Sonnet first announced their Thunderbolt adapter back in April at the NAB show. I placed my order in September when they announced the product was ready to ship. The units did not actually ship until December.
I mainly use the E34 slot for a Matrox PCIe card that allows me to run my Panasonic PCD35 P2 card reader in the field. I do have some drives with eSata connections, and I have run those from time to time, but the P2 reader is my main need.
The Echo is a small box, about the size of a pack of cigarettes. It has one thunderbolt port on one end, and a e34 slot on the other. Because this unit has only one TB port, it must be at the end of the chain. That also limits the use of something like an external capture card like the Decklink UltraStudio, since that unit is also an end unit.
There is no software to install, and nothing to configure. Plug and Play, as they as.
I first tried the Echo with my Matrox PCIe adapter, the MX17330. This is the card that drives my PCD35. Unfortunately, the card is not supported by the Echo, and I cannot get it to work. Looks as if it needs a driver. I spent an hour in queue with Matrox support before I gave up.
I next tried a eSata card, to see if I could make an external hard drive work. This card is a Griffin e34 to eSata, and worked fine in my old MacBookPro with the e34 slot. In the Echo, I could not get the card to be recognized. Sonnet does have their own esata cards that work with the Echo, that I may need to try.
Next up, a Verbatim e34 to compact flash adapter. Again no go.
In fact, the only card I have that works is a e34 Firewire800 adapter from Nitro AV. This is the least useful card I have.
I did place a call to Sonnet’s tech support. I was told that cards may need driver updates or firmware updates to work with Thunderbolt hosts.
It looks like the AJA card and the Magma card are supported for pcie connections, so I will have to do some more research and try another card.
I will keep posting updates as I sort my way through this.