Bowens remote control protocol

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by polyglot, Oct 16, 2013.

  1. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I have a pair of Bowens monolights, the 500DX and 1000DX digital things that support IR remotes. The problem is that people seem to want $400+ for a remote.

    Does anyone know the IR protocol they use?

    Or have a compatible remote they'd part with on reasonable terms? :wink:
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,824
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    Somehow I expect they are more complex then the Wein IR remote that I bought in a job lot of used flash accessories.

    I was somewhat bemused to discover that our TV remote set off the Wein IR remote.:blink:
     
  3. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Hehe; the Wein cells are just a trigger as far as I know. Any sharp edge in light received (e.g. a flash triggered nearby, or the square-waves produced by a TV remote's LED) closes a triac and triggers the flash.

    I expect Bowens uses a similar approach to the TV remotes with a bitstream AM-modulated onto a 40kHz carrier for ambient-light rejection, if only because those IR transmitter and receiver modules are cheap and ubiquitous. If I had a remote I could discover the protocol but of course I don't...
     
  4. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

    Messages:
    16,824
    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2005
    Location:
    Delta, BC, Canada
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Wein unit is actually part of a pair - an IR transmitter that fits on the camera hot shoe and the corresponding receiver/trigger.

    And they both appear really, really old.
     
  5. MDR

    MDR Member

    Messages:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Austria
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Multiblitz Musen should be able to trigger the Bowens Unit and is under 100$ for under 50$ Fotodiox Universal IR Infrared Remote Flash Trigger for Optical Slave Flash. Good luck. BTW the Bowens Gemini IR Remote Control (under 100$) and the Bowens Pulsar TX RX Kit are way less than 400$ more like 250$. The Pulsar system is Radio and not IR
     
  6. BennehBoy

    BennehBoy Member

    Messages:
    46
    Joined:
    Apr 28, 2008
    Location:
    Huddersfield
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    I've got some Pulsar's they work really well.
     
  7. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    I'm not looking for triggers, guys. I'm looking for the remote that allows you to control the flash, i.e. change the power level and other settings. Something like an RC-3.
     
  8. MDR

    MDR Member

    Messages:
    1,411
    Joined:
    Sep 1, 2006
    Location:
    Austria
    Shooter:
    Multi Format
    The Bowens Gemini IR Remote Control (http://www.bowensdirect.com/gemini-remote-control.html) that I've mentioned in my previous post is such a thing and it should be able to work with your Mono Units and that for a measly 55 pounds the RC3 is a more capable unit though and can be found for around 150 pounds.
     
  9. polyglot

    polyglot Member

    Messages:
    3,472
    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2009
    Location:
    South Austra
    Shooter:
    Medium Format
    Is the Gemini remote really compatible? I thought it was only for the Gemini lights and I have Esprit Digital models. They're about $120 in Australia, which is kind of OK but still offensively expensive for what would be a $5 remote on any other device.