FireWire 800 to USB 3.0 adapter/controller?

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 22, 2014
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Is there any such thing as a FireWire 800 to USB 3.0 adapter/controller? Yes, I know they use completely different interfaces so it would need a controller/converter chip (like a SATA to USB adapter). It is such a simple and useful thing, I wouldn't believe it if they didn't exist!
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 22, 2014
2,285
53
You can use a PCI card if on a upgradable desktop or a Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter if on a Thunderbolt equipped Mac.
I'm on a MacBook Pro that has neither Thunderbolt nor PCI slots.

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Those do not exist.
They don't?! At all?! I cannot believe it!

It's completely possible and easy to make! They have SATA to USB converters... why not FireWire to USB converters?! Why hasn't anyone thought of making such a thing?! :mad: :(
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,898
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SATA to USB is easy to implement, FireWire to USB is not. They are just not compatible by anything short of a full computer.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 22, 2014
2,285
53
SATA to USB is easy to implement, FireWire to USB is not. They are just not compatible by anything short of a full computer.
But the converter would have all the stuff it needs... chips and all. It itself is basically a small computer!
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,898
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Inside
A converter won't be smart enough to do that. Thus, the requirement for a full desktop computer. Even if they ran at the same voltage, it is not possible.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 22, 2014
2,285
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It mainly has to do with the fact that FireWire runs at totally different voltages and is a different technology than USB.
Have a voltage transformer.
SATA and USB are different technology too. ATAPI and USB also.

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A converter won't be smart enough to do that. Thus, the requirement for a full desktop computer. Even if they ran at the same voltage, it is not possible.
Not smart enough? You mean not enough processing power? So to have such a thing you'd need a very large chipset?
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,171
479
Elkton, Maryland
People have tried over the years to make these adapters but they never can work. Any cheap adapter that you find on Amazon will hit the voltage issue and bus difference issue and just is a worthless piece of plastic. Depending on the vintage of MacBook Pro, you could outfit a PCMCIA card or ExpressCard.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,898
410
Inside
FireWire works by accessing the hardware directly, USB works by accessing the operating system's CPU. USB cannot use an external CPU, only the OS' CPU. FireWire cannot work without directly accessing the hardware and it cannot work by going through the OS' CPU. Because of this, the two cannot in anyway ever be converted. SATA/PATA to USB/FireWire work because the ATA protocol was designed to be interoperable with both of them. It cannot be used as a bridge between USB and FireWire.
 

marzer

macrumors 65816
Nov 14, 2009
1,331
45
Colorado
It's completely possible and easy to make!
So why haven't you? Sorry, don't mean to offend, but it's laughable how folks will take technology for granted. It so ubiquitous in our lives it's easy to forget the inherent complexity of it all. If you research the interfaces you'll see it could be a rather relatively expensive endeavor. Someone needs to be willing to invest in the design/engineering/manufacture just to target a very limited market interested for such a device. It would be more cost affective to just buy a new computer with USB 3 capability.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,009
584
In the past there have been ExpressCard adapters for USB2, which seemed to work with an inserted ExpressCard with FireWire ports. I'm not aware of something similar the other way round (i.e. FireWire -> USB).

If you could give some more details about your configuration and goals you may get better answers.
 

poiihy

macrumors 68020
Original poster
Aug 22, 2014
2,285
53
In the past there have been ExpressCard adapters for USB2, which seemed to work with an inserted ExpressCard with FireWire ports. I'm not aware of something similar the other way round (i.e. FireWire -> USB).

If you could give some more details about your configuration and goals you may get better answers.
I gave plenty. This MacBook Pro only has USB 2 and FireWire 800. Goal is to find a FW800 -> USB 3 converter
 

Fishrrman

macrumors Core
Feb 20, 2009
19,585
6,815
poiihy wrote above:
[[ I gave plenty. This MacBook Pro only has USB 2 and FireWire 800. Goal is to find a FW800 -> USB 3 converter ]]

When you find one, let us know! ;)
 

MCAsan

macrumors 601
Jul 9, 2012
4,556
419
Atlanta
What is the business case for any company to focus on FW at this very late date? Macs are already on TB2 and USB3. Next year we will likely see USB3.1

Time for a plan to move on to newer machines that don't depend on FW.
 

Altemose

macrumors G3
Mar 26, 2013
9,171
479
Elkton, Maryland
The only time I use FireWire is with older cameras and hard drives. USB is as ubiquitous as sliced bread nowadays and even tablets have that port.
 

Mikael H

macrumors 6502a
Sep 3, 2014
723
352
Is there any such thing as a FireWire 800 to USB 3.0 adapter/controller? Yes, I know they use completely different interfaces so it would need a controller/converter chip (like a SATA to USB adapter). It is such a simple and useful thing, I wouldn't believe it if they didn't exist!
If you only need a speedy external drive, there are enclosures that have both USB3 and FW800 interfaces. Otherwise you've already gotten your answer in this thread.
 

GrammyPuter

macrumors newbie
Dec 23, 2009
5
0
Is there any such thing as a FireWire 800 to USB 3.0 adapter/controller? Yes, I know they use completely different interfaces so it would need a controller/converter chip (like a SATA to USB adapter). It is such a simple and useful thing, I wouldn't believe it if they didn't exist!
The only thing I am aware of is the OWC dock. You can plug both USB 3 and Firewire 800 drives in. I purchased one with my new MacBook, because I had several OWC ministacks with FW800 connections.
 

DeltaMac

macrumors G4
Jul 30, 2003
10,333
2,736
Delaware
The only thing I am aware of is the OWC dock. You can plug both USB 3 and Firewire 800 drives in. I purchased one with my new MacBook, because I had several OWC ministacks with FW800 connections.
Even that is not converting FW to USB, just providing multiple interfaces from a thunderbolt dock. As thunderbolt has direct access to the hardware, it can provide access and give I/O access to whichever tech the manufacturer wants to offer. And, you need Thunderbolt do that. The OP has none.
Another thought - FW800, even if it would be feasible, would not get close to USB 3.0 speeds - and would likely barely handle USB 2.0, if even that were possible.
 

Intell

macrumors P6
Jan 24, 2010
18,898
410
Inside
FireWire 800 is twice as fast as USB 2. FireWire 400 is about 3-5MB/sec faster than USB 2.
 

Neodym

macrumors 68020
Jul 5, 2002
2,009
584
The only thing I am aware of is the OWC dock. You can plug both USB 3 and Firewire 800 drives in.
From that point of view, a Mac mini 2012 would be an alternative as well, with additional features over the dock
 
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