Question Is there a way for me to make my laptop FireWire or Thunderbolt compatible?

May 14, 2023
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I recently bought a FireWire audio interface/mixer with the intent on getting a FireWire card for my desktop. However, I also want to use this mixer on the go, and need to attach it to my laptop (Acer AN515-54). I've been trying to research a way to do this, and the best way I see is to use some kind of M.2. to PCIe riser (like this https://www.amazon.com/ADT-Link-Riser-Gen3-0-PCI-Express-Extension/dp/B07Z4RCDKZ?th=1) to then add an external FireWire card to my laptop, or if that's not possible, find some way to add Thunderbolt 3 to my laptop then use the Apple converters to go from TB3 to TB2, then from TB2 to FireWire. Please, someone give me some help and/or hope!
 
May 14, 2023
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I was kinda thinking - and it might be a horrible idea, which is why I'm here on the forums with people who know a whole lot more than me - that if I could use the above mentioned riser, and somehow place a low-profile FireWire PCIe card into the slot reserved for a 2.5" drive, then access it from the outside by removing the USB 2.0 and Audio jack from that side of the laptop. Here's a video of the inside of the same model laptop I have.

View: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YOoeDMcUIik


If I could plug the riser card into the spare NVMe slot, then run the PCIe end of it to the 2.5" bay, place the PCIe card in there, and then use a very short male to female FireWire cable and stick it out the hole where the USB port used to be.

Like I said, I may be totally out of line for thinking this way, but it's just thinking, not doing!
 
Sep 5, 2022
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Not sure if you're still working on this but I think there might be one way to do it.

Your laptop has 1 mPCIe slot for the wifi card. You could remove the wifi card and install one of these:


This will give you firewire and it has the latest & greatest TI XIO2213B firewire chip. I have one and it works great.

If you still need wifi, you could get a USB wifi adapter.

The main challenge would be the large cable coming out of the mPCIe card. you can remove the 12V harness shown in the picture but the connector still sticks out a bit. You may have to modify the bottom cover of the laptop a bit or use the laptop without the bottom cover but it looks like removing the cover on the laptop isn't super easy.

Hope this helps
 
May 14, 2023
9
0
10
Not sure if you're still working on this but I think there might be one way to do it.

Your laptop has 1 mPCIe slot for the wifi card. You could remove the wifi card and install one of these:


This will give you firewire and it has the latest & greatest TI XIO2213B firewire chip. I have one and it works great.

If you still need wifi, you could get a USB wifi adapter.

The main challenge would be the large cable coming out of the mPCIe card. you can remove the 12V harness shown in the picture but the connector still sticks out a bit. You may have to modify the bottom cover of the laptop a bit or use the laptop without the bottom cover but it looks like removing the cover on the laptop isn't super easy.

Hope this helps
Thanks for the help!

What I ended up doing was using an old mini PC I had (Dell Inspiron 3650) and put a second FireWire card into it, then use Remote Desktop over ethernet to control it from my laptop, thus making a portable rig without any modifications to my laptop!