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Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units

  
 
jjoejr
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


Have been photographing hummingbirds the past 7 years with high speed flash. This year and for last 10 days have been a disaster. Have 4 flash units and transmitter. Within 2 to 15 minutes started losing link to flash units. I have tried every possible scenario to get them to work. Changing channeIs, ID's, and switching out cameras, and even using yongnuo brand transceivers.And they even misfired.Talked to tech support multiple times to no avail. Canon says enviromental factors. Meaning interference of some kind. My house is approx. 200ft from other homes in area. I cut the power to entire house to remove any unwanted frequencies. That didn't work either. Put transmitter and flash in microwave. Never lost link. As door has RF shield in front of it. Take it out and it loses link again. The frequency of these units are 2.4GHz. Apparently that is the problem. Canon has a notification to update software if you have 6 or 7 units. But doesn't specify if it will help in losing link. I took units out of town on deserted road several miles away. Units fired non stop 20 to 30 shots no miss at low power on flash. So my interference is local as i suspect. Only thing I can think of to cure problem is purchase triggers with different frequencies to solve this problem. Any ideas out there on this subject? Thanx


Sep 23, 2022 at 07:59 AM
Pete73
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


I have no solution but I can sympathize. This is starting to be a significant problem for me as well, and it would seem no one really knows (or is saying) what the actual inference is. There are more an more cases showing up in various groups. It is starting to be a known issue that Canon is completely ignoring.
It was suggested to me to scan for the best channel before each shoot. That helped for a bit but it wasn't long before the gremlins came back.



Sep 23, 2022 at 08:08 AM
lighthound
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


I wonder if yours or one of your neighbors Wifi systems or perhaps even a vehicles blind spot detector frequency could be the culprit. I know my old radar detector has been rendered pretty useless since they started putting those alarms on vehicles. But I think those are in the 18-30 GHz frequency range. But a neighbors powerful Wifi mesh system could be as they use 2.4GHz & 5GHz.
Just scan for available networks with your phone and it should show any that might be giving you grief.



Sep 23, 2022 at 09:37 AM
AmbientMike
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


Internet is 5G & 2.4G. So 2.4G might be the problem

I've been using 540EZ. You can get bursts depending on how low of power. Idk that the actual part going off is much different than recent units. Tried peanut slaves but they didn't seem to be too great



Sep 23, 2022 at 09:49 AM
EB-1
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


There are only so many frequencies in the 2.4GHz band and the flash is probably less sophisticated than Wi-Fi so it is not too surprising. Maybe newer flashes will use 5 or 6 GHz, but those too will get dirty.

If you are doing stationary multi-flash, are cables completely out of the question?

EBH



Sep 23, 2022 at 10:51 AM
tsangc
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


There are so many coexistence issues in the 2.4 ISM band. As you cut everything in the house, is it possible you had a cellphone or bluetooth headset nearby with your camera and flashes during this test? Bluetooth is around that range too.


Sep 23, 2022 at 01:12 PM
jjoejr
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


I live next to IH-10 about 700 feet away. There are two cell towers within one mile. In regards to using cables I can do that. Since flash units are stationary, with 3 on bird within 2 feet of each other. And one on back ground 6 feet away. So how would I cable 4 flash units in synch with the camera? That would work for my application EB-1. Years ago had a speedotron 4 flash unit all tied in to power supply with synch cord to camera. Do you use a master plug for 4 flash units with synch cord going to it? Yes the interference is getting worse. Thanx for responses.


Sep 23, 2022 at 05:08 PM
jcolwell
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


jjoejr wrote:
...So how would I cable 4 flash units in synch with the camera?


In the studio, I use stereo cables (typical 3.5mm headphone cables, extenders, MM & FF adapters) to simultaueously fire my two Elinchrom strobes and a YN-ST-E3 that controls three EX600-RT on the background (when in use). I actually have three cameras hooked togther, any one of which can fire all of the lights (but not two or three cameras together; in sequence). The cameras have a generic hotshoe adapters with PC Synch (flash) and 3.5mm stereo connectors. The YN-ST-E3 and Elichroms have 3.5mm input synch jacks. I think the EX600-RT do too (can check later). I can answer any questions and show some photos, but probably not for a few days. We're about two hours away from Hurricane Fiona making landfall a couple of hundred miles up the coast, with 1+ inch per hour rain here, for ten~twelve hours. Might be a while before we dry out enough to post again.




Sep 23, 2022 at 06:39 PM
EB-1
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


jjoejr wrote:
I live next to IH-10 about 700 feet away. There are two cell towers within one mile. In regards to using cables I can do that. Since flash units are stationary, with 3 on bird within 2 feet of each other. And one on back ground 6 feet away. So how would I cable 4 flash units in synch with the camera? That would work for my application EB-1. Years ago had a speedotron 4 flash unit all tied in to power supply with synch cord to camera. Do you use a master plug for 4 flash units with synch
...Show more

I have not used multiple wired flash in many years, so I don't have specific experience with wired 600 RT series or similar. I generally preferred to use low capacitance RCA cables for parallel, passive connections between camera and flashes and kept the lengths for each the same. You may find that the skinny cables with RCA or 1/8" (3.5mm) mini plugs work fine, though I avoid the mini (shorting) connectors on principle. You can get down to 100pF/m with good RCA cables, though that might not matter in your specific application.

Years ago when I used different types of flashes together, I would buffer the camera to separate outputs for the flashes, but that's getting complicated.

EBH



Sep 23, 2022 at 08:43 PM
tsangc
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


jjoejr wrote:
I live next to IH-10 about 700 feet away. There are two cell towers within one mile. In regards to using cables I can do that.


I'm going to guess it's not cell towers specifically--

The high runners in that band are 802.11 Wifi, Bluetooth, consumer microwave ovens, baby monitors/security cameras, toy and real drones, Zigbee home automation.

The 600EX-RT frequencies at 2405-2475MHz overlap with 802.11b/g/n/ax and Bluetooth.

I think the suggestion of a local Wifi system, especially an outdoor repeater, is a strong possibility. Just for fun, try running an Wifi scanner app on your cell phone and see if there's any particularly strong Wifi signals from neighbours, including outdoor sources like public parks, schools, vehicles.



Edited on Sep 24, 2022 at 12:06 AM · View previous versions



Sep 23, 2022 at 09:54 PM
 


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Jeff
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


My EX600-RTs (typically three) have recently started doing this, and it's infuriating. Like Whack-A-Mole, get one to reset, then a different one craps out two minutes later.


Sep 23, 2022 at 10:49 PM
CharleyL
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


I'm using Godox X Pro transmitters and both studio flashes and speedlites, which are either Godox or Flashpoint. I haven't been having any problems at all here, but I am on the end of a peninsula in a 250 acre lake, so not very close to anything. My nearest cell tower is about a mile away with I-85 running about half way between the cell tower and me. I usually use channel 10 with no ID number. My only flash failures have been caused by operator failure, usually because I haven't had my second cup of coffee. I think that if I was having that much trouble, I would go back to using sync cables (hate the thoughts). I've grown to love my setup as it is. I upgraded all of my lights and transmitters 3 years ago and haven't once looked back on my decision.

Charley



Sep 24, 2022 at 07:29 AM
jjoejr
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


Again cut off power to home. Cut off cell phone. And all blue tooth. Late at night link stays on longer but eventually loses transmission. I give up. Looking for simplest way to connect 4 flash units with PC cords. Suggestions?


Sep 24, 2022 at 10:55 AM
Gochugogi
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


I live in a high RFI area in downtown Honolulu. 4G/5G Microwave transmitters galore. Thousands of Bluetooth an d Wi-Fi signals all around me in the surrounding high-rise condos and businesses. Radio based transmitters for audio and flash are nearly useless. I always use XLR wired mics (everything else has RFI) and Speedlite triggers with IR. Yes, you need line of sight outdoors but indoors the IR bounces off floors, walls and ceilings and triggers very reliably.


Sep 24, 2022 at 01:19 PM
rscheffler
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


Yeah, maybe the optical triggering option in the 600EX-RTs is an option?

Might be worth doing a wifi survey of your neighborhood with an wifi analyzer app such as this one: https://www.netspotapp.com



Sep 24, 2022 at 09:08 PM
tsangc
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


I guess you could use an ST-E2 and trigger via IR too:

https://community.usa.canon.com/t5/Speedlite-Flashes/ST-E2-transmitter-w-5D-Mark-III-to-trigger-600EX-II-RT/td-p/267634

Like above, I too found the E2 very reliable indoors, but kinda strange outdoors, especially if the flash heads were "behind" or "in front". I believe the way it's supposed to work is the E2 (or other flash in IR master mode) paints the subject and everything else in front of it, and the other flashes receive the bounce. But I found in bright sunlight that wasn't always the case. Maybe it's superstition, but I found myself pointing the body of the flash backwards to face the E2, and the head forwards to the subject.

Also, apparently the E-TTL optical preflash also contains the remote commands, so it's not just IR. This is all from recollection, I believe it isn't well documented how E-TTL wireless (optical visible or IR) works.

Maybe you could take one 600EX and make it an IR master and set the others to receive IR? Just to see how reliable that is?



Sep 24, 2022 at 11:45 PM
jjoejr
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


JC thanx for response. I have an ste-3 but it misfires also with flash units. Simply here is what I need. Setup is 3 flash units close to feeder approx. no more than 2 feet apart in a circle so to speak. Behind it approx. 5 feet another flash on simple background. Camera R5 in front of feeder flashes (three) about 12feet. Exactly what parts do I need to fire all 4 flash units on manual at same setting approx. 1/32 power? Forget optical on the 600ex rt flash units also as it misfired too. Apprently canon has some sort of radio data on the optical side which interference causes misfiring. I want wired flashes only. No optical or radio. I suspect I will need one or more flash adapters and cables. Thanx.


Sep 25, 2022 at 07:59 AM
jjoejr
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


Tsangc I tried the Ste-2 also. Still misfired. Tried straight optical and no luck there also. I'm in the twilight zone of interference here. Only solution I can see at this particular spot where my birds congregate is using wired flash units. Lookin for simplest solution for wired.


Sep 25, 2022 at 08:03 AM
rscheffler
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


A few thoughts:

In your original post you mentioned being open to trying other transmitters. The only ones I know of that are not 2.4GHz are PocketWizard and operate in the "340 Ė 354 MHz range because it is the least crowded frequency range for our class of wireless triggering devices."

The 600EX-RT has a PC sync terminal. TBH, I have never used it, but assuming it can be used to trigger the flash (rather than being used by the flash to trigger other units connected to it), you'd just have to figure out wiring together leads from each remote unit to the camera.

Back in the pre RT days, Canon had a modular off-camera flash cable system, but it was expensive. You'd need a module for each remote flash, a cable from it to the distribution hub, and a cable from the hub to the module that attached to the camera's shoe. It supported TTL, but IIRC there was no way to control individual units unless they were set manually. In any case, you'd have to find these parts on the used market and find all of the parts you need. IMO it's easier to wire this all up yourself, but without any TTL capability.

When you contacted Canon's support, did they ask you to scan your environment for the best available channels using the scan function of the master unit? It's on page 54 of the 600EX-RT (first version) manual. This assumes you have not yet tried each channel.

I still think you should do a wifi scan of your neighborhood to hopefully determine the source of the interference. On the FCC's site they indicated sources of interference could be transmission interference (other wifi devices), or electrical interference. The latter would be the domain of the power company in your region.



Sep 25, 2022 at 12:16 PM
jjoejr
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · Crash and Burn-Canon Ste-3 and 600ex rt Flash Units


Yes I did a scan. In fact worked my way through the entire 15 channels one by one. And eventually all lost link. Scanning neighbors fruitless as I canít tell them to cut off wi fi or any other devices. Options are wired completely. Or rent other units before buying I suppose and hope they donít drop out. I have a feeling this is going to get worse for others unless they change or filter frequencies better in the future. Thanx for response.



Sep 25, 2022 at 01:36 PM
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