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Old January 11th, 2003, 09:55 AM   #1
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4-pin to 4-pin firewire cable woes

Hi all,

I have a slightly peculiar problem with my setup; I have a Dell Inspiron 8200 and a non-S XL1, and if I connect the camera up through a firewire harddisk using a couple of 6-pin-to-4-pin cables (i.e. laptop->firewire disk->XL1) everything works fine, but if I want to connect the camera up to the laptop directly using a single 4-pin-to-4-pin cable, windows won't even detect the camera.
Theoretically the setups should be identical as on both ends there is a four pin connector, but somehow it won't work. I would however really like to be able to just plug the camera in and not have to lug a disk around when I don't need it....
So - has anyone experienced similar problems or even have a solution?
Many thanks in advance,


Kai.

PS: I use Avid XpressDV 3.5 on Windows XP Pro, but this shouldn't make any difference as neither Windows nor Scenalyzer nor Microsoft Movie Maker even detect the camera, let alone Xpress...
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Old January 11th, 2003, 10:55 AM   #2
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cabling firewire

did you try using a completely different port when cabling directly?? did you try taking the Hard disk out of the chain and putting the camera directly in its place??.....I'm trying to get a clearer idea of how you had this thing cabled....never heard of such a problem, HOWEVER....
ok, I am going to HAZARD a GUESS here....thats all this is, a guess.....did you restart the software after recabling??? I know these are hot swappable as far as the OS is concerend, but I have seen apps screw up....for instatnce, Premiere checks the device connection when the App STARTS.....if you make changes after that, the app may loose contact with your devices....try shutting down then restarting the app, ; also consider restarting windows after recabling, then resarting the app......also, try looking up fire wire termination issues on the web......its a possiblity, again just a guess...I know video cabling requires proper termination....also, make sure your firewire disk is set to "master".....I believe all firewire discs need to be designated as Master....again, I am guessing here, but it cant hurt to check these things...
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Old January 11th, 2003, 03:39 PM   #3
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Thanks for replying Steve, but unfortunately restarting XpressDV makes no difference...
Let me make things a bit clearer. My laptop has a single, built-in, 4-pin firewire port (that's one of those unpowered small connectors). As we all know the XL-1 also has a 4-pin (small) firewire connector. Trying to connect the camera up directly with a 4-pin to 4-pin wire does exactly 0 (nothing), the camera does not get detected by Windows.
If I however connect a fire disk to my laptop using a 4-pin to 6-pin cable, and then daisy chain the camera using a 6-pin to 4-pin cable, all is well, disk _and_ camera get detected, but only if the disk is switched on. As soon as the disk is switched off, the camera disappears also.
I know that 4-pin connectors are meant to be unpowered (in fact the carry no voltage pins so they are unable to carry power to a connected peripheral), but the switching-off-the-disk-thing freaks me out a little as it should just be a straight connection between laptop and daisy-chained camera.
So if anyone can help it would be greatly appreciated, but I'm guessing I'll be on the phone to Dell and Canon on monday...


Kai.
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Old January 11th, 2003, 03:55 PM   #4
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Have you tested your 4-to-4 cable on somebody else's system and camera that is already proven to work with 4-to-4? Testing this would at least eliminate the possibility that you have a bad 4-to-4 cable.
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Old January 12th, 2003, 06:08 AM   #5
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Thanks for your replay robert, I haven't verified this cable but will do so tomorrow. However, the fact that I can only get the camera recognized when the firewire disk is switched on leads me to believe there is an issue with unpowered firewire buses. Also, I have already exchanged the cable at the shop where I got it and the likelyhood of 2 dud cables is, well, very low I think. I will try to get one of those fance 4-pin to 4-pin cables with the iron cores and higher quality leads tomorrow to see if it will matter but I suspect not.
Also I just got a second disk for my laptop so will try a fresh XP also...
Many thanks for your help!


Kai.
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Old January 12th, 2003, 06:46 AM   #6
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Yes. One cable not working is an anomaly; two cables not working is a trend. Probably a power issue, but I can't imagine just how, seeing as the XL1 doesn't require power from its firewire connection. Best of luck!
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