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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice System

I have been trying to track down why iChatAV is telling me that my iSight is "in use by another application", or not attached at all.

The problem seems to be interference from a wireless mouse I recently installed. The firewire cable that ships with the iSight is so thin that it can be easily interfered with. If I either shut off my wireless mouse (Logitech MX700) or use a regular firewire cable to attach the camera, it works fine. I have tried moving the wirless base station further away, but it still interferes.

Unfortunately, the only other firewire cables I have won't let me use the camera mount. I'll need to find a cable with a smaller head, but fully insulated body.

And if the topic of iSights interests you, and you own a Studio Display LCD, you may also want to check out these instructions for building an easily re-attachable, glue-free mount for your iSight, for $2 in parts from Home Depot.

[robg adds: This is the first I've heard of interference with the iSight and wireless periperhals -- anyone else have a similar experience?]
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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: notmatt on Jul 31, '03 11:25:52AM

I haven't had a similar problem with the iSight, but I have had problems with the thin firewire cables in the past. The lack of shielding just causes them to be a little more subject to spurious interference of this sort. You'll note that Apple only sells them in the shorter (1.8m) length, and that no other manufacturer (at least that I'm aware of) sells them at all.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: macevangelist on Jul 31, '03 12:53:24PM

I have the same wireless mouse (Logitech MX700). I don't have the same problem with my iSight. I actually just for the heck of it wound the original iSight FireWire around the basestation for the MX700 just to see if there's any degradation in quality or lack of connection to the iSight. There was none. Then I placed the iSight next to the still bound basestation together with the mouse and there was also nothing that would lead me to the conclusion that there's some interference going on.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: sjmills on Sep 04, '03 03:09:46PM

I've had problems this week by an external FireWire drive unmounting itself. Disk Utility says it's fine. I called the manufacturer (Maxtor) and they said since the warranty is up, take it out of the case and try it inside my G4, in case the problem is in the FireWire interface or power supply. Just as I was about to do that, I noticed the tiny iSight cable and remembered this hint. I unplugged the iSight, and now the drive works fine (so far). So either the iSight hardware is problematic, or the thin cable causes strange problems in the FireWire bus.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: Eric123 on Oct 28, '03 03:09:56PM

I have no wireless devices but I get the "Camera in use by another application" almost all the time. I got so frustrated with plugging and unplugging the iSight/iChat AV.... I just installed Yahoo IM (tip from someone else) , got the video to work in YIM, quit, went back to iChat and have not had that error again. Can't say it is a permanent fix, but it's working this afternoon! I'd like to hear if others have success or not.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: cbackas on Jul 31, '03 12:54:28PM

I don't have a wireless mouse, but I had immense trouble with my iSight as well, getting similar errors and usually crashes from any application that tried to access it. I also tracked this down to some kind of cable interference, as using a thicker firewire cable cured the problem instantly. Using Apple's cable, I wasn't even able to get it to work when I disconnected all my other firewire devices. It's really a very disappointing shortcoming for something that's generally well thought out.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: aranor on Jul 31, '03 02:45:04PM

Maybe your cable itself was defective?



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: cbackas on Jul 31, '03 05:20:27PM

This occured to me, but it works just fine away from my desk on my Powerbook, and it also works with my iPod, although the iPod's (also thin) Apple-supplied cable works no better with the iSight than its own cable does.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: mixtli on Oct 16, '03 06:24:01PM

I'm having big problems with iChat and iSight. I'm getting repeated messages that the camera is in use by another application, when, in fact, there are no other iSight applications open or in use.

I have played with dumping the com.apple.ichat preferences, but this fixes it only sometimes.

Does any have any ideas how to get rid of this problem? My video iChat is becoming useless...



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: zed on Jul 31, '03 01:06:31PM

Well I have an iSight connected using the supplied cable and the wireless mouse logitech mx700...

I've not had any issue with these..

I find best to quit ichat AV before plugging in the isight but otherwise it works great.

--Zed :cool:

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macosx.miraworld.tv



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: dfbills on Jul 31, '03 02:02:56PM

I have the same mouse and have had no problems. I vote that this "hint" is removed.

I've never even seen the "in use" message.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: aranor on Jul 31, '03 02:47:36PM

I agree. While I don't have the same mouse, I have a Logitech Cordless Optical TrackMan, which is basically a Logitech wireless trackball, and I've never had any problems with my iSight from that.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: jelloman on Aug 01, '03 01:00:26AM

I too have a Logitech MX700 and an iSight. No problems at all here either. I could burn a CD with my external CD burner connected to FireWire and still use the iSight reliably.

I have noticed that my picture has degraded since changing monitors. I had an Apple 17" Studio CRT and had a clear picture, but since changing to a Viewsonic A70f+, I've noticed the picture looks "noisy" and not too clear. With the firewire cable draped over the top of the CRT, I wonder if the cable is getting interference from the CRT. I haven't tried changing cables yet to see if this is true, but I hope someone comes out with a good replacement cable that might fit the iSight.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: stewby on Aug 02, '03 11:31:50PM

It's silly to want a hint removed just because you aren't affected. Clearly there are other people who have the same or similar problems, and this hint could be a valuble resource for them. If hints were only posted which were useful to 100% of the population of Mac users, this would be a very empty site.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: easco on Jul 31, '03 02:10:53PM

I had a similar problem where iChat would complain about the firewire device being in use. However, I had an iPod dock and the iSight both plugged into the computer. I discovered that if I took the iPod out of the dock that things worked fine. I eventually solved the problem by plugging both the iPod and the iSight into an external firewire hub. It could be that the cable separation provided by the position of the hub solved the problem as well, but I haven't been able to reproduce the problem by moving things around yet.

FWIW, I also use a wireless trackball.



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Great hint! Cured my iPod interference.
Authored by: mr_rangr on Jul 31, '03 06:03:09PM

I thought I was having firewire port problems, but using a fat cable, rather than Apple's thin FireWire cables, made my iPod work great again.

My iPod was either failing to get recognized at all, or was failing to mount successfully. Various kludges helped me get it working, but I didn't think to try different cables.

Never had problems with my iSight, even though I have a Logitech cordless Trackman.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: mayodreams on Jul 31, '03 09:05:39PM

Another vote for removal of this hit. I've had no problems with my iSight and MX700, even in Panther...



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: the_13th_saint on Jul 31, '03 10:53:22PM

You could try using a torrid, also known as a ferrite bead. It is a piece of metal that clips over any cord (there are different sizes), creating a magnetic field around it that helps to shield and prevent radio frequency interference. You can find them on things like monitor cables and certain power cables. You can usually find them at radioshack or any other electrical or video parts stores. -Daniel



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Why do you think that just because you don't have a problem it doesn't exist?
Authored by: kal_zakath on Aug 01, '03 01:46:55AM
To those of you who think that this hint should be removed since it talks about a problem you don't have, I say ignore the hint. I don't have an iSight, but this hint is true for firewire in general. Don't go looking through hints looking for things to get angry at. If a hint says it's about a problem you don't have, don't read it. There is no reason to ask that a hint that can help other people be taken down because you don't have a use for it.
By the way, I have had problems with AirPort, of all things, interfering with poorly shielded cables. I have had to turn my card off before plugging my cd burner in.

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Congratulations!

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Why do you think that this forum is for arguing on?
Authored by: dave1212 on Aug 01, '03 08:11:32PM
The point is, the problem as described may or may not be an actual bug, whether in OS X, iChat, or the iSight. This has yet to be determined.

On top of that, this site is for tips/tricks/resedits. Not for discussing whether a problem that *you* are having is affecting everyone else in the world.

If you want to discuss something like that (or if you don't know if it's an issue with your computer in particular) then go to the apple discussuion boards and ask away. That's what they're there for.

Again, this site is not for that purpose.

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Why do you think that this forum is for arguing on?
Authored by: zarqman on Aug 04, '03 04:30:35PM

It seems like a perfectly useful hint to me. The author identifies a problem and discovered a solution (a.k.a. a hint). Other comments following have confirmed it.

Chill out....



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: Eric123 on Oct 28, '03 04:44:43PM

I did NOT work. The fix lasted about 2 hours. Don't bother.



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iChat/iSight can be interfered with by wireless mice
Authored by: grasshopper65 on Dec 10, '03 06:56:39PM

There absolutely is an issue with the thin Firewire cables. After installing Panther I suddenly would get "There is no camera connected". Nothing I tried worked until I tried a regular FW cable. No problems other than bad aesthetics after that.



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