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04-25-2019, 02:22 AM   #16
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Well I tested like I said above, I wasn't having issues going between two V6ii triggers in Tx mode with differing power settings to a single flash, it was working as you would expect, with the right power to being pushed out per trigger, nor misfires.

When I get misfires it's always at important gigs, sometimes it's user error, I accidentally pushed the RF60x into a different mode (which asks the question... is there a way to lock the RF60x to stop that from happening?). Othertimes it's not. Both flashes refusing to fire, both in the right mode, V6ii fine, nothing amiss, just complete failure and the only fix to turn everything off and on again.

Sometimes I think it's a battery issue, like I used 4xAA LADDA batteries in each RF60x for an entire wedding without changing batteries, they still were reading full at the end of the day... Hmm... I call BS on that. I'm starting to think my misfires are related to power issues and the battery indicator is not very good at judging the power remaining.
Clear, thanks!

QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Furthermore, on a Godox Facebook Group I asked people how they were finding the new Xpro trigger, and the type of batteries you use in the trigger was said to make a difference, saying to use Alkaline for less misfires.
I use alkaline batteries with my XPro triggers. I haven't experienced problems with Ni-MH ones, but the battery indicator doesn't work correctly with Ni-MH, so I used alkalines from the beginning. This is advised in the manual.

Regards.

04-25-2019, 02:24 AM   #17
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Well... the plot thickens (slightly).

Today I was doing more testing of my RF60x units, outside under 1/1 power nonetheless. This RF60x unit is still carrying the same 4xAA's Ikea LADDA batteries that I charged last Thursday before the wedding I covered last Friday. It is now Thursday the following week and I haven't changed the batteries all throughout the wedding day nor since, and have done a small amount of test firing in the week as well.

The RF60x still shows full power on the battery indicator icon. I can't believe this is true... I mean during the wedding and a couple of misfires I suspected low battery power, yet checked and as always they both reported still being full... but that's a full days shooting with flash, and then a week of doing some more test shots... and they both still say full?

So... I check the manual and notice it says this;



And so I check the LADDA batteries and they are indeed Ni-MH batteries. It seems you cannot gauge the drain or health of these batteries in the RF60x units at all, and I bet this has a lot to do with my misfires.

Furthermore, on a Godox Facebook Group I asked people how they were finding the new Xpro trigger, and the type of batteries you use in the trigger was said to make a difference, saying to use Alkaline for less misfires.

Hmm... interesting.

Well... I would now like some advice of what other batteries I should consider for my Cactus range of equipment. Should I rock the LADDA's at home when misfires are not such an issue, but cover events with a set of Lithium or Alkaline batteries? Something like this?
I have found the Panasonic Eneloop Pro (black) batteries work very well with Cactus flashes and the flash cap is recharged almost immediately from the Eneloops Pro's.
04-25-2019, 02:47 AM   #18
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
I have found the Panasonic Eneloop Pro (black) batteries work very well with Cactus flashes and the flash cap is recharged almost immediately from the Eneloops Pro's.
Sorry, you lost me here a little;

1) Aren't the Eneloop line Ni-HM? Won't they also be like LADDA in a sense that the battery indicator will lie to you and not accurately tell you what their charge remaining is?
2) Flash cap? recharge immediately from the Pro's? Say what?
04-25-2019, 07:00 AM   #19
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A feature of Ni-MH batteries is their flat output voltage over most of their charge state. This feature makes it difficult to know what their charge state is. Preemptive replacement based on guessing the number of equivalent full power shots may help. The Cactus RF60x user guide lists rated number of shots.

An alternative approach is to use Quantum Turbo batteries to provide flash power to the RF60x's. I wrote about this somewhere on this site. In addition to the Quantum units, a "CZ"* cable is required for each flash. The 320V power port is under the red window. Quantum Turbo batteries are available on eBay and from Quantum, as are the cables. (Cables may also be available from the usual on-line photo equipment retailers.) The Quantum Turbo units show their state of charge.

An alternate alternative may exist from Cactus themselves: I recall seeing mention of a battery pack being available but haven't pursued it because I have a lot of Quantum Turbo units.

_____
* Either a CZ or CZ2 can be used. See Canon section of http://www.qtm.com/index.php/products/help-finding-products/compatibility-chart

---------- Post added 25th Apr 2019 at 10:33 ----------

I wrote this back in November (plus more earlier in the thread):


RF60X recharge time measurement
A Quantum CZ cable provides access to the flash charge, but only when it is attached to an operating Quantum Turbo Battery (QTB). In other words, the Cactus RF60X supply pins are protected, likely by diodes, so one can only observe the flash capacitor voltage indirectly by measuring the voltage on the output of the QTB when connected to the flash. The QTB used was of the older type. Access to the conductors was provided by a Quantum QT-48 dual output cable accessory, with the other branch connected to a Pentax flash compatible cable (aftermarket QTS-4). The flash end of the Pentax cable was connected to a 10X oscilloscope probe.

My observations are based on observing a Hitachi V422 (old school analog) 'scope trace at 0.2 sec/major division. The flash was set to 1/1.

Powering the flash with NiMH batteries in the flash and the QTB externally, apparent full charge is reached in about 1.4s. The test light illuminates at roughly 1.8s, while the beep is a few tenths later. A digitizing 'scope would be better for this task, but I don't have one.

Observationally, I am convinced that the test light is a very conservative measure of actual charge time at full flash power. All 1/1 measurements, whether performed with little rest time, or significant rest time, showed the same delay between apparent full charge and test light illumination with the QTB. However, at a 1/2 power setting, the test light barely fades before re-illuminating, suggesting that there is a bit of a storage time constant in the lamp circuit that works on both rising and falling flash capacitor voltage. Without the QTB, recharge is longer in the 1/2 setting, and the test lamp full extinguishes before re-illuminating. The beep however, seems to occur at the same time as re-illumination at 1/2 power.



Last edited by kaseki; 04-25-2019 at 07:36 AM.
04-25-2019, 01:17 PM   #20
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Sorry, you lost me here a little;

1) Aren't the Eneloop line Ni-HM? Won't they also be like LADDA in a sense that the battery indicator will lie to you and not accurately tell you what their charge remaining is?
They may be NiMH but they work exceedingly well. While the battery level remaining indicator does not work with NiMH batteries, the Eneloops PRO batteries will almost certainly maintain adequate charge for your photoshoot. Hence my suggestion to use those. i have found them good for upwards of 400 flash discharges between charges.

QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
2) Flash cap? recharge immediately from the Pro's? Say what?
Inside the flash, there is a capacitor (abbreviated cap), that obtains it's charge from the batteries. The batteries delivers that charge to the capacitor very quickly, when using Eneloops Pro, so the waiting time between flash discharges is almost nonexistent.

Last edited by MarkJerling; 04-25-2019 at 05:13 PM. Reason: Quotes fixed.
04-27-2019, 05:16 PM   #21
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Thanks for replies, I'll read them in a second. I just wanted to quickly ask if there was a way to make one flash fire off another that wasn't optical trigger? Can I have a wire going between two flashes, have one trigger which tells the other one to fire as well?
04-28-2019, 01:39 AM   #22
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QuoteOriginally posted by kaseki Quote
A feature of Ni-MH batteries is their flat output voltage over most of their charge state. This feature makes it difficult to know what their charge state is. Preemptive replacement based on guessing the number of equivalent full power shots may help. The Cactus RF60x user guide lists rated number of shots.

An alternative approach is to use Quantum Turbo batteries to provide flash power to the RF60x's. I wrote about this somewhere on this site. In addition to the Quantum units, a "CZ"* cable is required for each flash. The 320V power port is under the red window. Quantum Turbo batteries are available on eBay and from Quantum, as are the cables. (Cables may also be available from the usual on-line photo equipment retailers.) The Quantum Turbo units show their state of charge.

An alternate alternative may exist from Cactus themselves: I recall seeing mention of a battery pack being available but haven't pursued it because I have a lot of Quantum Turbo units.

_____
* Either a CZ or CZ2 can be used. See Canon section of Flash & Camera Cables

---------- Post added 25th Apr 2019 at 10:33 ----------

I wrote this back in November (plus more earlier in the thread):


RF60X recharge time measurement
A Quantum CZ cable provides access to the flash charge, but only when it is attached to an operating Quantum Turbo Battery (QTB). In other words, the Cactus RF60X supply pins are protected, likely by diodes, so one can only observe the flash capacitor voltage indirectly by measuring the voltage on the output of the QTB when connected to the flash. The QTB used was of the older type. Access to the conductors was provided by a Quantum QT-48 dual output cable accessory, with the other branch connected to a Pentax flash compatible cable (aftermarket QTS-4). The flash end of the Pentax cable was connected to a 10X oscilloscope probe.

My observations are based on observing a Hitachi V422 (old school analog) 'scope trace at 0.2 sec/major division. The flash was set to 1/1.

Powering the flash with NiMH batteries in the flash and the QTB externally, apparent full charge is reached in about 1.4s. The test light illuminates at roughly 1.8s, while the beep is a few tenths later. A digitizing 'scope would be better for this task, but I don't have one.

Observationally, I am convinced that the test light is a very conservative measure of actual charge time at full flash power. All 1/1 measurements, whether performed with little rest time, or significant rest time, showed the same delay between apparent full charge and test light illumination with the QTB. However, at a 1/2 power setting, the test light barely fades before re-illuminating, suggesting that there is a bit of a storage time constant in the lamp circuit that works on both rising and falling flash capacitor voltage. Without the QTB, recharge is longer in the 1/2 setting, and the test lamp full extinguishes before re-illuminating. The beep however, seems to occur at the same time as re-illumination at 1/2 power.
QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
They may be NiMH but they work exceedingly well. While the battery level remaining indicator does not work with NiMH batteries, the Eneloops PRO batteries will almost certainly maintain adequate charge for your photoshoot. Hence my suggestion to use those. i have found them good for upwards of 400 flash discharges between charges.



Inside the flash, there is a capacitor (abbreviated cap), that obtains it's charge from the batteries. The batteries delivers that charge to the capacitor very quickly, when using Eneloops Pro, so the waiting time between flash discharges is almost nonexistent.
Thanks both for the replies.

I am not sure I will remain with Cactus that long, I may toggle over to Godox in the near future (for strobe needs and streamline everything etc). So at this time I doubt I will invest further funds into this system.

I actually own a EP-1 unit, bought for a job I anticipated needing but have yet to use it even once. Perhaps this will work better than just the AA's in camera (ie assists with reducing missfires).

The NiMH batteries may be great for recycle times but the lack of feedback telling you to change the batteries is a serious issue. I have to now experience a bunch of misfires to be my trigger for swapping out and putting fresh ones in, not great when doing official jobs tbh. I cannot possibly try and keep an eye on how many shots I took as a means to gauge when to swap out and put fresh ones in.

But this is only one downside, the other is whether they also come with a greater chance of misfires even when they actually have sufficient charge!? How can I know? I get a few misfires in a row (after some good use) so I just change the batteries, but perhaps toggling everything off and on again will fix and I can continue shooting with misfires not being so prevalent for some continued time. :/
But the misfires themselves are annoying. Last night I shot at a ball event, and just decided to spend $14 on a pack of Energizer AA's (Maxplus, like these), and I have to say not a single misfire through that event. Earlier in the day I covered another event and used my LADDA and did indeed have a few misfires along the way.

It's still too early to tell if there is any grain of truth to this, but I have heard people report the same with the Godox Xpro-P trigger, switch to non Ni-MH for the trigger, less misfires.

It really does make for porting across to Godox attractive however, with their non AA battery alternatives.
04-29-2019, 08:54 PM   #23
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I read in the manual that you can set one RF60x to control another, thus far I have not been able to manage this. It occurs to me this could be quite handy. Rather than setting two flashes to Group A and making both fire within a softbox, I think I might prefer the idea of having the V6ii send a signal to just one RF60x unit to fire and then that one commanding the other RF60x unit to fire. Hopefully I will get shots where either it's a complete misfire (and therefore quite obvious as no flash fired at all) rather than the possibility of one flash firing and the other not (which leads to a little bit of confusion over difficult shooting conditions, especially when the aim is more fill light than key).

Can anyone guide me how to make that work with a V6ii and 2xRF60x units?

Cheers.

04-30-2019, 09:55 PM   #24
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Can anyone guide me how to make that work with a V6ii and 2xRF60x units?
I would imagine that involves putting one of the RF60X units in "dumb" optical trigger mode. It will then fire at a preset manual power whenever any other flash unit in the vicinity is fired.
05-01-2019, 12:24 AM   #25
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QuoteOriginally posted by pschlute Quote
I would imagine that involves putting one of the RF60X units in "dumb" optical trigger mode. It will then fire at a preset manual power whenever any other flash unit in the vicinity is fired.
I wanted to avoid any kind of optical triggering as well, I haven't had the best success rate with that strategy either, however in my past attempts the flash being triggered has been 'away' from the flash firing. I suspect two flashes in a softbox and one set to being optical triggered... must be a very high success rate, even in daylight? That's something I could try and fit in better with the idea of either both flashes firing or none at all.

The idea of a RF60x being Master and the other Slave I think requires the Master RF60x unit to be on camera... I think... and is why it's not working for me through a V6ii.
05-01-2019, 02:00 AM - 1 Like   #26
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
The idea of a RF60x being Master and the other Slave I think requires the Master RF60x unit to be on camera
I think the point being that you cannot have the RF60X operating in both receiver and transmitter mode at the same time. Have a look in the manual....maybe you can put a V6II on one of the RF60X units and set that unit to Master and the other one to slave ?

But I cant see that being any better than having them both in slave and belonging to the same group and being triggered from the v6II on camera.
05-01-2019, 04:15 AM   #27
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
I wanted to avoid any kind of optical triggering as well, I haven't had the best success rate with that strategy either, however in my past attempts the flash being triggered has been 'away' from the flash firing. I suspect two flashes in a softbox and one set to being optical triggered... must be a very high success rate, even in daylight? That's something I could try and fit in better with the idea of either both flashes firing or none at all.

The idea of a RF60x being Master and the other Slave I think requires the Master RF60x unit to be on camera... I think... and is why it's not working for me through a V6ii.
Hello,

Some years ago, I still had a mix of flashes and triggers from different brands. Then, I had some Godox lights controlled by the old FT-16, but still several speedlights without any remote control, so I had to set power settings before using it.
So, setting power and triggering were two different tasks for me:

* To set power, I used the FT-16 for my Godox lights, and manual settings for the other speedlights
* To trigger & control groups, I used the nice and reliable rf-605 transceiver

So I had a rf-605 in TX mode and 3 rf-605 in RX mode for slaves.
Let's see now what is the replationship with your problem, and if this can help you or not.
One of the problems that I have to resolv then, were to trigger a set of speedlights with only one receiver, so I had two ways to solve it:

A. I put a speedlight on the rf-605's hotshoe, then I used a sync cable from the rf-605 to another flash. So this way, after the power settings were set, one receiver could trigger two flashes at the same time.


B. I used a dual hotshoe like this one
This dual hotshe have a 3.5mm sync port, so, with a receiver and the proper cable, you can trigger two flashes. I used this way several times with great success. There are versions similar to this dual hotshoe that allows you to fire three flashes with only one reveiver. I still have a dual an tri-flash brackets.

I have not a complete solution to your problem, but my suggestion is trying to use a v6/v6ii receiver the same way I used my rf-605 to trigger two flahes (I used my V6 receiver this way without issues). I have the feeling that a v6/v6ii receiver could be more reliable just for triggering. Based on this idea, maybe you can find a valid solution for your problem.

Regards,
Javier.
05-26-2019, 10:51 AM   #28
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QuoteOriginally posted by BruceBanner Quote
Two cameras (K-1 and KP) each equipped with a V6ii in Tx mode.
did you use 'multi-master' mode? as it supposedly allows separate TX have different settings independent of one another.....

a side note just for 'bitchin'.......thought I would change from x-ttl firmware to the latest pentax firmware......nothing but misfires very annoying and sucks donkey at best......went back to x-ttl and had no problems.......quite disappointing as at times I would like to use the p-ttl instead of manual adjustment and just f~ing shoot.....
05-26-2019, 05:40 PM   #29
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QuoteOriginally posted by Aaron28 Quote
did you use 'multi-master' mode? as it supposedly allows separate TX have different settings independent of one another.....

a side note just for 'bitchin'.......thought I would change from x-ttl firmware to the latest pentax firmware......nothing but misfires very annoying and sucks donkey at best......went back to x-ttl and had no problems.......quite disappointing as at times I would like to use the p-ttl instead of manual adjustment and just f~ing shoot.....
Hi Aaron! Hi Barney! hehe,

Nah I have always used the Pentax firmware for the flashes and triggers. I should point out that using two V6ii's (in Tx mode) to control one or two flashes (RF60x's) is working with the Pentax firmware, and even adjusts the power of the flash output if one is set to a different value on the V6ii trigger. Misfires on the other hand...

I learned that it's worth buying real disposable batteries for paid gigs. The night I shot the Ball I used flash all night long and suffered only one misfire moment which I think was down to depletion of batteries more than anything else (4-5 misfires in a row, I think would mean more a battery issue than signal). I'm now pretty sure the type of battery in the triggers and flashes are a huge culprit for misfires (as I have heard other brands like Godox report being true also). I now use my rechargeables at home for practice where I don't lose the plot if things are not always firing, but I just front up the cash for a pack of 20 AA's for a nights work at an event, which also reliably informs me my charge level remaining unlike the rechargeables that always read full (regardless). Godox flashes have their own lithium batteries, the issue seems to be what batteries are in the triggers (Xpro-P etc).
05-26-2019, 05:42 PM   #30
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Well, Bruce, I have been letting my unconscious consider the NiMH misfire conundrum because nothing obvious came to mind when you wrote about it. Leaving that issue hanging here in this thread, particularly when I have four RF60X units myself, is worrisome, even if I don't do professional shoots involving endless flash photography.

As you probably know, NiMH battery chemistry provides slightly lower voltage than alkaline batteries, but significantly lower series resistance. Hence they can feed more power (energy per unit time) to the step-up circuit that charges the flash capacitor to a voltage in the 300 volt region. As a result, flash recharge time decreases. Neither of these two characteristics seems pertinent to misfiring, unless the Cactus RF60X, in spite of being approved for NiMH battery use, has some internal circuit susceptibility to the higher current in use during recharging -- an electromagnetic interference issue. One wouldn't predict that, given that the flash discharge should be much worse in inducing undesirable effects into susceptible electronics.

Another possibility that seems improbable is a possible difference in NiMH and alkaline battery types' contact metallurgy causing occasional disconnection in the Cactus battery compartment as a function of whatever (humidity?). Or maybe the battery types' end-to-end lengths are slightly different, allowing the NiMH to be marginally contacted under some conditions. (Also a stretch.) As I am using Duracell brand NiMH (made in Japan), my experience may be different than yours, even if all other factors are identical.

I do intend to keep my eye out for misfires in the future.

Best of luck.
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