The following information describes and compares options for extending the length between PixeLINK FireWire cameras and a host controller beyond the maximum recommended 4.5-meter cable length specified by the IEEE-1394 standard.

A variety of configurations are available for extending the distance between PixeLINK cameras and host controllers beyond the maximum recommended 4.5-meter cable length specified by the IEEE-1394 standard. Depending on how far from the host system you want to mount your camera, the following components can be used to configure a solution: 

  •  Standard 4.5-meter cable 
  • 10-meter cable 
  • Multiple cables connected to repeaters 
  • Category 5 cables connected by repeaters from outside vendors
  • Optical cables connected by repeaters 

You can use repeaters with 1394 cables in a daisy chain for coverage beyond 10 meters. If 10-meter cables are used, we recommend using a maximum of two repeaters, which allows for three cables, or 30 meters. If 4.5-meter cables are used, the 1394 specification allows for 16 cables to be daisy chained for a maximum length of 72 meters. However, we recommend that the number of repeaters not exceed seven, which allows for eight cables, or 36 meters.


For distances beyond 36 meters, you may find solutions with other vendors. For example, a pair of Newnex FireNEX-CAT5 S400 repeaters claims to work with a 65-meter Category 5 cable, but at a 1394a data rate of 400 Mbps.