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Wedding / Event Videography Techniques
Shooting non-repeatable events: weddings, recitals, plays, performances...


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Old January 14th, 2010, 10:26 AM   #16
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Now I'm confused! lol! I thought what I said was pretty straightforward.

I'm freaking out that I may have "loose Voltage" running thru my VERY expensive computer!

I'm freaking out that if that is the case I have the potential to do some VERY expensive damage to my computer!

I'm freaking out because I already had my computer in the shop for repairs that took almost 4 weeks to fix (just a video card that was out of stock). And I am already behind in editing because of it. I can't stomach the thought of having it in the shop for any more time.

Could you clarify what you THOUGHT I was suggesting? I'm curious because I love this board, find the peopple here to be very intelligent and helpful and the last thing I would want to do is offend.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 11:22 AM   #17
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Kelsey, perhaps a case of transatlantic misunderstanding, no offence intended and none taken.

I do think perhaps your situation would benefit from a calmer consideration of some of the expressions used. If your Firewire card is faulty then the simple solution is to close down your computer and remove the card. Result, no "loose voltage" (a far too emotive term in my personal opinion) and if the potential cause was the firewire card then no further risk.

It happens I'm in a similar situation myself and the problem seems to be that one of the three firewire ports on my firewire card is faulty. My drawback is that I do my own builds and thus, although I have good relations with my local component supplier, the responsibility for diagnosis is mine ie I must buy a replacement card and hope that I chose the right solution.

In your case it sounds as if your supplier might do the diagnosis for you and thus if it is something else, not charge you for an unnecessary replacement card.

Finally, the problem/solution we've been suggesting here isn't rocket science but a 10 minute matter of undoing the case, removing a card, inserting another and putting the side back on the case.

Based on everything that's been said to you I suggest you have every reason for cool confidence. Good luck.

Last edited by Philip Howells; January 14th, 2010 at 02:55 PM.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 11:42 AM   #18
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Honestly...your post has calmed me down substantially!

I confess to not being as computer savvy as I should be perhaps and listening to the story about the assistant who damaged a bunch of equipment sort of freaked me out. At this point I figured with all my "trouble shooting" I'd probably done more damage than I realized :(

I apologize for any offence taken by my post. The only way to not repeat somthing again is to know what you did wrong in the first place :)
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Old January 14th, 2010, 02:58 PM   #19
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Kelsey,
Sorry to have freaked you out, didn't mean to do that, it appeared you were at least reasonably tech savvy from your troubleshooting, my bad for presuming!

Your computer is probably just fine, but you may have issues with the firewire card - and there is voltage on those ports - run a search here for "fried firewire" or similar, and you'll find plenty of postings.

What happens is that if those connections aren't made "just so", there's the POTENTIAL to do damage to the chips in the firewire interface - it won't go any deeper, but as you've surmised, it's not cheap to fix, you see cameras with "bad firewire ports" all the time on eBay...

I'm only guessing, but it makes some sense to me that your initial "accident" may have damaged the actual physical port, potentially doing electronic damage as well if voltage got in the wrong place at the wrong time (done it myself, sometimes it's too easy when working on a computer!). Where I'm sort of lost is why you apparently used a SECOND computer and are still having a problem, have tried ingest with another camera and cable as well (I'm presuming you've tried all the possible combinations?) with no success.

The usual failure mode will fry the firewire input in the camera, but that's all. You've got the added variable of having tipped the tower... thus my cautious suggestions of isolating your computer(s?) and cameras in case whatever happened is capable of causing further damage to any equipment hooked up. Do you have a friend who could dump the tapes for you and put the files on a removable USB hard drive or flash drive? Since your USB appears to be working, then you have the files to work with and can complete the project at least. THEN, when the pressure is not on, you can go about troubleshooting the firewire.

Firewire PCI cards are cheap, and that may be all it takes to "fix" the computer side, and SD DV cams are fairly cheap, but I'm still thrown by your description of trying a couple cameras, cables and computers - there "should" be a combo that works there somewhere, but apparently not?

That's why I sort of ruled out a simple broken/bad connection and expressed the concern there's something more going on there that a halfway decent tech with a voltmeter could suss out before any more damage is done. The reasoning being that if "something" is frying the interface chips when connected, you need to figure that out and isolate the problem before hooking up any more good, working gear, thereby "bricking" it.

FWIW, once you get the tape dumped you should be fine to finish your edit, focus on that, and you'll be fine! Sort the firewire issues later if you can.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:22 PM   #20
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No worries! lol!! I really appreciate all your info!

I got a little freaked out because I really did try EVERY possible configuration and NOTHING worked! My concern was that I "spread" the problem to every camera and computer that I have!

Having just come out of "computer repair hell" I am a little leery of going down that road again.

Thanks again everyone for all the great advice :)
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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:28 PM   #21
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Kelsey, I understand that you are in agony about what happens to your system, and I would be too, if I had tried so many combinations without result and with the fear of having damaged my camcorders' f/w (the computer's f/w isn't really a problem). Here is my quick solution to catch up with your backlog.

-Buy a new firewire PCI card, a new cable (many PCI cards include cables anyway) and a small handycam (assuming that you're working with DV footage). I have bought a small Canon camcorder for capturing for hours and hours without having to worry about damages. In the price of 150 Euros, I simply don't care. Avoid brands like the cheap JVC models, they tend not to read many DV tapes that were written with other brands (it sounds outrageous but it's true).

-Remove your old firewire card and put the new one in. If you were working with on-board f/w, then simply put the PCI card in and forget about the old one (for now). The installation is amazingly simple. That way you'll continue to work your videos. If this doesn't work either, then believe me, I'd love to take a look at your computer!

-Later, when you'll be more cool at your schedules, take your camcorders and get them to a technician so they check the f/w slots. As I understand, you can keep recording with your camcorders with no problem.
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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:30 PM   #22
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Not to beat a dead horse here...but I was reading some of the old posts regarding "fried Firewire"

It seems as though some people were/are paying a lot of money ($1000+) to get their cameras fixed after they do this. Is there a reason you would do this? Would it not be cheaper (as I asked earlier) to buy just a junky camcorder for inputting? Is there a technical reason you would NEED to get the camera fixed?
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Old January 14th, 2010, 03:35 PM   #23
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dimitris Mantalias View Post
Kelsey, I understand that you are in agony about what happens to your system, and I would be too, if I had tried so many combinations without result and with the fear of having damaged my camcorders' f/w (the computer's f/w isn't really a problem). Here is my quick solution to catch up with your backlog.

-Buy a new firewire PCI card, a new cable (many PCI cards include cables anyway) and a small handycam (assuming that you're working with DV footage). I have bought a small Canon camcorder for capturing for hours and hours without having to worry about damages. In the price of 150 Euros, I simply don't care. Avoid brands like the cheap JVC models, they tend not to read many DV tapes that were written with other brands (it sounds outrageous but it's true).

-Remove your old firewire card and put the new one in. If you were working with on-board f/w, then simply put the PCI card in and forget about the old one (for now). The installation is amazingly simple. That way you'll continue to work your videos. If this doesn't work either, then believe me, I'd love to take a look at your computer!

-Later, when you'll be more cool at your schedules, take your camcorders and get them to a technician so they check the f/w slots. As I understand, you can keep recording with your camcorders with no problem.
THANK YOU! You are speaking my language! Step by step instructions in small understandable words!! Now I feel like I can do this!

I have already found a cheap Canon online that I might go pick up tonight.

I have always installed my own burners etc so I am comfortable doing that type of thing as well!

I don't know why I am getting so worked up over this...I guess I'm just feeling the pressure of being behind from the last repair. I guess a started to panick and lost all abiliuty to think rationally :)
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Old January 15th, 2010, 12:12 AM   #24
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About the only reason to spend on a repair is if the value of the camera is sufficient to justify it... highly unlikely on an SD camera at this stage, and buying a cheap one for a deck is pretty easy to do. Like I say, I've got a couple that are perfect for just that application I'm going to be getting rid of - excellent cameras in their day, but that day is over... currently debating how long to hang on to the HDV tape cams...

Dimitris has a good plan, put a new firewire card in (shouldn't be a problem, or cost much), use a new camcorder and a new cable, and you've eliminated the potential problems - doesn't mean you didn't blow the firewire on the cams and/or computers, but if you fire up the new config and it works, just don't use the old ports/cameras unless you have them troubleshot, just in case!

It's way easy to panic when your system goes down... don't worry, we've all been there if we've used computers much... I just went through a rough patch while trying to get an upgrade to a Core i7 system going... had a bunch of weird random crashes the first build, replaced parts to no avail, finally swapped/RMA'd the CPU, and a couple weeks later tried again, this time it was 100% stable and runs like a champ, but there was lots of gnashing of teeth along the way getting there!!
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Old January 15th, 2010, 01:36 AM   #25
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[QUOTE=Kelsey Emuss;1472413

It seems as though some people were/are paying a lot of money ($1000+) to get their cameras fixed after they do this. [/QUOTE]

I never had a f/w problem but $1000 sound too much, although everything is possible. When one of my FX1s needed a head replacement (far more important problem) the whole thing cost me 300 Euros. 80 Euros for the head and 220 for the service (!!). I also know that for an experienced camcorder technician, this is a job that needs 20 minutes max (if he goes slow), so all those prices sound outrageous. But for $1000, no, I wouldn't bother with the firewire, unless the camera had a value of at least 6-7 times that money.
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Old January 15th, 2010, 08:36 AM   #26
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Dave Blackhurst View Post
About the only reason to spend on a repair is if the value of the camera is sufficient to justify it... highly unlikely on an SD camera at this stage, and buying a cheap one for a deck is pretty easy to do. Like I say, I've got a couple that are perfect for just that application I'm going to be getting rid of - excellent cameras in their day, but that day is over... currently debating how long to hang on to the HDV tape cams...

Dimitris has a good plan, put a new firewire card in (shouldn't be a problem, or cost much), use a new camcorder and a new cable, and you've eliminated the potential problems - doesn't mean you didn't blow the firewire on the cams and/or computers, but if you fire up the new config and it works, just don't use the old ports/cameras unless you have them troubleshot, just in case!

It's way easy to panic when your system goes down... don't worry, we've all been there if we've used computers much... I just went through a rough patch while trying to get an upgrade to a Core i7 system going... had a bunch of weird random crashes the first build, replaced parts to no avail, finally swapped/RMA'd the CPU, and a couple weeks later tried again, this time it was 100% stable and runs like a champ, but there was lots of gnashing of teeth along the way getting there!!
I would love to take one of those old camcorders off your hands!!! What do you have currently and what are you asking for them? If you think we should discuss this off the board let me know. I don't want to break any rules!

Thanks,
Kelsey
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Old January 15th, 2010, 06:17 PM   #27
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Hi Kelsey -

I guess I'd better go dig them up! It's a couple Panasonic GS-100K's. Both have CCD's that have gone bad - I had hoped to send them in (suposedly there was a recall at one time, but I never got through the Japanese phones (these never officially made it to the US) to get hands on replacement sensor blocks. Tape mechs are stout, firewire works, and the picons are easy enough to understand - you wouldn't need them if using firewire anyway.

I'm not looking for a huge amount, and you'd probably only need the A/C adapter so I'd be willing to split the accessories and sell them separately. PM me with an offer, and we can negotiate/take it from there - I'd send pictures and all that so you know what these are before buying, and no worries if you'd rather stick with Canon brand if that's what you're already using!

They were great little cameras in their time, but dang, technology just shoots on past like you're standing still nowadays!
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