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05-30-2013, 07:52 PM   #1
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Cactus V5 duo + K-5 + AF-360 FGZ Flash

Hi Guys,

Hope this is the right place to post this.

I am trying to use the Cactus V5 duo for the first time with one of them mounted on the K-5, and the 360 FGZ flash mounted on the receiver end of the Cactus and hoping to activate the flash wirelessly. It is not activating the flash! I have done everything in the 'Troubleshooting' notes that comes with the Cactus for eg. putting in new batteries, checking battery polarization, making sure the Cactus' are well secured on the camera and the flash. I just don't get the green go-ahead. On pressing the test button on the Cactus(Tx), both Cactus' light up with an orange light even after I keep holding them hoping to get a green light for a few extra seconds, but no green light, and the flash doesn't fire!!! I make sure the flash is in slave and on the same channel as the Cactus', the camera's shutter speed is 180 or under etc.
Being everything in manual mode, there may be a chance I may have done something wrong somewhere. Any suggestions?

05-30-2013, 11:42 PM   #2
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Should the the flash not be on manual?
05-31-2013, 01:25 AM   #3
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
Should the the flash not be on manual?
Yes the flash is on manual as well, which I forgot to mention. Also forgot to mention is that I can test the flash by manually pressing the TEST button on the flash and it fires, hence cannot say that the flash is not working, and also cannot say that the Cactus' are not working otherwise there wont be that orange 'ready' confirmation when I press the test button on the transmitter(TX).
05-31-2013, 02:54 AM   #4
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That's what I though you meant, so if it all works but not when the camera with a shutter speed of 180 or under does not trigger it then the trigger is not reading the camera signal via the centre pin, that all it can be .
there can be two things I have found

[ one] the trigger is not fully home on the hotshoe

and,[ two] weirdly enough if the trigger battery voltage drops to low the camera will not fire the unit even though the test button will!!

on my K5 and K10 the voltage must not be below 7.5 volts yet at that voltage it will still work on my K30! go figure!

now I have to admit that is not with cactus kit but with another brand that also use the cr2 batter which is 12 volts new

05-31-2013, 03:24 AM   #5
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
That's what I though you meant, so if it all works but not when the camera with a shutter speed of 180 or under does not trigger it then the trigger is not reading the camera signal via the centre pin, that all it can be .
there can be two things I have found

[ one] the trigger is not fully home on the hotshoe

and,[ two] weirdly enough if the trigger battery voltage drops to low the camera will not fire the unit even though the test button will!!

on my K5 and K10 the voltage must not be below 7.5 volts yet at that voltage it will still work on my K30! go figure!

now I have to admit that is not with cactus kit but with another brand that also use the cr2 batter which is 12 volts new
I checked once again after reading your 2 points. It seems to fit the camera hotshoe well, in fact, I took it off and put it in again to make sure it covers it fully. Still no flash. Mind you when I press the camera shutter, it shows me a green light for that split second on the Cactus receiver which holds the flash, but the flash itself doesn't fire!
About the second point you mentioned, I don't know how to find out if it goes below 7.5 volts. If it anyway does, I won't have a clue what to do about it.
Since you mentioned that it fires at such a voltage not on your K-5, but on K-30, perhaps I will try it on my K-x (don't have K-30) and if successful, will post back. Otherwise I am wondering is the Cactus V5 at all works with the AF-360 flash? (even if it is mentioned it does in their manual)
05-31-2013, 03:39 AM   #6
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I dunno, but I'd try not using the flash as a slave, switch it to Master.
05-31-2013, 03:47 AM   #7
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OK one thing lets make sure you have the set up correct.

set your flash to manual and turn it down to 50% power

set you camera to manual; set shutter speed to 1/60 ; set you aperture to f5.6 ; position your light 3 meters [9 feet ] from the subject

DO NOT have you flash set to any mode other that the first on on the left on your flash menu [that should read flash on ]
.
take a picture, with those settings you will have a correct or as near as dam it correct exposure.

over
05-31-2013, 04:01 AM   #8
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QuoteOriginally posted by Happyman Quote
I dunno, but I'd try not using the flash as a slave, switch it to Master.
IT WORKS!!! Thanks
Please read further in the reply under your post here.

05-31-2013, 04:08 AM   #9
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QuoteOriginally posted by adwb Quote
OK one thing lets make sure you have the set up correct.

set your flash to manual and turn it down to 50% power

set you camera to manual; set shutter speed to 1/60 ; set you aperture to f5.6 ; position your light 3 meters [9 feet ] from the subject

DO NOT have you flash set to any mode other that the first on on the left on your flash menu [that should read flash on ]
.
take a picture, with those settings you will have a correct or as near as dam it correct exposure.

over
Now, some very interesting things have taken place after I set exactly how you mentioned. So you know, I used the A 50/1.7 on the K-x this time, flash on Slave2, and the Cactus' on Channel 1.
As mentioned above in Happyman's post, I tried it on 'M' - master setting and the camera could trigger the flash sitting on the Cactus receiver. However, when I pressed the 'test' button on the Cactus, nothing happened! Also, the flash goes into the P-TTL mode after I put it on M mode.

Secondly, when I put the flash on S- Slave mode and pressed the camera shutter, nothing happened, neither the Cactus on the camera activated the flash after pressing its 'test' button.

So in sum, the Cactus' are still not able to activate the flash when I press the 'test' button, but they help in triggering the flash wirelessly, in Master mode on the flash, when the camera shutter is pressed! And Its the P-TTL that is active on the flash, and not manual. Is that odd or normal?

Last edited by voyager13; 05-31-2013 at 04:15 AM.
05-31-2013, 04:46 AM   #10
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I have been further testing with other controls on the flash.
1. Moved the ON-OFF switch all the way to the right to ON. (In the previous post, that button was in the middle, which denotes wireless)
2. After doing that, it takes me to the P-TTL mode, but than I change it to Manual mode and now I can change the intensity down till 1/32. Though the flash fires everytime sitting on the Cactus, the Cactus transmitter sitting on my camera is still not able to fire the flash when the 'test' button is pressed. It still gives an orange light on doing that but doesn't fire the flash.
3. Used the K-5 with a 100/2 manual lens.

I am still wondering if this is how the Cactus is supposed to work and why doesn't it fire the flash when the test button on it is pressed?
05-31-2013, 05:22 AM   #11
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Voyager, for this they invented the acronym RTFM I received my first Cactuses about 3 weeks ago and I DID read the manual, so I have it in fresh memory and this is what it says: "On TX, press the Test button. The status LED of both TX and RX should blink in GREEN simultaneously." That's it, that's all that happens when you press the Test button. No firing of flash, just an indication that there is a connection. And, when you use them as a remote shutter release: "Half press the Test utton on TX to auto focus. The status LED on both TX and RX will turn ORANGE to indicate auto focus."

Now, I'm far from being an expert, but in my understanding a flash is used in Slave mode when it's controlled by another flash unit. Since this is not the case, it doesn't make sense to use it that way - you're not controlling your flash with any Master flash, you're just firing it off remotely with radio triggers. So use it as a Master. I can't tell you why your flash is in P-TTL mode, I have Metz flashes, but you should try a couple of test shots with different settings and see what changes, if anything. Figure it out somehow, and if you can't - try read the manuals
05-31-2013, 05:35 AM   #12
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QuoteOriginally posted by Happyman Quote
The status LED of both TX and RX should blink in GREEN simultaneously
It turns orange on pressing the Tx, not green, in my case. I am not releasing shutters here, hence it shouldn't turn orange. By the way, the test button on Tx does activate the flash, take a look at this video at about 05.00 where he presses the test button on the Tx and the flash goes off.
I have read the manuals, and am a stickler for doing it as precisely as the manuals say. But it doesn't work that way, perhaps its the 360FGZ that's acting up.
05-31-2013, 05:49 AM   #13
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Allright, sorry about that, I thought you didn't read the manual. I think mine turns orange, too, on pressing the Test button - I don't have them with me to try out. But still, it works like the manual says - only the LED lights up, the flash is not supposed to fire off.
I think you posted a link to the wrong video - it's about Yongnuo flashes, not the Cactus V5's.
Anyway, flash set to Master, power adjusted manually to whatever you require (as you said - from 1/1 down till 1/32), and it should work.
05-31-2013, 05:59 AM   #14
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QuoteOriginally posted by voyager13 Quote
1. Moved the ON-OFF switch all the way to the right to ON. (In the previous post, that button was in the middle, which denotes wireless)
This is how you should have the flash set when using triggers. When you have the off/on switch set to wireless, that is for using the flash in wireless mode being fired by the on-board flash - no triggers. You want the off/on switch to be on the normal "on" position and set to manual as you said you did in this post.

When you have the switch set to wireless on the flash, it is looking for a flash signal from the camera through the sensor - not through the shoe pins. The cactus triggers are sending a signal through the shoe pin.
05-31-2013, 06:06 AM   #15
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QuoteOriginally posted by Happyman Quote
Allright, sorry about that, I thought you didn't read the manual. I think mine turns orange, too, on pressing the Test button - I don't have them with me to try out. But still, it works like the manual says - only the LED lights up, the flash is not supposed to fire off.
I think you posted a link to the wrong video - it's about Yongnuo flashes, not the Cactus V5's.
Anyway, flash set to Master, power adjusted manually to whatever you require (as you said - from 1/1 down till 1/32), and it should work.
QuoteOriginally posted by Happyman Quote
I think you posted a link to the wrong video - it's about Yongnuo flashes, not the Cactus V5's.
No worries mate All good. All that back and forth has helped me immensley to sort my wireless trigger experience
In that video, he demos the Yongnuo flashes but uses the Cactus V5. I wonder how his flash is going off by just pressing the test button on the Tx!(and he's a Pentax user too!)
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