Radio triggers and if they don’t work

Radio triggers are awesome, they will trigger your strobes without needing a “line of sight” and they should work for 99% of the shots without a problem, so in theory one could say “you never loose a shot with radio triggers”, but……… sometimes there are problems.
Problem with your radio triggers?
We hear this a lot, people having trouble with their radio triggers in the studio or on location, here are some tips we found out can make a HUGE difference.


1. WiFi
This is the biggest problem.
If you have a lot of WiFi traffic in your area this can interfere with your system, in fact we installed a WiFi security camera and this rendered our complete setup almost useless, we changed the camera from WiFi to wired and everything worked again.

2. Antenna
They are not there for show, make sure to aim them up and you will get that little bit of extra range.



3. Use optical sensors also
If you have “tricky” transmitters make sure your strobes also have their optical slave activated, if they miss the radio signal at least they are triggered by the optical slave unit.


4. Change your position slightly
Sounds ridiculous but this sometimes helps A LOT, some areas have certain “dead spots” just move a bit more forward or backward and you will often see that the transmitters work.

PhottixStratoIIMulti_A21643_3005. Don’t tighten the transmitters on your hotshoe
Now this is a bit of a “personal” experience advice, if you just push the transmitters on your hotshoe and not tighten them (or maybe just a bit) it always seems to work, if you tighten them to fast I found out that on several cameras the functioning was far from perfect.


6. If they don’t work at all
This is weird but it can happen, just run a small sync cable from your cameras sync socket to the input on your transmitter, this should solve the problem at once. This shouldn’t happen on modern cameras by the way, but sometimes it happens.


7. Speed vs Normal
With sky ports you can choose between speed and normal, I always use speed an in our studio we have a 98% succesrate with the sky ports, on normal this goes up to almost 100%, if you have problems with your system make sure you also try the normal setting instead of speed.


8. Common sense
Radio triggers should work for at least 95%-99% of the cases, if you miss a lot of shots check your batteries and if the contacts are clean, if they still don’t work and you did everything in points 1-7 just try to exchange them.



Oh and one more….
If you have black bars on your frame this is NOT the fault of your triggers, almost all cameras have a limitation called X-sync (often 1/125) if you shoot faster you start to see the second shutter curtain, meaning a black bar….. now if you see this below 1/125 it will often mean your triggers are subpar or not functioning as they should so get them checked, in theory ALL triggers should give perfect results on 1/125.


Good luck.
Any questions?
Feel free to ask.