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How far is too far in terms of Firewire?

Firewire

We're asked a lot by customers, "How far can you extend a Firewire connection?"

The answer, It depends.

If you've been in a situation where it's difficult to connect a camera, camcorder, audio mixer, hard drive, or other Firewire device, there're many options out there for you to extend your existing connection depending how far you want to go.

1-15 ft.

You can reasonably just purchase a cable to connect your devices to the host (computer). Most common Firewire 400 cables are averaging 10-15ft. Check out the 15 foot Firewire cable.

15-250 ft.

Generally speaking, since Firewire carries both data and power, an active extension able is needed for carrying the signal and power to your device. This can be accomplished by looking into purchasing a Active Extension cable as well as a regular cable. You can “daisy-chain” 2 extension cables giving you about 30-40ft. After the 40 foot mark, a repeater is needed to amplify the signal by providing power. Gefen makes a repeater that allows you to extend up to 250 feet by purchasing multiple repeaters.

250ft - 1640 ft.

After the 250 foot foot mark, the Firewire data connection needs to be changed into a different medium that's capable of longer distances. To further extend a Firewire connection, fiber optics are the technology that not only extends this medium, but can also extend video, Ethernet, KVM's, and more. When you use fiber, the signal doesn't degrade over distance. You're only limited to the amount of fiber you have and how much distance the extender will handle. For more information on extending your Firewire connection, check out Gefen's Fiber Firewire Extender.


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