Problems with YongNuo triggers

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by EASmithV, Nov 13, 2012.

  1. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    Well, I had ordered some YongNuo triggers today, and judging by the reviews I had very high hopes for them.

    After the batteries were put in, they lit up, and the LEDs were functioning perfectly on the wakeup function, as well as turning the correct color when the shutter fires. All seems good.

    EXCEPT they don't fire the flash! They're obviously getting the radio signal and working correctly, only the don't fire my Vivitar 275 or my Minolta 2800AF.

    The hotshoe is clearly designed for Nikon flash, so do these only fire TTL flashes? In that case, shouldn't the Minolta fire?

    Help!
     
  2. ColdEye

    ColdEye Member

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    On the first YN triggers I bought (rf602), they behaved as you said but didn't fire the flashes too. Good thing the shop was close to my home so I just had it replaced. Check if the channels are correct, and maybe change the battery. If not, get a refund/exchange. :smile:
     
  3. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    The channels are correct, and the lights correctly flash when the shutter fires. You think it's an issue with the triggers? It was an ebay sale, luckially not directly from China.
     
  4. Jonno888

    Jonno888 Member

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    On my yongnuo triggers there is also a red light that lights up on the yongnuo receiver if everything is working. If that is lighting up then it is probably a problem with the mount to your flash. Make sure you have it in the right way ! Also, I purchased two yongnuo triggers as part of a kit, one of them was DOA so it doesn't surprise me if they don't work. Yongnuo really is pretty junky stuff, but if you are on a limited budget like me it can be good enough to get you by.
     
  5. Espasol

    Espasol Member

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    Many minolta flashes have a proprietary pin/terminal configuration. So they just won't work with many of the flash triggers out there.
     
  6. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I received a new set from the seller, however, these don't work either! I tried connecting them to two different known good vivitars, and my monolights, and they don't work. I even tried firing them through thier screw-in connector port and tried to see if they provided a voltage across the terminals with a multimeter and got neither continuity or voltage! What am I doing wrong!?
     
  7. TheFlyingCamera

    TheFlyingCamera Membership Council Council

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    You're probably just hoping a bargain-basement product will work. There's a reason the PocketWizard and Calumet/Bowens/Elinchrom triggers cost more- they work right the first time. I'd look at the Calumet wireless triggers. They're good quality stuff but still cheaper by a long shot than the PocketWizards.
     
  8. Soeren

    Soeren Member

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    Hmm I have a set of 602's and they fires my SB26 from my Nikon FE2, f90X and F100. I havn't got them to work with my Yashicamat 124g through PC hotshoe adapter. In the near future Ill get a PC to PC caple and try that. Other than that I'm satisfied and glad I didn't paid a premium for a set of triggers.
    Alot of "third party" stuff wont work with minolta speedlites because of their silly hotshoe idea.
    Best regards
     
  9. EASmithV

    EASmithV Member

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    I've tried firing it from my hassy, F, F6, Yashica, DSLR, and a copal 3 using both the sync cord and the hotshoe part. I thought it was possible that the triggering voltage simply wasn't enough, but I even tried a much smaller flash from my rollei 35 and it still didn't fire. While some degree of build inconsistency is to be expected from a cheap product, I've tried 4 of these and none of them work! that seems a little ridiculous to me...

    Perhaps the "for Nikon" set will only fire nikon speedlights?! I broke my SB-600 a while back and still haven't gotten a replacement...
     
  10. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    It does seem odd. If the light at the receiver is flashing then the problem can only be the connection to the flash or the opto thyristor in the receiver - which is unlikely as you have the same problem with four units.

    There is no point trying it with different cameras as even the manual test button on the transmitter will check the operation.

    You won't be able to measure anything with a multi-meter as the trigger voltage is provided by the flash, not the reciever.


    Steve.
     
  11. fotch

    fotch Member

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    Since it does not supply voltage, rather, just closes the circuit like a switch, test it with the meter set for continuity.
     
  12. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    There are several things chained together in your setup and I would recommend you test each part of the link to find out where the problem sits:
    • Check out the voltage between trigger input and hot shoe ground for each flash that you ever tried with your radio triggers. If the voltage of any of your flashes is beyond 10V, you have likely fried your trigger receiver(s). Get new receivers and never connect that flash to radio triggers ever again.
    • Set your meter to current measurement (10A range if possible) and connect the test strips to trigger pin and hot shoe ground. If the flash doesn't fire, you can't trigger it this way, don't use it with radio triggers. I have heard of flashes that only trigger with the clock/data protocol used by the specific camera brand.
    • I assume that the trigger output of the radio trigger won't stay on very long, so a resistance measurement may or may not show that the output went active. If you use acoustical continuity measurement, you should get an audible beep when the output goes active. This works with my RF-602.
    • Now you know that your flash won't fry the receiver, that it responds to a short circuit between trigger input and hot shoe ground, and that the radio link works. Now connect flash and receiver and try the test button. The flash should fire now. If it doesn't: compare flash hot shoe and receiver hot shoe for possible mismatch.
    • Leave flash and receiver connected, and use your meter to create a short circuit between trigger input on the radio transmitter and its hot shoe ground. If the flash doesn't fire, something in your transmitter is broken.
    • Set your multimeter to acoustic continuity measurement again and check whether the camera actually actuates its hot shoe trigger output.
    • If the flash fires when manually shorting the transmitter's trigger input but not when the camera fires, there might be a mismatch between camera hot shoe and radio transmitter hot shoe. I know for instance that I can slide my transmitter onto my RZ67 hot shoe both ways, but only one way will trigger the flash.
    Good luck!
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    The opto thyristors in my cheap Cactus triggers are rated at 400 volts. You could not possibly find any for sale which would be destroyed by voltages in the tens of volts. I couldn't even find a similar device rated as low as 250 volts which is what most modern cameras are rated at. This makes me think that modern cameras use a 400 volt device and the manufacturers state 250 volts for a large margin.


    Steve.
     
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  15. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    There is a German language FAQ for these Yongnuo RF602 radio triggers which claims 50V and 100mA as the absolute limit.

    If this FAQ is correct, an old flash with typically 300V would likely destroy the receiver.
     
  16. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    It would be interesting to find out what the component is in these and look up the data sheet for it.

    A normal flash trigger circuit consists of a a high value resistor (about 1M) connected from the HV supply to a low value capacitor (about 10nF). All the trigger has to do is discharge the small capacitor into the trigger transformer. The amount of energy involved is very small.


    Steve.
     
  17. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    I would say this was the case in the stone age. Around bronze age flashes became more intelligent and started talking to cameras in more advanced terms than "fire flash" and "quench flash", and that was the time when 5V (or 3.3V) signals became the norm. If you hook one of these stone age flashes with their 300V trigger voltage to my EOS 3 (early medieval age) it will burst in flames. So will my RZ67 (late Renaissance) and the Yongnuo RF602.

    Note that the ability to handle 300V does not start and end with the actual switch, you need to make 100% sure that all insulation from that switch all the way to the hot shoe is rated for this voltage. Crammed as modern SLR cameras are, it comes as little surprise that only few modern camera models can handle high trigger voltage.
     
  18. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    Most current cameras are rated at 250 volts according to their manuals*. And despite extra control circuitry, the 'stone age' method of discharging a small capacitor into a trigger transformer to create an ionising pulse is still the way they work today, albeit with a couple of thyristors to turn it off when enough light has been received.

    (* the Nikon D100 I foolishly bought in 2003 was rated at 250v).


    Steve.
     
  19. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    This doesn't seem to be the case in Canon land. While some camera models can handle 250V if connected through their PC sockets, their hot shoes are limited to 6V. Likewise my RZ67 accepts 12V max. This posting claims that only Nikon cameras can take 250V through their hot shoes.

    Please be careful before you claim that any camera can handle high trigger voltages, 300V can do a lot of damage to electronic circuits even if only a small capacitor is discharged.

    And just before this pops up: sensitivity to high trigger voltages is not an issue of analog vs. digital camera. While most ancient cameras can handle 300V without problems, I would at least double check any camera less than 20 or 30 years old, see my examples of EOS 3 and RZ67.
     
  20. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    The hot shoe vs. PC socket thing is in my opinion, nonsense. The two will have the same or similar circuits. most likely connected in parallel. I think the warning about hotshoes is the worry that a charged flash could be pushed into the hotshoe and the centre contact could momentarily connect to a pin it's not supposed to connect to. I can't see that the actual trigger circuit will be any different to that connected to the PC socket.

    I find it strange that an RZ67 is rated that low. I know the shutter is electronically timed but I would have thought that the shutter is still triggered by mechanical contacts.

    I'm sure that when the RZ first came out, people just used them with their existing flashes without any worries. This sync. voltage thing is a more modern thing.


    Steve.
     
  21. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Here is a quote from Chuck Westfall about Canon cameras and high trigger voltage strobes. He basically tells his Canon folks that hooking up such a flash to a Canon camera might even work but can mess up things in the long run. Don't do it, and if you have to, there are safe sync adapters which convert the high trigger voltage to one the camera is rated for.

    I do agree that a camera like the RZ67, which was marketed as a professional studio camera, should support higher trigger voltages out of the box, but for whatever reason Mamiya thought this would not be necessary. BTW don't forget that this camera used to cost more than US$4000 and wasn't sold at Fry's Electronics, so one would assume that people buying it would either know or learn from Mamiya's sales people which flashes they could safely use with their camera.

    And all this is completely besides the main point anyway: don't connect a flash with more than 50V trigger voltage to Yongnuo radio triggers, they are not built for that.
     
  22. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    I will have to take your word for that. It seems totally wrong to me though especially as one of the stock answers to using old flashes on new cameras is "Just to be sure, always use a radio trigger" !!


    Steve.
     
  23. Rudeofus

    Rudeofus Subscriber

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    Funny thing is that even Pocket Wizards are only rated up to 200V trigger voltage, and due to a patent they were pretty much the only game in town for a long time. What I did see suggested to avoid trigger voltage problems was a compatible small flash on the hot shoe in manual mode used to trigger studio flashes through their optical slave cell.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2012
  24. Diapositivo

    Diapositivo Subscriber

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  25. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Member

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    A small flash or even the camera's own flash with an infra red (or very dark red) filter will usually fire opto triggers.

    Just out of interest, I looked up the data sheet for the GE3020P opto triac used in the circuit (fig. 2) and found it was rated at 400v. The GE3010P used in a circuit further down (fig. 5) is rated at 250v.

    The thing I don't get with flash voltage compatibility (or not) is that it is possible to make a fully electronic camera and by including a component which costs very little, make it work with any flash ever made. Yet it would appear that some designers have chosen not to. I think this is very foolish.

    I put this down to three possibilities: Paranoia, stupidity or a ploy by marketing people to get you to buy only their compatible products!


    Steve.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 30, 2012
  26. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    A camera like the RZ67 which doesn't have any special flash function except trigger it then a simple mechanical contact would be cheaper to make and would support just about any voltage. Is it possible that the polarity of the Youngnuo trigger reversed?