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Thread: iMac only has one Firewire port. How can I capture to my external hard drive?

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    Default iMac only has one Firewire port. How can I capture to my external hard drive?

    Thanks for taking the time to read my thread!
    I only have about 2 GB of space left on my iMac, so I just purchased a G-Raid external Hard drive, which is on its way now.
    Seeing my iMac only has one Firewire 800 port, how am I suppose to capture footage to my external hard drive both my camera and external hard drive use a firewire 800 connection?
    The external hard drive has a USB connection as an option too, but I've read that USB connection is very slow.
    So is my only option to connect my camera via firewire and hard drive via USB, and capture it that way?
    The Hard Drive itself has two Firewire 800 ports. Could I connect my camera directly to the hard drive via firewire and then my hard drive to my computer via firewire and capture it that way?
    I hope this makes sense. Has anyone ever dealt with external hard drives before?
    Thanks for your help!
    Last edited by tyler.; 2010 May 11th at 22:17.

  2. #2

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    I wouldn't worry about it. Though firewire performs better, USB 2.0 can still transfer data at almost 20 times the bitrate of HDV, so the difference is negligable. However, Firewire would probably be the better option when editing from that drive.

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    Daisychain cam and hard drive. All you need is a 4pin to 9pin cable. I wouldn't use USB for video editing.
    Clean up you internal HD. UNIX systems prefer to have at least 10% free space on drives.
    What you call a grumpy German? - Sour Kraut

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    Quote Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
    Daisychain cam and hard drive. All you need is a 4pin to 9pin cable. I wouldn't use USB for video editing.
    Clean up you internal HD. UNIX systems prefer to have at least 10% free space on drives.
    By this, do you mean connect my HV30 directly to my hard drive using a 4pin to 9pin cable, and connect my hard drive to my computer using 9pin to 9pin cable?
    Thanks for your response! Sorry if I'm misunderstanding.

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    Yep!
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    Indeed, that's what I do, too. And I have 3 (three!) drives between camera and Mac!

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    BUT .... Daisychain more than ONE device to a Firewire 800 port WILL reduce the bus speed to Firewire 400.
    But what can you do other than this? No, no other way.
    So just to tell you that the speed is Firewire 400.

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    Firewire 400 is perfectly adequate for DV and HDV.

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Charter View Post
    BUT .... Daisychain more than ONE device to a Firewire 800 port WILL reduce the bus speed to Firewire 400.
    Only if there's a FW400 device in the chain.
    What you call a grumpy German? - Sour Kraut

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    HV20 = FW400, so the max speed is only FW400.
    Ture, the speed it is OK but just don't think it is FW800 speed that's all.

    Or unplug the HV after capture then you have FW800 speed.

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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    You keep your cam plugged i and running day and night?
    What you call a grumpy German? - Sour Kraut

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    Thank you so much for the responses!

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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler. View Post
    I only have about 2 GB of space left on my iMac...
    You might want to buy two identical external drives - so they can mirror each other - and copy your media onto them. I am presuming that your iMac's drive is full of music, movies, or perhaps captured footage.

    p.s. two identical drives (such as 2 500GB Western Digital Passports) so if one dies you haven't lost all of your media.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cgbier View Post
    You keep your cam plugged i and running day and night?
    No! That's why I said "Or unplug the HV after capture then you have FW800 speed."

    I don't plug my HV to the computer all day. I just plug myself to my coffee pod all day

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    I'm from Philly, so I know Will Smith! askclifford's Avatar
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    Firewire Splitter
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    Tropical Legend cgbier's Avatar
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    Waste of money. You can daisy chain up to 63 (or so) FW devices.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dr. Benway View Post
    You might want to buy two identical external drives - so they can mirror each other - and copy your media onto them. I am presuming that your iMac's drive is full of music, movies, or perhaps captured footage.

    p.s. two identical drives (such as 2 500GB Western Digital Passports) so if one dies you haven't lost all of your media.
    Better yet, once you have 2 drives RAID1 them together. Either get an enclosure or just use software RAID.

    I agree... FW splitter is rubbish. FW can only support so many devices... whether it's daisy-chaining or using a hub/splitter, that number remains the same. Therefore, why spend the money on a splitter that gets you nothing?
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    Quote Originally Posted by tyler. View Post
    By this, do you mean connect my HV30 directly to my hard drive using a 4pin to 9pin cable, and connect my hard drive to my computer using 9pin to 9pin cable?
    Thanks for your response! Sorry if I'm misunderstanding.
    I have tried this method and it's just not working for me. My iMac has no FW400 and that is the only DV cable I have. My external HD's have the FW400 but FCP can't find or control the camera and when I got it to control the camera it got no image. I'm stumped.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Khufu1969 View Post
    I have tried this method and it's just not working for me. My iMac has no FW400 and that is the only DV cable I have. My external HD's have the FW400 but FCP can't find or control the camera and when I got it to control the camera it got no image. I'm stumped.
    I figured it out. Never mind.

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