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Author Topic: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3  (Read 2399 times)

C+B

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PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« on: March 11, 2018, 08:09:14 AM »


As I'm going to abandon the Apple-route and will rely on Windows machines for the foreseeable future, I'm currently looking for a new Laptop for on location tethering and editing images when I'm traveling.

My MFDB only has a FireWire port but it can use its own battery when connected for tethering.

So far so good. The problem is that in 2018 no modern laptop features a Firewire port. Now with Apple this wasn't a problem until a few years ago, as there was a Thunderbolt 1&2 adapter for FireWire that worked like a charm (though it doesn't power the back). Now with Thunderbolt 3 (which is available for Windows and Mac alike) there's a new connector type and it seems to be much more confusing than it was with TB1/2.

  • PhaseOne support told me that getting a dock (such as the OWC) would be the most reliable solution and that the Thunderbolt3<->Thunderbolt 2 + Thunderbolt2<->Firewire800 adapter chain would not work.
  • Reddit users have reported that the adapter chain indeed works but not explicitly for a PhaseOne back using CaptureOne tethering on Windows...
  • Some said that the Apple TB3<->TB2 Adapters work fine in this configuration and others suggested StarTech Adapters because the Apple Adapter doesn't work for them.

Personally I would really prefer the adapter chain as it's the only real portable option (I wouldn't even know where to start with a custom battery for the OWC dock, nevermind the additional cost) - but before I buy everything I would really like to know if there's some consensus here on this forum regarding the connectivity issue and which adapters work.

I have also been thinking about getting a workstation grade laptop with an expresscard-port +firewire-expresscard. But that's very expensive and limits my options severely, so I'd rather not, even though that looks like a very reliable option that doesn't require additional external power.
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gebseng

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C+B

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #2 on: March 11, 2018, 09:53:49 AM »

I already read your request but I don't need a tablet connection, my question is whether it generally works with Capture One on Windows based Laptops with a Thunderbolt 3 connection + the adapter chain to settle the whole confusion that seems to surround this connection.

You too only got an answer regarding a Hasselblad back but that doesn't really help us to know whether it works on a P1 back too.
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C+B

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #3 on: March 13, 2018, 02:10:54 PM »

Hmmm so nobody is tethering their Firewire based PhaseOne backs to a Thunderbolt 3 device?  ???
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gebseng

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #4 on: March 13, 2018, 04:44:52 PM »

Hmmm so nobody is tethering their Firewire based PhaseOne backs to a Thunderbolt 3 device?  ???

funny!
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C+B

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #5 on: March 13, 2018, 04:48:32 PM »

Excuse me?  :) What's funny about that? I would assume that some people are in the same position.

Again: I don't need any advice concerning tablets, I just need to know whether people have been using a good and reliable connection on a regular Windows-based laptop or desktop via a Thunderbolt 3 connector.
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gebseng

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #6 on: March 13, 2018, 04:49:58 PM »

Excuse me?  :) What's funny about that? I would assume that some people are in the same position.

Again: I don't need any advice concerning tablets, I just need to know whether people have been using a good and reliable connection on a regular Windows-based laptop or desktop via a Thunderbolt 3 connector.

sorry! I also really would like a stable solution, but I guess it just doesn't exist.
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C+B

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #7 on: March 13, 2018, 04:59:26 PM »

Well PhaseOne support suggested the OWC dock and that would indeed be stable. But I'm not always able to access an external power source for the hub and I wouldn't even know where to start with regards to a custom battery setup.
Maybe you're able to built such a battery to power the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock, but I have no idea how to do that.

Regarding the adapter chain a lot of people using Hasselblad have reported to be able to use the TB3<->TB2 + TB2<->FW800 connection - but I don't know what that means for PhaseOne backs or the ability of CaptureOne to recognize and communicate with the back through such a connection - like Phocus does with Hasselblad backs.
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landscapephoto

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #8 on: March 14, 2018, 03:41:43 AM »

I wouldn't even know where to start with regards to a custom battery setup.
Maybe you're able to built such a battery to power the OWC Thunderbolt 3 Dock, but I have no idea how to do that.

Basically, you would need to build a custom cable similar to this one:

http://www.usbfirewire.com/parts/rr-cfb-9401p.html

but with FW 800 at both ends. Then you connect that to a 12V battery.

Building the cable is trivial if you have some soldering experience: take a cheap FW 800 cable, open it and use the two power wires which you'll find inside. They are the ones which are not twisted pairs. Obviously, you will need to connect with the right polarity or you risk frying the back, so I'll leave my instructions intentionally sketchy. If you don't know where the find the pinout and how to check the polarity yourself, maybe you should get someone else to do the cable for you...
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C+B

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #9 on: March 14, 2018, 04:00:21 AM »

Errr how would that power the Dock?

I don't need to power the camera via Firewire, I just need a connection from Thunderbolt 3 to FireWire ;)
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landscapephoto

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #10 on: March 14, 2018, 02:10:57 PM »

Errr how would that power the Dock?

I don't need to power the camera via Firewire, I just need a connection from Thunderbolt 3 to FireWire ;)

My bad. If you dont need power, the combination TB3-TB2 + TB2-FW adapters should work (but is yet untested as you noted). If you just need to power the OWC dock, you would need a battery delivering 20V.
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Joe Towner

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #11 on: March 15, 2018, 07:44:41 AM »

http://www.omnicharge.co/products/omni-20

It'll power via the standard ac adapter, but can also do direct dc output via a barrel connection - up to 3.5amps which should be plenty if you don't have a usb device powered off it.  I am tempted to say you'd want a TB2  based dock, as doing TB3-TB2 removes the temptation for the laptop to charge via the dock.
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C+B

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #12 on: March 15, 2018, 08:27:21 AM »

But then again if I had a TB2 based dock I'd still need a TB3-TB2 adapter anyway...

But that battery thingamajig looks somewhat promising, I'll have to look into whether you can disable power draw from the TB3 dock...
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D Fuller

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #13 on: April 10, 2018, 11:32:50 AM »

Hmmm so nobody is tethering their Firewire based PhaseOne backs to a Thunderbolt 3 device?  ???

I'm doing this. I tether a P65+ to a MacBook Pro using only (too many) adapters.

I use a FW400-800 cable to a FW800-TB2 adapter to a TB2-TB3/USB-C adapter to the MacBook. It works. I power the back with its own battery. All the adapters are Apple brand. I find the system is a bit slow to identify the camera, but once linked, it works as expected.

I have no idea how things might be different on a Windows machine, but I can tell you that connecting things to the MacBook is a mixed bag in general. I have often gotten good results with one adapter brand and nada from another for the same device.

Test...test...test...
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C+B

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #14 on: April 10, 2018, 12:12:35 PM »

Thank you!
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andyptak

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #15 on: April 10, 2018, 12:38:37 PM »

I have three 13" Windows laptops - two Fujitsu and one Toshiba, that have Express Card slots that I use with Firewire. I bought the Fujitsus used from Staples - coming off lease - for $300 each. They're not fast but they work reliably with C1 and LR for tethering.

When everyone starting dropping Express Card slots I bought myself some spares because I won't be upgrading my Phase P45+ and I wanted to future proof myself.

You can probably do the same.
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C+B

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #16 on: April 10, 2018, 12:53:36 PM »

I have three 13" Windows laptops - two Fujitsu and one Toshiba, that have Express Card slots that I use with Firewire. I bought the Fujitsus used from Staples - coming off lease - for $300 each. They're not fast but they work reliably with C1 and LR for tethering.

When everyone starting dropping Express Card slots I bought myself some spares because I won't be upgrading my Phase P45+ and I wanted to future proof myself.

You can probably do the same.

Well so far the only acceptable laptop that still offers an ExpressCard is the Lenovo P51 - but that's very heavy and very expensive with a 100% Adobe RGB screen. I think I'd rather go with Thunderbolt as it offers a lot more options.
Besides I need a fast laptop to work on the road and to let clients judge and review images during tethering.

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andyptak

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #17 on: April 10, 2018, 02:31:55 PM »

In that case, coming back to purchasing used, I have a 3 year old Asus G55V which is their Republic of Gamers line, which I don't take on location because it's more than I need. Thunderbolt and USB3 with an Core i7, 12GB Ram and 15" screen. Only the later versions had Thunderbolt.

Great machine, probably available used and won't break the bank. Highly recommended.
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C+B

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #18 on: April 10, 2018, 02:34:08 PM »

Not 100% Adobe RGB though, right?

I was more thinking something like the upcoming Dell XPS 15 with 16 or 32GB RAM. Those 16-Bit TIFF files eat up RAM like kids eat candy.
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andyptak

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Re: PhaseOne backs with Firewire & Thunderbolt 3
« Reply #19 on: April 10, 2018, 03:33:19 PM »

I think you're right. Composition and focus is all I really use tethered for.

Frankly, I don't know how you work with someone looking over your shoulder and needing to check color balance on location. I'd go ape sh*t !

I'd go for the new Dell too, but too much money for me.

Good luck.
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