Which FireWire Cable Do I Need?
July 27, 2008 6:40 PM   Subscribe

Which FireWire cable do I need?

I have a PreSonus FirePod and an iMac.

I already have a firewire hard disk plugged into the firewire 400 port on my iMac, and need to connect the FirePod to it tomorrow.

Am I right in thinking that if I use a cable such as this one it should work without a hitch?

Please help me hive mind! I need to get my studio set up going really quickly!
posted by mdavis1982 to Computers & Internet (7 answers total)
According to the specs on the firepod, it has a Firewire 400 interface. So you do not want the cable pictured--you want a regular Firewire 400 cable, with 6-pin connectors (the arrowhead shaped ones) at each end. I'd be a little surprised if your new gadget didn't include one.
posted by adamrice at 6:56 PM on July 27, 2008

Yup.. it has a FW 400 interface... But I'm wondering if I can plug it into a FW800 port and it still work because I don't have a spare FW400 port on the back of my machine?
posted by mdavis1982 at 7:00 PM on July 27, 2008

Firewire 800 ports are backwards compatible with Firewire 400 devices, but do require that you use a FW800 to FW400 cable (such as the one to which you linked) or you can install a FW800->FW400 adapter (e.g. Sonnet's adapter ~$15) and use a standard FW400 cable.
posted by RichardP at 7:07 PM on July 27, 2008

A FW800-to-FW400 cable will work just fine with your iMac. Your audio adapter and iMac will talk to each other at FW400 speed.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:10 PM on July 27, 2008

Excellent! Thanks for the help!
posted by mdavis1982 at 7:18 PM on July 27, 2008

AFAICT, most firewire devices are built with two ports for daisy-chaining. Just out of curiosity, is there a reason not to do this?
posted by adamrice at 7:43 PM on July 27, 2008

The Firepod's manual shows that its has two 6-pin firewire connectors on the back, so you could presumably daisy-chain it to some other FW400 device. The only reason I can think of not to do this is if the devices are bus-powered and you run out of power on that chain. Or if the combined devices on that host port use too much bandwidth, but that seems unlikely (10 ports * 192ksps * 16bps * 2ch = 62Mbps, and Firewire can get a lot closer to its "full" data rate than many buses).
posted by hattifattener at 1:53 AM on July 28, 2008

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