blown firewire ports- help please!

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Hi there!
I'm using a power mac G4 dual processor with OSX 10.3.9 and I've blown a total of 4 firewire ports on various peripherals-
-a cd burner --that was awhile ago, i may have hot-swapped it-- but after being very careful to power down each time I plug in a firewire cable, I've also blown fw ports on:
-sony vx2000 camera
-sony trv900 camera
-sony DSR-11 video deck

I'm starting to lose my mind, the video deck went yesterday, and I definitely powered down before plugging in anything.
I could cry, as these are all so expensive to replace the ports!!

Why in the world is this continually happening?
What can I do to prevent it?
I'm terrified of spending bazillions to fix them and then have it happen again.
Is it a 6-pin to 4-pin issue?

Please any advice would be appreciated. I'm about to throw it all out the window and go live in a cave somewhere!
Thank you in advance for your help!!
 
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blown firewire ports- help please-- addendum

hi again-
also wanted to clarify that it is the ports, it's not the cables because I tested the cables against another camera (sony hi-8) and that port is fine.
I even tried pressing 'reset' on the cams and the deck...:Shouting:
thanks again!
 
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Do you mean the ports on the peripherals are burning out but not the ports on the G4?!
 
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peripheral ports blown

hi thanks for responding=
yes the port on each peripheral has blown out but the ports on the G4 are fine.
 
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PM G4 Dual 867, 1gb, 160gb
I wonder if this might be a ground loop problem. Are the peripheral devices being plugged into the same power strip / outlet as the Mac, and are they all grounded? If they are not, that might be a clue. Also, you could check the voltage on pin 1 of the Mac firewire port (400) or pin 9 (800). If it is more than 25 volts, that may be the problem.
 
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thanks so much, Thorin-
I will definitely look into that- yes most cords are in the same power strip, etc. - all are plugged into a surge protector/backup battery (if that makes a difference).
I''m not sure how to check if things are grounded and how to check the voltage on pins/ports.
 
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Get right on down to your local hardware store and buy a plug in voltage/ground tester. They are cheap enough and are worth their weight in gold when it comes to tracking bad circuits. It just has indicator lights that signal whether the hot lead is indeed hot, or the neutral is cross wired and if the ground actually goes to ground. Might want follow Thorin's advice and get an inexpensive volt meter too. Again, you don't need one that analyzes sine wave synchronization over three phase mains, just a basic AC/DC 0-220 volt tester.
 
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Thanks so much you guys. really really appreciate it. will do all of those things.
do you think that getting a FireWire port isolator cable adapter and/or a PCI firewire card would make any difference?
 
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do you think that getting a FireWire port isolator cable adapter and/or a PCI firewire card would make any difference?

I would definitely keep that in mind as an option. I have to say, I really feel sorry for you in this situation. It's a total bummer, I would be ready to pull my hair out (if I had any) if I were you. Good luck, sincerely.
 
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Thanks Thorin, very kind of you. Funny you say that, i was just saying to my friend that I wonder if there's a support group for people who are bald from pulling their hair out because of blown ports and similar tech problems! :eek:
It seems like blown ports are a common problem; I just don't understand why they aren't surge-protected and are so problematic-- and so outrageously expensive to fix.
anyway, thanks again for your help!! :)
 

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