Legacy Firewire with new Thunderbolt Adapters?

Discussion in 'Mac Accessories' started by Patriotic1776, Jun 29, 2012.

  1. Patriotic1776 macrumors newbie

    Jan 14, 2012
    Is this convoluted daisy chain even possible:
    Firewire 400 cable coming from my 2006 Mac Pro > into Firewire 400 to 800 adapter > into the new Firewire 800 to Thunderbolt adapter Apple announced this past WWDC.

    To my knowledge, they are not supporting legacy Firewire 400 to Thunderbolt, only 800. But I still need a way to transfer videos from my miniDV to my old Mac Pro (we are are non-profit, so still working with yesteryear tech). Thanks!
  2. Rizzm macrumors 6502a

    Feb 5, 2012
    I think it should work since while only the Firewire 800 connection is supported, Firewire 800 is backwards compatible with Firewire 400.
  3. Mr. Retrofire macrumors 603

    Mr. Retrofire

    Mar 2, 2010
    Just buy a FW400 to FW800 bilingual cable (no adapter necessary). Then use the FW800 to Thunderbolt adapter.

    And why do you need Thunderbolt in this equation?

    Here is an example (no recommendation, i do not know the seller):

    The shielding of the cable and the robustness of the connectors is important. Do not buy cheap looking cables!
  4. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Nope, won't work.

    The yet-to-ship adapter will convert the Thunderbolt port on a computer into a FireWire port.

    It does not convert in the opposite direction. You cannot create a Thunderbolt port from the FireWire port on your older computer.

    Same goes for the Ethernet adapter - cannot create a Thunderbolt port from Apple's Thunderbolt to Ethernet adapter.

    Same goes for an HDMI or DVI or VGA adapter which are intended to convert from mDP/Thunderbolt TO these display connector options. They don't work in the opposite direction, converting to a Thunderbolt port.

    If they did, you would be hearing lots more on these forums, with people bragging about how their $10-30 adapter is creating Thunderbolt ports on all sorts of devices and computers.
  5. TomiY1 macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    will you still be able to daisy chain firewire devices from the single thunderbolt port on the new laptops?
  6. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    Yes, if the FireWire device you connect has two ports for daisy-chaining. Many external FireWire drives have 2 ports for daisy chaining.
  7. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Man I need this TB/FW converter soon, what's the hold up Apple?
  8. TomiY1 macrumors member


    Sep 13, 2008
    San Diego, CA
    seriously... when is this adapter coming out? = /
  9. mBox macrumors 68020

    Jun 26, 2002
    Im treating this like the 2013 Mac Pro and Resolve 9 ;)
    Damn it, I need it now!!
  10. jk73 macrumors 6502

    Jul 19, 2012
    Why wouldn't the scenario the OP described work? If the new adapter turns the Thunderbolt port into a FireWire port, and then the OP plugs a FireWire cable into the adapter, isn't that exactly what the adapter is meant to do?
  11. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    You cannot create a Thunderbolt port from a FireWire connection. That's not the way it works.

    There are peripheral devices and there are computers with controllers.

    Controllers are typically within a computer; for now, Macintosh laptops are shipping and a few Windows laptops and motherboards that have been announced. They can control Thunderbolt peripherals.

    The way te FireWire adapter is supposed to work is that you can connect FireWire devices via that Apple Thunderbolt to FireWire adapter.

    You'll just need to wait until this adapter is shipping for the typicl reviewers to confirm this for you.
  12. terraphantm macrumors 68040

    Jun 27, 2009
    he's not asking if he could make a thunderbolt port from a firewire connection. He's just asking if a Mac w/ firewire 400 can communicate with another mac that has a thunderbolt adapter.
  13. g4cube macrumors 6502a

    Apr 22, 2003
    A good question for Apple - whether FireWire Target Disk mode will be supported. Perhaps. Perhaps not.

    Target Disk Mode is not the fastest protocol.
  14. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    I don't know for sure, but Thunderbolt itself definitely supports Target Disk Mode. I used it to migrate from my 2011 to 2012 MacBook Air. Since the forthcoming adapter essentially turns the Thunderbolt port into a Firewire 800 port, I would guess that it would support Firewire Target Disk Mode if you plug a Firewire cable into it.
  15. shetzo macrumors newbie

    Oct 28, 2013
  16. carestudio macrumors 6502

    Aug 6, 2008
    did anyone try Apple's thunderbolt to FireWire adapter and bus powered the FireWire 400 device? I have seen some mixed results ....

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