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Old April 18th, 2003, 11:49 PM   #1
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Advice needed --firewire cable

Any help, advice, or input regarding the following questions would be very much appreciate it. Thank you.

1. What's (are) the difference(s) between a 6-foot, 20-dollar firewire cable and a 60-dollar one of the same length?

2. What kind of firewire cable would you recommend? (Brand, length, etc..)
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Old April 19th, 2003, 12:23 AM   #2
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Welcome Stylianos,

1. 40 dollars. (Sorry, I couldn't resist.) But, seriously, that may be the sole truth. I honestly would not dream of paying $60 for a 6 foot Firewire cable. $20 even seems a bit steep. Unlike, say, home sound system cables which -might- be able to claim quality of analog signal transmission differences, Firewire carries a digital signal. (6-pin to 6-pin cables also carry power.) It either works or it doesn't. No such thing as "works better".

2. That said, I'd recommend a moderately priced "value" brand, such as Belkin. Certainly not a premium brand such as Monster Cable. There is a practical length limit to Firewire cable. (Use Search here if you're interested, since I recall this was discussed recently.) In general, I wouldn't recommend a cable longer than you really need. The -really- long Firewire cables, such as those sold by Markertec, run hundreds of dollars.

p.s. Please don't double-post questions.
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Old April 19th, 2003, 01:12 AM   #3
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Here's what I'm using: six feet for ten bucks.

http://www.cablesonline.com/ieee1fircab.html

Hope this helps,
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Old April 19th, 2003, 09:12 AM   #4
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Guys, thank you for the info; I appreciate it.

I posted those two questions above because I read somewhere --I can't recall where-- that different FW cables provide different speeds and that some of them work without repeaters. True or false?

Thanks again.
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Old April 19th, 2003, 10:55 AM   #5
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I think false. As Ken mentioned, FW is digital -- it either works or it doesn't. Sounds like the kind of hype that Monster cable would like us to believe. Go with the inexpensive recommendations.
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Old April 19th, 2003, 11:18 AM   #6
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I read somewhere that the better cables (but that even includes the Belkins) are shielded implying that there could be magnetic intereference with the data transfer (they may be 1s and 0s but you don't want any corruption to occur in transit). This could easily be hype to convince you to buy more expensive cables.

On the other hand, if you have an iPod you have experience with how small and flimsy a firewire cable it uses! And all of my external drives use a cable that is somewhere in between the iPod cable and the Belkin cable.

The only real caution is that there were reports of some bad, cheap cables out there - they had been mis-wired and people fried their firewire drives/boards.
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Old April 20th, 2003, 09:25 PM   #7
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Good & cheap. Here's the link:

http://www.trianglecables.com/firili13cabs1.html
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 05:07 PM   #8
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cheap firewire

you'll see ...what...capacitators?...on the better firewire cables and they will be thicker because of internal shielding. Better internal soldering/connections can also mean less chance of damaging a firewire port due to shorting something out. There is a lot of discussion on the net regarding firewire ports being killed by hot swapping non-powered devices and one of the big culprits people are pointing to are cheap firewire cables. They are NOT all made alike. I'd look for a good reputable maker, which doesn't always translate to the most expensive. Can't make any particular recommendations. Sorry.
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Old April 22nd, 2003, 11:09 PM   #9
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I think you can strike a happy medium. I don't recommend buying Monster Cables etc. Gold contacts, oxygen pure copper and the like are hardly needed for DV. But likewise, don't buy the cheapest cables you can find. Cheap cables have been linked to dropped frames and other issues as Bud points out. Buy quality cables from a name brand. After all, you don't buy Acme Brand video tape, why buy Acme Brand cables. To save a few dollars? Not worth the risk in my book.
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Old April 23rd, 2003, 11:56 AM   #10
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I'd like to thank eveyone for your input. You all have been very helpful.
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