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-   -   FireWire surge protector? (http://www.dvinfo.net/forum/open-dv-discussion/526748-firewire-surge-protector.html)

Jim Hoyle February 3rd, 2015 10:54 AM

FireWire surge protector?
I have broken at least 4 expensive FireWire devices by FireWire chips (or other components) getting fried without any apparent reason. Even when not doing the hotplug mistake. (In addition I've broken a bunch of FireWire connectors and cables mechanically, but that's another story.)

So I am interested in a FireWire surge protector. Has anyone tried those? I found this:

Does that actually work and are there any cons with it?

Chris Hurd February 3rd, 2015 08:16 PM

Re: FireWire surge protector?
No direct experience with it -- hope someone else can help -- but I will say that I've dealt with the folks from Shining Technologies on a face-to-face basis in the past, and they have always been very good folks who seem genuinely committed to their product line

Jim Andrada February 4th, 2015 11:57 AM

Re: FireWire surge protector?
I haven't tried this one but I had a Kramer box that claimed to isolate the firewire

Does it work? Well, I blew the FW in my Sound Devices 702 once before I used it and haven't blown anything since - but that doesn't mean it was due to the Kramer unit - I might just be lucky.

I'd be tempted to give it a try, but there's never any way to know that the absence of a problem is due to some action you've taken unless you have consistent occurrence of the problem without it. Knowing that you've fixed a very intermittent problem is never easy.

(Sort of like "I've never been struck by lightning while chewing gum, therefore chewing gum protected me against lightning.")

Whoever came up with the FW implementation we all suffer from should be in jail!!!

Bruce Dempsey February 4th, 2015 06:21 PM

Re: FireWire surge protector?
what you need are real quality firewire cables like the unibrain ones I bought some time ago.
You don't want to put any gizmos between the camera and the recording device.
pm me if you are interested in those cables

Jim Andrada February 4th, 2015 10:30 PM

Re: FireWire surge protector?
Firewire adds a new meaning to the term "hot-pluggable". Hot enough to produce smoke.

Christopher Young February 5th, 2015 10:57 AM

Re: FireWire surge protector?
As far as I'm concerned those Kramer units work. Ages back we put them in on each PC that had Firewire capture and we never had another VCR or camera with a fried Firewire port. From memory the last DVCam studio deck cost about me $2.5K to fix. Well they are not worth that these days so not worth fixing. Just best to protect them. Especially if they 6 pin Firewire as the 6 pin connector also carries power. Transient power spikes can kill a Firewire port.

Even the best cables on earth won't stop a static build up over time. Its the static discharge that can reach a couple of thousand volts, virtually nil current though, that does the damage. Firewire was supposed to be Plug and Play but was much more like Plug and Pray.

I opened one of the Kramer units out of curiosity and discovered that it had a pretty sophisticated resistor, capacitor network plus voltage surge resistor and regulator setup so looked like it really could do the job. A bit like insurance. You don't need it until you need it!

I would say go for it. The Kramer units we bought were designated PT-1FW.

Chris Young
CYV Productions

Jim Hoyle February 5th, 2015 11:14 AM

Re: FireWire surge protector?
Thanks! I am sure I should definitely have always used either the Kramer or the Shining Technology. Not exactly easy to find those where I am at, but I'll try to get one or two.

Jim Andrada February 7th, 2015 01:21 AM

Re: FireWire surge protector?
This is the one I use. Also have one of the in-line units linked to above. According to the Mfr info both have the "spark guard" functionality. I've had zero problems since getting them.

VS-4FW - Repeaters & Hubs - Kramer Electronics

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