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Is there anyway to overcome the distance limitations on firewire?

Posted on 2014-12-12
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Is there anyway to overcome the distance limitations on firewire? Optometrist equipment connects via 6 pin firewire 400 (both ends) cable, they want to run the cable through the wall  making it a 40' distance.
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Question by:siggy9
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by:Dr. Klahn
ID: 40496206
You can often double the length of a Firewire cable without significant problems, but going 40 feet is beyond safe limits of the technology, particularly in a medical application.

However, there are commercial products such as the Gefen extenders and the Newnex Firewire to fiber bridge that should solve their problem.  They are not cheap but that is because there is a limited market.
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 40496295
Assuming the firewire device has its own power supply why not use an active repeater cable? We have dental kit that uses Firewire over this kind of distance with no problem.
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by:nobus
ID: 40497656
a booster cable can be used :  http://www.datapro.net/news/active-firewire-booster-cables.html
or an extender :  http://www.vpi.us/1394-extender.html
or a repaeter :  http://www.usbfirewire.com/parts/rr-ltm-fdr.html
***all these names do the same...
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by:siggy9
ID: 40497903
@masq do you happen to have a link for the cables you use?
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 40497926
I'll have a look when I'm next there but I don't remember buying anything particular.  IIRC they come in 5m (16ft) lengths and you can connect multiple cables together up to about 150ft maximum.  

It depends a lot on the device you're connecting so I guess for optometry you're looking at camera/topographer which should be fine as it has it's own power supply and it's just data you need to send.
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by:nobus
ID: 40497981
i posted several - are they not suitable for you?
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by:☠ MASQ ☠
ID: 40504194
No manufacturer markings on them just 5m FW 400 repeater cables plugged into each other.
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by:siggy9
ID: 40504847
First of all Sorry it has taken so long to get back with you

@nobus The information you provided was good however I was unable to find the product they were talking about on the 1st link. It seemed to be a news article  on a propitiatory product that I could not find to purchase.

The 2nd and 3rd sites looked to have a similar product and I just wanted to make sure that we found the cheapest option before continuing. The doctors were originally thinking the problem could be fixed by a $80 cable for each room instead of a $400 box plus cable.

@masq thank you for checking so you did not need a booster of any sort you were just able to use repeater cables off of the original units power supply?
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http://www.pccables.com/cgi-bin/orders6.cgi?id=ID17509596&action=Showitem&partno=70981

In my research I was able to find this - If MASQ's solution works without a repeater I would imagine a full length cable would do the job. Has anyone had any experience using something like this?
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by:nobus
ID: 40505084
ok i got the idea :-)
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☠ MASQ ☠ earned 500 total points
ID: 40505333
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