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04-02-2020, 06:06 AM   #1
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Cactus flash system issues

I asked a question back in November, I was having issues with my cactus system, at the time I thought it was a lens issue. Since that post, itís been fine, I even bought another cactus flash and no problems that I couldnít fix or understand, until yesterday.

I have 2 v6 triggers. 2 cactus rf flashes. Pentax k3. Had no issues day before. Yesterday everything was working fine until it wasnít. Suddenly the flash would not go off with shutter. Took trigger off and tested it and it worked. Put on camera and tested it with test button and it worked. Did not work with shutter release. Changed batteries, same thing. Changed trigger, same thing. Then I changed the flash and then changed batteries in flash. I also switched battery in camera to one with full charge. Always worked when I used test button but not with shutter release.

Camera was on manual setting, I think shutter speed was low, way under sync speed, 1/50 I think. But I did not change settings from the time it worked. I just went to review my photos, then take another set and it stopped working.
So all this makes me think it is a camera issue? Would that be a good assumption or is there something I am missing? And if a camera issue, if it works fine and then stops, could that be something like over heating in the hotshoe connection, is that possible? I am going to try again today but I would assume it will start out working fine like before.

04-02-2020, 07:58 AM   #2
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The only thing I can think of that you may not have tried and it is a long shot,

Some times when I've been shooting with a Cactus V6 is the trigger isn't sat correctly, i.e its moved forward a fraction and therefore the centre pin isn't connecting.
04-02-2020, 08:46 AM   #3
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I’ve had the same problem as chrism888.
04-02-2020, 12:58 PM   #4
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QuoteOriginally posted by chrism888 Quote
The only thing I can think of that you may not have tried and it is a long shot,

Some times when I've been shooting with a Cactus V6 is the trigger isn't sat correctly, i.e its moved forward a fraction and therefore the centre pin isn't connecting.
I did pull it off and reset. Sometimes that does work but yesterday nothing helped. I just had to stop everything. I cleaned off the hot shoe contacts on camera with alcohol today, and will try again tonight.

04-02-2020, 01:52 PM   #5
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I just had a problem with my flash, but probably not connected to your problem. When I take product shots I use a tripod and use the electronic shutter on my KP using existing light. Today I decided to use my flash and it wouldn't work. I played with it for several minutes before I realized the problem, I had forgot to reset the camera back to the mechanical shutter. Did you by chance switch the camera to the electronic shutter?
04-02-2020, 02:57 PM   #6
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QuoteOriginally posted by Wingincamera Quote
I just had a problem with my flash, but probably not connected to your problem. When I take product shots I use a tripod and use the electronic shutter on my KP using existing light. Today I decided to use my flash and it wouldn't work. I played with it for several minutes before I realized the problem, I had forgot to reset the camera back to the mechanical shutter. Did you by chance switch the camera to the electronic shutter?
I donít think my camera has that? I was thinking of getting the k70 or kp eventually, but as far as I know the k3 has only mechanical shutter.
04-02-2020, 04:05 PM   #7
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Firmware versions on the flashes and triggers?
04-02-2020, 06:59 PM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by MarkJerling Quote
Firmware versions on the flashes and triggers?
I donít have it in front of me but itís the latest on the cactus website, I checked yesterday while trying to troubleshoot. Itís the latest from 2018. I will double check and update tomorrow. I am pretty sure I updated when I bought my 2nd rf60

04-03-2020, 01:03 AM   #9
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did you check to see if you might have inadvertently set the delay?
04-03-2020, 07:39 AM   #10
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QuoteOriginally posted by pid Quote
did you check to see if you might have inadvertently set the delay?
Delay was off but I noticed that range was set to long so I set to short.

---------- Post added 04-03-20 at 10:40 AM ----------

QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
I donít have it in front of me but itís the latest on the cactus website, I checked yesterday while trying to troubleshoot. Itís the latest from 2018. I will double check and update tomorrow. I am pretty sure I updated when I bought my 2nd rf60
Its 2.1.001 and 2.05 I remember I had problems with newest firmware. I mention in another post range was set to long and never noticed that so I switched to short.
04-06-2020, 04:59 AM   #11
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
Delay was off but I noticed that range was set to long so I set to short.
Did that fix the issue?

If not, try using "M" (and a shutter speed not faster than 1/180s) or "X" on the camera to ensure that you are not exceeding the sync-speed.

The hot-shoe cannot overheat, so that's definitely not the problem.

Do you have a PC-sync cord with a connector that fits the V6? If so, you could try triggering the V6 via the PC socket of the K-3. If that works then you know that there is a hot-shoe connectivity issue.

N.B., there is an older firmware for the V6 (starting with 1.) that uses an older flash protocol. If you use the matching firmware on the flashes, the V6 will still work without loss of functionality. The V2 firmware version is useful to make the V6 (somewhat) compatible with the V6II but if you don't need that compatibility, the V1 firmware may work more reliably for you. If nothing else helps, you may try to change the firmware versions on the V6 units and the flashes to older ones, using the older flash protocol.

Last edited by Class A; 04-06-2020 at 05:04 AM.
04-11-2020, 02:10 PM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Class A Quote
Did that fix the issue?

If not, try using "M" (and a shutter speed not faster than 1/180s) or "X" on the camera to ensure that you are not exceeding the sync-speed.

The hot-shoe cannot overheat, so that's definitely not the problem.

Do you have a PC-sync cord with a connector that fits the V6? If so, you could try triggering the V6 via the PC socket of the K-3. If that works then you know that there is a hot-shoe connectivity issue.

N.B., there is an older firmware for the V6 (starting with 1.) that uses an older flash protocol. If you use the matching firmware on the flashes, the V6 will still work without loss of functionality. The V2 firmware version is useful to make the V6 (somewhat) compatible with the V6II but if you don't need that compatibility, the V1 firmware may work more reliably for you. If nothing else helps, you may try to change the firmware versions on the V6 units and the flashes to older ones, using the older flash protocol.
It seems to be working fine now. While researching the issue, I just realized I could use the triggers as a camera remote. So I got the triggers to autofocus, release the shutter and also set off the flash, just needed to buy a $5 cable. Embarrassed I missed it in the manual before. The flash seemed to work fine now so I guess I was fixed by changing the range.
04-11-2020, 02:32 PM   #13
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Other thing to remember is to turn on the cactus units last...after camera and flash.
04-13-2020, 04:50 PM   #14
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I have to say I am downright angry now. I bought a v6 controller to replace one that just randomly stopped working and now the dial in the back on the new one has decided not to work. At $60 to keep replacing these controllers, and all the trouble I am having, I have given up on cactus. Worked fine yesterday when I put it away. Now the wheel wonít spin backwards and does not do anything going forward. I have 3 v6 controllers and only one works, this is not worth it anymore.
04-14-2020, 07:21 PM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Murfy Quote
I have to say I am downright angry now.
that sucks....can sort of understand your frustration....I have several v6 & v6ii units and every single time I use them there is some type of issue but when they work they work well albeit inconsistently .....
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