Magic - turn your Cactus into a Wizard!! (sort of...)

Discussion in 'Beyond the Basics' started by confucious, Apr 6, 2008.

  1. confucious

    confucious TPF Noob!

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  2. BYoung

    BYoung TPF Noob!

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    Thats some decent info. I plan on getting some V2's soon, this will probably be at the top of my DIY list :)
     
  3. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I'll wait for the Radio Poppers.

    Until then, I am fortunate that I have an integrated wireless solution for me thanks to Nikon's CLS (iTTL or manual modes) on my D200 and SB-800 toys.
     
  4. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    I suggest you find a website which can share what frequency the Cactus works on, and do a quick google search for DIY antenna. If you make an antenna resonant at the Cactus' operating frequency you almost really will have pocket wizard range, possibly better.
     
  5. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Not true. It will increase range and reliability a bit, but for something than can only fire at about 30', just putting an antenna on it won't let it fire at 1600'. You would need to boost the signal as well.
     
  6. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Yes true. If I fire a signal from point a, and pick it up with an antenna with no gain at point b the signal will pretty ordinary. Now if I increase the gain of the antenna to 6db, I will in theory get twice the usable range.

    The practical downside is there's a limit to how far you can increase the antenna gain, but one area you can look at is making it directional. If you only fire one strobe in a certain location you could make a very high gain very directional antenna for your camera. However you are right for practical considerations to keep the antenna small and uni directional it may be easier to increase the antenna gain of the transmitter, or increase the transmitter's power.

    Need proof? Look at antenna arrays. Attach one of those babies to your camera and you could trigger a cactus flash on the moon. Bit impractical though ;)

    Not knowing the operating frequencies, or signal strength of the wizards, it is impossible to tell for certain how the antenna would need to be modified.
     
  7. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    People have put 433mhz antennas on the Cactus triggers, the same frequency as the PW's and still only managed about 150' with a non urban environment. That's a far cry from the PW's 1600'.

    And yes, the PW's can really manage huge ranges like that. There's a pick that some one posted on the strobist blog with bikers on a ridge and the photographer probably at least 750' away up the side of a mountain shooting and firing a flash on the ridge.
     
  8. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    Minopole, Dipole, dish, tube. There are a heck of a lot more considerations than just the frequency. I guarantee it IS possible to trigger a cactus from 1600' but the resulting equipment will be impractical.

    I do not know why are you are arguing against this point. It's basic 3rd year Electromagnetics.

    Either way my original point is a wire may be a bit of an improvement, but a properly tuned antenna will yield an even higher improvement.
     
  9. DeadEye

    DeadEye TPF Supporters Supporting Member

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    Garbs is right about the antenna basics. I will but a good antenna against a good amp any day. I dont know the power output of the v2 but the output of a PWII is a lousy miniscual 1 milliwat at 344.04mhz, thats 1/1000th of a watt and just about ANY bleeping rf will overload a PW, belive me I have never gotten a good distance from a Wizard as thousands say they do. I live in a rf heavy enviroment and the wizard is max out at 100 feet. I have now opened the less than one mounth old wizard to give a look see. The antenna is a load coil soldered to the board , allmost the same thing as the v2 mod shown above. You could make that antenna by wrapping magnet wire around a 3/6 rod for about 3 inch then putting a rubber over it. I am on the ship now and plan to put the wizard on the test bench when I get home. Replace the dummy load antenna with a sma connector and build a tuned to 344 antenna.

    Only once in twenty times that I have tryed have I gotten over 150 feet with a wizard , I have sent them to Mr Pocket Wizard in Elmsford New York were they checked them out and say they are in spec. I am so sick of hearing people say they do 1600 feet because I cant get over 150. I am on the verge of driveing myself to Elmsford because seeing is beliving.
    I would love to eat crow on this one.
     
  10. Village Idiot

    Village Idiot No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    It's like saying if tune a yugo motor right, you can have a car with 1000hp. Sure you can do it but it's impractical and I'm pretty sure you can't find any examples of people actually doing it. Theory is one thing, actually doing it in practice is something entirely different.

    Thread from the strobist group:
    http://www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/discuss/72157603833025916/?search=pw range

    I'm going to try and find that picture.
     
  11. JerryPH

    JerryPH No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    ARRGH! We're suddenly back to the 1970's and my citizens band radio craze. :lmao:

    Dual Moonraker 6's off a 4 KW linear and any TV that was turned on in a 2 sq mile radius was able to hear my voice coming over it... lol

    Garbz is right about the antenna. As he said, it would have to be rather huge and VERY well optimized. With the signal made strong enough, and if the signal could be bounced off the statosphere and we're looking at inter-continental triggering distances... LMAO!

    40 feet? Bah! My cactus can trigger my strobe from over 40 COUNTRIES over!

    :lol: :lol: :lol:
     
  12. Garbz

    Garbz No longer a newbie, moving up!

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    You do know this is the internet right? I have seen videos of a Rideon Mower with over 400bhp. Oh and then there's those nuts with the V8 powered chainsaw.

    You see you are under the assumptions that people by nature are sane :)
     

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