Web Camera - High Speed Firewire

Of the two web cams that I use, this one from Unibrain in my favorite.

image Fire-i Webcam Firewire Digital Camera By Unibrain model 2036
The main reasons I like it so much is for the excellent output quaility and for the high frame it acheives without taxing my computer's cpu.

Firewire is the key reason. With this cam, high frame rates take place and move the data effortlessly through the firewire pipeline.

This camera is excellent for iChat and Skype.

My only complaint is that the camera is so light, the firewire cable is much heavier and will tend to boss this thing around. Finding a way to securely mount this camera is a challenge. But the output is so good, it's worth the effort of finding a way to lock this down.

Fire-i Webcam Firewire Digital Camera By Unibrain

FireWire Adapter - 6-Pin to 4-Pin

Adapters are good things to have around. You never know when you might need to hook one device to another and need some sort of connection changer thingamajig.

image Cables To Go - 27028 - Firewire 6-Pin Female 4-Pin Male Adapter
This firewire adapter has a 6 pin female conection on one end and 4 pin male conector on the other end - thereby converting a 6 pin male ended cable to a 4 pin male end. In short, this converts from 6 pin to 4 pin.

So what are you giving up with the loss of 2 pins? Power. This adapter should not be used for any firewire device that gets its power from the firewire bus. Chances are that if the device you want to connect to has a 4 pin connector on it, it most likely doesn't get its power thru firewire anyway. I only mention it for those that want to know what's the difference between 4 pin and 6 pin firewire. ok?

Firewire 6-Pin Female 4-Pin Male Adapter

FireWire Hub - 6 Port

Hubs are a great accessory. It's an easy way to add more connections to your system, AND save wear and tear on those ports within your computer.

For those peripherals that you plug in once during system setup, using the ports on the computer is just fine. However, for those devices that you repeatedly connect, such as webcams, card readers, video cameras, iPods, iPhones, headphones, and portable hard drives, using a hub is a much better option.

image Belkin FireWire 6-Port Hub F5U526-APL
Repeatedly plugging and unplugging puts stress and strain on those connections. Over time there's a very good chance that a port's soldier connection will eventually fail. With a hub, you can just switch to a different port or if necessary, replace the hub.

Changing out a hub is a lot easier and more economical than having to repair your computer. A hub also puts those ports within easy reach - you won't find yourself standing on your head to make a connection on the back side of your computer.

This Hub, by Belkin, is a FireWire version and comes with 6 ports. It's a powered hub meaning it can act as a repeater, so you can place devices up to an additional 15 feet (4.5 meters) from other connected FireWire peripherals. Connecting devices to the Hub using 6-pin to 6-pin FireWire cables enables them to draw power from the hub and not the computer. This port can transmit data up 400Mbps - depending on the capacity of your devices.

Belkin FireWire 6-Port Powered Hub


One final note: External Hard drives should NOT be connected to a Firewire hub - they should be connected directly to your computer. While some hard drives work fine on a hub, a good share of them do not. If your documentation for the hard drive indicates that they will work on a hub then it's ok to do so. Unless you know for sure, my advice is to play it safe and plug those into the back of the computer.

FireWire Active Extension Cable

Firewire is a great high-speed interface protocol. The communications bandwidth is excellent prompting Apple to become one of the first computer manufacturers to incorporate this serial bus interface into their entire product line.

Firewire is great for close connections but if you need to extend the distance between devices, you could run into problems with signal degradation.

I prefer to live within the suggested limits of around 10 feet but sometimes it's necessary to push that limit. To do that, you need to get one of these Active Extension Cables. An active extension cable amplifies and repeats the signal to go that extra distance.

image ieee1394 active extension firewire cable
With this active extension cable, you can now extend your current cable another 16 feet! This is ideal for any situation where your device needs to be placed some distance from your computer. One example might be a video surveillance camera.

Incidentally, you can daisy chain up to 5 of these cables together to achieve a distance of over 80 feet. However, be aware that each time you extend the cable, a potential for interference is introduced.

FireWire 6 Pin Active Extension Cable 5 meter (16.4 ft) long

Hard Drive - External, FireWire & USB

image iomega ultramax 500 gb usb 2 firewire 400 desktop external hard drive 33904
External Hard Drives are getting to the point that they're considered commodities now. The price has plummeted while performance has continued to skyrocket.

For normal uses such as additional storage or a device to use with TimeMachine, this drive should work just fine.

This drive clocks in at 500GB of storage, 7200RPM platter spin, and includes both FireWire and USB interface connectors.

In addition to great performance specs, this unit looks great too. Drive is small enough to tuck into a purse, backpack, or briefcase. Use it at home or on the run. Btw, it's made by Iomega so there's that going for it too. Includes a one year warranty.

This is an unbelievable storage solution for under $100.

Iomega UltraMax 500 GB USB 2.0 - FireWire 400 Desktop External Hard Drive