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Old August 9th, 2006, 12:19 PM   #1
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Longest safe distance for firewire recording using BR-HD50

Hi,

Here's my situation (which I've described somewhat in other posts the past couple days):

I am shooting a short this weekend in the woods. A few days ago (while logging footage I had shot over the past 2 weeks) I noticed a bunch of breaks - blocks of pixelation/artifacts, bad TC etc. As some fellow HD100 users suggested, it may be due to switching a few times over the past couple months - or it may be due to beach shoot I did a couple of weeks ago. I've tried using a head cleaning tape... still no results. So I'm thinking that the video head needs to be repaired/replaced. I call JVC... they get back to me a day later, yesterday, and said the Pinebrook service center doesn't have replacement heads... and won't be able to get them for at least 2 days from California, making it impossible to repair my HD100 before the close of business friday.

So I figure I have two options: 1. Buy an dr-hd100 - which I've been planning on doing anyway for awhile.
2. Record with my BR-HD50 through a firewire connection (I am shooting 720p24)

After several calls to stores around the country (as is also well documented in this forum) the DR-HD100 is on back order everywhere... no one has it, nor do they know when it is coming in.

So that leaves me with only one option for my shoot beginning sunday - to be tethered to the BR-HD50 the entire time... which I've done some tests for, and should work fine, but I'm wondering if anyone has done this before for an involved shoot (lots of different setups... some handheld shots).

Is it a huge pain? Also, what is the longest firewire cable I can use and be confident that the 720p24 info is making it to the BR-HD50 from my HD100?

Any input/ideas on the best way to get good footage would be greatly appreciated.
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Old August 9th, 2006, 03:55 PM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ben Chace
Also, what is the longest firewire cable I can use and be confident that the 720p24 info is making it to the BR-HD50 from my HD100?
Not exactly sure, but from my own experience and everything I've read, any cable length over 6 feet long might give you trouble. There is also the increased possibility of picking up interference from electrical lines, devices, radio waves, etc. with longer lengths.

That said, if you limit the amount of hand held shots, you might be able to get away w/ a greater length. Also, finding a firewire cable over 6' long will be tough to do a local stores - I've never seen them over 6' - so you might have to order one (if you don't already own one).

Hope that helps - good luck!
john
evilgeniusentertainment.com
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Old August 9th, 2006, 05:36 PM   #3
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Here's an answer from a faq on a site that sells cables.

===========================================
Q: What is the maximum length a FireWire (A) cable can be?

A: The maximum cable length for connecting device to device with a 400Mbps cable is 4.5-meters (14.85ft). The Firewire specification calls for 10 meter (32ft) cables that may be used in conjunction with a repeater when it is necessary to extend FireWire cables over long distances. We do not offer these cables at this time because tests have shown them to be unreliable in some situations. We suggest using 4.5 meter cables and hubs when needing to extend to greater distances and don't recommend 10 meter cables (if you can find them) to our customers.
===========================================

I have a 16 ft. cable that I use for DVRack that has worked okay with SD video.
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Old August 10th, 2006, 12:47 AM   #4
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We've successfully used four of these 15-foot cables (with built-in repeaters) in a row, for a total length of 60 feet. Just watch out for bad connections, though -- I would tape everything down with electrical tape. A handheld shot where the cable is jiggling could be asking for trouble. At least tape the Firewire cable to the tripod arm so you're not flexing the connector on the HD100.

http://www.dvinfo.net/conf/newreply....ote=1&p=525608
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Old August 10th, 2006, 08:04 AM   #5
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thanks for the input... they have a 15ft at B&H ... I'll probably go with that.

definitely going to tape it all down.. so as not to mess up the input on cam
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Old August 11th, 2006, 03:25 PM   #6
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Another alternative

If you have a laptop, you can run the cable into the laptop and capture with DV Rack or capDVHS (free program). The laptop might be more portable than the deck. You might be able to write it back to tape for backup when you get the camera back.

If you buy the deck, and are willing to rent it out, send me a note (almost no one has the deck for rental on the east coast).

-Joe
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Old August 14th, 2006, 04:33 AM   #7
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For the last couple of weeks I used a 10 meters FW cable with the DVRack on a laptop shooting SD. Handheld, crane, dolly or tripod , everything was perfect. No signal problems no built-in repeaters.
Good luck,
Eugen
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