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Firewire 800 bracket for Quo motherboard


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#1
timmy_pete

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After more than a year Quo still hasn't given a definitive answer when the promised Firewire bracket will be available, I've given up hope. I need it and can't wait any longer, so am going to try build one myself.
 
I ordered this backplate on eBay on 28 March and it arrived from China today. The bag it comes in bears the Gigabyte part number 12CR1-1UBIE1-01. It has 2x USB ports terminating in a yellow 10 pin (2x5) IDC plug. There is also a FW400 and FW800 port. A 6 cable cluster and an 8 cable cluster terminate on a purple 16 pin (2x8) IDC plug.
 
 
The good news:
  • Seems very good quality and is seemingly from Gigabyte.
  • With a magnifying glass and scalpel you can pull out plastic tabs on the plug, allowing easy removal of the pins intact.
  • Cable length suitable for my mid sized case.
 
The bad news:
  • Wire colouring is inconsistent with what I expected (Missing purple, grey and brown cables on the 800 cluster) 
  • 9 pin layout is not as I expected (6 pin might be largely the same)
  • 9 wire cluster has two wires fused on one pin (not per 1394B spec)
 
 
FW_1_downsampled.jpg
 
The wiring pinout for an 8 wire and 6 wire bundle.
 
 
FW_3_downsampled.jpg
 
The 16 pin IDC style plug header.
 
 
 
FW_4_downsampled.jpg
 
The wires removed from the header.
 
 
 
 
FW_2_downsampled.jpg
 
The other end is shielded and epoxied. It doesn't look like I will be able to access the wires easily, and my multimeter probes aren't fine enough to use on the ports directly.
 
 
 
 
I'm hoping I'll still be able to use the FW400 port, but if that doesn't work I'll just use the 800 & USB ports and then rely on the motherboard's IO pane 400 port. At this stage because of the inconsistency in the pinouts I've seen and the ambiguity of colours, it looks like I'm going to have to cut up a FW800 cable (and possibly a FW400 cable too) and test with a multimeter to determine the correct pinout.
 
I'm going to be guided by the wiring colours listed at this website (which does not mention motherboard ports at all)
 
I don't know enough about the Firewire spec to know if the two fused wires are OK or if I'll need to splice one onto a new pin. Any help on this would be appreciated.
 
This is the pinout of the current configuration:
 
 
header%20pinout.png
 
 
This is a diagram I've made from the motherboard page and an image I found on the net of the (apparently correct) colour spec (which follows afterwards). The Black and White cables with a dark background are thicker than the other black and white wires. The thick white wire is actually two terminating on the same pin.
 
board%20pinout.png
(the reference to manual means the Quo motherboard manual). Website means random image found on Google.
 
 
assignment-all.jpg
 
Firewire 800 pin layout
 
 
 
FW400.gif
Firewire 400 pin layout. (NB - judging by colours, it is possible that the FW400 part of the 16Pin plug is in this format with only Black S-GND on the opposite side)
 
 
 
 
 
I will hopefully get a chance tomorrow to pick up some 10 pin (5x2) IDC plugs, a battery for my multimeter and a Firewire cable I can take apart to test pinout. From there I'll test further.
 
 
 
 
IF ANYONE HAS DONE THIS BEFORE I'D REALLY APPRECIATE YOUR GUIDANCE. I don't want to damage my Firewire controller.


#2
yonka

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Interesting!  I would have expected TWO headers (at least) not one ..



#3
genzai

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First of all, this is great, because i am in the same situation. I have basically decommissioned my Quo board for now because the whole reason i got it was (between the thunderbolt and firewire800) i could save valuable PCIe slots that i need for my DIT work. I also see that these appear available to ship from china and at a reasonable cost.

 

In any case, I warn that i am not an engineer and my advice comes as someone who has tinkered in similar things but not as an expert.

 

First off, be very, very careful as you proceed. there is voltage sent over firewire and a wrong connection could damage the board , the connected device, or even you. Just proceed very methodically and carefully. 

 

There are tools available specifically for extracting pins like these without damaging the header. If you are able to accomplish this with a scalpel that is fine too, but keeping the header undamaged might be especially useful since i think you can use the usb header as a receptacle for the firewire pins (and discard the usb ports) or alternatively if you want to keep the usb ports because you are using the back panel brackets, you can buy very cheap and readily available usb motherboard headers to get access to the appropriate header receptacles- but you would need not to damage them so that when you insert the firewire pins they lock in place.

 

Secondly, i would completely disregard any cable color data unless you can get (and i suggest trying) a pinout diagram from gigabyte for this part (or probably more realistcly, find the motherboard it was meant to go with and use the manual of that board to read the pinouts). I will try to investigate this myself but a quick email to gigabyte might get the needed info. I just think the colors on that are probably non standard and a dead end. You will need to confirm the actual pinout of every pin, regardless of the color code.

 

Finally, as for the fused pins, i don't think that would be unusual if those are ground pins. its hard to imagine any other pins being fused but ground should be fine. You would then have the option of keeping them fused and connected to ground or separating them and connecting each to a separate ground pin. Again this should be confirmed but thats the only thing that makes sense to me.

 

Lets figure this out and i'll order myself a set of headers as well :) 

g\



#4
timmy_pete

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I've had some success but still have a few things to work out.

 

Firstly, I've use continuity checks on my multimeter to determine the cable for each corresponding Firewire pin. The results I've put are below (please note most internet FW pinouts are of the cable view which is opposite to the jack view I am using):

 

Bracket_cabletraces.png

The first surprise was that the 6 wire cluster was for the Firewire 800 port, and the Firewire 400 port appears to be using the 9 cable cluster. The second surprise is that as far as I can tell FW800 pins  5,6,7 & 9 don't seem to have a corresponding pin. I don't understand the distinctions between FW400 and 800 enough to know if this is surprising, but as far as I know two of these should correspond with the shielding around each of the two sets of twisted pair.

 

I'm confused by the manual's documentation of motherboard pins 7 (+12V) and 8 (+12V fused). If "fused" means an electrical fuse I can't see any indication of it on the motherboard or device side. If they mean fused as in "joined together" then I guess this is a reference to the two white cables that are paired.

 

Either way, I wasn't able to get headers of the type I needed because I live in a small town. I therefore removed the USB2 header plug and wired up the FW400 port per annotations.

 

It seems to work with an iSight and external drive - obviously only at FW400 speeds - but I didn't want to test too extensively given my confusion as to which of the Gigabyte Motherboard's power ports was appropriate.

 

I'm hoping someone who understands the FW800 pinout better will be able to give more information.

 

I'm presuming otherwise I'll be able to wire the port up like I've done with the Firewire 400, but that it might only run at the slower speed.


First off, be very, very careful as you proceed. there is voltage sent over firewire and a wrong connection could damage the board , the connected device, or even you. Just proceed very methodically and carefully. 

 

[...]

 

i would completely disregard any cable color data unless you can get (and i suggest trying) a pinout diagram from gigabyte for this part (or probably more realistcly, find the motherboard it was meant to go with and use the manual of that board to read the pinouts). I will try to investigate this myself but a quick email to gigabyte might get the needed info. I just think the colors on that are probably non standard and a dead end. You will need to confirm the actual pinout of every pin, regardless of the color code.

 

 

[...]

 

Lets figure this out and i'll order myself a set of headers as well 

 

Thanks for your help, all the advice is spot-on and I'm triple checking everything as I go.

 

I haven't had much luck with Gigabyte thus far. Initially I'd tried to order a motherboard bracket or get access to a similar manual and their service department has flat out refused to assist because I don't own a motherboard available for purchase off the website. Reasoning that this was a general enquiry (not a warranty claim) fell on deaf ears, and as far as they're concerned any motherboard missing the Gigabyte logo (as ours is) is a counterfeit and therefore ineligible for service. 

 

 

Hopefully my additional headers come soon; I had to order from China - I live in a smallish town and my electronics shop only sells 5x2 IDC plugs suitable for use with ribbon cables.



#5
iLeopod

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Found the original pinout of your backplate:8-eng.jpg

seems just two firewire 400 with pin 5 or 6 as shield GND



#6
timmy_pete

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I'm presuming otherwise I'll be able to wire the port up like I've done with the Firewire 400, but that it might only run at the slower speed.

 

 

Found the original pinout of your backplate:

seems just two firewire 400 with pin 5 or 6 as shield GND

 

 

Fantastic work finding the pinout and confirming the FW800 port presumably runs on 400 speeds iLeopod.  I've been travelling and haven't had much time to work on this.

 

With what I now know about the FW800 port things aren't ideal, but I'm hoping a dedicated port will be faster than the existing daisy-chain of devices off the board's single FW400 port.

 

I'm now waiting on another bracket to come to cannibalise the headers (this was the cheapest I found) as the ones I ordered online were a mil to thick on each end and I couldn't seem to find them sold on their own.



#7
aphex6b

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i found a document from TI that might be of additional interest http://www.ti.com/li...2a/slea072a.pdf



#8
HesyRe

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Hello,

 

Trying to fix the  lack of FW 800 ports, I found this card on "the bay": two Firewire IEEE 1394b ports and one LAN connector RJ45 bracket provided for a ten years old Asus P5AD2 mobo. No need for the PJ45 bracket, so it's easy to unscrew it.

I'll chek the pinout of the backplate ports first.

 

$_57.JPG



#9
IronManJFF

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Thanks for doing this .. if you are successful many people will thank you 



#10
HesyRe

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Good new: it works with my 2,5 external HD connected to the FW 800 bracket on both ports and they mount on the desktop under  OSX 10.1, but Win 8 don't see it as formated MacOS.

The problem is to find this card .... I got mine from computer_show in Carlsbad Calif. for 19,95 $

eBay item number: 181593748715

 

I don't know if they still have them in stock?

 

It was part of the old ASUS P5AD2-E Premium bundle.

 

 
 

 

Attached File  connector.jpg   76.37KB   5 downloads


#11
timmy_pete

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Thanks HesyRe for reviving a dormant project. Looks like this part is out of stock, but I'll see if ASUS support has service parts shippable for a reasonable rate to my country. My earlier efforts resulted in the two ports on my eBay sourced bracket working at FW400 speeds, and I was never able to get the 800 jack working at full native speed. I've since focussed on replacing Firewire gear instead, as it seemed a more simple course of action.

 

As an aside, there is possibly now an easier option. After Quo shipped my Kickstarter board I asked for months on end about whether the bracket they'd promised to make was any closer to production. They ignored me outright on at least 10 occasions, so a friend emailed them as a new customer and said they were only interested in buying Quo if Firewire worked. The friend was told they sold a bracket and it was available for $12. They didn't reply to any emails I sent subsequent to this (to the same address) so it's pretty clear I'm on their ignore list.

 

While this is nowhere near as abysmal as the outright theft from the  folks who pledged $2,500-$3,000 for full systems which more than a year later haven't been delivered, or shipping boards to website customers before Kickstarter backers, it is a pretty awful approach to customers. I'm not willing to even risk another $12 with them to get a product delivered, but some people who want an easy option and are willing to gamble with Quo might well ask them more about this item.



#12
HesyRe

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Obviously, the production cost of this kind of hardware is not very high. The one I got was wrapped in a plastic bag with "foxconn" printed on it: it is a common product  maybe still in foxconn catalog.

On ebay, sellers are offering FW 400 brackets with 2 ports for 3.69 USD (# 161559182467), but t's a pity not having an easy way to use the FW 800 headers at full speed...

An other way I want to check, is the the Belkin Thunderbolt dock (F4U055cwAPL), on sale now on amazon, because rev2 with Thunderbolt2 is on the market. It offers 0ne FW port, 0ne RJ45, 3X USB3, audio in and out, and two TB ports, one used for connecting the dock to the backside of the Quo.This dock has been designed for MacBook air users and can help if more ports are needed, but it is still an expensive solution.



#13
timmy_pete

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All valid points, but they advertised it prominently as being Firewire 800 compatible, when in fact it is not without considerably expensive or necessarily complicated workarounds. I'll keep an eye out to see if any more copies of this FW800 bracket appear, but it might be a while.

 

Out of curiosity, does OS X's System Profiler list the speed of your HDD when connected? It should be under Hardware> Firewire.



#14
toastie

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Good new: it works with my 2,5 external HD connected to the FW 800 bracket on both ports and they mount on the desktop under  OSX 10.1, but Win 8 don't see it as formated MacOS.

The problem is to find this card .... I got mine from computer_show in Carlsbad Calif. for 19,95 $

eBay item number: 181593748715

 

I don't know if they still have them in stock?

 

It was part of the old ASUS P5AD2-E Premium bundle.

 

 
 

 

 

 

From the brief research I did, I think the part number is 14-004500100.  I found it here http://www.impactcom...02_10696_110011  $53 is way more than I want to spend.







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