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Old 10-31-2007, 06:12 AM   #1
rohan
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Default ADVC-110 Power-on Issue

Hey guys,

I'm doing some work for people who have a half-dozen ADVC-110 boxes for digitising old VHS tapes.

I've noticed that that, with some frequency, at least two of them will sit with both Analog and Digital lights on and won't work. If I unplug them from the firewire cable (we're not using external power supplies) and give them a minute, there's a good chance they'll work properly again.

However, the problem does persist enough to cause issues for the users.

Has anyone run into this problem before, or is it possible this is related to the boxes we're using them on?

The only machines we're using are identical - same model (HP ML110) with the same PCI Firewire cards installed, so I'm not sure if it's something strange with the machines or the ADVC boxes.

Any thoughts would be much appreciated!

Rohan
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Old 10-31-2007, 08:46 PM   #2
GrassValley_BH
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Depending on how the power load is balanced in the system, it's quite possible that some of the PCI FireWire cards aren't getting enough power. Check whether they have separate power connections and if they're connected.

A power "sag" can often put a working device into a half-working state that it can't recover from. I once had a UPS that was like this... there was enough battery power to half-power the UPS, and make it squeal, but not so much that it would fully work, and not so little that it would die. After replacing the battery, all was fine again.
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:26 AM   #3
rohan
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That sounds like the problem we're having - thanks! I didn't think it was the boxes.

I've just checked internally, and the PCI Firewire cards seem to have a small 3.5" FDD-style power connector, but they're not plugged in as the systems don't have legacy connectors like that.

Can we avoid this problem by obtaining external PSUs for the ADVC-110s?
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Old 11-01-2007, 01:35 AM   #4
GrassValley_BH
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You have two options - you can get the external PSUs for the ADVC110s, or you can connect the 4-pin power on the FireWire cards. You can get adapters from the standard 4-pin Molex (like on hard drives and optical drives) to the floppy-drive style connectors for very cheap.

I'd go with providing the FireWire cards with power because:
1) It'll provide power for any FireWire device (like external hard drives)
2) The power cable adapter is cheaper than the ADVC110's optional power supply

Kenneally probably has a better source for Australia, but here are some adapter cables that would work:
http://www.cableclub.com/power-suppl...lex-p-975.html
http://www.cableclub.com/power-suppl...lex-p-974.html

You can also find single-connector ones too.
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Old 11-01-2007, 02:21 AM   #5
kbosward
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Brandon is right, you need to make sure the Firewire cards have the power cables connected, as the PCI bus can supply only limited power through the bus connectors. In fact drawing too much power through the PCI bus can make the system unstable.

I've used Express PC Parts (located in Sydney) before as a supplier of cables at a reasonable price.

Ken.
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Old 11-01-2007, 04:33 AM   #6
rohan
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You guys were right - an executive decision was made to go with external power supplies because they're easier to roll out. We bought a multi-voltage unit from Dick Smith and tried it out - couldn't replicate the problem any more, so we're going to order a bunch of 5v units after we've done a bit more testing.

Personally, I think the cable inside would be better - but they want to avoid additional work and aren't short on cash. Their call!

Thanks again,

Rohan
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Old 11-01-2007, 08:25 PM   #7
GrassValley_BH
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Glad to hear you got it sorted out. Not your money, so whatever management wants to do! :)
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