Firewire: To Hot-Plug or Not to Hot-Plug

Discussion in 'Digital Audio' started by stomplex, Aug 16, 2008.

  1. stomplex macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2008
    Pacific Coast
    I've seen threads on this but there were mixed opinions. I have the Apogee Duet and a MacBook Pro.

    I've seen all of the problems that people are having with this combo as well... Thank God I don't have those problems so far. I think that is because I have the Texas Instruments FW chipset and I'm still running Tiger.

    The people that were having the problems seemed to be those with some new chipset(the manufacturer escapes me right now) and they were running Leopard.

    My question remains. I have not had a problem either way but I've seen one post in particular where the guy was adamant about NOT hot-plugging it.

    Even though I have not had a problem, I don't want to do something that will reduce the life of either my MBP or the Duet.

    Does anybody know and have data to back it up?

  2. Cromulent macrumors 603


    Oct 2, 2006
    The Land of Hope and Glory
    Well in that case the only option is not to do it. Technically though the Firewire bus specification allows hot plugging in just the same way as USB does. Really if a device follows the specification exactly then there should be no problems. Unfortunatly things don't always work out that way in real life.
  3. headfuzz macrumors 6502


    Apr 13, 2007
    Brighton, UK
    Fwiw, both my audio interfaces throw an eppy when something's hotplugged into the same Firewire bus. The Saffire Pro 26 i/o shuts down into protection mode causing a nasty spike out of the monitors if they're on and my M-Audio Firewire goes absolutely spastic if anything suddenly appears on the same bus... :eek:
  4. stomplex thread starter macrumors member

    Aug 16, 2008
    Pacific Coast
    Either way I still see a spike and little pop when power is applied to the Duet, whether it's by hot -plugging it or by plugging it in first and then powering up my MBP. That can't be good :confused:

    Guess I'll just have to hope for the best:rolleyes:
  5. hakukani macrumors regular

    Feb 9, 2008
    It's always good practice to power up the power amp powering the speakers last, and the reverse when powering down.
  6. lockjawdavis macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2008
    Dumb question, perhaps...what does it mean to 'hot plug?'
  7. AviationFan macrumors 6502a


    Jan 12, 2006
    Cedar Rapids, IA
    It means to connect or disconnect a device (FireWire in this case) while the device and/or computer are switched on. As opposed to making sure everything is powered down before making any changes to the connections.

    There have been cases reported of FireWire MiniDV cameras that, when hot-plugged to a computer, damaged the FireWire port either in the computer or in the camera. Sony has made an official recommendation to NOT hot-plug their cameras to a FireWire port, to prevent damage to the FireWire interfaces.

    [Edited to add this reference to a related thread in another forum.]

    - Martin
  8. lockjawdavis macrumors newbie

    Jul 31, 2008
    Got it, Thank you! So ideally, the device and the computer are both powered down before connecting. Very good to know.
    Are there similar concerns with USB devices?
  9. cschreppel macrumors regular

    Jul 17, 2006
    Boston, MA
    I don't seem to have a problem hot-plugging my Digi002 as long as Pro Tools isn't open. However, I always make sure to eject and power down my external drives before unplugging them and the reverse when plugging them in.
  10. lepwisk macrumors newbie

    Jan 13, 2004
    I've never had a problem hot-plugging my MOTU 828, but I never ever would do such a thing with a storage device (like my FW HDs). Maybe this is why there could be problems with doing this with some digicams?

    And I second hakukani's suggestion: always power up your amp last and shut it down first.

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