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FORUMS General Gear Talk Flash and Studio Lighting 
Thread started 18 Dec 2013 (Wednesday) 01:40
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SOS in Strobe City..

 
RKDeity
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Dec 18, 2013 01:40 |  #1

I am posting this about 2 weeks later than the incident, but with the purchase of some new equipment I would like to get some advice and information about what could have gone wrong and how I can prevent it from happening again and/or prepare for a backup plan should I encounter the issue again. This will be a bit long, so bare with me....

I photographed a dog event with a small studio setup, Alienbees 400 plus large umbrella. I used a smaller continuous light softbox behind the subject to minimize harsh shadows, overall this worked out beautifully and the photos turned out perfect with no issues.
I used Yunuo wireless triggers on a T3i, I've had them for about a year now without any issues ever. The Saturday evening after the show I brought my triggers home to recharge the batteries. Sunday when I got to the show and setup for my first photo, I realized I had forgot to set my triggers up, turned everything off, put them in place, but when I turned everything back on to take the photo my strobe went absolutely nuts flashing non stop until I turned it off and unplugged it.. it continued doing this until I left it off for about an hour..

When I turned it back on, it was working normally again, however my triggers weren't syncing like they normally would. I bought 2 different types of brand new batteries, changed the channels, etc. and nothing I did got them to sync back up and be usable.. I ended up having to go to Walmart and buy their cheap fill flash and make that work in place of my strobe, fortunately I made it work and the photos were decent, but not nearly the quality without my strobe.

Does anyone have ANY insight on what may have gone wrong?!

On a second note, I recently acquired a Canon 6D as an upgrade to my T3i and since it's a completely new camera system, I would like to pick some brains and find out what I need to get for affordable wireless options. I'd consider purchasing the Yunuos again, however I'm not 100% sure since I don't understand what may have happened with them. I'd love the pocketwizard, but those are a bit out of my price range I am afraid. Also, is there a sync cord available for the 6D to the Alienbees? I was thinking this might be good to have on hand for a backup should my wireless triggers EVER fail again.. or would you suggest I get two sets of whatever triggers I end up with?

Thanks to all in advance!




  
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Left ­ Handed ­ Brisket
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Dec 18, 2013 09:31 |  #2

were there other photographers there? Maybe it was interference with other triggers or even other radio signals?


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BooostedAWD
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Dec 18, 2013 10:18 |  #3

I've had this happen to me two times. I'd be interested in hearing what other people have to say about the issue.

Both times it happened, I changed the batteries in my Cybersync receiver and it seemed to fix the problem.

Though, I guess it could possibly be a weak or failing cable in your situation.


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gonzogolf
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Dec 18, 2013 10:24 |  #4

Was the place that your bee was stored overnight heated? I have found that a bee stored in a cool environment then used my exhibit this behavior. I think when you turn the light on, it creates heat which draws condensation and you get intermittent or constant firing.




  
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RKDeity
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Dec 18, 2013 17:56 as a reply to  @ gonzogolf's post |  #5

There were no other photogs there.

Gonzogolf, that sounds like it may be the issue. It was stored in a very very cold barn. I will have to avoid this with the next upcoming events.

I would still like to know why my triggers stopped working however... still so odd.

I would also like to know what is recommended for the 6D as far as triggers go for my Alienbee. As I said, Pocketwizards are a bit out of my price range, all other suggestions are welcome.




  
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gonzogolf
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Dec 18, 2013 19:09 |  #6

You can't go wrong with cybersyncs




  
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RKDeity
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Dec 18, 2013 20:26 |  #7

gonzogolf wrote in post #16538213 (external link)
You can't go wrong with cybersyncs

Is this the only thing I would need?

http://www.paulcbuff.c​om/cst.php (external link)

or do I have to have something in addition for my light?




  
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MrScott
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Dec 18, 2013 23:44 |  #8

IIRC the AB's have a brownout condition when power supplying them is NOT clean. When the 400's were just connected to power without a remote trigger, there's no issue popping them with the onboard button, a real sync cable or even the light sensor. However, when they get poor conditioned power, the board that the RJ11 jack uses will flip out and cause the light to go nuts like what happened to you. This is the exact same thing that happens when you use an inverter that doesn't supply a pure sign wave input and/or drops below 90 something volts. I'm guessing the place you were shooting was older than dirt?




  
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RKDeity
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Dec 18, 2013 23:47 as a reply to  @ MrScott's post |  #9

Yes it was definitely an old barn.. is there a way to eliminate this? I ended up putting it on a powerstrip and it seemed to do ok after..




  
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MrScott
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Dec 19, 2013 00:16 |  #10

Well, the VML is a good choice and will get you XXX's of shots with an AB400, but it is a battery... Maybe a Honda EUx0000 style gas gen when outside. Better power, maybe closer to the mains or via a newer/dedicated circuit leg in a old building? Good fat gauge grounded extension cable? IF you're in with the organizer and they have rented a tow behind generator, maybe check it out?




  
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Strobo
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Dec 19, 2013 02:47 |  #11

RKDeity wrote in post #16536125 (external link)
Does anyone have ANY insight on what may have gone wrong?

Those kinds of issues can often be traced back to the use of under-rated extension cords. If you had a longer than normal AC run to your strobes then that's probably the cause.

On a side note I've found that Einsteins are quite tolerant of lower than normal line voltage conditions and will work reliably when Bees and White Lightnings won't.




  
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