Pocketwizard, 580ex ii, hot shoe problem


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Feb 10, 2012
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Hello all,

I wanted to venture in the the world of strobing to add some new dimensions to my photos so I bought 2 580exii and 2 pocket wizard plus ii. Everything is working great but when I put a flash into the hot shoe, the pocket wizard won't send a signal to my second flash. I've read and know that Jasmine Star has a set up like this and it works. I don't know why I can't get it to work with the same equipment.

Here's the setup. One flash on my camera's hot shoe with a pc cord connected to 1 pocket wizard that I velcro to the side of the flash. The second flash is on a stand with my second pocket wizard also connected by a pc cord.

Every time I take a picture only the flash on my hot shoe fires. The second one on the stand does nothing. However, if I take my first flash of the camera's hot shoe and attach my pocket wizard there instead (on the camera's hot shoe) it works. It sends the signal to both flashes when I press the shutter. I would like to use my first flash attached to the hot shoe. Why can't I get it to work? I've check all the wires, batteries, camera settings. It seems to only work when the main pocket wizard is on my camera's hot shoe and not the flash. Please help!!!
have u set one to master and the other to slave? i dont know if it works the same as on my 480 ex II, but if it does you just hold down the zoom button until a little figure pops up and u set the master and slave with that.
I have not tried that but I will now. But my understanding is that the pocket wizards eliminates that need. I don't know. I've played with the settings on the pocket wizards and camera, moved the plugs around and nothing. I also tried it with my Yongnuo 560 flashes with the same setup and it works, both are manual flashes. If I set on of the 580exii to master and the second one to slave, then doesn't that take away the need for pocket wizards?

Anybody have any ideas? I can't find information anywhere.
You've got it hooked up wrong.

The PC connection on the flash, isn't an outgoing port. That is only for triggering the flash from another source.
So in your set up, the PW connected to your on-camera flash, isn't doing anything, thus, the remote PW isn't getting a signal and the remote flash doesn't fire.

What you can do, is plug the cord from the PW, to the camera's PC port (if you have one). I shoot like this quite often,
If you don't have a PC port on the camera, you could get a hot-shoe PC adapter. FlashZebra.com: Canon Camera ETTL Pass Through Hotshoe with Screwlock PC Sync Port (Item #0268)

Actually, since you have two 580EX units, and you want to keep one on-camera, you can use the built-in wireless system. Just put the on-camera unit into Master mode and put the remote unit into Slave mode. The master should trigger the slave. The benefit of this system, is that your remote flash can keep the ability to use E-TTL (auto flash metering) and HSS etc. The down side is that the communication isn't as reliable as the radio signal of a PW.
With the PW (plus II) units, you don't have TTL metering, so the remote flash should be in manual mode and you have to figure out the exposure. The on-camera flash can still be in TTL if you like.

What you may want to do, is get a third PW unit. Then you'll have one to put on the camera, then one for each flash. Then you'll have two off-camera light sources.
Thanks Big Mike. I actually figured it out last night after more playing around with the wiring and hookup. You're right, I HAVE to plug the pc wire into the camera itself when the flash is in the hot shoe. I'm using this setup for weddings. I want TTL on camera and a long range distance. I can use the built in wireless but it doesn't reach far enough. I hope this post helps others cause I found so many posts on the problem but no solution. Thanks guys!!!

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