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Old March 17th, 2006, 03:27 PM   #1
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Firewire cable length

Hello all,

Is there a maximum safe cable length for firewire?

I'm very tempted to buy DV Rack but I am doing more and more shots with movement, eg dolly shots, and I can't think of any way of easily carrying the laptop with me while moving around. As for crane or jib shots . . . well you get my point.

So, assuming my laptop is sitting safely on a little table away from the camera, I guess I'll need a long firewire cable run. But how long could it be before it starts to drop out?

Any thoughts? Also, does anyone know of a decent cable supplier in the UK that offers long runs?

Thanks in advance of any advice.

Ian . . .
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Old March 17th, 2006, 08:43 PM   #2
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I have a 50' One i got from EVS and it works perfect. i know you can go longer but you might need a signal booster.
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Old March 17th, 2006, 09:47 PM   #3
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There are several finely made FW cables of 50-100' that people use into recorders without repeaters. Check out tecnec extended fw products at markertek.com. Check out comprehensiveinc.com too.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 01:17 AM   #4
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Thanks Seth & Max for the replies. I have been looking for a UK supplier who offers 50' runs but as yet I can't find one.

I did see the following statement on a suppliers web site (cablecity.co.uk), relating to a 10m (approx 30') cable:

"Please note that Firewire A specifications decree that the maximum length of a Firewire cable for a device-to-device connection is (approximately) 5M. These good quality, well-constructed 10M cables will function perfectly in most situations, but their performance cannot be guaranteed due to their length being outside specifications."

Thought that was interesting. I also read (on a different site) about a 100' length where the recommendation was not to use it near electronic equipment. Hmm . . . anyone detect a tiny problem here?!

I suspect 30' is about as much as I would need at this time so I think I'll go with that.

Thanks again for the advice.

Ian . . .
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Old March 18th, 2006, 09:17 AM   #5
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I'm using a 25 footer attached to my notebook without any problems.
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Old March 18th, 2006, 10:22 AM   #6
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I am use DataVideo cables and repeater. Their longest cable is 60' without a repeater. They have a UK site. http://www.datavideo-tek.com/
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Old March 18th, 2006, 10:40 AM   #7
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That's what I was looking for - thanks Hart. And thanks to other posters for their advice.
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Old March 19th, 2006, 08:16 PM   #8
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i find no problem using 50ft 1394a cable with camera to laptop ..

however i find 50ft 1394a cable with laptop to 1394a hard drive doesn't work ...
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Old March 20th, 2006, 01:51 AM   #9
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Sorry to labour this point (I hope others on this forum will also find this thread of use).

Something just occurred to me (as I was about to buy a 20m length). My camera and laptop both have the smaller 4 pin connectors yet these long run cables all seem to be 6 pin. In fact the longest 4 - 4 pin run I could find was 5m.

Is this a limitation of 4 pin firewire connections or have I just not looked hard enough? My understanding of the difference between 4 and 6 pins was that the latter can power external devices.

Would a 6 pin to 4 pin adaptor work at either end? (And if it does, do I want to spend 60 on the cable plus 2 x 12 for the adaptors - 84 for a cable?!?).

Thanks again in advance of your (as always) great advice and help.

Last edited by Ian Stark; March 20th, 2006 at 02:04 AM. Reason: Typo and fact correction
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Old March 20th, 2006, 09:32 AM   #10
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4 pin to 4 pin are available.

You are correct about 6 pin carrying power. The only other difference is that 6 pin is more robust.

Adaptors do work, but they also extend out and put weight on the small 4 pin socket. A little ungainly at the camera, especially. I'd hold out a little more for a 4-4. There is one line of good cable that is only 6-6 with adaptors that are on a short piece of cable, so, you don't have quite the strain a one-piece adaptor.

As for value, my reference is the TecNec 4-4 pin 75' at about $60 USD. Don't know the conversion for pounds or euro.

This is specialty gear, I wouldn't expect to find it at my local fine electronics retailer.
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Old March 20th, 2006, 02:52 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum
4 pin to 4 pin are available.

You are correct about 6 pin carrying power. The only other difference is that 6 pin is more robust.

Adaptors do work, but they also extend out and put weight on the small 4 pin socket. A little ungainly at the camera, especially. I'd hold out a little more for a 4-4. There is one line of good cable that is only 6-6 with adaptors that are on a short piece of cable, so, you don't have quite the strain a one-piece adaptor.

As for value, my reference is the TecNec 4-4 pin 75' at about $60 USD. Don't know the conversion for pounds or euro.

This is specialty gear, I wouldn't expect to find it at my local fine electronics retailer.
I think i paid like $69 for my 50' one, but i could have got a better deal online i bet... Its a 4-4. I would recomend not getting those adapters its just 2 more connections that can go wrong when you are recording.
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Old March 23rd, 2006, 06:03 AM   #12
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I thought an update might be appreciated.

I searched high and low for a 4-4 pin with a length greater than 5m but I couldn't find one anywhere in the UK.

In the end (and despite my better judgment and the advice of other posters) I went for a 10m 6-6 pin with adapters on each end.

I've done some test shots to check it all works and so far so good, with no drop out or interference caused by operating near electronic equipment as was suggested might occur. But I will certainly have to be careful about the connections while I'm moving around. NOT very secure.

Of course if I ever find a decent length 4-4 pin cable then I can relegate the flaky adapter cable to studio-bound duties.

Oh, cost was 35.85 including next day delivery. (2 adapters plus 10m cable). Not cheap in the UK, but then you don't enjoy our fine weather ;-)

Cheers.

Ian . . .
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Old March 29th, 2006, 11:14 AM   #13
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I have a datavideo IEEE 1394 serial bus cable, length 20m. It's 6-to-6 pin, but in the ends of the cable are 6-to-4-pin adapters. So all combinations are possible.

www.datavideo-tek.com
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Old March 30th, 2006, 05:14 AM   #14
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Next week I'm off on a real shoot with my 10m 6-6 pin + 4-pin adaptors cable!

I'll let you know how I get on. My biggest concern is the adaptor connection being flimsy. Fingers crossed!

Still haven't found a UK supplier of long 4-4pin lengths. Strange that.
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Old April 2nd, 2006, 04:04 PM   #15
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Here's a 4-pin to 4-pin Firewire Cable in a 25ft length (7.5 meters):

http://www.cxtec.com/products/item_d...art=CC1394C-25
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