Request for help - please read I'd really appreciate it!

Discussion in 'Camcorders, Action Cams & Video Making Forum' started by jonboy80, Feb 8, 2014.

  1. jonboy80

    jonboy80
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    Hi all,

    I've been pointed to this site by some friends who tried to help me but to no avail. They said the expertise here might be the best place to go. So hopefully someone here can help, and thanks for taking the time to read this!

    All I want to do is transfer my old mini-dv tapes to digital format primarily for backing up, but later on for editing once I've got them on the computer. I know this is old technology, I haven't used this camera for a decade but the film I have is priceless and I really need to back it up as the footage of lost loved ones etc. cannot be replaced.

    Here's my problem.

    I have an Asus P8Z68-V PRO / GEN 3 motherboard which has an IEEE1394 port connector. I purchased the 4 pin to six pin firewire cable and the IEEE1394 module, they arrived yesterday. I installed the module (nice and easy, just plug it into the motherboard as per the manual and then mount on a slot opening at the back of the case).

    The computer recognizes the module in device manager but no matter what I do I cannot get the PC to see the camera.

    Things I've tried (to save time and effort on your part);

    - Switching the driver to (legacy) mode for the 1394 Compliant host controller (as it appears in the device manager)

    - Disconnecting and reconnecting all the parts relevant to the DV issue in all sorts of combos

    - Using different programs other than Windows Movie Maker to import the video

    - Making sure the Camcorder is set to VCR mode (both playing and not playing video)

    - Banging my head against a brick wall

    None of these things have worked and I am hoping that someone on here might have come across the same thing and have a solution or at least some ideas I might not have thought of.

    From researching the internet (and I've done this for hours) it seems this is a problem for a lot of people, but as yet I haven't found a solution. A lot of people suggested the legacy driver trick would work but unfortunately it hasn't for me.

    I'm not willing to give up on this, as like I said the video I have on these tapes is priceless to our family and I really don't want to lose it by the tapes degrading or some unforeseen thing happening to them. It's really frustrating having these two bits of kit sitting next to each other (PC and Camcorder) and I can't get them to work together.

    For reference the camcorder is a Panasonic NV-DS29 (I remember that this DV method of transferring worked many years ago, so the camera does do it fine)

    The Motherboard as I said is an ASUS P8Z68-V PRO/GEN 3. The PC itself is only a few months old and has all the latest kit and is running Windows 7 Ultimate 64 bit (genuine).

    The module I purchased is this one; New External 1 Port Firewire IEEE 1394 Serial Bus 6 Pin PCI Port Rear Bracket | eBay

    According to Asus support it should work, but they weren't exactly helpful.

    I'm sure I'm missing something here and hopefully someone out there can help me put my finger on it.

    Thankyou in advance for any help you can offer it would mean a lot to us.

    Regards,

    Jonathan.
     
  2. rogs

    rogs
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    Although this is hopefully a software configuration problem (Firewire problem reports seem to be more common with Windows 7 64 bit than with 32 bit....might just be a coincidence?)
    WinDV is a pretty old free capture utility, but usually works pretty well, even with Win7 64 bit. Might be worth a try?
    The other possibility that springs to mind is a 'fried' Firewire port on the camcorder. If you have the chance of checking that out by trying it out with another computer, that would help eliminate one possible cause of the problem.
    Or...perhaps try another firewire device on your new port configuration.

    (Firewire ports are supposed to be 'hot swappable'... but that's not always so!
    (See here: M-AUDIO - Knowledge Base for some notes on the problem)

    Hopefully this is not the cause of the problem.... but port hardware checks might help in tracing the problem logically, if you can?.....
     
  3. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    Just to check. Does your 1394 controller read "1394 OHCI Compliant Host Controller (Legacy)"? This works with Windows 7 64 bit.
    Another problem I had was the FireWire connector not connecting in the camera (Canon HV20) The plug was just too short. This was remedied with a new FireWire cable.


    A look at the User Manual made no mention of a video connection to a PC - which was rather odd except that the camera is somewhat old. Have you succeeded in capturing to a PC with FireWire in the past?
    It may be that you could sort the problem out by recording directly to a DVD recorder using the audio and S-video connectors.
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2014
  4. jonboy80

    jonboy80
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    Hi guys, thankyou for your replies!

    The driver I selected does indeed read as you wrote it Terfyn. The plug being too short is interesting, I have no idea how to find one that is longer though, I'm guessing that is just pot luck when you order one?

    It looks like I will have to find an alternative way to archive this footage then, firewire looks like it's not going to work, and I just don't have the free time or the alternative equipment to spend more time on it as rogs suggested unfortunately.

    So if that is the case, what do you recommend as an alternative. You mention a dvd recorder? The camera does have s-video and the yellow, white and red output cables. I have those but not s-video, although I could order one of those as I briefly read that s-video is superior?

    If you could advise as to some suitable equipment (I would like to do this fairly cheaply if possible) I would be grateful as I have no idea past this point. My only experience with this sort of thing was DV firewire way, way back and of course as it is now with my current digital camcorder (SD card - soooo much easier!).

    Once I've archived this footage thankfully I won't need to do this again, hence why I'd like to not spend too much money on it as it will only be used once.

    Thanks again fellas

    - Jonathan
     
  5. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    I have the same motherboard as you and with the Legacy driver am able to capture from my MiniDV camcorder, although I have a firewire port on my case that I use but that should make no difference.

    My best advise if you can't try another camcorder or PC with a firewire port to narrow down where the issue lies is to buy another firewire cable. I have lost count of the number of brand new faulty cables that have caused this sort of issue, and trying another cable does often resolve it.

    Mark.
     
  6. jonboy80

    jonboy80
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    Oh really Mark? That's VERY interesting! So it looks like it shouldn't be an issue with the Motherboard. Out of interest, what operating system are you using? When you say you have a port on your case, what do you mean exactly? Is it still connected to the motherboard via the IEEE1394a connector (the two side by side at the bottom right as you look at it)?

    Do you have any suggestions where I could get a new cable from? If possible where you got a cable that you know for sure worked...

    Thanks for replying, there may be hope yet!

    - Jonathan
     
  7. MarkE19

    MarkE19
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    Windows 7 Home Premium 64bit
    This is just a case port connected to the motherboard header - same as the USB ports on most cases these days.
    Amazon - 2M FireWire Cable, 6 pin to 4 pin, 1.8 Meters: Amazon.co.uk: Electronics
    The one I bought from Amazon a few years back was a Belkin for a couple of quid, but they don't seem to have them any more. But any firewire cable that is 6pin to 4pin and 1.8m/6ft long should be fine
    Don't give up I'm sure we can sort this out for you :smashin:

    Mark.
     
  8. jonboy80

    jonboy80
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    Hi Mark and anyone else reading this, I have successfully managed to capture footage from my poor old camera, what a mission this has been!

    How? Well, it wasn't anything that we collectively thought up, it was the strangest thing. I just had one final idea after a late night cup of tea. I thought I'd try running the Camcorder with the battery instead of the mains throughput through the charger. I had the PC running with movie maker waiting to accept an input from a device, the camcorder was switched on (powered by a battery), so I plugged in the firewire cable and lo and behold the windows "bong" signalled new hardware found and it was installing drivers. I left it to it's own devices and instructed everyone in the house not to touch the camcorder, to not even look at it (lol) and it accepted the source. After playing around with windv and movie maker I decided to let movie maker do it's thing and it worked very well indeed. The 15 minute file I was left with was over 3gb long, and it will not allow me to skip to certain parts of it or fast forward/rewind etc. in media player or VLC. But i put it through movie maker and it came out at 1.5gb and allowed me to skip to certain parts and rewind etc. so what I might do is backup all the tapes in the uncompressed format and then process them so I can jump around to different parts of the video. Unless anyone knows why it seems to crash media player and VLC if I try to move the timeline slider at all?

    It's very strange it only works by battery power isn't it? I tested it several times and it is confirmed that it does not work being powered by mains, and works every time working by battery... weird!

    This is definitely a better result than I expected though :) Thanks guys
     
  9. Terfyn

    Terfyn
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    A weird form of earth loop maybe? Very common in audio equipment when equipment is connected to the same power source, a "loop" is created through the earthing line an a sort of feedback starts.
    Anyway I'm glad you are now sorted.:clap:

    When downloading from my Canon HV20 I always used the battery power (Couldn't be bothered to plug the mains adapter in!!) Apart from the "short" plug problem, it worked fine every time.
     
  10. Gramuk

    Gramuk
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    That is a good find and hopefully people with similar issues may give it a try.
    I was going to suggest this was an issue was with the camera - since I have same motherboard (Win7 64 Ultimate) and have never had issues with Firewire and Legacy drivers (All be it with a Sony Mini DV camera). I've always used the mains PSU with the camera so it sounds as Terfyn suggests like some sort of earthing problem causing issues with signal. Now go have some fun with editing.
     
  11. rogs

    rogs
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    To transfer the footage with no loss of quality at all (i.e. a direct digital transfer) you will need to 'capture' via Firewire using the DV AVI option. WinDV only gives you that option. Moviemaker has several capture formats, IIRC.

    A direct DV transfer will always be 13GB per hour. If you have files sizes smaller than that (pro-rata of course!) then you are capturing as something else, and you will have already lost some quality.
    VLC and Window Media Player do not play DV footage very well. To be able to 'scrub' along the timeline, and pick out exactly what you want easily, you might try the free program Virtualdub ( Welcome to virtualdub.org! - virtualdub.org ). Ideal for DV footage. You can easliy cut out the obvious rubbish you know you don't want to keep, and then save the rest as a 'direct copy'.
    That will allow you to edit the saved footage in the future, if you wish, without having lost any quality at all so far!...

    (Glad to hear you've got it sorted, BTW...)
     
  12. jonboy80

    jonboy80
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    Tanks for the information and help everyone, i'll give those suggestions a try tommorow. Great forum and members you have :)
     

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