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Old February 5th, 2011, 01:25 AM   #1
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Working with multiple external drives on MBP

I'm starting a new project which is bigger than anything I've worked on before. The end result will be a 1.5 hour DVD and HD download. I live/work on the road and edit with a 17" MacBook Pro with a 1TB Lacie rugged external drive. That drive is already getting close to full and I'm only a quarter of the way with filming. Since I'm restricted to working on a laptop how will I work with multiple drives if I only have one firewire port? Will I be forced to use USB drives?

I film with a Panasonic GH2 at 720 60p and log and transfer to Apple ProRes.

Thanks for any help!
Alex
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Old February 6th, 2011, 11:53 AM   #2
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You can daisy chain Firewire drives -- I have three attached to a single port as a matter of course. If you have a drive that is FW400 make sure it comes 'later' than the FW800 drives -- I believe the system will slow downstream of a slower connection. I can state though that my chain of FW800 drives maintain their full speed even when my slower FW400 drive is attached to the end of the chain ... I can't test my advice as the FW400 drive is the one drive I have without a second port, so it is always the end of the chain.

Cheers,
GB
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Old February 6th, 2011, 12:07 PM   #3
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I have been using the NexStar 3 HDD enclosures. They provide USB2, eSATA and Firewire 800/400 connections. When a HDD fills up, I swap in a new one. I have had now problems with daisy chaining Firewire drives.
For eSATA I have a Sonnet Expresscard dual port eSATA card for my 17-inch MBP.
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Old February 7th, 2011, 10:29 AM   #4
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I found this Nitro AV 8 port Firewire 800 hub that eliminates the need to daisy chain. It's $150 but might be worth it to maintain speed to all your drives.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 09:58 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alex Savage View Post
I found this Nitro AV 8 port Firewire 800 hub that eliminates the need to daisy chain. It's $150 but might be worth it to maintain speed to all your drives.
Going through a hub is really the same as daisy chaining. All of the drives are sharing the same amount of bandwidth in the MBP's single FW port.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 10:37 AM   #6
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I use one of these. It has multiple interfaces and is safe when formatted correctly.
OWC Mercury Pro Qx2 4-Bay RAID 0/1/5/10 eSATA, FireWire 400/800, USB2 Desktop Removable Bay Storage Solution - up to 12.0TB

Good Luck!

Dave
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Old February 8th, 2011, 03:31 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Arnie Schlissel View Post
Going through a hub is really the same as daisy chaining. All of the drives are sharing the same amount of bandwidth in the MBP's single FW port.
While you are correct about the speed as there is only one bus you do have a different point of failure for the connection so I like the Nitro AV hub for hooking up more than 3 drives. Also some drives don't loop the 800 port so a hub can help you if you have multiple drives like the Lacie Ruggeds.
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Old February 8th, 2011, 10:03 PM   #8
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An expresscard with two firewire ports will give you a total of three ports.
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Old February 9th, 2011, 12:53 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sareesh Sudhakaran View Post
An expresscard with two firewire ports will give you a total of three ports.
And an express card with esata ports and the above unit I mentioned will fly compared to firewire.

Good Luck!

Dave
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