wireless triggers

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by achristensen, Sep 8, 2008.

  1. I received my wireless triggers today- the ebay 16 channel variety. It fires my 430ex great but I was hoping to
    use the 2nd receiver on an older vivitar flash. The flash is attached to a hotshoe adapter to which the pc cord
    is attached. I see that the red light on the receiver blinks but the flash does not fire. Can anyone explain this?
     
  2. I'd try another hotshoe adaptor... maybe another chord? If the light on the reciever is flashing, that means it is getting a signal, but not getting from there to the flash for some reason. Did you try that reciever with your 430?

    Otherwise, i'd attribute it to the fact that they are of the Ebay variety.
     
  3. Yes. Make sure that the channel switches on the transmitter and receiver match up exactly.
     
  4. It sounds like a bad connection either at the pc plug, or inside the hotshoe adapter. Does the pc plug seem to have a snug connection? I had one that was just slightly loose, and it didn't always trigger the flash. I gently squeezed the outer ring on the male end with a pliers, and it works fine.
     
  5. Got to have something to do with the connections if the red light on the receiver blinks. Re-test, re-connect and try again. You may try flashzebra.com for good quality adapters at fair prices.
     
  6. I switched everything around in every combination I could think of. Everything (pc cords, hotshoe adaptors, receivers) works on the 430ex but nothing works with either the vivitar or the older minolta I also tried. Its just pure electrical isn't it? Would it have anything to do with the fact the two older flashes are just that? Older? The older flashes function perfectly fine on the hotshoe of the camera.
     
  7. Have you tried the 430ex on the adapter hot shoe along with the receiver connected to the pc port? Is it possible to post a pic of this hot shoe adapter in question? It is strictly a simple electrical signal.
     
  8. I agree with Craig--any chance you can post a photo? Otherwise, I would quit on the hotshoe adapter and get one of flashzebra's hotshoe adapters with the miniphone adapter that works directly with the cheapie receivers. I have one and it works great. Also e-mail Lon (flashzebra) to verify that the Vivitar would work with it. He is a fountain of knowledge about these things and very helpful. For the price, it is worth the time it would take to figure out your current situation.
     
  9. I have emailed zebraflash.com. Thanks for that advice Nadine. Also, here is the photo of the hotshoe adapter with receiver attached.
    00QnJ4-70245584.jpg
     
  10. I suspect you have an optical slave unit there, because of the white dome. Maybe I'm wrong about this.
    If I'm right though, this device detects another flash firing and gives a signal to the flash on the hotshoe
    and to the output mini jack. Could it be that the mini jack just does not work as an input ? Doesn't the
    Vivitar have a PC or mini jack input to plug the receiver direct in it ?
     
  11. I think Kris may be onto something. The Vivitar has a PC cord jack, but it is a special kind, not a regular miniphone jack. I would just get a hotshoe adapter from Lon at flashzebra that accepts the jack directly from the ebay receivers.
     
  12. I am going to go out on a limb here and say that I don't think either of the older flashes Amy wants to use have any type of pc port. That is why the need for the hotshoe adapter. I too think Kris is correct about the way the adapter shown works. It gets a signal from the sensor, and then sends it to the hotshoe and pc port.
     
  13. Nope, neither have a pc port. The minolta has an opening that looks like it could have been set up for one but it dead ends. So what does that mean? If Kris is right and it is an optical slave, and the 430ex fires, shouldn't the flash on the other hotshoe get the signal and then fire as well? By the way, both flashes use the same hotshoe adapter.
     
  14. We just got the back off of one of the hotshoe adapters and there is nothing that appears to pick up an optical signal behind the white globe. Its got one green wire from pc port to hotshoe and a red from pc port to hotshoe.
     
  15. Is it possible that the older flashes require more voltage (say from the batteries) to fire than the 430ex?
     
  16. So what you're saying is that you have the 430ex on one adapter, an older flash on another identical adapter, both have receivers plugged into the pc ports, both are set to the same frequency (you have the little switches all set the same), and yet only the 430ex fires when you send the signal from the transmitter. Very strange. As far as I know, the signal coming from the receiver to the pc doesn't need a specific voltage. It is just making a connection and completing a circuit in the flash. Are both adapters wired the exact same inside?
     
  17. Craig, yes both are wired exactly the same. Lon, from flashzebra.com seems to indicate that possibly the issue lies with the contacts and that not all the contacts on the vivitar are being activated with this type of hotshoe adapter and that is why it won't fire. That makes a little more sense. He says that some flashes simply don't want to cooperate unless all contacts are operating. I guess I will need to invest in another 430ex or a 550. Thanks so much for your help! This place continues to amaze me. You have been so helpful!
     
  18. I looked at the pin locations on some vivitars on ebay, and it is possible that they are not making contact with the
    larger plate surface of the adapter. I'm not sure whether they need to or not. Just for fun, if you can, try mounting the
    flash backward to see if that works. Otherwise, I give up the puzzle. Hope you can get something squared away.
     
  19. I wouldn't be so quick to get other EX flashes. It doesn't make sense to me that there isn't some way to get them working. Did you talk to Lon about the hotshoe adapter he offers?
     
  20. Nadine, Yes I did talk to Lon. He said that his adapters probably wouldn't work either because the vivitar contacts (of which it has 7) all need to be activated. He seemed to indicate that the adapters only make contact with 2. He also said that many of the newer vivitars just don't seem to cooperate, most likely for the same reason. I'm not sure about the minolta. It only has 2 contacts and Craig, I did try the Minolta backwards to no avail. The way the vivitar has been engineered, it can't be mounted backwards. I tried that too. So I am stumped.... It doesn't make sense to me either. I am guessing that if the vivitar isn't getting all contacts activated it isn't getting enough juice from the batteries in the receiver to actually set off the flash- maybe like a bad internet connection?
     
  21. Yikes. What Vivitar model is this? If you can't get things to work, I'd sooner get a used 285 or two than get more EX flashes. Cost you a lot less and unless you get radiopoppers, the Canon wireless sytem isn't great on range and reliability.
     
  22. I am not sure, but I think the extra contacts are for controlling the electronic eye on the front, and the other auto mode settings. Are you trying these in full manual mode? That would be the correct way to do it. In another thread of yours, I believe you had a vivitar 550FD, so I assumed this is the one in question here. I looked some up on ebay, and they only have 4 pins plus the center contact. Must be different or older than yours.
     
  23. Huh. I did try all of the modes on both flashes. I am not up on manual flash yet- next project. Yes its the 500FD. Nadine, I have been reading about the 285 and the new updated version of it all over the place. I wonder if those will function with these receivers either? What flashes do you use? In any case, I am going to have to resort to my on-camera flash with lightsphere for this weekend's wedding.... ah, the best laid plans of mice and men...
     
  24. Craig, Sorry typo- 550FD
     
  25. Oh, Craig, I did also read somewhere that Vivitar made 3 different versions of this flash- the C/R for Canon, the M/P/O for Minolta, Pentax and Olympus and another which I can't remember. I have the M/P/O version which was used by the father on his Minolta film camera. I believe the contacts are different on each version which is why you were seeing different set-ups there on the ebay listings. Here's a link to one on ebay like mine. CHEAP!

    http://cgi.ebay.com/Vivitar-Auto-Thyristor-550FD_W0QQitemZ120302729522QQcmdZViewItem?hash=item120302729522&_trkparms=72%3A635|39%3A1|66%3A2|65%3A12|240%3A1318&_trksid=p3286.c0.m14
     
  26. The new 285s from China have some quality control problems, I hear. However, I was talking about used 285s, although they may be hard to find now. Try Sunpak 383s, although you should know that these might have a proprietary PC tip, which you can read about on flashzebra's site. I have two Sunpak 120Js, but I have a Vivitar 283 and 285 as well.

    Do your receivers have PC ports? If so, you could go down to your local camera store and see what they have used. Maybe they have a 283 or 285... Or one of the popular Nikon SB25 or SB26... You never know.
     
  27. For what its worth, I am using these exact same receivers on my 4 Nikon SB-28's, and they work great. No problems. Flashzebra even has the screwlock pc to phono jack cables for positive connection to my flashes. Not as cheap as Vivitar or Sunpack, but pack a lot of light. Rated at GN 164, but I get just over GN 110 in practice. Most hotshoe flashes seem to be overated by a stop.
     

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