General Question

rovdog's avatar

Is there any way to convert Firewire to USB 2.0 or vice versa?

Asked by rovdog (842points) March 29th, 2008

If I get a USB 2/Firewire combo hub could I hook a USB 2 device to the hub and connect that to my computer via firewire. My limitation is that I only have USB 1.0 ports on my laptop and the only high speed port I have is a firewire 400. If this isn’t a solution, and I’m guessing it probably isn’t that simple, is there another way?

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5 Answers

Cooldil17's avatar

There are conversion cables for all of this and more at Target, I got a kit there for $35 so you should check it out! Best Buy or Circuit City might have better deals but yeah. Its all in the conversion kit I got!

sharl's avatar

@Cooldil: I’d be interested to hear of your experiences with an adaptor cable to do this. My understanding is that the data rates, protocols, and power requirements of Firewire are all fundamentally different to those of USB, so a simple cable conversion just won’t make a FW device work on a USB port. There are some video/audio breakout boxes that connect to the computer via FW and provide USB ports, but they have their own power and conversion hardware, so they’re much more than a cable adaptor. Am I wrong on this? I’d love to be!

judochop's avatar

I have never tried it rovdog however I would try what you put up in the details. It should be that simple, if not I hear there are kits and some simple mods for under $100 that work. Oxford924 is a kit for FW and USB interfacing. Hmmmm I wish I was more help for you. Where are all the tech junkies at today?

jamms's avatar

I had a laptop like yours back in the day. I had to get a pc card to connect devices to my computer. I do not think this conversion is easily possible.

Conversely, I have a FireWire external hard drive and I can plug a USB device into it to charge or connect to my mac. But you need extra hardware (the hd) to do this.

rovdog's avatar

Thanks I will look into these suggestions-all helpful- also welcome some more.

@Cooldil- will definitely look into it, thanks.

@Jamms- that is helpful because I was thinking of getting a USB/Firewire Combo hard drive, and hoping I could pass a USB 2 device through to the computer. Is this what your talking about? What hard drive do you have? does it have an external power source? i am specifically looking for one that is Bus powered. I would go with a PC card but I don’t have a PC card slot-12 in 867MHz powerbook G4 doesn’t have one.

What I actually want to do is connect a Bus powered firewire harddrive to my mac, and then connect a USB 2.0 SD card reader to it and hopefully the computer. Could this work?

I could go all firewire (with daisychaining) but the problem is that they don’t make any SD card readers for firewire. Seems weird, right? They do make a few Compact Flash readers for firewire and I think you can get an SD to CF card to covert SD to CF but that seems like a very clunky and possibly much expensive solution.

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