Cactus Triggers. Info please.

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by Sark, Dec 12, 2008.

  1. Sark

    Sark TPF Noob!

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    Hi all.

    To those using the Infinity Gadget Cactus Triggers, “What are the pro’s and cons of these units (other than the ridiculously low price)"?
    I want to fire some old Vivitar 283’s from my 30D but cannot justify £45 for a Wein Safe Sync (I’d rather pay more for better value).

    I looked at the Alien Bees Cybersyncs and was impressed, but high shipping and a 20% surcharge for sales outside the US, or Canada makes them a no go. So, I’m back to looking at the Cactus Triggers. One important consideration, is can the receiver deal with potentially high Flash voltages?

    Any info from those with experience of these triggers would be much appreciated.

    Cheers

    Sark
     
  2. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Specifications from MPEX.com

    * Wireless Flash Receiver V2s
    * Brand: Cactus
    * FCC and CE accredited
    * Includes ONE receiver, test battery and Varta V23GA Photo Battery
    * 4 channels selectable
    * Work with V2/V2s wireless triggers only
    * Dose NOT work with V1 receiver or 16-channel trigger receiver
    * Designed for flashes which (1) comes with a trigger voltage lower than 12V and (2) could not be triggered by V1 or V2 receivers
    * Compatible models:
    o Canon SpeedLite 580EX II, 580EX, 540EZ, 520EZ, 430EX, 430EZ, 420EX, 420EZ, 380EX
    o Nikon SpeedLite SB-800, SB-600, SB-28, SB-27, SB-26, SB-25, SB-24;
    o Olympus FL-50R, FL-50, FL-36R, FL-36
    o Pentax AF-540 FGZ, AF-360 FGZ, AF-400 FT, AF-240 FT
    o Sigma EF-530 DG Super, EF-530 DG ST, EF-500 DG Super, EF-430
    o Sunpak Auto 2000DZ, 622 Pro, 433AF, 433D, 383, 355AF, 344D, 333D
    o Vivitar 285HV, DF-400MZ, DF-340MZ
    o Other flash models with a trigger voltage of 12V or lower
    * Power Input of Receiver: CR2 3V Alkaline battery (included for testing purpose only; please remember to remove the plastic wrapping before use)
    * Tested effective area: 10m (open area without interference)
    * Maximum triggering voltage via hot shoe: 12V
    * Responding time: 1/500s - 1/1000s (actual sync speed varies from 1/125s to 1/600s depending on the sync speed of flash / strobe)
    * Receiver comes with PC sync port
    * Radio working frequency: 433MHz
    * Net Weight: 40g
     
  3. usayit

    usayit No longer a newbie, moving up!

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  4. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    The Pros are that they are cheap.
    The cons are that they are not as reliable as other units and are, well...cheap.

    Make sure to get new batteries for them. You might also consider the DIY modifications that are popular with these. There is a thread around here about it.
     
  5. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yeah, reliability without these mods will let them misfire often and limit your range.

    After the mod, which is very cheap (unless you do it like Mike... lol), you are able to use cheap and rechargeable batteries in the receivers and your range should increase from 30 feet to well over 350 feet. A 10X increase in range is not bad thing for a couple dollars and a few minutes with a soldering iron and a piece of 12.39" long single strand networking wire.

    Mods are here:
    http://jerryphpics.blogspot.com/2008/07/004-cactus-v2s-modifications.html

    I agree that build quality is very cheap, but then again, what do you expect for 40 bucks?
     
  6. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Caught something that is wrong...

    Does not work with the V1 receivers, but it *does* work with the 16-channel receivers on the first 4 channels. I have 2 of the 16-ch receivers and they work flawlessly on all channels from 1-4. Obviously if they are set on any of the other channels (5-16), they will not work.
     
  7. Big Mike

    Big Mike I am Big, I am Mike Staff Member Supporting Member

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    I have an older set 'PT-04' and a newer V2s...and they all work together interchangeably.

    The only issue is that the older one does not work well with my Canon 430EX but the new one is better.
     
  8. rom4n301

    rom4n301 TPF Noob!

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    i had mine for like 4 months now and i love em, they never misfired yet, the only problem i fined in them is that when the batts get low on my vivitar 285hv it wont fire at all
     
  9. Sark

    Sark TPF Noob!

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    Thanks for the input.

    I think my Vivitar's voltages are probably safe, but not going to try them on the 30D. Happy to risk them on a Cactus setup though (bearing in mind the price). The mods look easy enough, so if only for reliability rather than increased range, I'll happily do that. Will probably now order some as soon a Xmas is over.

    Thanks again

    Sark
     
  10. andrew99

    andrew99 TPF Noob!

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    Check the manual for your 30D, it probably can take the voltage. As far as I know, all modern DSLR's can take up to around 250V. It was the first generation of cameras that had the problem with the high voltage flashes.

    As far as cactus triggers. I have the V2S ones. I get occasional misfires, but for learning and practicing they are great for the price. I have missed a few shots when shooting people because one of the flashes didn't fire, which is very frustrating. I think if you go with cactus or ebay triggers, you are buying them with the knowledge that this is a temporary solution, and you'll end up buying something better in the long run.
     

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