pins for data, they have the same power pins and those pins get translated in the adapter.
     
  3. macrumors 68000

    Joined:
    Sep 27, 2004
    Location:
    Knoxville, TN (USA)
    #3
    Wirelessly posted (iPhone: Mozilla/5.0 (iPhone; U; CPU iPhone OS 2_1 like Mac OS X; en-us) AppleWebKit/525.18.1 (KHTML, like Gecko) Version/3.1.1 Mobile/5F136 Safari/525.20)

    I don't think you can make an adapter to plug in a FireWire 800 device into a 400 port. I believe FireWire 800 has at least 1 additional set of pins which would make if possible to make an adapter to plug a 400 device into an 800 port but not the other way around.
     
  4. macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #4
    The easiest way it would seem rather than using an adapter is to replace the existing cable with a FW800 to FW 400 cable. They are commonly available and will work in either direction, as per the first three listings on this page (just one of the first search results in Google- they are available at tons of places):

    http://www.cwol.com/firewire/firewire-800-1394b-cables.htm
     
  5. macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #5
    The extra pins may indeed be true, but that only means that it obviously will only work at FireWire 400 speeds in either direction, which is not a problem for the OP's needs. In other words, the FW800 will have all the FW400 pins carried through with no connections to the additional FW800 pins.
     
  6. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #6
    Yes you can. The adapter has no direction. I have a FW800 disk connected to a FW400 Cube. It just works at 400 speed.
     
  7. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #7
    Cube: Which adapter did you get, and where did you buy it?

    Yippy: as far as I can see, the Sonnet adapter won't work for me because of the gender. If I'm not mistaken the adapter needs to have a female 800 at one end and a male 400 at the other end.
    The Sonnet seems to be opposite.

    PS: I'm not expecting Firewire 800 speeds when pluggins it into a 400 socket in the computer ;)
    I just want to be able to connect the two together, without needing an external power adapter and (preferrably) without having to tie up two USB ports (which is the case if I want to use the drive with bus-powered USB.
     
  8. macrumors 68020

    yippy

    Joined:
    Mar 14, 2004
    Location:
    Chicago, IL
    #8
    The adapter only matters for what cable you already have. If you have a Firewire 800 cable and not a Firewire 400 cable, then yes, you are right, that adapter won't work. But if you have a Firewire 400 cable now it will work perfectly with that cable.
     
  9. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #9
    I have a cable which has male Firewire 800 connectors at each end.
     
  10. macrumors 6502

    ZachsMacDaddy

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2007
    Location:
    Maryland
    #10
    Years ago I bought 3 Belkin Firewire 800 to 400 cables in a bulk lot off of ebay. I am using one now to connect my OWC firewire case to my Mac Mini. All it is is a cable with an 800 male connector on one end and a 400 male on the other end. That sounds like just what you need.

    I see they are still overcharging with a $39.99 MSRP now.
     
  11. macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
  12. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #12
    Here is one that's cheaper. Edit: not as cheap as the one right above! Too slow. :eek:

    All you need is a male/male FW800/FW400 cable, as specified. Get a length that'll let you connect the drive to the iMac (i.e., make sure it's long enough). As many have said, this is all you need. You'll replace the cable you have now with the new 800<->400 one.

    It works quite well.
     
  13. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #13
  14. jsw
    Moderator emeritus

    jsw

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2004
    Location:
    Andover, MA
    #14
  15. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #15
    A Granite Digital 3ft. 6 to 9 cable costs $40.
     
  16. macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #16
    Did you miss my post? $4.50 for a 6ft 6pin to 9pin cable, or they have a 10ft for $6.12. Almost 1/10th the cost of Granite Digital, and I use many of Monoprice's cables (for everything, including 1080p video and external hard drives) and they all work great.
     
  17. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #17
    Have you ever seen a GD cable? If you did, you would realize how pathetic those cheap FireWire cables sold everywhere seem. I don't like using cables without ferrites for my drives.
     
  18. macrumors 68030

    crazzyeddie

    Joined:
    Dec 7, 2002
    Location:
    Florida, USA
    #18
    Using ferrite cores is irrelevant with short cable lengths for digital transmissions under normal conditions.
     
  19. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #19
    Found the adapter, but can't get it...

    I know about the cables which have Firewire 400 and 800 connectors on each end, but as a photographer student I want to carry as little as possible around (lenses and stuff makes it heavy enough), and a single Firewire 800 cable + an adapter would be a better solution than two cables.

    I did actually find an adapter suitable for my needs: a 6-pin male (400) to 9 pin female (800) adapter costing $ 6.44.

    As I live outside of the USA however I suspect that shipping will be very expensive. They use UPS, and won't even tell you shipping costs before you actually order the item. Popping the item into a small padded envelope, then sending it with USPS would only cost 2-3 Dollars in my experience. They won't even reply to my email when I've asked about the total cost.

    So my question is: has anyone seen the same type of adapter for sale other places?
     

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  20. macrumors 68020

    sickmacdoc

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2008
    Location:
    New Hampshire
    #20
    Well, a quick Google search led to one right off the bat from a company in Apple's Macintosh Product Guide called Synchrotech. If you look at the bottom of the following page at the black one it meets your specs and they call it a "CAB-FW8-9-6-CONV FireWire 800 IEEE1394b 9pin (female) to 6pin (male) Converter Plug". It can been seen and ordered at FW 400 M to FW800 F Adapter for $11.00 and though we don't know where you are, they show worldwide shipping.

    I know I sure would not be dealing with a place like you mentioned that won't even give you costs when there are other places like this. BTW- if you want to check out more search results, just Google "male firewire 400 to female firewire 800 adapter". Another listing for a shorty adapter cable (19") that meets your specs is 19" Adapter cable but it is $18.50.

    BTW- I don't think the weight part of the argument is going to fly when discussing using a commonly available cable instead though- I just weighed one of my 6 foot fw400->fw800 cables that I have laying around on my postal scale and it only weighed 2.6 ounces!! ;) ;) Your choice though- and I hope this other info helps out.
     
  21. macrumors 68000

    Mindflux

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2007
    Location:
    Austin
    #21
    So add a couple of ferrite cores if it's such a big deal. :rolleyes:
     
  22. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    May 10, 2004
    #22
    It's not just the ferrites, the GD cables are also a thicker gauge and can have a diagnostic LED in those with at least 1 FW400 connector.
     
  23. thread starter macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Oct 21, 2005
    #23
    I'm in Norway, and yes -that's exactly what I'm looking for.
    But again there's the issue of shipping costs. In this case they let me calculate the costs before ordering, but I almost fell off my chair when they ask $44 for sending it to me (FedEx is their only option).
    $ 55 for an adapter which probably costs no more than $ 0.50 to produce in China, and would cost a couple of bucks to have sent to me is unreasonable to say the least.

    That short cable you mentioned is a good idea, though I would prefer the much more compact adapter. I'll give Google another shot, hoping to find some company which doesn't overcharge shipping and unnecessarily uses only expensive courier services to deliver. It's a pity nobody at eBay sells them.
     
  24. macrumors 65816

    Joined:
    Apr 10, 2003
    Location:
    mi
    #24
    Not to nitpick, but a thicker gauge really isn't going to help a digital transmission, for anything other than 'making it feel heavy duty'. The LED can be a nice feature, I guess, if you aren't sure if you are fully seating your cable when you push it in (?)...

    But I guess that's why Monster cable is still in business...
     
  25. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Jul 7, 2009
    #25
    firewire question...

    I have one of those 400 to 800 cables BUT it doesnt seem to supply power to my device... I am trying to use a ALESIS MULTIMIX FIREWIRE and it cant be seen in system info. a google search turned up that this 400 to 800 cables do not supply enough power for the imac to recognize some devices. what do I need to resolve this issue?
     

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