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Old February 15th, 2010, 09:30 PM   #1
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What is that thing called???

Sorry for my vague title...:)

Currently I use fire wire to upload mt footage (mini DV tape). I am frying ports left, right and center!!! I have been able to find junk camcorders on ebay for $40 only to fry them also!!

To clarify...I have been editing for 2+ years, and uploaded 100's of tapes with NO problems until recently. Nothing new to my set up, but nontheless, I am frying everything.

So, my question is: what is that deck thing called that lets you upload taped to your computer? I've heard it mentioned on here before but I never paid any attention then.

Any advice would help!
Thanks!

Kelsey
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Old February 15th, 2010, 09:40 PM   #2
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Hi Kelsey

It's a MiniDV Deck and normally does DVCAM as well. You can also easily fry the firewire ports on that too!!

Firewire, despite what they say, is NOT hot swappable!! Plug in a firewire cable with the computer running and you WILL blow a port!!

You have to connect everything with the computer AND camera (or deck) off. Then start the computer and finally turn the cam on. I have never fried a port this way!!

Chris
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Old February 15th, 2010, 09:46 PM   #3
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Thanks!

Question: You say that you turn off the camcorder AND the computer EVERY time?

Admittedly I have been not turning off the camcorder and unhooking the firewire to so that I could open and insert a new tape (or it becomes diconnected accidentally). So if you have a wedding with 8 tapes you shut down EVERYTHING between each tape?

Any idea why this is becoming a problem now when I have done nothing differently?
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Old February 15th, 2010, 10:55 PM   #4
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I've been swapping tapes and plugging my miniDV cam into the computer countless times without shutting down. I've haven't had any problems yet. Maybe I'm just lucky.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 10:59 PM   #5
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I have never on any kind of system had to turn off a deck and computer before swapping out decks / cameras / etc. i do not believe it is possible to cause a problem simply becaus the computer is on. However, it is possible that there is something wrong with your computer and it is putting out a charge hotter than normal causing you to fry ports with anything that you plug in.
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Old February 15th, 2010, 11:34 PM   #6
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I've never had a problem plugging a camera in while it's turned off, then turning it on, probably even "hot swapped" a few times by accident. To be frying firewire ports there is SOMETHING wrong somewhere... voltage where it doesn't belong or something. Not saying it doesn't happen, as the evidence is that it can and does, just that I've not seen it personally, maybe I too am lucky!

Get a brand new firewire cable to start - cables can go bad over time and flexing. That's the first thing I'd suspect - shorted or broken cables could be the culprit. Then I still wonder whether you caused a problem when you knocked over your tower - maybe damaged the firewire jack?

I seem to remember there are 4 and 6 pin firewire plug variants and perhaps researching the connections and reviewing where voltage is SUPPOSED to be would yield some clues.

Or as I think has been suggested, just install a firewire PCI card, they are fairly cheap - if your existing card is damaged or the ports are on the motherboard and damaged, a card should isolate the problem. Way cheaper to try than frying junk cammies!
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Old February 16th, 2010, 06:04 AM   #7
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I have never fried a FW port, ever!.
Kelsey, as for shutting down between every tape, no not necessary. Once the deck is hooked up you leave it hooked up.
As for the problem with frying ports, I agree there is something wrong with the computer. IIWY, I'd have it looked at before it costs you more than money.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 07:18 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chris Harding View Post
Firewire, despite what they say, is NOT hot swappable!! Plug in a firewire cable with the computer running and you WILL blow a port!!
No, by specification, IEEE-1394 most definately IS hot swappable. However, if a manufacturer decides to cut corners and does not meet the specification, that is something different.

I believe the problem is in the design of certain connectors which allow the power to touch the signal while plugging the connector in. However, both devices SHOULD provide protection in this case.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 09:34 AM   #9
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Yeah...it's weird...I've NEVER had this problem before and now it's a curse. As Dave mentioned the whole thing started when I knocked my tower over a few weeks back. I actually took the computer into a guy that does great work/great prices. He looked at the computer and determined that the ports were fine.

Sure enough I borrowed someone else's camcorder and the problem was solved. Since then I have seemingly fried one Firewire port on the computer and a junky eBay find.

I think I'm going to have to dig a little deeper...

Thanks everyone!
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Old February 16th, 2010, 11:28 AM   #10
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Free Slot

Also, if you've got a free slot in your motherboard, you should be able to stick a separate PCI firewire card into your motherboard.
They're relatively cheap nowadays....
About $30.


Good luck!!!
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Old February 16th, 2010, 12:54 PM   #11
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Hey Peter!! How are you?!

Thanks for that tip!! I do in fact have a free slot!
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Old February 16th, 2010, 01:39 PM   #12
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Definately get that card installed...

In some cases, your computer case has a slot in the front, that lets you hook up without going through the rear of the box....
I would definately go this way, and ignore the motherboard's firewire input....

Thanx, i'm doing great..
Wedding season's around the corner, and i'm starting to bite my nails....
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Old February 16th, 2010, 03:22 PM   #13
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Are your firewire ports 6 pin or 4 pin? 6 pin firewire has power, so it's easy to fry. 4 pin doesn't have power. I think most people without problems are the 4 pin users. I personally connect 4 pin firewire anytime, computer on, or off and haven't had any problems in almost 10 years.
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Old February 16th, 2010, 05:44 PM   #14
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You should be safe swapping 4 pin firewire. Six pin or Firewire 800 is another story. For anyone that has hot swapped a six pin and not had problems, consider yourself very lucky.

I shorted out a JVC GY HD110U and the deck for JVC in the same week. The tech at JVC took care of the problem but he told me to always make sure power was off to both computer and recorder when changing firewire cables. I never had another problem.

I am just glad I am all tapeless now and do not have to worry about this anymore.

Paul Hudson
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Phoenix AZ video production
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Old February 16th, 2010, 07:50 PM   #15
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just wondering if by any chance there is static electricity causing you trouble? especially this time of year with the weather.
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