Questions & Answers

Need Guidance for Connecting RM16AI firewire port to Acer All-In-One Aspire USB 3.0 port.

0 votes
asked Jan 20, 2020 in Ai Mixers by tonygardner (210 points)
edited Jan 20, 2020 by tonygardner


I need some guidance for connecting an RM16AI firewire port to my Acer All-In-One Aspire using its USB 3.0 port.

The Acer AIO only has two USB 3.0 ports and an HDMI port. No ethernet and no firewire. And, since it's an All-In-One, it doesn't accept PCI expansion cards -- not even an ExpressCard/34 slot! I did some searching and see that there are various adapters, cables and hubs out there that might work, but I wanted to check in here first.

My preference would be to have a USB 3.0 hub with at least IEEE 1394 and RJ45 ports, but adapters are acceptable.

My primary objective for the firewire is so I can use SMAART. Having a hard-wired ethernet connection is for obvious reasons.

So I guess the real question is which product should I buy that will adapt from USB 3.0 to IEEE 1394 firewire that is compatible with the StudioLive RM16AI?


Tony G.

4 Answers

+1 vote
answered Jan 20, 2020 by AlexTinsley (924,340 points)
Best answer

There is no such device as a USB 3.0 to 1394 (FireWire) Adapter. 

To get 1394 to work with Ai series mixers: 

  1. Source an older laptop with a PC-Express port (and get a FireWire PC-Express Card with a supported 1394 chipset).
  2. Source Thunderbolt 2 port (HP ZBook series) PC Laptop and use the Apple Thunderbolt 2 to 1394 adapter.
  3. Buy a new modern laptop with Thunderbolt 3 and use the Apple Thunderbolt 3 to Thunderbolt 2 and Apple Thunderbolt 2 to 1394 adapter to get this to work on a PC. Dell laptops in particular do not like the Apple Thunderbolt adapters.
    1. Website listing Thunderbolt 3 enabled PCs, with several mentions for Acer. 
+1 vote
answered Jan 20, 2020 by wahlerstudios (105,290 points)
edited Jan 20, 2020 by wahlerstudios

I had asked this question lately in the closed Facebook group "Presonus StudioLive Mixer Users" and I got as repsonses: "pci card for firewire in the motherboard, no setup require and works fine" and "Or get a windows laptop with thunderbolt 3 and get the appropriate adapters".

The Facebook thread was about how to get a "classic" mixer with FireWire 400 connected to a Win 10 computer or laptop. It seems to be doable with a FireWire card (and drivers for Win 10) or a connection between FireWire and Thunderbolt. There is an article in "Technical Articles", which might be helpful: "What is USB-C™? The article explains much more than the title says.

0 votes
answered Jan 20, 2020 by tonygardner (210 points)
Thanks so much everyone for helping to clarify this challenge for me. Of course, I wish that I could use the Acer AIO since it is a 10-point touch screen and is great for UC Surface, but clearly it isn't up to the task of adding SMAART. I'll probably settle for not having that feature for now until I can afford a better device with a dedicated touch screen to boot. I will be getting a simple USB to RJ45 adapter so I can have a more fault tolerant setup at church. Yesterday, I got a scary message while the band and choir were on full tilt that it had a weak connection. Fortunately, everything held together for both services.
0 votes
answered Jan 21, 2020 by wahlerstudios (105,290 points)
"All-in-one" does not necessarily include a touch screen. The Acer models you mentioned seem to have no touch screen, but there are many and very interesting touch screen solutions, which of course need to be connected to a computer. I don't have any FireWire mixer anymore, but my Mac mini would still be ready for recording, mixing and mastering (Capture, Studio One Pro). At the moment I am using a standard Lenovo laptop (i5, 2.6 GHz, 8 GB RAM, Win 10 64 bit) and USB and its just fine. And it's much easier to utilize than a computer plus a screen plus a keyboard plus a mouse...