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Non-Linear Editing on the PC
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Old June 10th, 2004, 02:18 PM   #1
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daisychain wierdness

Greets all--

Machine: XP pro SP1 etc; still w/ Vegas 3; 3 FW drives (all by OWC); cheapo 3-port 1394 card

Issue: Have been using 2 FW drives for over a year now w/ zero probs. This week i got my 3rd drive, and formatted and lettered it yesterday without issue. Powered up new drive, copied some AVIs, wavs, docs, etc just fine. Media playback fine. Then power up my other 2 drives-- orig drive #1 comes on, plays well w/ new drive. Orig drive #2 comes on, and promptly crashes the new drive and orig #1. Repeat to make sure i'm not crazier than when i started. So w/ repetition it becomes clear the 1st and 2nd drive powered in sequence are rendered 'unreadable' as the 3rd drive is powered-- as reported in DISK MANAGEMENT within ADMIN TOOLS-- where each was just listed as 'healthy', online etc, they are thus rendered unreadable and offline after powering up the 3rd drive in any combination of the 3.

Began switching port combinations (ea drive has 2 FW ports)-- i made each drive eventually kill the other 2 (well, gently killed) in most port combinations possible.

Each drive was then accessed individually, w/ the others offline. No problems. Then each drive was powered on with one other. As long it was just the 2 drives online each one did fine, x-fers tween the 2 good, nothing unusual. So i determined that i can at this point have no more than 2 drives online simultaneously-- not really a big deal, since i have'nt needed more than 2 at once anyway.

BUT-- this limitation undercuts the whole daisychain concept as i understand it! Is it a card issue? XP? Does'nt seem like it would lie in the drives' bridges/controllers etc b/c my 1st set up was all 3 drives plugged into the 3 distinct ports on the card...

I searched hi and low on this and found Rob Lohman saying a daisy chain of something like 127 devices should theoretically be possible-- that suggests a weak 1394 card in my box?

Maybe i don't need more than 2 online at once right now, but i want to understand this limitation!

Thanks for any leads

Best

Michael Pace
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Old June 12th, 2004, 04:25 AM   #2
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do I get an award for Most-Avoided-Post here?

Is this a no-brainer that i just ain't picking up?

The crickets are deafening in here!!

C'mon-- Rob, Troxel, Ken --- anyone?

Beuler? Beuler? Fry? Fry?
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Old June 12th, 2004, 05:02 AM   #3
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I would start by replacing the FireWire card, they are relatively inexpensive and easy to install. Have you tried different cables? I have solved numerous FireWire issues just by replacing cables.
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Old June 12th, 2004, 07:25 AM   #4
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The reasons for lack of responses is probably that these things
are hard (or impossible) to fix or hard to locate the problem.

See this thread for an example
(I think you already found that link)

Not a lot of people seem to have good experience with daisy
chaining firewire equipment so if possible I would use multiple
cards/ports. I myself could not capture from my XL1S that was
connected through a firewire harddisk for example.

In theory it should work indeed. But take IDE for example. Each
IDE channel inside your computer can host two devices. I've
experienced numerous times (last time was earlier this year
even!) that two devices on the same channel just does not work
together. This seems to happen more often with CD like devices
though.

A similar thing might be happening with firewire. That devices
just do not share the bus as well as they should (for some
reason).

If you want to keep it chained I would suggest moving the order
in which they are chained around. 3 drives gives only 8 possible
orders, so check that out.
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Old June 12th, 2004, 02:04 PM   #5
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Rob, relating specifcally to your problem with the XL1-S, I had a similar problem with a XM2. Browsing this and many other forums (fora?) pointed to the suggestion that it is the Canon that hogs the bus, not the drives and that this is a known Canon issue.

Actually there were other posts that suggested it was a firewire problem in general but I have no problem running multiple firewire drives UNTIL I throw in the XM2. The drives fall over and only a reboot resolves it. A nuisance, as I would like to capture to the firewire drive.

For a similar reason I can't preview on an external monitor (via the XM2) unless I take the drives offline first. Painful.

Sadly I have no spare slots left to try adding in another firewire card just for the camera so I don't know if this will resolve the issue.
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Old June 13th, 2004, 01:40 PM   #6
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I resolved my problem to simply hook up my external drive to my
USB2 port. I have a Maxtor drive that both has firewire and USB2
port, so that helps a lot in my case.
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