Problems detecting or acquiring images from cameras connected to FireNEX800 1394b optical repeaters

Last Revision Date: 6/2/2014

The Newnex FireNEX800™ 1394b optical repeater uses an IEEE-1394 PHY and optical transceiver to send IEEE-1394 signals across an optical fiber cable up to 500 meters in length.

Camera Not Detected

Under some circumstances, your camera may not be detected by the controlling host system. Our technical support staff have reproduced this problem using a Dragonfly Express 1394b camera connected into a PC using the following configuration:

To reproduce this problem, disconnect one end of the fiber optic cable from one of the FireNEX800 repeaters while the system is powered and working. The "Laser" repeater status LED should turn off. Verify that the camera is no longer detected by Windows Device Manager or by the FlyCap demo program included with the FlyCapture SDK. This problem cannot be resolved by reconnecting the fiber optic cable. Doing so should result in one or more of the repeater's three (3) status LEDs (usually "Active" and "Laser") going into a rapid blinking or flashing state. Detection problems occur in all cases where one or more of the status LEDs are flashing.

To resolve this problem, unplug everything and reconnect all the components in the order outlined in the "Using the FireNEX800" section of the FireNEX800 User's Manual, as follows:

    1. Connect the two FireNEX800 repeaters using the correct type of fiber optic cable (e.g. 62.5/125um MMF).
    2. Plug each repeater into its individual power supply. Verify that the "Laser" LED is solid green.
    3. Connect one of the repeaters to the IEEE-1394 PCI card using a 4.5m 1394b cable. If you have access to an IEEE-1394b bus analyzer such as FireSpy, verify that both repeaters are detected and confirm that the negotiated bus speed is S800.
    4. Connect the camera (e.g., Dragonfly EXPRESS) into the other repeater. Verify that all three status LEDs are solid green, and the camera is detected by Windows Device Manager and FlyCap. To test the connection, execute FlyCap and attempt to grab images.

According to Newnex technical staff, the optical cable must be plugged in first because for the receiver and transmitter to be in the communication state, the IEEE-1394b physical layers (PHYs) for both units need to go through the initiation stages (toning, speed code detecting, sending/receiving ACKs, etc.).

Image Acquisition Fails (black images)

When trying to acquire images from a 1394a or 1394b camera using FlyCap, under some circumstances no images will be acquired and the FlyCap display will remain black. This is often a result of the problem discussed in Related Article below, and can be resolved using the steps discussed in that article. If this does not resolve the issue, contact Technical Support. 

KB Article: My camera is not recognized by system and not listed in Device Manager.
KB Article: Using Windows Device Manager to determine the camera's software and driver versions.


2. DapDesign FireSpy800
The FireSpy800 is a debugging device for IEEE-1394b hardware and software developers.