6 Replies Latest reply: Nov 2, 2013 2:02 PM by Lee Ann Rucker
John61254 Level 4 Level 4

I have an older iSight camera I would like to connect to my new (2011) mac mini.

The iSight is 6 pin fw400 (about 8 years old); mac mini is 9 pin fw800.

I know they make an adapter for this (about $7 on Amazon; have yet to order).

Question: I would also like to extend the length of the cable connecting the camera.

The existing cable on the camera is 6'. I know they make extension cables (some up to 16' long, though they are pricey: $25).

How long can I reasonably make my cable before degrading or losing the signal?

Does anyone know of a cable that would take care of switching from 6 pin to 9 pin as well as give me additional length?

Will the quality I will get from this camera be worth spending $25 + on adapters/cables?

Or should I just put the money toward a wireless webcam?

Mac mini, Mac OS X (10.7.2)
Reply by Saul in PA on Jan 28, 2012 8:51 PM Helpful

Take a look at this $8 cable


http://www.monoprice.com/products/product.asp?c_id=103&cp_id=10301&cs_id=1030105 &p_id=333&seq=1&format=1#largeimage


Official max length is 4.5m so you won't find anything longer.


Also I tried a couple firewire cables in the past and they won't plug in cleanly at the iSight end with the plastic caps to hold them snug.


Lastly the iSight is 640x480 resolution.  OK for most stuff but new cams are much better.

Reply by EZ Jim on Jan 29, 2012 6:34 AM Helpful

(1) Use a 6 pin - 9 pin cable or an adapter such as one of the following to connect your FW400 external iSight:


• This Firewire 400-800 cable can work:  (I use this one.)




• Some report that this low-priced alternative cable works:




• To use your iSight's FW400 6pin-6pin cable, you can use a 6pin-9pin adapter like one of these:


http://tinyurl.com/ydsbb6m  (I successfully use this one, too.)



(2) For longer than the 4.5 meter maximum Firewire cable length specified by Apple,

     use some kind of "active Firewire cable extender" 


One example:  http://sewelldirect.com/firewireextension.asp


Many are available, so search locally or on the web for what meets you needs.



(3) However, understand that external (Firewire) iSight may not play well with other Firewire devices connected at the same time.  For more info on possible conflicts, see http://www.ralphjohns.co.uk/EZJim/EZJimpage6.html


(4) If you must connect other Firewire devices while using your webcam, the simplest solution may be to use a compatible USB webcam.


Another benefit of using a USB cam is that long cable runs are easily accomplished with powered USB hubs and extended cables.


The downside of USB is that all devices share its bandwidth, so you will see degraded USB cam performance (such as reduced frame rates) if you have other USB devices simultaneously working on the same USB bus.


For info about camera alternatives, see http://www.mac-compatible-web-cam.com/




Message was edited by: EZ Jim

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