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Asus motherboard q - Can I install a Firewire 1394a front panel connector in a 1394b internal header?

Posted on 2006-11-03
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Last Modified: 2011-09-20
Hi there,

I have an ASUS P5AD2-E premium motherboard which has two internal 1394b headers.  I have a front panel 1394a socket that I want to connect to one of these but would like a little reassurance that won’t do any damage in doing so.  

The manual tells me that the TI controller supports:
- 2 x IEEE 1394b connectors
-1 x 1394a port       

The manual seems to tell me in a note that I can connect an optional 1394a module to these connectors and that they support most 1394b/a CE items - except DV camcorders.  If I am using a camcorder (which will be the primary use of the front socket actually) I will have to install the Microsoft 1394 stack driver and then it will only achieve a max 100Mbps transmission rate when connected to a 1394b port.

To do this I have to install the Microsoft 1394 stack driver.  Now, it tells me how to install the stack driver fine and dandy, but adds that after using the Camcorder I should revert to the Unibrain 1394 driver if I want to use other 1394b and 1394a devices.  

Does this sound right and normal and can anyone reassure me that if I do plug my front panel 1394a cable into the internal 1394b header I won’t do any damage to the mobo?

Many thanks!
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Question by:Rdysan
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garycase earned 2000 total points
ID: 17868700
The Asus site is currently "undergoing maintenance" ... so I couldn't check your system's manual ...

however ... MOST (but not all) motherboards use a standard header pinout for the 1394 ports, whether a or b.   Just check the pinout in your manual for the motherboard header and confirm that it matches the Intel standard (which is almost certainly used for the front panel connector), which is shown at the bottom of the page here:
http://developer.intel.com/design/motherbd/wh/wh_con.htm).   As long as it matches, there's no problem connecting the 1394a cable into a 1394b header.   It won't damage your motherboard; and it will work just fine.   The port will, however, be limited to 1394a speeds (400mb -- not 100mb) => I'm not sure why the manual would indicate the 100mb limitation.
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by:Rdysan
ID: 17873366
Thanks, garycase - sorry for the delay in getting back 2u!
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