Thunderbolt - Firewire converter

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

  1. ccs569 macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2011
    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?

  2. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    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. Peteyy macrumors newbie


    Jul 27, 2011
    England, UK
  4. ccs569 thread starter macrumors newbie

    Jun 19, 2011
  5. clyde2801 macrumors 601


    Mar 6, 2008
    In the land of no hills and red dirt.
    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. accessoriesguy macrumors 6502a

    Jul 8, 2011
    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

    Rasan macrumors member

    Aug 18, 2011
    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. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    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. darngooddesign macrumors G3

    Jul 4, 2007
    Atlanta, GA
    Ethernet cable, wireless network, or external drive.
  10. petrucci666 macrumors 6502a


    Apr 30, 2009
    Los Angeles, CA
  11. krburrell macrumors regular

    Dec 5, 2007
    I've never seen a a DP to FW adapter.
  12. wiregen macrumors member

    Jun 10, 2004
    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. EthanMiller macrumors member

    Aug 15, 2011
    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. phairphan macrumors 6502a


    Sep 21, 2005
    Reject Beach
    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. jackrv macrumors 6502

    Jul 14, 2011
    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. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    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. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    Apparently it's an ExpressCard 34 adapter.
  18. archangelg macrumors newbie

    Aug 19, 2011
    I dunno... ~$150 seems rather pricey... do others feel similarly or am I off?
  19. KPOM macrumors G5

    Oct 23, 2010
    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. GekkePrutser macrumors 6502a


    Aug 18, 2005
    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. Hellhammer Moderator


    Staff Member

    Dec 10, 2008
    Thanks! Put together something on this:

    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. misterbig macrumors member

    Aug 19, 2010
    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. ankh macrumors member

    Jan 9, 2003
    '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. deeddawg macrumors 604

    Jun 14, 2010
    Not without a hacksaw.

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


    Sep 19, 2006
    Millis, Massachusetts
    Does your FW drive also have a USB port on it?

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