"Budget" Wireless slave advice needed...

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by digitalkreation, Oct 3, 2005.

  1. Hi all, I don't yet have the funds for a Pocket Wizard setup, but I can easily fork out the $40 or so for a "budget" version from Ebay (pic below). Thing is, I now run a Lumedyne kit, and am wondering if there's some sort of an adapter that will convert this receiver's output plug, to the "AC" style plug that the Lumedyne's favor. Also, I do realize that these cheap slaves aren't at all Pocket Wizard quality, but does anyone have any SERIOUS problems with these I should know about? They do at least work, don't they? :) Thanks, Mark
  2. Yes, they will definately fail when you need them the most. Been there, done that.
  3. I have the 4 channel one and it works fine, even at events. The thing is, don't expect it to perform like Pocket Wizards or other, expensive kits. And pay attention to it's limitation as stated on the instruction sheet--like receivers and transmitters have to be at least 5 feet apart to work, etc. What do you want for $40?

    As for the connections, I have household to PC cords like the one shown. You don't try to find an adapter for the monoplug, although Paramount does make one, but it is expensive--you just plug the PC end of the cord into the receiver via its PC socket. The monoplug just dangles there, useless--but so what? You only paid $40 for the whole thing.
  4. jmf


    Most of the problems I've read about are on the single channel units. I've got this (the 4 channel) unit, and have had zero problems with it triggering in a smallish studio environment. Mine didn't come with a PC connect on the recvr body, so I went to radio shack and bought an inline 1/4" mono phone style jack. I added a little bit of 22ga zip cord and a HH plug. Maybe I was out 5 bucks.

    Assuming you don't need some PW specific feature, you could buy 10 pair of these for the cost of 1 PW set.

  5. Thanks everyone for the great advice and tips, as usual. Nadine, I never thought to go the other way with that cord, but now I see what you mean. Thanks a million.
  6. I agree with Jim. I've tested all the various models of these cheap Chinese slaves. I've found the 4-channel/AC-powered model an absolutely reliable trigger within its range limitation.

    The battery-powered models start to lose reliability as the receiver battery weakens...which happens a bit sooner than you'd expect. The single-channel models are rather promiscous about what they accept as a trigger signal--the multi-channel models are tight and work right.

    I do not recommend any of the single channel or battery powered models (although the 4-channel/battery powered model would work if you are careful about keeping fresh batteries in it).

    But the 4-channel/AC-powered (4C/AC)version works well. I'm not saying it's as physically bullet proof as a PocketWizard, but in the rather benign environment of the portrait studio, they are good buys. I bought eight sets to have a receiver for each of my lights (and a lot of backup transmitters. LOL).

    One caveat: There has been at least one update of the 4C/AC model. The only outside clues are that the newer version is about 1/3 inch shorter and the AC input is ground-up (conventional) instead of ground-down. But the newer version does not use the same frequency set as the earlier model. That means you will have to get as many as you need from one dealer, and don't let, say, six months go between purchases. Moreover, none of the channels on the 4-channel model matches the single-channel model.

    However, there is a tiny potentiometer in the transmitter that might be a frequency adjuster...I may play with mine to see if I can get my early-generation models synced with my later-generation models.

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