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.

image

Comments

  • edited March 2015
    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
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "FUJ.1.002", "NIK.A.001", "v.103".

    Nikon D750 users please read this thread: 

    Fujifilm EF-X500 users please read this thread:

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
  • edited March 2015
    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
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "FUJ.1.002", "NIK.A.001", "v.103".

    Nikon D750 users please read this thread: 

    Fujifilm EF-X500 users please read this thread:

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
  • edited March 2015
    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.
  • 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
    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.
    imageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimageimage
  • BTW, the distance from flash to camera was fourteen feet.
  • 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
    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
    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?
  • 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.
  • edited February 2
    Hi guys,

    I realise this is quite an old thread now, but I've just come across this issue and I thought I'd share with you. The video above by Dyeless is exactly what's happening to me.

    I systematically did some swapping.
    1) I swapped out the Cactus V6 for another one....same issue
    2) I swapped the flash...same issue
    3) I use a Panasonic GH4...I swapped that out as I have 2....same problem
    4) I then swapped the Cacti for a cheapo centre-pin-only wireless trigger from Neewer....SAME PROBLEM....what??

    I swear I'm going mad. Yes, ALL my gear was changed and the problem persisted. There was no way I could fire the damn flash within 3 feet of the camera body. I had to be further away. Oh and like the video, pressing the test switch on the Cactus (AND my cheapo Neewer) worked perfectly no matter where the flash was.

    The only thing was, I was tethered to a Macbook over Wifi. Just reading the comments above on the 2.4GHz range has given me something else to go test, which I will do, but if Wifi interference is a factor, why-o-why do the triggers work when you press the test button?

    If anyone has gotten to the bottom of this since 2015...I'm all ears.

    UPDATE: I did the extra test mentioned above re:Wifi. Turned off Wifi on the camera and turned off the Macbook. No difference. The problem remained.
  • Hi @SteveG,

    What firmware version are you running in your V6 units?

    And what flash are you triggering using the V6? I suppose you have set the corresponding flash system and flash profile and that the flash is in TTL mode?

    Thanks!

    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "FUJ.1.002", "NIK.A.001", "v.103".

    Nikon D750 users please read this thread: 

    Fujifilm EF-X500 users please read this thread:

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
  • edited February 2
    Hi Antonio,

    Well as per my earlier message, I don't think it can be anything to do with the Cacti or the flashes. In case it wasn't clear from the above message or messages, the system works fine when the trigger is outside of the 3 foot radius of the camera. Inside, the flashes do not fire (and that is for Cactus triggers and my cheapo alternative). But since you ask, my firmware level is 1.1.010 (on some) and 1.1.007 (on others). My flashes are Yongnuo 568EXII in manual mode.

    As an update to my message above on the extra test re: WiFi, I switched off tethering (in fact turned the Macbook off altogether). The problem persisted. So not Wifi related.

    Just as one more "am I definitely losing my mind" test, I moved the camera to another location in the room just on the off-chance that it was THAT particular spot in my house that was somehow a dead zone. Thankfully, the flash would still not fire within 3 feet of it in the new location either. So it is definitely the proximity to the camera that is the problem.

    Other than that....boffin is baffled!
  • @SteveG,

    FIrst and foremost, update all your V6 units to the same version and to the latest version, which is 2.1.001. Or at least to 1.1.019. There are numerous bug fixes here and there so for best performance use the latest firmware version.

    Next, under Radio Setup, go to Working Range, set it to SHORT and see if it helps. 

    Thank you.

    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "FUJ.1.002", "NIK.A.001", "v.103".

    Nikon D750 users please read this thread: 

    Fujifilm EF-X500 users please read this thread:

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
  • edited February 8
    Hey Antonio,

    Thanks for the message. I've now updated 4 units to the latest firmware which is 1.1.013 (I should add, my units are V6 II's not the older V6's).

    However, now, the only way I can get the flash (a Yongnuo 568 EX II) to fire is by setting the V6 on the flash to MANUAL. It fires but is not HSS. Setting the unit to AUTO or CANON, then the sub-setting AUTO CANON or just manually choosing YN 568 EX* results in no firing at all. I can see the green light on the V6 flicker when I shoot, but no flash.

    Oh, and they are all set to range=SHORT

    *weeps into own hands*


  • I just tested on my GX1, and was able to trigger the Yongnuo YN568EXII (Canon version).  Please check hot shoe connections between flash and the V6 II, as well as camera side. 

    For testing purposes, run a factory reset, and see if the V6 II was able to auto-detect the flash as "C".  Likewise with the camera. Was "O" displayed?

    FYI, all Panasonic camera trigger a flash as if it's doing HSS even if shutter speed set to 1/60s. But that should not affect flash being triggered and flash sync with the image. 

    Too bad we don't have a GH4 so we can test the exact setup.  If you are still having problem, we can shoot a video using the GX1.

    Thanks!

    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "FUJ.1.002", "NIK.A.001", "v.103".

    Nikon D750 users please read this thread: 

    Fujifilm EF-X500 users please read this thread:

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
  • Well Antonio,

    Just to make me out a liar, I swapped the flash with another one. It worked. Then I swapped with another one. That worked.

    Then I swapped back to the original one....THAT worked. *sigh*.

    The problem now is, I just don't have a lot of confidence in my gear. I've been with clients when the flashes just stop firing and there's seemingly no way to make them work. Then, sometime later, it's as if nothing was ever wrong and we're all working again.

    I love the Cacti gear, but I just need more reliability.

    I also tried the flash in the "room of no flashes" (which is what this thread started as). And it is now working so I can perform my product photography. That's good news. Whether that is because we're in a "period of workingness" or whether it was the firmware update that did the trick, time will tell.

    Thanks for your help
    S.
  • Hello @SteveG,

    I am glad to hear that! Do let us know if you run into problems again.

    Thank you!




    Antonio Lao
    Brand Manager
    _____________

    To help us better help you, always state the exact firmware version installed on your Cactus device(s), such as: "1.1.013", "FUJ.1.002", "NIK.A.001", "v.103".

    Nikon D750 users please read this thread: 

    Fujifilm EF-X500 users please read this thread:

    Feel free to suggest an improvement or share product ideas. Contact us directly at info@cactus-image.com.  At Cactus, we listen. 
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