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Cactus V4 issue or other?


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<p>A few months ago I purchased the Cactus V4 triggers. They're not perfect, but they're OK to learn with. I have a fair number issues that fall into the following categories:</p>


<li>The red indicator light on the slave doesn't blink when trigger test is pressed, indicating that it has not received a signal (inconsistent across the three receivers I have, though two seem more reliable than the third.)</li>

<li>The red indicator blinks, indicating that it has received a signal, but the flash does not fire (less frequent)</li>

<li>The flash fires, but it seems delayed (hear the shutter, then see the light) and does not contribute light to the exposure.</li>


<p>The first problem I can understand and appear to be a common issue with these slaves (I knew what I was getting in to when I purchased them... I don't expect to get 100% out of these.) The second and third issues I can't quite figure out. The speedlight attached has had a ready-lamp when I've paid attention to this issue for #2.</p>

<p>For #3, I'm completely baffled. Today, I took some shots on a mountain bike ride to play around a bit. A couple shots worked fine (1/200th, f/7.1, ISO 800) <img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/10306912-lg.jpg" alt="" width="604" height="403" /></p>

<p>But on this frame, I heard the shutter, saw a flash, and nothing was added to the image. I believe flash power was the same between images, but I'm closer to it in the image below. (1/100th, f/7.1, iso 400) I was left with a severely underexposed subject, brought up a bit in post.<br>

<img src="http://d6d2h4gfvy8t8.cloudfront.net/10306911-lg.jpg" alt="" width="403" height="604" /></p>

<p>I'm not sure what I'm looking to achieve with this post. Anyone else have similar issues? (more with #2 and #3 issues than #1, which I attribute to limited range and poor shielding.)</p>

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<p>Yeah, I should have mentioned that, too. I picked up some AAA NiMH rechargables for the receivers and replaced the transmitter battery when I first noticed that the range was inconsistent and short. The down side is the self-discharge of the NiMH cells, but at least I don't have a pile of AAA's to deal with. Any experiences with using rechargables for the receivers? I try to give them a full charge the night before I expect to use them, but I'm still getting quite unreliable results.</p>

<p>That said, I don't think the receiver/transmitter batteries are always the problem - I did a little test later last night. I pointed my camera at the flash + receiver unit in a direction where I could see the red signal confirmation light. In the first round of testing, I was getting crazy results - below 1/100th, I could see both the flash discharge and the confirmation light in the frame. Above 1/100th, only the confirmation light indicating that the unit received a radio signal, but the flash discharge was not in frame, even though the flash triggered.</p>

<p>After moving the unit and removing and replacing the flash into the shoe, I received the results I would have expected: up to 1/250th I could see both the confirmation lamp and the flash discharge. Over 1/250th, I received shutter shadow. Maybe dirty hotshoes are part of my problem? </p>


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<p>In the instructions it states that one of the supplied batteries (transmitter I think) is only there to test it and it needs to be replaced immediately - which probably, hardly anyone does.</p>

<p>Also, these units can be made much more reliable with the addition of an external aerial. Do a Google search. I added an old cell phone aerial to mine and improved it a lot.</p>

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<p>Steve,<br /> Did you mod your V2's or V4's? All the results I see talk about modding V2's or touting how the V4's have an external antenna.</p>


<p>To be honest, I don't know what mine are but they didn't have an external antenna until I got hold of them!<br>

But judging by this: Cactus Radio Trigger - Antenna Mod mine are probably V2.</p>


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