Update - Looking for perfect USB and Firewire expansion hub

Discussion in 'iMac' started by mauka, Feb 2, 2011.

  1. mauka, Feb 2, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 19, 2011

    mauka macrumors member

    mauka

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    #1
    Really enjoying my iMac 27" and unlike my Mac Mini I find myself moving everything to it. The result is I could be running out of ports soon - but so far all the usb and firewire hubs look like half solutions to me.

    For me the perfect hub would have the footprint of the Mini, be about half the height of the Mini, and combine powered USB and Firewire 800 ports facing front and back. Status/activity LED would be good if they could be toggled on and off. If it would house an internal hard drive or two would put it over the top! :rolleyes:

    Of course that's dreaming - what hubs are working for you?

    Thank you,
    Alan
     
  2. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #2
    A FW800 hub will be hard to find: Firewire 800/USB Hub
    But you can connect up to 63 FW devices to one FW bus anyway, that's why FW devices as HDDs often have two FW ports. It is called "daisy chaining".
     
  3. mauka thread starter macrumors member

    mauka

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    #3
    Thanks! Did not know that about Firewire. That means I could use two Firewire hard drives (or HD enclosures) and free up the two USB ports I'm using for a Time Machine backup drive and a 1TB drive. That could work very well.

    Since I have two drives in USB enclosures now I'd be interested in recommendations for good Firewire enclosures to replace the USB.

    Alan
     
  4. simsaladimbamba

    Joined:
    Nov 28, 2010
    Location:
    located
    #4
    MacAlly, Inxtron (if 2.5"), MacSales (OWC), G-STAR.
     
  5. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #5
    While Firewire800 is more than twice as fast as USB, it is expensive. For a TimeMachine drive high performance isn't necessary. Save your money and buy a USB hub instead, which you will probably need anyway.
     
  6. iPostpone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    #6
    Mr

    You nearly nailed the description of the NewerTechnology miniStack external hard drive, available at OWC. There are no status/activity lights, but otherwise, it's exactly what you're looking for. I've had one for 2.5 years, and I'm just about to upgrade the internal hard drive from 500GB to 1TB. The ports are incredibly handy: 2 FW 800, 1 FW 400, 3 USB, and 1 eSATA. Available in many sizes Check it out here:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministack/
     
  7. iPostpone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    #7
    Mr

    You nearly nailed the description of the NewerTechnology miniStack external hard drive, available at OWC. There are no status/activity lights, but otherwise, it's exactly what you're looking for. I've had one for 2.5 years, and I'm just about to upgrade the internal hard drive from 500GB to 1TB. The ports are incredibly handy: 2 FW 800, 1 FW 400, 3 USB, and 1 eSATA. Available in many sizes up to 2TB. Check it out here:

    http://eshop.macsales.com/shop/ministack/
     
  8. mauka, Feb 2, 2011
    Last edited: Feb 2, 2011

    mauka thread starter macrumors member

    mauka

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    #8
    No kidding the specs on the mini-stack reads like my wish list! I did notice the product reviews on Amazon.com are mostly negative; 11 of 21 total are one star and one five star. Problems cited are early drive failures, heat issues, and data corruption.

    iPostpone - I take it that has not been your experience?

    Alan
     
  9. talmy macrumors 601

    talmy

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2009
    Location:
    Oregon
    #9
    You need to realize that most FW800 compatible drives have a second FW800 port and a FW400 port for daisy-chaining. The only thing the miniStack gives you in addition is a 3 port USB 2 hub. It's certainly attractive for a mini, especially the older white ones, but lots of its advantages go away for an iMac.
     
  10. iPostpone macrumors member

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2007
    #10
    Those reviews on Amazon are kind of scary. :eek: I never had a single problem with my miniStack in 2.5 years. I've been using it for TimeMachine backup on FW800, and use the other ports heavily for a variety of devices. Now I'm wondering if I should bother replacing the hard drive with a larger one. Since I already have the bare drive, it's worth a try.
     
  11. mauka thread starter macrumors member

    mauka

    Joined:
    Nov 24, 2006
    #11
    Update: I decided to go with a Synology 710+ NAS instead of a USB hub or Firewire enclosures. This is in a different price range ($500), but the added functionality, flexibility, and good reviews won me over. This solves my USB port shortage by moving Time Machine and external storage to the network, freeing up two USB ports on my iMac.

    It's really an Atom D410 computer with two hot swappable hard drive bays and a host of well done software, very mac like software in that it just works. I've only had it for a couple of days but so far it's been easy to setup, very fast, and quiet.

    Synology 710+ review at smallnetbuilder.com

    Thank you everyone for you help!
    Alan
     

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