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Pocket wizards affected in Hotels/Wedding reception venues?

Graham is off-lineSilver Member
10 October 2013 12:13
smooth_image
Photographer
smooth_image
Location
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire
Doncaster

So I prepared my equipment for the wedding, tested and re-tested, packed and off I went...
Everything fine, until I decided to set up the 2 pocketwizards (1 TT1 and 2 TT5's) with small softboxes for some really nice images of the bg in the reception room, I had bagged everything I needed so this was really a bit extra.
Set it all up, test button was getting the correct flash responses, but when it came to actually using them....nothing, checked settings, nothing, checked each flash on top of spare cameras, nothing, changed batteries in flashes and all pocketwizards, nothing, left it a while, tried again....nothing....gave up....

Got home later, set them up exactly as I left them just basically switched them on and put the trigger on the camera, bang every time a perfect shot, as they have always done, the thing i love about these is they just work...normally

It was a shared venue and there was a couple shoot a wedding in another part of the building, I spent a few mins chatting to them and mentioned the issue, which they said they had experience before at a wedding, couldnt understand why they could not get them to work at this one place.

The DJ was at the other side of the room, there is wifi availability at the hotel, could it be something the Reception venues are using that may affect the PW ?

Anyone else come across this issue ?

I mainly use them out on location but have used them indoors before (not at weddings) without issue. This is bugging me though, I need to understand why or what was causing it so I am ready for it next time.

Cheers

G.
'You hold onto your tongue, and I will hold onto my patience...'


Strober is off-line
10 October 2013 12:25
Strober
Photographer
Strober
Location
United Kingdom
Cheshire
Manchester

Did you clean the hotshoe of your DSLR ? speaking from experience then pocket wizards won't fire if you have a dirty hotshoe as the electronic signal can not be sent from the DSLR to the PW, trust me a dirty hotshoe dose cause problems like this. remember a pw is only connected by a needle like pin to the hot shoe. So that would explain why it did not fire, but your test button did

NB: late entry I'm talking about the PW's 2, as they have a needle like connection to the hotshoe

Quote from smooth_image
, nothing, left it a while, tried again....nothing....gave up....



www.strober.co.uk


Graham is off-lineSilver Member
10 October 2013 12:34
smooth_image
Photographer
smooth_image
Location
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire
Doncaster

Hi, Yeah checked and cleaned, as I mentioned, got them home and all worked fine, and even then if one was dirty surely the other would work ? and tested ok the night before, worked fine as soon as I got back, just would not work at the venue inside or outside.

Thanks for the suggestion though appreciated

G.
'You hold onto your tongue, and I will hold onto my patience...'


Strober is off-line
10 October 2013 12:48
Strober
Photographer
Strober
Location
United Kingdom
Cheshire
Manchester

It's electronics mate, it happens to the best of us, makes you look silly don't it when they don't work, but hey it's all part of the game mate and helps us build on our experience. You could use TTL cable, but even then some silly person might trip over it lol

Quote from smooth_image
Hi, Yeah checked and cleaned, as I mentioned, got them home and all worked fine, and even then if one was dirty surely the other would work ? and tested ok the night before, worked fine as soon as I got back, just would not work at the venue inside or outside.

Thanks for the suggestion though appreciated

G.


www.strober.co.uk


OldMaster is off-line
10 October 2013 14:27
OldMaster
Photographer
OldMaster
Location
United Kingdom
Hertfordshire
Harpenden

Did you try a flash gun on the hot sure to see if that was firing? If it was you could have used it to trigger the other lights in old fashioned IR/SU4 (for Nikon) triggering and it would have cleared the camera/hot shoe as being the culprit.

PW certainly have a fine reputation and I know colleagues that work in graduations with me where there may be 8 or so of us all with different wireless set ups, wifi in the venues and hundreds of students on mobiles/tablets, etc..and I have not heard of any issues?

Don't they have little leds on the transmitters and receivers which activate and flash when manually tested to indicate that one is sending and one receiving. Are you 100% sure with the stress of the wedding that you had not inadvertently knocked them to a different channel or mode?

If you contact PW I suspect it will confuse them to...


Graham Russell is off-line
10 October 2013 14:31
grahamr
Photographer
grahamr
Location
United Kingdom
Surrey
Lightwater

Does the Poketwizard transmitter have a test button? This would check the transmitter and receivers are talking correctly. I guess it is possible that environmental electrical interference could cause problems. I've shot school proms in one venue and each time the wireless network from by camera to receiver has suffered massive interference and become ususable. I've never had wireless problems anywhere else.

I use Photix Odin kit and always use the test button to check each channel is firing correctly.

Graham


Iconoclast is off-linePlatinum Member
10 October 2013 14:49
Iconoclast
Photographer
Iconoclast
Location
United Kingdom
Lancashire
Preston

If the Pocket Wizard is a radio transmitter, I have had problems in the past with the wi-fi that hotels use for their card machines. Did you try altering the frequency that you were using?
Good luck and safe modelling, Geoff Parker


Graham is off-lineSilver Member
10 October 2013 14:53
smooth_image
Photographer
smooth_image
Location
United Kingdom
South Yorkshire
Doncaster

Thanks for the responses,

Yes I shot most of the day with a EX580mk II on cam and as always it was fine, then switched it onto one of the PW and my EX430 on the other, green lights on both PW and pressing the test button made both flashes respond, I would then focus on a subject and press the shutter button to find nothing happened. I switched them off packed them away, got back, got them out attached them back onto the flashes, switched them on, popped the TT1 onto the camera, switched it on, and they all worked fine, Its just unexplainable to me, I am so very familiar with them, and totally confident that they do the job, I just can't explain why on this occasion they either chose not to work, or something was affecting them to the extent that they were just not able to operate.

Wierd, I would go out and shoot with them tomorrow on location because I know they will work, just baffled at why they wouldnt on that occasion.

G.

PS yes i also changed the the settings on the PW's removed them from each other and connected numerous times, changed the batteries on all the items, all were showing bright green power, everything seems absolutely fine, but just would not fire when the shutter was pressed and a definate focus was achieved.

Baffled of Doncaster

'You hold onto your tongue, and I will hold onto my patience...'


Steven Jardine is off-linePlatinum Member
10 October 2013 15:19
RedChecker
Photographer
RedChecker
Location
United Kingdom
Buckinghamshire
Stoke Mandeville

A lot of hotels/conference centres have radio microphone setups for speeches, another possibility I suppose.

Can't say I've ever had a problem with wireless networks.

Having them near any metal such as piping, vehicles, radiators or railings seems to cause problems from my experience.
When you are dead, you do not know that you are dead. All of your pain is felt by others. The same thing happens when you are stupid.


Andy is off-line
10 October 2013 15:26
photostore
Photographer
photostore
Location
United Kingdom
Fife
fife based, but Scotland wide

definetly sounds like local interference from ? source
I have had the same problem with a different brand while on a shoot, came home and they worked perfectly .
lets get shootin



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