FireBay Breathes Life Into Expansion Bay Devices

Posted by:
Date: Friday, October 19th, 2001, 13:16
Category: Archive

Hot on one of the new PowerBook G4s but afraid of losing your investment in all those cool expansion bay devices? Mac Components Engineered (MCE) has your solution: the FireBay Expansion Bay Docking Station. The US$196 unit allows you to ‘dock’ an expansion bay device then connect it to any FirePort like an external peripheral.

MCE FireBay

Two FireBay units stacked via the convenient connector on the top and bottom. On top is an Excaret Pro 20 GB HDD module, on the bottom is MCE’s CD-RW/DVD combo drive (Schwing!).
Click for a larger image.


Hot on one of the new PowerBook G4s but afraid of losing your investment in all those cool expansion bay devices? Mac Components Engineered (MCE) has your solution: the FireBay Expansion Bay Docking Station. The US$169 unit allows you to ‘dock’ an expansion bay device then connect it to any FirePort like an external peripheral.

MCE FireBay

Two FireBay units stacked via the convenient connector on the top and bottom. On top is an Excaret Pro 20 GB HDD module, on the bottom is MCE’s CD-RW/DVD combo drive (Schwing!).
Click for a larger image.

MCE FireBay

Two FireBay units with their modules ejected. Click for a larger image.

MCE’s target audiences:

1) Pismo or Lombard owners with more than one expansion bay device who’d like to use them simultaneously or use them on another FireWire equipped Mac or PC (PC use requires Windows 98SE or later)

2) Pismo or Lombard owners who wants to upgrade to the Titanium and take their expansion bay modules with them.

3) The mobile video/audio prosumer who captures audio or video in the field to their Pismo’s expansion bay HDD then brings the raw footage in and drops it in the FireBay connected to their desktop PowerMac G4 for video or audio editing.

4) Anyone who needs the fastest way to transfer large amounts of data from their PowerBook to any other FireWire equipped system, Mac or PC.

MCE FireBay

Rear view showing (L to R) 5V DC-IN, on/off switch, FireWire port. Only one cable is required when using multiple FireBays because of the built-in stacking port. Click for a larger image.

Although the FireBay was originally conceived and designed with the PowerBook user in mind, the reality of it is that it is the only stackable, removable module mechanism that can handle both hard drives and CD/DVD/CD-RW devices as well as the expansion bay 120 MB Super Disk/Floppy drive. The Iomega Peerless is the closest thing to it and it only supports hard drives.

Unfortunately Zip modules won’t work with FireBay because they use a different interface protocol and it would have been prohibitively expensive to support according to MCE. They decided to instead support more popular CD/DVD/CD-RW devices.

The unit works flawlessly with Apple’s native FireWire Drivers as well as iTunes and Disc Burner in system 9.0.4 or later. MCE bundles Hard Disk Speed Tools for those using expansion bay hard drives with previous system software versions as well as those who will be using their drives on the FireWire bus only.

Recent Posts

Comments are closed.