FW-1884 FireWire and Sync Issues

Discussion in 'Firewire PC Audio Interfaces and Control Surfaces' started by Miguel Queiroz, May 9, 2016.

  1. Miguel Queiroz

    Miguel Queiroz New Member

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    FW-1884, DR-680
    Hi everyone,

    I realize FW-1884 has frequent FireWire connection issues and is kind of a picky piece of gear. I've had this unit since 2006 and its serial number is 0120089, so I guess it's one of the earliest, before they made some improvements around the 028xxxx series.

    Let me start by giving my system specs:

    Soft: Windows 7 64Bit; Nuendo 5; FW-1884 Driver 1.8.
    Hard: Motherboard: Tyan Tempest i5000XT; CPU: Intel Xeon 5100; Ram: 6GB DDR2 FBDimm; Graphics: ATI 2600XT... And I do have a Texas Instruments FireWire onboard device, with its driver rolled back to legacy.

    My FW-1884 unit has worked and stopped working many times with the exact same Workstation. Namely, every time I move the Studio to a new location, or every time I format the workstation, I have a hard time getting the device to work reliably again.

    Right now after moving the Studio to a new location, I have been struggling with the following problem for a few weeks:

    I always need to turn the Workstation on, before the FW-1884, in order for it to be recognized and for the FireWire Led to light up. I turn the WS on, after Windows has fully loaded, I turn the FW-1884 on. I wait around 30 seconds and the Firewire led turns on, at the same time that the red cross disappears from my Audio Device icon, in the system tray. Also, the FW-1884 shows up twice at the Control Panel, but I had to disable onboard sound device, otherwise it wouldn't work.

    However despite all this and despite the Firewire remaining on, I have no sound through the FW-1884... And the FW-1884 control panel shows no sign of Sync. It also doesn't pop up when I click it on the unit, of course.

    When I open a Nuendo project and use the software interface, what I do (play, stop, mute, level knobs...) reflects on the FW-1884. But not the other way around: What I do in Nuendo has no effect on the FW-1884, which seems to be receiving DAW commands through Firewire, but not sending them. However I don't get any sound out of it... Not in Computer mode nor in Mon Mix>Computer/Both. I do get sound out of it if the inputs are jacks or XLR... But not from the workstation connected through FireWire.

    Can this be the FireWire cable?.. Can it be the Firewire ports? Can it be the on board Firewire card?
    What really annoys me is that I don't know of any other device that can replace the FW-1884 with all it's inputs and outputs and which can work both as mixer and as DAW controller... Which is exactly what i need for my workflow.

    NOTE: This is all with FireWire port #2. With FireWire port #1, after lighting up for a second, the led goes off... But all the rest remains the same: The tray icon remains with audio active and the FW-1884 keeps active at the Device Manager. However only with port #2 will the FW led remain On.

    In the past, I've had similar problems, but they seemed to magically vanish after some time. I just don't get why this keeps happening every time I move things around or when I format the WS. I sometimes would leave both the FW and the WS on for several hours and after a while all went back to normal.
  2. DeeringAmps

    DeeringAmps Member

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    My guess would be that SB 0606 Low Temperature, applies here.
    "With FireWire port #1, after lighting up for a second, the led goes off..."
    Using port #1, let the 1884 remain "on" of several minutes.
    Then cycle the unit off, then back on.
    Will it stay "in sync" (firewire led remain on) after that?
    I have to cycle off/on if my studio is "cold" (under 65 degrees).
    Let us know.

    Tom
  3. Miguel Queiroz

    Miguel Queiroz New Member

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    My Studio is at 68-72 degrees. I tried the on-off cycle trick and the led remains on, both for the Firwire port #1 and #2.

    However I have no sync. Although the Firwire led is on and although the SoftLCD says "connected to FW-1884", if I click the Control Panel button of the FW-1884, nothing pops up in my computer screen.

    Another strange thing I notice is that, everytime I turn the FW-1884 on, it takes around one whole minute before the "red cross" vanishes from the audio icon in the tray bar... The same time it takes for the FireWire led to light up.

    Then I also have no sound. I play something on Windows Media Player and the player opens but the time span doesn't move at all. It's paralyzed .. I can drag it manually and it will stay at the time point where I release the mouse.
  4. DeeringAmps

    DeeringAmps Member

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    Miguel,
    If the firewire led is "on" and stays "on" you should be good to go.
    One minute does seem long to boot and lock, but...
    What do you see in "Device Manager > IEEE 1394 Bus host controllers"
    and in "Device Manager > Sound, video and game controllers"?

    Tom
  5. Miguel Queiroz

    Miguel Queiroz New Member

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    Hi Tom,

    Unfortunately I am not good to go, when I have no sound coming out, windows media player freezes and doesn't play any sound files and... the DAW functions that used to always play well with Nuendo, are only working one way.

    I also found out that my system hard drive has hardware issues... This may be related to that. I'm double checking that now.
  6. DeeringAmps

    DeeringAmps Member

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    "Unfortunately I am not good to go"
    Yes, I understand that.
    That is why I asked what you are seeing in Device Manager.
    Sort your hardware issues and report back.
    I'll try to get you back running smoothly.

    Tom
  7. Miguel Queiroz

    Miguel Queiroz New Member

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    Ok I reinstalled everything from scratch (didn't even do an image system restore):

    1. My FW-1884 has the firewire led on and stays on. However usually not at the first attempt. I sometimes need to turn off and on for it to remain on.

    2. The SoftLCD says "connected".

    3. On Device Manager I have:

    a) 1394 OHCI Compliant host Controller (Legacy). It's a Texas Instruments Chipset OnBoard Firewire card.

    b) Sound, video and game controllers:
    • FW-1884, FE-8 WDM Interface
    • High Definition Audio Device
    • Tascam FW-1884
    4. I click at the "Control Panel" grey button on the FW-1884 and nothing happens. No control panel window pops up on screen.

    5. I am unable to play sound. I open an audio file in WMP and it doesn't even move.

    BTW: Is it normal that my PAN button from my FW-1884 is permanently lit? I am unable to change it to "FLIP" or any of the AUX buttons. The "PAN just remains lit.
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  8. Miguel Queiroz

    Miguel Queiroz New Member

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    EDIT: I tried disabling the "High Definition Audio Device" in Device Manager. I now manage to have sound coming out of the FW-1884 when for instance, playing a file in WMP. The problem is that this holds only for a few seconds and then, the Firewire led goes out and I loose sound.

    So this is the "current trend". I am now unable to keep firewire led on for longer than a few minutes but, before it goes out, I have now sound and everything is in Sync, including the Tascam FW-1884 Control Panel.

    In sight of the data I provided so far:

    Can this be my onboard Firewire card? Can this be my motherboard as a whole? Can this just be my firewire card?... Or is there something wrong with the FW-1884 itself. I can't afford to start buying a second FW-1884, then a second Xeon MoBo, then who knows what until I get it right...
    Last edited: May 13, 2016
  9. DeeringAmps

    DeeringAmps Member

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    I do have a Texas Instruments FireWire onboard device
    This is on the Mobo, or is it a PCI or PCI-e card?
    If it is a card, can you change the slot its in?
    You're losing sync (which you already know).
    The quickest/cheapest way to test is:
    1) move the firewire card (if its not on the Mobo)
    2) try another firewire cable
    3) change the firewire card

    I would suspect that the 5v buss on the 1884 has issues, not the U9 chip (SB 0606).
    Do I know this for a fact? of course not, but that's how I would trouble shoot it.
    Sorry I can't be of more help...
    T
  10. Miguel Queiroz

    Miguel Queiroz New Member

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    Thanks, Tom.

    As you can read on the quote you made from my very sentence, the firewire card is "onboard", which means it's not a PCI Card... It's on the MoBo. This is something I said in almost every post I made. :(

    Anyway... At this point I'm waiting for a new Firewire cable I ordered. It should be here tomorrow. If that won't help, I'm gonna have to order a PCI Firewire card with TI chipset, from eBay (none to be found in local stores around here anymore). This will take at least a week to get here. If that won't help I will have no way of knowing if it's the Motherboard or the FW-1884.

    A new MoBo will cost me around €300. A new used FW-1884 will cost me around €350... And then again a refurbished Alesis Master Control will cost me €400. I will have to give this some though... Having to service my FW-1884 doesn't seem like an option... It will have to be shipped to Germany probably. Costs and time will be too much, I suspect.
    Last edited: May 16, 2016
  11. DeeringAmps

    DeeringAmps Member

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    "As you can read on the quote you made from my very sentence, the firewire card is "onboard", which means it's not a PCI Card... It's on the MoBo. This is something I said in almost every post I made. :("

    Just making sure, and I wanted others in the same situation that ARE using a PCI or PCI-e card to try another slot, OR pull the card and re-seat it.

    Remember you're not "alone" out there.

    Lets hope the cable cures the issue.

    Personally I think you have a power supply issue on the 5v rail for the U9 chip.

    T
  12. Miguel Queiroz

    Miguel Queiroz New Member

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    Apart from having a very early unit... It probably doesn't help that I'm using an 220v to 110v adapter, since I bought this from a US guy and I live in Portugal.
  13. DeeringAmps

    DeeringAmps Member

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    If your adapter is indeed 110v (the USA is pretty much 117v these days, but it varies)
    you might indeed have some low voltage issues.
    You might test the output voltage on the adapter.
    I'm not saying 117v would "cure" your problems.
    Just one more thing to have a look at when trouble shooting...
    I believe there is a zener diode Service Bulletin as well.
    Can't remember if that affects the U9 rail, or just the rest of the unit.
    SB0339: With lower AC mains voltage (approx. -5 % or less),
    unit may not boot or take long time to boot.

    The SB's are available on my web site: deeringamps.com/fw1884/u9.htm

    T
  14. Miguel Queiroz

    Miguel Queiroz New Member

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    In my adapter it says:

    Input: 230v~50Hz
    Output: AC 110v 45W peak

    In my FW-1884 it says:

    120v~, 60Hz, 23W

    I'm not an expert at electronics but... They don't exactly seem to match.
  15. DeeringAmps

    DeeringAmps Member

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    Cutoff on the zener issue is unit #0080001.
    Did you list your serial number, I just skimmed the thread, but didn't see it.
    You are more than 5% low at 110v.
    T
  16. nektar72

    nektar72 New Member

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    I'm having a similar problem. I upgraded to win10 (it was working in Win7) and went through the set up that's been outlined by DeeringAmps.

    Full disclosure: I messed up and inserted the cable upside down trying to get it to sync which fried my old unit (all lights flashing, no sound...argh!). I bought another FW1884 on eBay and I'm having trouble with it.

    I can't get the firewire light to go on no matter what I do using a 6 pin to 6 pin cable (the short one that came with the unit as well as 2 others that are shorter than 15'). I found a 6 pin to 4 pin cable in my arsenal and the firewire light comes on but it won't sync! I was so excited to see the light come on, but when you open control panel, it doesn't say sync. The control panel button on the unit doesn't work either. The Soft LCD says it's connected, the unit shows up in device manager, legacy 1394 drivers and all that. What could I be doing wrong? The manual says a 6 pin to 4 pin cable should work but does anybody know that for sure?

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