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Science Section => Science General Discussion => Math and Computers => Topic started by: Zatoichi on March 04, 2013, 01:32:40 AM

Title: Firewire to USB 3.0... possible?
Post by: Zatoichi on March 04, 2013, 01:32:40 AM
Like a lot of people out there who just bought a new computer, I'm a little bummed out about losing firewire.

I have video cameras that require IEEE1394 for capture. I intend to get rid of my Canon XL-2 and GL-2 miniDV tape cams as soon as possible (looking at the Nikon D800 for video as I already own a Nikon DSLR and have a few lenses.) but I also do audio recording though three Presonus FP10 Fiepods (each have 8 XLR mic inputs). These damn things set me back about $600 apiece when brand new, work just fine and there should be no reason to mothball them for the purposes of audio which requires streaming speeds well beneath the new HDMI and USB 3.0 standards. I would hate to have to throw away $1800 of investment in gear that works just fine as is.

From what I hear, USB 3.0 is faster than Firewire (is this true?) but I know they are different streaming formats. I don't see why it's not possible to have an interface that plugs into USB 3.0, and has firewire ports. Of course there would be some chips in it to convert the streaming formats but I don't see this as impossible at all.

Wouldn't mind paying a few hundred bucks for such a thing, the question is, is it possible?

Now, I've seen a device that plugs into USB 2.0 that accepts PCMCIA cards... the idea is you can get a firewire PCMCIA plugged into that, but the adapter is strictly for network cards and won't work with other cards, like firewire, etc, and USB 2.0 isn't fast enough for firewire anyway, but if they made such a thing for USB 3.0, there might be a combo that would do what I need to get both my cams and audio interfaces to work.

Any suggestions?
Title:
Post by: _Xenu_ on March 04, 2013, 02:10:38 AM
Just go to Radio Shack. They'll have some kind of converter.
Title: Re: Firewire to USB 3.0... possible?
Post by: pr126 on March 04, 2013, 02:39:50 AM
Quote
From what I hear, USB 3.0 is faster than Firewire (is this true?)
Yes, it is.

[youtube:3r5s55i8]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t4jiEY1JgOI[/youtube:3r5s55i8]
Title: Re:
Post by: Zatoichi on March 04, 2013, 02:47:37 AM
Quote from: "_Xenu_"
Just go to Radio Shack. They'll have some kind of converter.

Problem is there are a lot of "converters" out there, usually on some 'tech site' of ill repute... you buy it and guess what? It don't work. So there are a lot of fake devices out there claiming to apply to this task but they are all scams.

I'm just wondering if the industry considers this something not worth doing, when I see it as something that could be made fairly affordable (under a couple hundred bucks) and I know for a fact that there are millions of consumers who would buy such a device.

But from what I can tell, nobody out there is planning on making one. Shame because they're walking away from a lot of potential $$$.

I'm hoping one of you super techno-nerds, who know much better than I, might know better.

Please, please, please... Somebody give me some good news here!!!
Title:
Post by: pr126 on March 04, 2013, 03:00:11 AM
http://www.videomaker.com/comment/135335#comment-135335 (http://www.videomaker.com/comment/135335#comment-135335)
Title: Re:
Post by: Zatoichi on March 04, 2013, 03:06:16 AM
Quote from: "pr126"
http://www.videomaker.com/comment/135335#comment-135335

This looks promising. Thanks!

Waiting for the next MarkerTek catalog to show up at my door.

Maybe there IS light at the end of the tunnel!  :-D
Title:
Post by: Donel on March 04, 2013, 04:32:25 AM
you can go to newegg.com and buy a pci card with 2 firewire ports for under 10 dollars.
Title: Re:
Post by: Zatoichi on March 04, 2013, 09:46:09 PM
Quote from: "Donel"
you can go to newegg.com and buy a pci card with 2 firewire ports for under 10 dollars.

Got that on my desktop workstation already (4 ports) but I just got a new laptop that smokes my workstation so that's my problem.

The new lappy has HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports and no expandability, so I need it for that... basically so I can do mobile recording with my lappy.   :)
Title:
Post by: bennyboy on March 05, 2013, 07:52:39 AM
I wouldn't start plugging Firewire devices into USB.  If you have a desktop with firewire, I'd recommend using it.  And also, buy a camera made in the last 20 years! :P

There is probably an external Firewire/USB interface, but throwing money at an old-technology problem is never, ever worth it IMO.  Like if you start doing things like looking for AGP graphics cards to replace a burnt-out one, or you start looking for PCI hard-drives, or you stick to Windows 95 because it's the last system that has drivers for your printer.

Sticking with Firewire is like that.  My recommendation: just dump whatever you do onto your desktop for now, and don't bother trying to adapt crappy technology to your awesome new laptop.  It's a waste of money and time.
Title: Re: Re:
Post by: Johan on March 05, 2013, 12:18:08 PM
Quote from: "Zatoichi"
Quote from: "Donel"

The new lappy has HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports and no expandability, so I need it for that... basically so I can do mobile recording with my lappy.   :)
Sounds like you bought the wrong laptop.I know that sounds harsh but anyone who is capable enough to make use of a complex pro grade hardware setup ought to know that spec'ing the computer to the hardware you want it to drive is job one.
Title: Re: Firewire to USB 3.0... possible?
Post by: DunkleSeele on March 06, 2013, 05:17:00 PM
Quote from: "Zatoichi"
Like a lot of people out there who just bought a new computer, I'm a little bummed out about losing firewire.

I have video cameras that require IEEE1394 for capture. I intend to get rid of my Canon XL-2 and GL-2 miniDV tape cams as soon as possible (looking at the Nikon D800 for video as I already own a Nikon DSLR and have a few lenses.) but I also do audio recording though three Presonus FP10 Fiepods (each have 8 XLR mic inputs). These damn things set me back about $600 apiece when brand new, work just fine and there should be no reason to mothball them for the purposes of audio which requires streaming speeds well beneath the new HDMI and USB 3.0 standards. I would hate to have to throw away $1800 of investment in gear that works just fine as is.

From what I hear, USB 3.0 is faster than Firewire (is this true?) but I know they are different streaming formats. I don't see why it's not possible to have an interface that plugs into USB 3.0, and has firewire ports. Of course there would be some chips in it to convert the streaming formats but I don't see this as impossible at all.

Wouldn't mind paying a few hundred bucks for such a thing, the question is, is it possible?

Now, I've seen a device that plugs into USB 2.0 that accepts PCMCIA cards... the idea is you can get a firewire PCMCIA plugged into that, but the adapter is strictly for network cards and won't work with other cards, like firewire, etc, and USB 2.0 isn't fast enough for firewire anyway, but if they made such a thing for USB 3.0, there might be a combo that would do what I need to get both my cams and audio interfaces to work.

Any suggestions?
OK, first of all: why do you insist on USB3.0? You don't need the speed offered by this standard, USB2.0 is more than enough. Let's estimate the required speed: you have 24 channels of audio at 24/96; each channels spits out 288 kByte/s; in total, 24 channels used simultaneously will use a bandwith of less than 7 MByte/s; add some 20% for error correction, packet sync etc and you're still at around 8 MByte/s. In other words, USB 2.0 is more than enough speed wise and Firewire, in spite of its theoretically higher speed, won't stream the data faster than the speed at which they are generated.

Now, the only real FW-USB2.0 converter available is a DIY device: Linky (http://http://www-user.tu-chemnitz.de/~heha/bastelecke/Rund%20um%20den%20PC/u2f/index.html.en). On this site you have all the information needed to build such a thing and, if you can't do it yourself, find someone who knows some electronics and can build it.

Another solution could be to use the network connection of your lappy. Before you invest any money, make a simple experiment: connect your firewire equipment to your desktop and configure them as shared devices on your local network. Then see if you can see and use them from your laptop.

If the above works, the next step to make you completely mobile would be to buy the smallest possible computer with a firewire input and use it as a "server" for your audio device. For example, you could buy a used Mac mini (I know... yuckkkk!). Connect the "server" and your laptop via a network cable and share the audio gear over this "network". It's a bit convoluted, but it should (theoretically) work.

Good luck!
Title: Re:
Post by: DunkleSeele on March 06, 2013, 05:25:38 PM
Quote from: "bennyboy"
I wouldn't start plugging Firewire devices into USB.  If you have a desktop with firewire, I'd recommend using it.  And also, buy a camera made in the last 20 years! :P

There is probably an external Firewire/USB interface, but throwing money at an old-technology problem is never, ever worth it IMO.  Like if you start doing things like looking for AGP graphics cards to replace a burnt-out one, or you start looking for PCI hard-drives, or you stick to Windows 95 because it's the last system that has drivers for your printer.

Sticking with Firewire is like that.  My recommendation: just dump whatever you do onto your desktop for now, and don't bother trying to adapt crappy technology to your awesome new laptop.  It's a waste of money and time.
Big, hairy bollocks. This is the same mentality pushed onto us by the big corporations, to make us throw away perfectly good equipment and buy the newest, fancy device which, at the end of the day, doesn't work better than the previous one.

The OP spent a considerable amount of money on serious audio gear and now he should throw it away because of a technical detail? Just because firewire has now been abandoned (actually, it shouldn't have been adopted ever in the first place, but this is another topic)? In spite of the fact that the real, required speed could be sustained by the good, old USB 1.0? As I said, big bollocks. There can be a soultion to the OP's problem and, if true, it will be money well spent, as his audio gear can well serve him for many years to come.
Title: Re: Firewire to USB 3.0... possible?
Post by: Johan on March 06, 2013, 06:28:29 PM
Here's something else to keep in mind. Those Presonus interfaces aren't worth much on the used market and they still work fine. But they're worth something on the used market and they're not going to keep working fine forever. They are already to the point where they are not worth fixing should they need repair. There is some merit to selling them off while they still hold some value rather than hanging on to them until they are not only worthless but could also end up costing you money just to get rid of them.

I understand not wanting to upgrade something that still works perfectly. But I think is also important to look at the big picture in terms of total lifecycle and choosing an exit point that makes sense. Just some food for thought.
Title: Re: Re:
Post by: bennyboy on March 06, 2013, 10:21:19 PM
Quote from: "DunkleSeele"
Quote from: "bennyboy"
I wouldn't start plugging Firewire devices into USB.  If you have a desktop with firewire, I'd recommend using it.  And also, buy a camera made in the last 20 years! :P

There is probably an external Firewire/USB interface, but throwing money at an old-technology problem is never, ever worth it IMO.  Like if you start doing things like looking for AGP graphics cards to replace a burnt-out one, or you start looking for PCI hard-drives, or you stick to Windows 95 because it's the last system that has drivers for your printer.

Sticking with Firewire is like that.  My recommendation: just dump whatever you do onto your desktop for now, and don't bother trying to adapt crappy technology to your awesome new laptop.  It's a waste of money and time.
Big, hairy bollocks. This is the same mentality pushed onto us by the big corporations, to make us throw away perfectly good equipment and buy the newest, fancy device which, at the end of the day, doesn't work better than the previous one.

The OP spent a considerable amount of money on serious audio gear and now he should throw it away because of a technical detail? Just because firewire has now been abandoned (actually, it shouldn't have been adopted ever in the first place, but this is another topic)? In spite of the fact that the real, required speed could be sustained by the good, old USB 1.0? As I said, big bollocks. There can be a soultion to the OP's problem and, if true, it will be money well spent, as his audio gear can well serve him for many years to come.
He's already got a Firewire setup on his desktop.  The question is whether he wants to go to the bother of getting adapters, which don't work and could damage his shiny new laptop, or get expensive external setups, or just stick with what he has.

I'm in the exact same boat.  I have an old Firewire camera, and my new comp doesn't have it.  So I keep around my old computer.  Once I've dumped a project onto my desktop, it's a matter of a few seconds (or minutes in the case of full-tape dumps) to transfer the data to whatever new device I like for editing and processing.

i'm sticking to my advice-- keep old hardware with old hardware, and use the new devices at the processing stage only.
Title: Re: Re:
Post by: Zatoichi on March 07, 2013, 08:11:13 PM
Quote from: "Johan"
Quote from: "Zatoichi"
Quote from: "Donel"

The new lappy has HDMI, USB 2.0 and USB 3.0 ports and no expandability, so I need it for that... basically so I can do mobile recording with my lappy.   :)
Sounds like you bought the wrong laptop.I know that sounds harsh but anyone who is capable enough to make use of a complex pro grade hardware setup ought to know that spec'ing the computer to the hardware you want it to drive is job one.

It was a gift so I ain't exactly in a position to be picky or to complain.
Title: Re: Re:
Post by: Johan on March 07, 2013, 09:08:01 PM
Quote from: "Zatoichi"
It was a gift so I ain't exactly in a position to be picky or to complain.
Ah, roger that. Great to get a laptop as a gift like that. Sucks that it lacks the connectivity you need. So which solution do you think you're going to go with? Try building your own USB/1394 converter? Replace the interfaces? Something else?