Maximum FireWire Cable Length

Blogged by Jonathan Maron on September 26, 2007 and tagged with FAQ.

One of the most commonly posed hardware related questions in our support department is:

What is the maximum length of FireWire cable that I can use with your astronomy cameras?

The official answer is:

4.5 meters

For example, the cable CA-1394-66/4.5.

We have heard reports from customers that they have got our cameras working with cables of up to 10 meters. These cables, however, are not officially supported and thus your mileage may vary.

We do, however, offer an officially supported solution, if you have a really long distance between camera and host PC. Typically, this solution is of interest to customers with their telescope and camera in the garden and PC in a warm home office.

Using the Optical FireWire Repeater (OL/1394sc2-1), distances of between 10 meters and 1 kilometer can be bridged. Although, the Optical FireWire Repeater is certainly not a low cost solution, it does allow extremely long cables to be used and can save the day in some extreme situations.