Thunderbolt - Firewire converter

Discussion in 'MacBook Air' started by ccs569, Aug 5, 2011.

  1. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    #1
    Trying to get my files from my old MBP to my new MBA and already have a external HD with a firewire cable. Any chance there are converters available besides the $1k display?

    Thanks!
     
  2. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #2
    A company called Sonnet is supposed to release such an adapter sometime this summer. They haven't said when or how much it will be yet.
     
  3. macrumors newbie

    Peteyy

    Joined:
    Jul 27, 2011
    Location:
    England, UK
    #3
  4. thread starter macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Jun 19, 2011
    #4
    those bastards. why doesnt apple make one?
     
  5. macrumors 601

    clyde2801

    Joined:
    Mar 6, 2008
    Location:
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    #5
    Simple. It's easier to make money by licensing a part (or charging a company to put on a 'mac compatible' sticker on the part) than it is making the part.

    Wait for our larcenous friends in the people's republic to get their hands on some of these peripherals, reverse engineer them, and put them on ebay.
     
  6. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Jul 8, 2011
    #6
    ouch that really sucks, isn't thunderbolt backwards compatible with mini-display port? can't you just get mini display port to fire-wire? (doubt it but what do i know?)
     
  7. Rasan, Aug 18, 2011
    Last edited: Aug 18, 2011

    macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2011
    #7
    This is a very clever idea, has someone tried it yet?

    Edit: Is there even a DP to FW adapter? DP is for Video information only, isnt it?
     
  8. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #8
    Yes, miniDisplayPort works fine in the Thunderbolt port.

    No, I don't think anyone has ever done a mDP to Firewire adapter. VGA, DVI, HDMI, yes. Firewire? Don't think I've seen anything like that.
     
  9. macrumors G3

    Joined:
    Jul 4, 2007
    Location:
    Atlanta, GA
    #9
    Ethernet cable, wireless network, or external drive.
     
  10. macrumors 6502a

    Joined:
    Apr 30, 2009
    Location:
    San Francisco, CA
    #10
    This.
     
  11. macrumors regular

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2007
    #11
    I've never seen a a DP to FW adapter.
     
  12. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jun 10, 2004
    #12
    I've been waiting forever on this! Atleast give us a converted to use!! I'm hoping in the future the thunderbolt ports could power 3.5" enclosures without a power supply....or am i just dreaming? lol
     
  13. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 15, 2011
    #13
    Dream depends on whether or not it makes the transition to LightPeak (the original name for ThunderBolt). With LP, everything was designed to be done using fibre optics and lasers, so really long really fast cables could work. The only disadvantage is that the ports would be unpowered*.

    * Theoretically, they could combine optical data and copper power in the same cable. I'm not familiar enough with the spec to know.
     
  14. macrumors 6502

    phairphan

    Joined:
    Sep 21, 2005
    Location:
    Reject Beach
    #14
    It's anyone's guess. TB currently supplies a max of 10 W, I think just shy of being able to power most 3.5" drives in an external enclosure. The future of TB lies in optical cabling for greater bandwidth. Obviously, this would remove power from the spec unless they come up with a hybrid optical/copper cabling scheme.

    Edit: EthanMiller beat me to it.
     
  15. macrumors 6502

    Joined:
    Jul 14, 2011
    #15
    mDP uses a different cable than thunderbolt, although the connectors are compatible. TB cables have active chips in them to handle the communication timing. I doubt it would work, if such a cable existed, but who knows?

    I haven't seen a mDP vs TB cable comparison yet, only a TB cable teardown, so I have no idea if the pinouts are compatible or exactly what role the chips in the cable do.
     
  16. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #16
    FYI, I contacted Sonnet through the marketing e-mail on one of their press releases, and while they didn't have an update on the availability of the Thunderbolt-to-Firewire adapter, they did say that they will be announcing another Thunderbolt device tomorrow that will ship by the end of October. They also claimed that other previously-announced devices will be shipping "soon."
     
  17. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #17
    Apparently it's an ExpressCard 34 adapter.

    http://www.sonnettech.com/news/pr2011/pr082511_echo.html
     
  18. macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2011
    #18
    I dunno... ~$150 seems rather pricey... do others feel similarly or am I off?
     
  19. macrumors G4

    Joined:
    Oct 23, 2010
    #19
    It does, but if it comes with a cable of any kind, consider that Apple charges $50 for that. That said, it does address what had been a shortcoming of Apple's entire notebook line (apart from the 17" Pro), and it opens up the Thunderbolt port to existing adapters such as eSATA or USB 3.0.
     
  20. macrumors 6502a

    GekkePrutser

    Joined:
    Aug 18, 2005
    Location:
    Ireland
    #20
    Cool, so the OP could use a FireWire expresscard in that! (although it would make it even more expensive). But at least the peripherals are actually starting to roll out now.
     
  21. Moderator emeritus

    Hellhammer

    Joined:
    Dec 10, 2008
    Location:
    Finland
    #21
    Thanks! Put together something on this: http://www.anandtech.com/show/4680/sonnet-announces-thunderbolt-to-expresscard34-adapter

    Didn't see any other sites posting it yet which is always a good thing (thanks to you).

    But you are looking at ~$250 with the card. I think that is a pretty small market, considering that you are limited to "only" 500MB/s. Definitely a good thing that TB devices are starting to show up though.
     
  22. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Aug 19, 2010
    #22
    I'm really disappointed at this product. Not only does it require THREE separate parts to work (ExpressCard, the adapter itself and the Thunderbolt cable), you have to buy the TB cable from Apple. That means you're paying nearly $300 AND lugging around 3 components. Definitely not an elegant nor financially practical solution at all.

    I'm looking forward to the day that we see a Thunderbolt to USB3.0 + FW800 hub for less than $200. That I'd buy in a heartbeat.
     
  23. macrumors member

    Joined:
    Jan 9, 2003
    #23
    'Express Card' ??
    -- will this thing let me plug in old PC-card firewire devices?
    "CardBus" or "PC Card" or "PCMCIA Card" is what they were called.

    I still have (from a Lombard G3) a
    "NewerTechnology FireWire2Go Cardbus Card for Powerbook G3 Series"
    and a "IOGear FireWire CardBus Adapter" (3 ports).

    Will this "ExpressCard" slot accept and work with these?
     
  24. macrumors 603

    Joined:
    Jun 14, 2010
    Location:
    US
    #24
    Not without a hacksaw.

    ExpressCard <> PCCard/CardBus/PCMCIA
     
  25. macrumors 68000

    xlii

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2006
    Location:
    Millis, Massachusetts
    #25
    Does your FW drive also have a USB port on it?
     

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