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Old October 16th, 2016, 11:23 PM   #31
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

It has been a while for DV and HDV, hasn't it? I'm looking at this HDV deck sitting on my editing desk, and realizing it's probably been over 12 months since I shoved a tape in it. Maybe a lot longer...
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Old October 17th, 2016, 02:33 AM   #32
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Brian Dollemore View Post
USB is, I'm told, very slow and sometimes misses the audio. Firewire capture is the only safe and sure way. A Firewire card will almost certainly have to be added to recent PCs but they are still available.

If you manage to go this route, remember that the camera end of the link is extremely fragile and the camera card must be treated like eggs. The safe procedure goes like this:

Switch everything off - no exceptions.
Connect power and Firewire cables both ends.
Boot the PC, and only when that's ready -
Switch on the cam.

If that doesn't work, then probably the cam connection was fried before you got hold of it. Good Luck!

PS My bad - just realised you are iMac. Donald's advice looks good.
Just seen this well-intended warning. It's true that the shielding on Firewire connectors is inadequate by modern standards but it isn't necessary to be so drastic in precautions. My practice has always been:

with the PC running or not:
1) connect the firewire cable to the port on the computer first, (mine is normally permanently there)
2) with the camera switched off and NOT connected to anything else especially a charger/PU, connect the firewire cable (4-pin end)
3) connect the PU to the camera and switch on
The risk with firewire connectors (both 4 & 6-pin) is that the data contacts are not recessed so they can be the first contact when mating. Now most desktop computers are connected to ac supply ground through their 3-pole IEC connectors. Most camera charger/PUs as travel-friendly devices are however double insulated so don't have a ground connection. This means that when ac connected, the camera 'ground' (i.e. firewire socket shield) will normally have a low-current floating ac voltage caused by leakage currents in the PU circuits. Whilst perfectly safe for human use, this current can damage the driver/receiver circuits in the interface if it is presented when the shield is still unconnected between the two devices. Once connected though the interface is as robust as is needed and connecting the camera power supply will allow the two device grounds to be clamped together via the shield. The DC port for the PU is of course quite robust as it passes through power regulators before reaching any sensitive circuits.
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Old October 17th, 2016, 02:25 PM   #33
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

I'm concerned about 7.5 gigs being all that is left on the Mac. How big is that drive in total. My rule of thumb is ANY drive is full at 80% capacity. I know some guys will go to 90% but I don't like it that high, especially if is is an OS drive. It sounds like some drive maintenance may be needed if you want that Mac to continue to perform well.

Kind Regards,

Steve
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Old October 17th, 2016, 02:45 PM   #34
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

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Originally Posted by Steve Game View Post
...The risk with firewire connectors (both 4 & 6-pin) is that the data contacts are not recessed so they can be the first contact when mating...
The other risk is that 6-pin firewire connections carry power. Which is why the most conservative approach is to power down the host computer, particularly important in multi-user environments.
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Old October 17th, 2016, 05:54 PM   #35
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

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Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
The other risk is that 6-pin firewire connections carry power. Which is why the most conservative approach is to power down the host computer, particularly important in multi-user environments.
Every DV/HDV camera that I've ever seen has a four-pin firewire connector, so even if the PC interface card has a six-pin socket, only the send and receive data connections can actually connect to the camera.
You will see that I suggested connecting the PC end of the cable first before the camera. Any fumbled temporary mismating wouldn't harm anything as the cable would be open circuit at the camera end.
I don't see how a multi-user environment would increase the risk to cameras providing anybody using the workstation was familiar with the correct sequence for connecting up.
Presuming that the OP has 120vac equipment, the floating voltage on double insulated unearthed equipment is about half that in the UK. In 18 years of connecting cameras up to firewire using the above method, I've never had a single damage of the interface issue. I accept that the interface isn't up to current ESD protection standards, but it isn't that fragile otherwise it would fail with any handling, powered or not.
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Old October 17th, 2016, 09:16 PM   #36
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

Well, I can certainly respect that you've gone 18 years without a blown firewire port. Me too, though I've taken an approach in my own work closer to yours in most cases - if there's no power on the 4-pin side, why worry about it?

That's going back to the early years of firewire - maybe more like 16 years for me.

But, don't underestimate how smart human beings can screw things up in groups! On the human factors side, there's good reason to create SOPs that include powering down all the devices. Not every camera *is* 4-pin, for one. Was it JVC's HDV cams with 6-pin? Not every firewire hookup is *to* a camera. *People forget!* Duh, which end first?

So, make it simple! I'm sure glad we're mostly done with firewire... I think the college where I teach got away with one blown port in a playback deck in about 10 or 12 years of firewire. That's not bad across hundreds of students using 6 cameras and 4 decks over those years. People can be a problem; you have to account for that in your procedures and plans!
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Old October 18th, 2016, 09:50 AM   #37
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

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Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
... But, don't underestimate how smart human beings can screw things up in groups! On the human factors side, there's good reason to create SOPs that include powering down all the devices. Not every camera *is* 4-pin, for one. Was it JVC's HDV cams with 6-pin? Not every firewire hookup is *to* a camera. *People forget!* Duh, which end first?

So, make it simple! I'm sure glad we're mostly done with firewire... I think the college where I teach got away with one blown port in a playback deck in about 10 or 12 years of firewire. That's not bad across hundreds of students using 6 cameras and 4 decks over those years. People can be a problem; you have to account for that in your procedures and plans!
OK, so multi-user was in the context of a group effort rather than a network (as in Ethernet) setup. I see your point and I suppose there are those with two left hands, hopefully though, not intelligent enough to ask a sensible question on this board. It's better than the complaints that the firewire to USB cable they bought from Ebay doesn't seem to work! :)
When powering down an edit station, that in itself can give a few issues, especially with external data drives connected.
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Old October 22nd, 2016, 04:38 PM   #38
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Game View Post
Every DV/HDV camera that I've ever seen has a four-pin firewire connector, so even if the PC interface card has a six-pin socket, only the send and receive data connections can actually connect to the camera.
You will see that I suggested connecting the PC end of the cable first before the camera. Any fumbled temporary mismating wouldn't harm anything as the cable would be open circuit at the camera end.
I don't see how a multi-user environment would increase the risk to cameras providing anybody using the workstation was familiar with the correct sequence for connecting up.
Presuming that the OP has 120vac equipment, the floating voltage on double insulated unearthed equipment is about half that in the UK. In 18 years of connecting cameras up to firewire using the above method, I've never had a single damage of the interface issue. I accept that the interface isn't up to current ESD protection standards, but it isn't that fragile otherwise it would fail with any handling, powered or not.
My DSR500 has a six pin FireWire socket , as does the PDW350 at work , and I'm sure lots of other ENG type camcorders do too .
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Old October 22nd, 2016, 04:56 PM   #39
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Seth Bloombaum View Post
Well, I can certainly respect that you've gone 18 years without a blown firewire port. Me too, though I've taken an approach in my own work closer to yours in most cases - if there's no power on the 4-pin side, why worry about it?

That's going back to the early years of firewire - maybe more like 16 years for me.

But, don't underestimate how smart human beings can screw things up in groups! On the human factors side, there's good reason to create SOPs that include powering down all the devices. Not every camera *is* 4-pin, for one. Was it JVC's HDV cams with 6-pin? Not every firewire hookup is *to* a camera. *People forget!* Duh, which end first?

So, make it simple! I'm sure glad we're mostly done with firewire... I think the college where I teach got away with one blown port in a playback deck in about 10 or 12 years of firewire. That's not bad across hundreds of students using 6 cameras and 4 decks over those years. People can be a problem; you have to account for that in your procedures and plans!
My first DV camera was my DCR-VX1000 ( great bit of kit back in its day ) bought along with one of the first G3 iMac DV . Back then , FireWire was stated to be 'hot-swappable' and I happily plugged in/out without worrying - never had a problem .

Later on , I read about people blowing ports , and it seemed only sensible to at least turn the camera off before connecting . I have a DSR 11 deck permanently plugged into my computer to capture DVCAM footage from , and keep meaning to get an HDV deck , so never need to connect my bigger camcorder at home ( still plugging
in my V1e though ), but may rarely connect it to my MacBookPro if I need to do a quick edit away somewhere - in that case I plug in to the laptop end first , both powered off , and plugging into the camera I take care to ground the outside of the plug before plugging in
.

I just recently acquired three Firestore FS-4 devices , which also connect via FireWire , and have observed the same precautions when connecting them ( also 6pin to 6pin on the DSR or to the computer , but 6pin to
4 pin with my HVR V1e ) .

The way I see it is , chances are no harm will be done , but it costs nothing to take a little care - so why risk trouble ?
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Old October 23rd, 2016, 02:40 AM   #40
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Game View Post
Just seen this well-intended warning. It's true that the shielding on Firewire connectors is inadequate by modern standards but it isn't necessary to be so drastic in precautions. My practice has always been:...
etc
Thanks for the tech information about the principle - I've never seen an explanation before. No doubt you're quite right

Nevertheless, you don't get a second chance and I'd rather start off with a dead system than finish up with one.
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Old October 23rd, 2016, 01:50 PM   #41
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Re: Mini DV tapes from camcorder to computer

Quote:
Originally Posted by Derek Heeps View Post
My first DV camera was my DCR-VX1000 ( great bit of kit back in its day ) bought along with one of the first G3 iMac DV

I have a DSR 11 deck permanently plugged into my computer to capture DVCAM footage from , and keep meaning to get an HDV deck
Boy that brings back some memories! :) My first serious camera was a VX-2000. Had a bunch of the "fruity colored" iMacs at work, one at home, and gave my daughter a red iMac DV when she went away to college in 2000. For my "serious" work I had the first PowerMac G3 at home, the ugly turquoise one, along with that monster CRT based 19" Cinema Display that weighed about a ton. Had to send it back to Apple under warranty and when it returned, I had to help the female UPS driver get it out of the truck, haha. On the repair work order, Apple called it a "Moby Monitor".

Never blew a firewire port, but I totally fried my Titanium PowerBook G4 in 2003 connecting it to a "big iron" 12,000 Lumen Barco DLP projector with a DVI cable. The projector was connected directly to a breaker panel in the booth and the electrician didn't ground it. That was a real panic, as we were in the middle of technical rehearsals for this opera at the time: Il Trovatore (2003) – boydostroff.com

Went right out to CompUSA and got a new PowerBook G4, but the Titanium had just been discontinued so I ended up with the first aluminum version. Only time I ever bought a new Mac immediately after release, fortunately I had a good backup to restore though. Was still running System 9 at the time and didn't switch to OSX until later that year.

I recently got a Sony HVR-M15U and am in the process of capturing all my legacy DV/DVCAM/HDV tapes which number in the hundreds. It was the only thing I could find for under $1000 and works well for capturing, although there are some other oddities. The manual stresses to always power down both the deck and computer when plugging/unplugging the i.Link cable.
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