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Hello and A Question

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Hello and A Question

Postby Bobby » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:31 am

Hello from the past!

This is your old friend Bobby, back after a long absence. I wish I had something new to report, but Alice and I are still hanging in at age 71 and still living the good life here at the NC beach.

I am starting to revive my video hobby, and had to buy a new PC as my old one dedicated to video work was now ten years old!

But the new PC does not have a firewire port, which I need to connect my old DV video camera (Canon HV30, still works!) to read some old tapes.

I could get a firewire card and waste a slot, but does anybody know of a reliable USB 3 to firewire external adapter? That would make life much easier if available.

Thank you in advance, and I am also looking forward to hearing from some of my old friends!

Bobby
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby sidd finch » Wed Apr 18, 2018 12:35 pm

My understanding is that firewire and USB are a different protocol.

How about a PCMCIA or EXPRESSCARD?

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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Dave McElderry » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:39 pm

A nice blast from the past. Good to hear from you Bobby and glad to know that you're still hanging in there. Every time a storm comes in along the Carolinas coast I think of you.
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Steve Grisetti » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:10 pm

I'm not sure what to recommend. I tried to install a PCI-E FireWire card in my new computer and didn't take -- even with teh proper drivers. I have an old computer I use for DV capture.

It might be worth considering a cheap USB digitizer. They can be had for about $20-30 on Amazon.

It goes against everything we've previously recommended, as far as DV capture is concerned. And you won't be able to interface with your camcorder, as you could with FireWire. But it will capture your video in standard def and at an acceptable quality. I'm afraid the days of computers talking to miniDV camcorders may be over.
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Peru » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:34 pm

Hi Bobby!

Welcome back.

Unfortunately, Sidd is correct that a USB to Firewire adapter will not work.
You might be able to find a cheap used computer or laptop with a Firewire port just to capture with. I keep a few old computers around in case I need to interface with old hardware like my wife's sewing machine software that connects to a serial port on the computer.
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Chuck Engels » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:00 am

:exc: Hi Bobby !!!
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Bobby » Thu Apr 19, 2018 10:42 am

HI Peru and Steve and Sidd and Dave and Chuck - thanks for welcoming me back!

Yeah, I was afraid that was the answer. Well I can still keep the old PC around for as long as I need it, but it is a big hulking monster and I was hoping to get rid of it for good. I can make a concerted effort to read the remaining miniDV tapes and that should be the end. I am really just trying to clean everything up in the faint hope that one of my grandchildren will pick up the family video effort.

Then, of course, I will need a new camera, or just use my iPhone, which seems to be my wife's solution to everything these days.

I wish I had something to report but the years just seem to drift by. Most of my hobby time is split between Amateur Radio (I am ND2O and have been a ham since 1962) and home automation. My daughters are doing well, and my six grandchildren are growing like weeds. Five of the six now drive and four have their own cars (probably five soon).

We moved to Oak Island NC in 1999 but have had the house since May 1998, so we are coming up on 20 years here. We have lots of friends and good neighbors and life here is good. No issues with storms and we haven't had to evacuate ever. Actually, staying on the island is preferable because the mainland (the Low Country) floods badly in storms but the island doesn't flood as the rain runs off. Storm surge on the beachfront can be an issue, but it has never come inland very far.

Alice and I are fine, health-wise. I am now an insulin-dependent diabetic and have to inject two different types five injections a day. It makes life less convenient, but it is something you can live with.

It's great to be back, at least a bit

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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Steve Grisetti » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:08 pm

Welcome back, Bobby!
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Bob » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:42 pm

Welcome back, Bobby! Glad to hear you and Alice are doing well! Like Peru, I've thought of you often -- especially when a hurricane goes near your location.
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Bobby » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:31 pm

Hi Bob - thanks for replying!

Well, I think the situation is worse than I thought.

I am trying to recreate where I was in the family video situation when I stopped doing the work. I never did my family DVDs in any particular order and bounced around from older to newer as the mood struck me, unless there was an immediate need for a DVD such as a family wedding. I do have a tracking spreadsheet, which helps.

But apparently sometime in 2008 I just quite doing them. I think I understand my lack of motivation, but that is not important now. I have done some work more recently, but that was just the 10 minute sound byte, make a .MOV file and put it on the web or iPad, type of work.

But looking through the spreadsheet and boxes of tape, it looks like not only the mimiDVs are not copied, but even some of the older HI-8 ones were also not done. I got out my Hi-8 camcorder and it appears to be dead.

So, I have no Firewire interface, and even if I do put a card in the PC, the HI-8 camcorder is busted.

I looked around the web and found a company that will copy from tape to DVD for both formats. They will also give me an .MP4 file on thumb drive for each tape. I am unsure about the quality however as their process is to make the DVD first and then generate the .MP4 from the DVD. The cost is $17 per tape and includes return shipping and all media including the thumb drive.

So, does anyone have any experience with those outfits? Will this be a workable process - I assume the latest PE will support the .MP4 format?

I appreciate the advice! What do you think?

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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Peru » Thu Apr 19, 2018 5:21 pm

Bobby wrote:
I appreciate the advice! What do you think?

Bobby


I would look for a used camcorder on eBay. It would be less expensive and you would have control of the process.

My HDV camera had a problem and I sent it away to a company and they fixed it for about $300.00. It was a bit expensive, but I had all of the accessories and good batteries.
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Bobby » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:04 pm

Peru, I think you are right. I should do the work myself, even if I have to get another camera or deck.

For now, I am going to connect the HV30 into the old PC (that has Firewire) and just scan in all ten tapes that have not yet been done. I don't have to do a project, just get them scanned in for now and see what develops.

I will tackle the HI8 tapes when I can.

Thanks, Bobby
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Chuck Engels » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:28 pm

When I bought my new PC I specifically looked for one with a Firewire port, not easy to find but they are still available. There is still a large demand for them regarding multi track audio recording so they are still available, but even that is moving to USB it seems. Some of the best multi track recording interfaces are still Firewire based and work amazingly well. I have a Presonus FireStudio 10 track recording interface and it is a lot of fun to play with.

So glad to hear everyone is well :)
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Bobby » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:47 pm

Thanks for the info Chuck. Yes, all going well. I am scanning in the first tape as we speak.

BTW, HDVSplit creates .m2t files - I assume the format is OK for the latest Premiere Elements if I buy it. I see that the last version I had (10) seems to accept the files OK. Just want to make sure before scanning in all the tapes!

It's hard for an old man to admit it, but I have learned a few life lessons in all this.
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Re: Hello and A Question

Postby Chuck Engels » Fri Apr 20, 2018 12:57 pm

Learning lessons is what life is all about :)

You shouldn't have any problems with the m2t files Bobby, at least that's what Adobe says. Last time I edited m2t files in Premiere Elements was version 14 or 15, so not too long ago.
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