In some setups cactus doesn't fire

Hey guys,

As title says I'm having some issues with triggering flash. I made a picture to show in what setup cactus lose signal and doesn't react. There are some angles where cactus doesn't trigger.

Here is my setup: Nikon D7000, metz 44 af-1. On cactus I tried to use short working range and long without any success. Problem doesn't exist if flash with cactus is on the right side from the camera. I tried to use new batteries but that wasn't the case either. Latest firmware didn't help.

Other small issue is where cactus trigger flash for full power. This happens after doing few shots and leaving for a minutes or so then next first trigger will blast full power. Not like that bothers me too much, but feels like it shouldn't do that.

cactus.jpg

Comments

  • edited March 2015 PM
    I take it you activated "SHORT" range on the transmitter not on the receiver, right?

    Although I haven't encountered this myself, I've read about someone else who had your problem (even with "SHORT" range enabled).

    It seems that certain very specific antenna juxtapositions in near range situations make reception impossible.

    You could try to rotate the camera by 180° and see if that remedies the problem.

    The only other solution I can think of, if you need exactly this camera/flash arrangement, and don't want to use a cable, involves two more V5/V6 triggers. The camera transmitter would trigger a receiver somewhere (outside the dead zone). This receiver would be connected via a cable to another transmitter (which is on a different channel). The latter transmitter would then trigger the flash receiver (whose channel matches, of course).

  • I'm using grip and turning camera by 180° would make no sens. Transmitter is in short working range.

    Basically if I trigger flash with cactus it does fire and only shutter button in this combination doesn't send signal to other cactus with flash.

    But I just tried to use group B instead of A and seems that did the trick.
  • Hi @Dyeless, our R&D said it's the first time they heard discrepencies found between different flash groups in terms of signal problem.

    A couple checks:
    1. Hot shoe connection: is the Transmittter hot shoe lock lever securely locked in place? (to ensure all hot shoe pins are connected with the camera hot shoe.)
    2. Radio Channels: does switching to other channels, say from Ch 2 to Ch 13, change anything?
    3. Switching the Transceivers around?

    Thank you!

    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
  • edited March 2015 PM
    Before I made this thread I didn't really played much with groups and channels since I only run into this signal loss issue while doing real shoot and there I didn't found time to mess around and to not look like a fool I simply tried to switch location or light setup.
    Normally I use this light setup for closeups, head shoots and very rare for friend product shoots (macro). Is there a minimum working distance for V6 units?

    Now playing with different groups and channels seems help until I restart the V6 unit. I made video to show you how it works, sorry for video quality I recorded on the web camera. I always double check how everything is locked in place.

    Range set "short" used group A and then B and switching between channels.


  • @Dyeless  Thanks for testing and posting the video.

    It seems the distance between the transceivers are too close to one another - we recommend placing them at least 10cm apart. Also, your setup of the flash and light stand may have increased the signal strength of the receiver.  In other words, the signal of the V6 is still realtively strong even in Short Range mode.

    When this happens again, you can try to cover the V6 with your hand, either TX or RX unit, and it will allow you to trigger at close distances. 

    Thanks again and I hope this helps a little bit.
    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
  • edited March 2015 PM
    Thank you for suggestion. In this video I was on closes side but in past while doing head shoots distance was between 50cm - 1m where flash stopped blasting. 

    I'll try the hand trick if next time this will happen and will report here how it worked out.
  • I am having the same exact problem.  First I thought it was my ignorance  with the units but once I was sure I had all the setting correct I knew it had to be something else.
    Yesterday I was testing them with a portrait set-up and a friend modelling for me.  The main light was set at four feet from the subject and  the fill eight feet.  I hand held the camera with the TX so I could adjust my distance.
    My triggers would not a) flash at all, b.) flash intermittently, c.) flash individually.  My RX were set to A and B and both on Channel 1.  I changed channels, I changed RX units, I changed Flash units, I changed long range to short range and visa versa.  I moved about the room changing my distance.
    I am not happy with these units and right now a little sorry I purchased them.  I have no confidence in their ability to work properly.
    I have updated the firmware, I always make sure my batteries are fully charged and I wish I could solve this problem once and for all.
    It seems to me that we the consumer are doing the R&D for this product.
  • fotoman said:

    I have no confidence in their ability to work properly.

    I cannot help but think that something else must be at play here.

    I have never had a misfire from the V6, unless I tried to provoke it by reducing the distance between transmitter and receiver to below 20cm or so. When I use the "SHORT" setting, it becomes really hard to provoke misfires even this way.

    The V6 has been as reliable to me as the V5 and the latter has a reputation as being rock solid.

    Also, apart from a few (1-3) isolated cases regarding a blind spot in the radio reception that occurs in very specific circumstances only, I've never heard other V6 users complain about trigger reliability.

    What camera are you using?
    Could there be a hot-shoe problem?
    Did you set the "SHORT" range on the transmitter?
    In what circumstances do the triggers not work?
    Clearly, with distances of four and eight feet, there should be absolutely no problem (even with the "LONG" setting).
    Have you tried other 2.4GHz triggers in the same environment to eliminate some terrible radio interference?
  • D-300
    No hotshoe problem.  I just finished a birthday party using my SB-800.
    I tried both the "Long" and "Short" range features.
    They are not working when used in my softboxes, umbrellas or bare flash.
    I don't have any other triggers.
    This is taking place in my garage there shouldn't be anything else interfering with the signal unless Cactus is on the same frequency as my Comcast wireless signal.
  • edited March 2015 PM
    Wireless routers can use the same 2.4 Ghz band as most radio triggers do.

    Try turning off the wireless router and see whether that makes a difference. If it does and you want to keep it running while shooting then you may want to look for 433Mhz triggers.

    Instead if turning off the wireless router you may just want to test the V6 in a different location. Reliable triggering is one of their strong points and you should be able to see them perform that way.

    Wireless phones, BTW, also typically operate in the 2.4GHz band, so that may be another thing to check.

    Having said that, I've operated my V6 in the presence of a wireless router and a wireless phone handset without issues.

    One further reason I can think of is that if your Nissin flashes are made for Nikon, they are not compatible with the V6. Only the Canon version should be expected to work reliably. Do you have any problems triggering your Nikon flash? 

    EDIT: The restriction I referred to applied to another flash.

    Finally, you may have defective V6 but that seems unlikely if you have already swapped units in their receiver / transmitter roles.
  • The Nissin's are programmed for Nikon.  The V6 show them in the operating menu.  Before I purchased I questioned if my Nissin's were compatible with the V6.  I don't understand this statement at all.
    Those flashes are right there in the set-up.  Are you positive about this?
  • Class A:  are you an employee or representative of Cactus?
  • Class A:  FYI right from the Cactus Website:

    Nikon system models:
    - Cactus AF45N, AF50N;
    - Godox V860N; 
    - Metz 36AF-5, 44AF-1, 50AF-1, 58AF-2;
    - Nikon SB-24, SB-28, SB-600, SB-700, SB-800, SB-900, SB-910;
    - Nissin Di700, Di866;
    - Sigma EF-530 DG SUPER;
  • Here are some photos of the flashes firing.  The first five are with the Comcast Wireless turned off and the last five with the wireless again operating.  As you see, there are inconsistencies with the firing.  The time between shots was anywhere from 30 sec. to 60 sec.
    The photos indicate whether the triggers were set for "long" or "short" range.
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  • BTW, the distance from flash to camera was fourteen feet.
  • fotoman said:

    Those flashes are right there in the set-up.  Are you positive about this?

    I mixed up the Nissin with another flash. My bad. Sorry for the confusion.
  • edited March 2015 PM
    fotoman said:

    Class A:  are you an employee or representative of Cactus?

    No, I've helped with the beta testing of some Cactus products, wrote respective reviews for pentaxforums.com, and am just an enthusiastic user otherwise.
  • edited March 2015 PM
    If the period between the tests was 30s min then this should rule out the possibility that one of the flashes had not recycled yet.

    The pattern also seem to rule out the wireless network as being the culprit.

    However, since it is always the same flash that sometimes didn't fire, I would suggest to use the same setup and only swap the flashes between the receivers (the latter staying at the same place).

    If it is still the left hand side flash that sometimes fails, that points to the receiver having a problem. If the right hand side flash starts to fail sometimes then that points to a problem with the flash.

    Were both the flashes used Nissins or was one of them a Nikon flash?
  • Class A said:

    If the period between the tests was 30s min then this should rule out the possibility that one of the flashes had not recycled yet.

    The pattern also seem to rule out the wireless network as being the culprit.

    However, since it is always the same flash that sometimes didn't fire, I would suggest to use the same setup and only swap the flashes between the receivers (the latter staying at the same place).

    If it is still the left hand side flash that sometimes fails, that points to the receiver having a problem. If the right hand side flash starts to fail sometimes then that points to a problem with the flash.

    Were both the flashes used Nissins or was one of them a Nikon flash?

    Both Nissins.  I'll give it a try during the week.
  • Well, here's what I did today.  I set up all three of my flashes and shot in both long range and short range from 14 feet.  All flashes fired all the time in both settings.  I'm baffled.  The only thing I can think of is that I'm using 2700 PowerEx rechargeable batteries and perhaps the degree of charge is causing the misfires.  However, I always make sure they are fully charged before I use them.
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