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| p.1 #6 · Ranger Quadra-PocketWizard-PC Terminal Issue with hot shoe flash on |
So I've changed the subject to be more problem specific. I hope thats ok...
I've done more testing... below is what I have written to Bogen/Elinchrom after including the above notes:
Since then I have tested the same setup with the same gear removing the Quadra, adding in various other power packs. I have tested it with Speedotron 2400CX packs as well as Broncolor Scoro packs with no issues. Once I put the Quadra back in it would not fire with the hot shoe flash on.
I was able to go to a local authorized Elinchrom dealer here in Chicago. I am a customer of theirs so they know me. They had another Quadra pack for me to test. We ran into the same scenario but this time it was intermittent (at least it kind of worked). The pack would fire sometimes but then stop firing then start again. We switched back and fourth between my Quadra and their Quadra, changing pocketwizards, cables, nikon systems, canon systems, flash PC & body PC terminals. Both packs were intermittent in all of the scenarios we tested. There were two guys there working and none of us could figure out what was going on or why. So in a nutshell, I can fire everything I've tried from $400 flash units to $12,000 Broncolor packs but not a Ranger Quadra reliably, if at all, when my hot shoe flash is turned on...
I know there are workarounds that everyone uses but that still doesn't address the basic problem which should IMO absolutely not be happening at all.
So I am going to ask if any Ranger Quadra user can test out this basic scenario and report if their pack has the same issues? Camera or Flash PC Terminal>Pocketwizard transmitter>Pocketwizard Receiver>Quadra Pack. Your hot shoe mounted flash must be turned on, if it's off there is no problem. As I have said it used to work but now it will either work for 10-15 shots then start flaking out or not work at all.
I will also note that I have a 1st gen pack & heads as I know they have done revisions.
As for myself: Test Failed - serial 1037
AD Quadra: Test Failed - serial 2535
And thank you if you can help out!
Addition March 11th.
Well the issue is somewhat solved. It seems it's a total Elinchrom failure. Pocketwizard has been the only responsible company to respond to my questions in figuring out the issue. Below is what they found and the solution does work on my Elinchrom pack as well.
Quote from Pocketwizard:
After talking to several co-workers, it turns out we've heard of this issue once before with a different Elinchrom flash, and it's an odd one. From our testing with our BXRi here at the lab, we've found that adding a second flash to the mix appears to shut down the sync port of the BXRi for an incredibly small period of time, but just enough to stop an incoming trigger from firing the flash.
It appears that the second flash's light reaches the optical slave port of the BXRi just before the radio based sync signal comes in via the sync port. For some reason, even with the optical slave disabled, the BXRi won't fire via it's sync port if a flash is detected via the optical slave - the optical trigger seems to disable the sync jack for an infinitesimally small period of time, which our trigger signal seems to fall into.
The resolution we've found is a simple one though, thankfully. I'd recommend simply putting a piece of gaffer's tape or other light-blocking material over the white optical sensor dome on the Quadra's pack. This should allow the flash to fire via it's sync port at the correct time, as the optical slave won't be disabling the jack anymore.
They are basically saying that even if the optical slave of off or disabled it is really NOT OFF or DISABLED. Any you may need to tape over it to stop the flakey operation of said Elinchrom product.
At the very least this post will show that this is not an isolated case with a specific pack, just an engineering failure that should not be there to begin with. Glad I have gaffers tape to fix the problem!