CowboyStudio FM Radio Trigger Troubles

Is CowboyStudio equipment often faulty?

  • Yes - spending money on them is a gamble.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • No - My experiences don't lead me to that conclusion.

    Votes: 0 0.0%
  • W-what?

    Votes: 0 0.0%

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shecorp

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Hello all, and thank you for taking the time to read this. I'm currently running a Canon 7D with two 430ex ii speedlites, and am trying to trigger them both off camera with a wireless hotshoe/fm trigger from CowboyStudio.
Everything seems to be in order except one little problem: the flashes won't fire.

I've checked my built in flash settings, and spec'd them as instructed by multiple videos (I'm not sure which ones may be the problem, so I'll provide any settings info on request), I have both flashes set to manual (CowboyStudio specifies this), and am getting a signal from both receivers when I hit the test button on the transmitter (regardless if mounted to the hot shoe on camera or plugged in by wire). The transmitter will even wake the flashes from sleep mode, but won't fire. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this or any potential solutions? I've been troubleshooting for 2 days now, and am utterly lost.

Thanks in advance for any help!
 

tirediron

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In answer to your poll question, my opinion is that the quality of Cowboy Studio gear is such that it gives real junk a bad name. Consider some of the better-regarded third-party makers such as Yongnuo for future purposes.

As to your problem at hand: If you put the speedlight in the camera and and press the shutter-release, does the camera trigger the flash (thus proving the flash good)? Are there fresh batteries in ALL units? Have you checked, re-checked and re-re-checked the DiP switch settings which determine TX/RX frequency to ensure that they're the same? If the answer to all of those is 'Yes', my assumption would be that you have faulty gear.
 
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shecorp

shecorp

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If you put the speedlight in the camera and and press the shutter-release, does the camera trigger the flash (thus proving the flash good)? Are there fresh batteries in ALL units? Have you checked, re-checked and re-re-checked the DiP switch settings which determine TX/RX frequency to ensure that they're the same? If the answer to all of those is 'Yes', my assumption would be that you have faulty gear.
Thanks for the info on the third party gear. I have used both flashes on camera before for previous shoots without problems (on separate occasions, of course). Batteries were bought today, and freshly charged where applicable. Now, I'm actually unaware of what you're referring to with DiP switch settings and TX/RX frequency. Would you be willing to provide an explanation or link to a resource so i can make sure my settings are set appropriately? I need to go to work shortly, and won't be able to immediately respond to future posts, but I would greatly appreciate the help. I also truly appreciate the lead for what to research next! Thank you!

Edit: I'm lead to believe this isn't a case of faulty equipment, as my equipment was delivered late by fed ex, and amazon sent a second shipment (two sets of a single transmitter and receiver) - both arrived within two days of each other. Regardless of what combination of equipment used, I have the same problem.
 

tirediron

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I'm not familiar with these specific triggers, but almost all of these consumer-grade triggers use DiP (Dual In-line Packet) switches to set the operating frequency (TX=transmit; RX=receive) so that you can avoid interference. If one they are not identical on the transmitter & receiver then normally the unit just plain won't work, but in rare cases, they will partly work if there's a slight difference or if one of them isn't quite in the right position. I have my doubts, but I honestly can't think of anything else at this point.
 
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shecorp

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I'm not familiar with these specific triggers, but almost all of these consumer-grade triggers use DiP (Dual In-line Packet) switches to set the operating frequency (TX=transmit; RX=receive) so that you can avoid interference. If one they are not identical on the transmitter & receiver then normally the unit just plain won't work, but in rare cases, they will partly work if there's a slight difference or if one of them isn't quite in the right position. I have my doubts, but I honestly can't think of anything else at this point.
Now I understand what you mean. Yes, both receivers and the transmitter are all set to the same channel. I called the manufacturer and left a voicemail for some help troubleshooting. Hopefully I'll get a call in the morning and will either have more information on or a solution to this problem. Thank you for the help getting this far.
 

astroNikon

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The transmitter will even wake the flashes from sleep mode, but won't fire. Does anyone have any idea what could be causing this or any potential solutions? I've been troubleshooting for 2 days now, and am utterly lost.
Also make sure you configure the flashes to not go to sleep / low power mode.
It can't fire, if it's not available to fire.

I had this same issue with my SB-800s. The triggers would wake them but the time to fire had already passed. Config'd them to stay 100% awake and no problems.
 
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A few years ago I bought a pair of those. The "instructions" that came with the units were sketchy at best. I could not get them to work so I just sent them back for a refund. They might have worked with proper instructions, but I actually don't know. Your own confusion regarding the DIP switches is an indication that the instructions may have missed that little part.

Since then, I've obtained a set of Pocket Wizards which always work. The instructions said to turn on the flash before the camera. So even if my camera is already on, I will turn it off before setting up for flash. I turn on the flash first, then the transceivers, and the camera last. Works every time.
 
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shecorp

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UPDATE: Fixed! Turns out, after a long talk with the manufacturer, that the electrical connections are "touchy", so I ended up making sure to clean all my connections, and clamped all pieces extra tight... viola.

TL;DR It was an analogue problem with a fairly simple solution - missed the forest for the trees.
 

tirediron

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UPDATE: Fixed! Turns out, after a long talk with the manufacturer, that the electrical connections are "touchy", so I ended up making sure to clean all my connections, and clamped all pieces extra tight... viola.

TL;DR It was an analogue problem with a fairly simple solution - missed the forest for the trees.
A problem that shouldn't have been.
 
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shecorp

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A problem that shouldn't have been.
Perhaps not, but as a positive, I now know enough about this particular piece of equipment to repair it on the fly. One problem makes the next easier :p
 

beagle100

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UPDATE: Fixed! Turns out, after a long talk with the manufacturer, that the electrical connections are "touchy", so I ended up making sure to clean all my connections, and clamped all pieces extra tight... viola.

TL;DR It was an analogue problem with a fairly simple solution - missed the forest for the trees.

good that it was a simple solution
 

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