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Old October 6th, 2003, 01:10 PM   #1
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Blowing out your firewire port

Hello all,

Just passing along a customer's tribulations...

He had his firewire port blown on 3 different Sony cameras. After doing some research, he found a post at Apple describing the fact that older 6 pin to 4 pin firewire cables can become shorted and send power over on one of the 4 leads going to the camera.

If you're using older cables, consider upgrading.

mizell
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Old October 6th, 2003, 01:47 PM   #2
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Mizell,

Thanks for that info! I'm guessing that's what happened to my Canon ZR20.. a few months ago the port suddenly wouldn't work, and I went through hell until I realized it was my camera, not my computer.. I'll keep that in mind.
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Old October 6th, 2003, 04:02 PM   #3
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Thanks for warning, but how to recognize older vs newer cables ?
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Old October 6th, 2003, 05:14 PM   #4
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I think it's just the quality of the cable. Poor quality cables will let you insert them the wrong way and things like that (but this may only apply to 6pin-6pin firewire cables???). If you want to be safe then just power everything off before switching cables around.

Quality firewire cable would probably be Apple, Belkin, etc. The markup on those are insane though. The actual cable probably costs under a dollar to make.
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Old October 6th, 2003, 11:34 PM   #5
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What does a blown firwire port cost to fix?
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Old October 8th, 2003, 02:24 AM   #6
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Dylan,

I sent mine into Canon to get it replaced and it was about $300 Canadian. That was actually for a complete "checkup" of the camera, it was what they recommended.
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Old October 8th, 2003, 07:25 PM   #7
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http://fwdepot.com/thestore/product_.../reviews_id/56
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Old October 9th, 2003, 12:56 AM   #8
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Sounds interesting, did you try one personally ?
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Old October 9th, 2003, 12:20 PM   #9
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I have a couple, yes. I listed that url because I too have had a firewire port blown out in the past on one of my desktop G4's.

But now that I re-read Monsieur Mizell's post, he is saying that there are reports of this occuring with *older* 6-pin to 4-pin firewire cables. The FireWire Port Isolator cables from FireWire Depot are 6-pin to 6-pin only.

Hmmmmmmm...

For me, the issue of using older cables is a non-issue... Since I do so many demos in different venues and since I am always lending a cable to an associate or two from time to time, I am inevitably having to replace the cables that either get lost, taken or never returned... so all of my firewire cables are new anyways! hehe

Still, it sounds a little odd to me that the two wires that pass power on a 6-pin to 4-pin cable would actually short-out and then spill over onto one of the remaining 4 leads on the 4-pin end... you would have to be passing a heck of a lot of DC current through those leads to make that happen, yes?

I'd be interested to know which Sony cameras are being referred to by the customer Mizell mentioned. Was it a lower-end 'miniDV' camcorder such as a VX2000/ PD-150 (which utilize 4-pin 1394 ports) or was it a higher-end 'DVCam' camcorder such as a DSR-500 (which utilizes a 6-pin 1394 port) ?

- don
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Old October 9th, 2003, 12:43 PM   #10
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Well, 6-to-6 isolation cable would still work setting it between the PC and 6-pin end of 6-4 cable.
As abot shortening - I also wonder how that can occur, perhaps only with really junky cables...to burn out the isolation between the wires one would need a heck
out of current to stream (perhaps hundreds amperes), but then apparently the wires themself would melt prior to burning out the isolation. So I do not think this is electrical failure, but rather mechanical due to some kind of very poor mechanical contruction of the cable.

I do not know, perhaps it would be worthy to consider this device ? go figure... (I use new cable bought with new firewire PCI board a few weeks ago).

Well, "low end miniDV such as VX2000/PD150" ??? I wish I would be so "low-live" to own one of these "low-end" toys... :-)))

Alex
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