DON'T MISS: Italian conceptual portrait photographer Sara Lando is coming to the US to teach in Atlanta (8/16) and Baltimore (8/23). Highly recommended.

Friday, August 21, 2009

RadioPopper JrX: Questions and Answers

About a gazillion RadioPopper JrX questions came in while Ben and I were enjoying our three-day mancation. I wanted to hit as many of them as practical before getting onto Boot Camp Assignment 3, which is in the on-deck circle.

Lotsa answers -- and some test results -- after the jump.
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RP JrX Q&A

Before the Q&A, just a note that continued shooting with the RadioPopper remotes has only increased my confidence in the units.

Their initial reliability is holding up in multiple environments, and I would feel very comfortable taking them out on assignment.
__________



Can the JrX's fire remote cameras?

Yes. You will need to purchase an adapter cord for your particular camera, which will need to have a remote jack on the body. Connection is the same as with PocketWizard remotes, so there are several types of cords available for most popular camera brands.


Are the JrX's compatible with my Cybersyncs/PocketWizards/Cactus/whatevers?

No. You cannot mix and match them (except with other RP units) because the operate on different frequencies and/or with different digital protocols.


In the Article, you say, "Nikon switched into a new system with the '900's, so they are out." Does that means they wont work under SB-900?

They will fire an SB-900 in dumb sync mode, but will not remotely control the power level using the (upcoming) RPCube module. This is true for all flashes which are exclusively iTTL. The restriction also apparently includes some Nissin model flashes, and/or any other model which does not support analog quenching of the flash pulse.


What kind of speedlights will be compatible with the remote power level adjustment?

In addition to immediately supporting the ABs and WLs (the ones with telephone jacks in the backs, at least) Kevin at RP says that most any TTL flash designed to work with Nikon or Canon should be remotely adjustable. Except the SB-900, of course, and any other off-brand flashes which do not support analog quenching. You will need the appropriate brand-fitting RPCube, of course.

There is talk of establishing a crowd-sourced compatibility table (or wiki) on the RP site. I think this is perfect, as RP could not possibly acquire and test every legacy flash -- especially the third-party flashes. I think this is a great idea.

Advice: If you are going this route and find a cheap model of flash that works in variable mode (i.e., some Acme Nikon/Canon equiv. TTL flash) snap up a few on eBay before including that model in the wiki. Just sayin'.


What about high speed sync?

I am reluctant to even bring this up, given the variable quality of info and claims floating around, but here goes.

First, the JrXs as a standalone system are max 1/250th on SLRs. And some SLRs cut it close enough to where you may have to lose the error correction to get your top sync speed. (This is mostly a Canon thing, as they tend to cut it very close on the second curtain at max sync speed.)

As for true, HSS -- no. The RP PX's will, by bridging the signal of the standard, time-pulsed Nikon and Canon protocols, but only for HSS-enabled flashes. The RadioPopper/AlienBee high-speed sync is not true HSS. Here's what is happening:

The flash pulse in some circumstances on an AB is long enough to exist for the entire time the "slit" is traveling across the frame during a high shutter speed exposure. So, yes, while you can technically sync a frame, there are two problems.

One, a tremendous amount of light is wasted, in that it falls on the blackened-out part of the frame while that slit is traveling. That is why your high-speed synced AB looks a lot more like an SB-800 in the power output department. But that is also true with pulsed HSS.

Two, the evenness of coverage is related to the shape of the flash pulse as distributed over time. Which is to say, it is not even at all. The flash pulse ramps up very quickly, and trails off more slowly as the capacitors in the flash discharge over time. (That's why Nikon and Canon pulse the flash signal -- for evenness.)

This will manifest itself as a light variance across the frame that would be brighter at the top or bottom -- depending on the direction the shutter travels in your model of camera.


What about point and shoots?

Ahh, different story there! Point and shoot cameras are more like leaf shutters than SLR shutter. And there is no "traveling slit," which means no worries about the evenness issues. But you have a separate set of concerns.

One, the speed of the remote electronics and trigger protocol. Here, the RP wins over the PocketWizard Plus II's for manual firing of flashes via remote. With my Canon G9 and an SB-800, I max out at just about 1/500th with the PWs but can go much higher with a PC cord (or off-camera TTL cord).

The RP JrXs split the difference -- faster that the PWs, but slower than a cord. All in all, very fast for wireless and with great range.

The other factors are shutter duration and flash pulse length. No matter what, you cannot cram a full-power flash pop (which lasts about 1/1000th of a second) into a 1/2500th of a second shutter exposure.

As you go up in shutter speed, you proportionately lose power settings on the flash. I was getting solid 1/8 and (almost) solid 1/4 power pops wirelessly at 1/1250th of a sec with the Canon G9 and JrX's. That's enough to do some cool things at midday.

FWIW, both equipment shots on this post were done with a Canon G9, at 1/1250th of a sec with flashes at 1/8 and 1/4 power. They were synced with an RP JrX.


Can it remotely adjust my LP120/Vivitar 285/Pile of Magnesium Powder?

Alas, no.

The variably timed "quench pin" approach basically hijacks the TTL protocol and gives you control of when the flash pop is quenched. Which varies the power of the pop. You need that underlying TTL system in the flash for it to work.


So, can my Canon remotely control Nikon flashes?

Triple aces here -- absolutely. ("Nick Turpin, white courtesy phone, please...)

The remotes are working with the TTL (and, in AB's case, variable power circuits) in the flashes themselves. It does not matter what kind of camera the transmitter is sitting on -- so long as you are operating within normal sync speed constraints.

You could set up an SB-800 on group "A", a Canon 580 on group "B" and an AlienBee on group "C" and control the power on each all independently with a Holga if you wanted to. Which is pretty damn cool.


How do the units connect to the hotshoe of your camera? Are they the same as Skyports or do they have a locking mechanism like the PW's?

No lock, but very solid. No exposed antenna to worry about, either. I have absolutely no concerns about the mount or stability. They are very small, and the mount is robust. Still would like to see some sort of lug on the recievers, to keep the sync cords from becoming the strap ...


Just Nikon & Canon? What about us Sony shooters?

Um, you can get a D3X chip on a Sony for under $3k USD. You knew you were going to have to give up something, right?


How do these compare with the new Control TL's from PocketWizard? If money was not an issue, what would the choice be? I want to make the right decision now instead of change my mind at a later date and make an additional purchase.

Lot of variables there. If you are Nikon and you need it now, for instance, it's a no brainer.

But rather than the JrX's, I would consider the RadioPopper PX to be in direct competition with the ControlTL-enabled PWs (TT1, TT5 models). The systems operate in different ways and I would decide based on which features are more valuable to you.

RP's PX system is getting very good user feedback. PW TTL range has been affected by Canon RF interference from some models of flashes, but PW have created workarounds. Upcoming Nikon versions are said to be unaffected by any flash RF issues. (Essentially, the Canon flashes emit far more RF interference than do the Nikon flashes.)

On the other hand, the PW system also nets you about a full stop faster sync. Which is the equivalent of doubling all of your flashes' power rating. Which is nice. And there are increased efficiencies in high speed sync with PW because of the "HyperSync" protocols. In short, faster recycle times and/or more power.

The JrX's fit into another niche -- dumb sync and remote manual control. A completely new branch on the flash remote tree. In present form, I would compare them more to the upcoming Paul Buff remotes which have similar capabilities. RPCubes will greatly increase the universe of remote controllable flashes. But, like the PW Nikon models, they are not available yet.


CR123a Battery Solutions

I figured this was important enough to where it deserved it's own section. So here goes.

CR123A batteries are pretty common, but not so much so that you can expect to pick them up anywhere you need them. And if you buy them at a 7-11, it will be a painful lesson. So, you are either going to have to hoard disposable batts or go with nickel-metal hydride rechargeables (NiMH) rechargeables.

I have tried the Tenergy NiMH's and charger pictured above and they work great. Unlike AA NiMH's, which run at 1.2v (vs. alkalines' 1.5v) these put out the full 3v of the CR123A's lithium version. Additionally, RP says that the JrXs run just fine down to 1.9v, with no real loss in range.


[NOTE: Do not get all fancy and hotwire a (cheaper) 9v battery in there. You will not triple your range -- you will fry your JrX.]


Capacity in the NiMHs is 750MaH, compared to 1300MaH in the lithium CR123A disposables. As a quick test, I left them on overnight (on the receiver -- the transmitter has 1 hr. auto-off) and they worked just fine the next day. This was about a 20-hour test, and RP says the receivers run down just about as fast, whether you are shooting or not.

From what I can tell, there is no reason to believe these are anything other than garden-variety NiMHs. Which means that they will self-drain over a few weeks. Think of a nice, big cup of water -- with a small hole in it.


[UPDATE: Robert, in the comments, says, "Just for clarity, the Tenergy rechargeable cells you show are actually LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) not NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) which is why they are 3.0v (actually ~3.2v) compared to the 1.2-1.5v we are use to with NiMH. The good news is that LiFePO4 tend to have less self-discharge than NiMH."]



Logical solutions:

A) One set of NiMH's, and charge before assignments. (Tenergy supplies both AC and 12v cords for the charger so you can keep them tricking in the car if you want.)

B) Buy one NiMH for each unit and keep a (~92-cent) spare lithium as a backup in case you get caught with your pants down. Lithiums hold their power on the shelf (or in your bag) for a very, very long time.

C) Buy twice the batts you need in NiMH's, and just rotate them out of the chargers before shooting. That way you always have a set charged. I chose this method, as it also gives me double capacity in case of a very heavy shooting session -- and spares in case a battery heads south.


The site I recommended in the initial JrX post was just fine -- and very fast shipping. But I have since found that Amazon sells packages very appropriate to a typical shooter's needs for significantly less.

Example: You can get 6 7NiMH CR123A batts and a dual-source, two-cell smart charger (same Tenergy brand) for $26.99. That's the equivalent of a free charger, compared to the other site.

There are lots more choices on Amazon -- just search "Tenergy" and "CR123A".


For More Information

As of today, the full RadioPopper JrX manual is here.


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60 Comments:

Blogger Jason said...

I just ordered mine yesterday.. Thank you for such an intense review!

August 21, 2009 5:38 PM  
Blogger Paul Reinheimer said...

Thanks for taking the time to post this Q&A!

I think I'll be waiting for the PW Nikon stuff, I've got the SB900s and the lacking support there was kind of disapointing.

August 21, 2009 5:45 PM  
Blogger Dan Gottesman said...

I'm particularly interested in the "controlling the power output on older/legacy flashes" aspect of this system. Specifically the old trusty SB-26, -80DX, and -24.

If I'm understanding correctly, the folks at RadioPopper are developing an additional to-be-released product called the "RPCube"...?

You mention the RP wiki in this post, but I was unable to find a link to it on their site (or here).

Can you provide any more info or clarity on this one?

thanks!

-dg

August 21, 2009 5:51 PM  
Blogger David said...

Hey, Dan-

If you take a look, I said there *is talk* of establishing a table or wiki. No link yet.

Also, RP is an upcoming product. 6-8 weeks ETA. Interpolate at will...

August 21, 2009 5:55 PM  
Blogger Dan Gottesman said...

ah, thanks David.

I guess I was reading a little too eagerly and mis "interpolated" your meaning. :)

Will definitely be keeping an eye on this stuff.

Thanks again for the in-depth report.

-dg

August 21, 2009 5:59 PM  
Blogger Calvin said...

So let me get this straight. Radiopoppers JrX allow full manual control with Nikon Speedlites with Nikon SLRs at a fraction of a price of PWs? Sweet!

August 21, 2009 6:45 PM  
Blogger Balls said...

Thanks for the Q&A, but prease to never use "mancation" again.

August 21, 2009 7:10 PM  
Blogger David said...

Dear commenter:


Mancation, mancation, mancation.


Sincerely,
David Hobby

p.s. Mancation.

August 21, 2009 7:43 PM  
Blogger thsman said...

Sony shooters check out this link
http://www.gadgetinfinity.com/home.php?cat=275

I have the four pin model that works fine with the Cactus trigger and I see no reason why it wouldn't work with the RP model.

August 21, 2009 7:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I waited a long time for these. But it looks like CyberSync for me because I don't like CR123A batteries...

August 21, 2009 8:40 PM  
Blogger Tony said...

Thanks for the great info David.

One question though, I understand that with the JrX standalone system (JrX transmitter to JrX receiver) high speed sync wont work, but as you point out, the PX's will.

So do the JrX receivers achieve HSS when triggered from a PX transmitter, as RP announced way back in February?

"We’re happy to announce, the new JrX Receiver (both versions) when activated by a PX Transmitter attached to any Master device on a Canon or Nikon camera, will activate the lighting device so the exposure is proper using high speed sync all the way up to 1/8000 with no hint of a shutter in the image."

August 21, 2009 8:50 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

How long before Rudy posts a diagram on how to wire the sensor from a 285 to the quench pin on the cube and we can control any old thyristor controlled automatic flash with them?

August 21, 2009 10:52 PM  
Blogger seenew said...

Oh, crap.

I just realized you can't high-speed sync using a JrX transmitter. You've got to use a PX transmitter, right? Crap crap crap. I already ordered the JrX transmitter and four JrX receivers.

August 22, 2009 3:17 AM  
Blogger Bob Joziasse said...

Greatly interesting post David!
What I miss though, is a test about the interference with cell phones and the like. Lets say in a crowded place, like a your basketball match.

I've looked at the shop, but unfortunately they only sell the US/CA version currently. I'm in Europe, so I'll just have to wait...

August 22, 2009 4:43 AM  
Blogger Kevin Housen said...

Thanks for the review. I made the PW TT1/FlexTT5 jump a while back and am not an entirely happy camper (did it fire that time? How about now?).

Any word on how the JrXs perform with the noisy Canon flashes, esp the 580EXII?

August 22, 2009 8:55 AM  
Blogger Dave said...

Thanks for a cool blog. Just a note on the Tenergy CR123 setup. I've been using this for my Minolta light meter and my SU800 commander with no problems. The batteries last about two weeks of pretty regular use and the kit comes with 4 so I always have a spare on hand.I highly recommend this if you need CR123's.

August 22, 2009 10:42 AM  
Blogger Lenn Long - Creative Director of PageantFire said...

After buying a couple of Tamrac's MicroSync Digital triggers and a handful of recievers I have been unhappy with the long term strength of product. Therefore I will eagerly wait to see longterm reviews before jumping on another low cost mini-trigger. Although I have really appreciated Tamrac's excellent repair service, I wish I didn't have to use it so often. Hopefully these little guys will hold up better than Microsync's do. And with Pocket Wizards you pay more, but I don't think I have ever heard any complaints on them being delicate.

August 22, 2009 11:53 AM  
Blogger wunderwelt said...

unfortunately, like the poster above I also do have mostly problems with the flextt5. functionality is great, but the radios are just very, very reliable. and if you go out to shoot, you don't know, if they will be working. or even the next time you press the button.
it keeps me even from selling them on ebay, because you just can't do that to a fellow photographer

August 22, 2009 12:06 PM  
Blogger Ericson Calderon said...

How does the power adjustment work on canon or nikon flashes?

Ericson

August 22, 2009 1:46 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

SOURCE FOR CHEAP CR123A BATTERIES:

You've probably seen those flashlights mounted on small arms in the US Military. They are mostly made by a company named SUREFIRE and they operate on those very same CR123A batteries. Several years ago and due to the high cost of the "name brand" batteries, Surefire decided to provide their own brand of CR123A's and to make them affordable. They felt that they could sell more flashlights if the cost of the batteries were less. You can visit their website www.surefire.com to purchase a box of 12 CR123A's for about 21 bucks - a little over $1.00 each. I have no affiliation with Surefire except for the use of their products. Hope this helps.

August 22, 2009 1:49 PM  
Blogger Rob and Gail said...

"Just Nikon & Canon? What about us Sony shooters?

Um, you can get a D3X chip on a Sony for under $3k USD. You knew you were going to have to give up something, right?"

Actually Sony users get the Sony chip. D3x users get the Sony chip only they pay more for it. Oh, and don't be fooled into thinking that Sony users are giving up anything. We aren't. :)

August 22, 2009 4:04 PM  
Blogger Bowen Photography said...

Can someone explain teh setup with these units to remote fire a camera?

I'm using a Canon 30D and 300D.

Thanks.

August 22, 2009 5:54 PM  
Blogger Paulo Rodrigues said...

Us Sony Shooters get the D3x chip for $3k and we don't have to give up a thing. We can use an adaptor and still use the RP. :)

Now if only I had $3k!

August 22, 2009 6:09 PM  
Blogger QuintusPhoto.com said...

Could you please explain the phrase "you may have to lose the error correction to get your top sync speed" with regard to Canon Sync Speeds?

Are you saying there is a shutter speed "error correction" custom function in the flash?

Thanks!

August 22, 2009 8:10 PM  
Blogger admin said...

Hello,

General comment/question here: so far I've only used Nikon's excellent IR technology for wireless flash. The only problems, as everybody knows, are range and line of sight.

Is there any reason why Nikon (or a third party) doesn't create a powerful IR transmitter that would fit in the hotshoe?

Make it omni-directional and a lot more powerful, while puting a good IR filter on it so that no "accidental visible light" would spill from it.

Such a device seem really easy to make, and would help a lot of photographers.

So: why don't these things exist?

Thanks

Loa

August 22, 2009 11:02 PM  
Blogger admin said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

August 22, 2009 11:03 PM  
Blogger CK said...

So should i get a PX transmitter and three JRX's to mount on my 580ex II's? Manual control is fine, as long as i can remotly control the power output AND sync over 1/250th. YES??

August 23, 2009 12:13 AM  
Blogger Kenneth Berntsen said...

Another source for CS123A Lithium Rechargable batteries.

http://www.thomasdistributing.com/shop/delkin-rcr123a-kit-with-one-charger-and-two-rechargeable-cr123a-batteriesbrrechargeable-lithium-ionbrreplaces-disposable-cr123-batteries-p-961.html?SP_id=&osCsid=a98rm8a91donrsllit8gi3gna7

August 23, 2009 12:15 AM  
Blogger DoDa! said...

Anonymous said...
I waited a long time for these. But it looks like " for me because I don't like CR123A batteries...

I have CyberSyncs and a DIYS connection to place the receiver on the flash that works great, see here:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/doda_foto/sets/72157614595584958/
simple $2, 10 minutes your set to go. I can still use a stoffen or jells, haven't tried any other modifiers

August 23, 2009 12:16 AM  
Blogger Impact Imaging said...

Will there be a radio module for the Sekonic meter?

August 23, 2009 5:08 AM  
Blogger Jonathan Histed said...

Great! seem like good bits of kit: but...I love the ergonomics of knobs for manual brightness setting (I hate the ergonomics on my canon 580 II and come to that every other flash gun I've ever seen: worse than lighting controllers I was using in theater 30 yeras ago that were ancient then...)

but I'd like to play with ETTL too:(sorry DH: the dark side beckons). so.. that means I have to buy JrXs and PXs what the !?!?!?!?

Does anyone from the RP inner sanctum know if there will be a superset product launched that will have the excellent knob control of manual levels; but ETTL capability?

Jonathan Histed

August 23, 2009 8:14 AM  
Blogger Rachael & Rueben said...

David, First post... longtime follower...

You said for my Sony, I could get a D3x chip. How so?

August 23, 2009 12:05 PM  
Blogger Robert said...

Thanks for the longer review--these look very promising.

Just for clarity, the Tenergy rechargeable cells you show are actually LiFePO4 (lithium iron phosphate) not NiMH (nickel-metal hydride) which is why they are 3.0v (actually ~3.2v) compared to the 1.2-1.5v we are use to with NiMH. The good news is that LiFePO4 tend to have less self-discharge than NiMH.

-Robert

August 23, 2009 2:25 PM  
Blogger tim10243 said...

Hi,
thanks for the Q&As. Here are some more Qs:

- As far as I understand, the RPcube is just a "transporter" for the signals from the JrX receiver to the hotshoe of the flash. The signals won´t be transformed or manipulated in the RPcube, right? So won´t it be much better for Nikon useres to take a SC-18 cable, cut it into two halfs and ad a 3,5mm stereojack at the cutted end to connect the SC-18 to the receiver? If this works, you could connect the uncutted end to an AS-10 and combine more flashes with one JrX receiver this way as well.

- The JrX gives you just the opportunity to adjust the power in steps of full stops, right? Or is it in half stop steps or even smaler?

- The "quenchdelay" of the JrX is made to work with Flashes like the Nikon SB-800, right? So the "longest" quenchdelay will be round about 1/900 of a sec for full power and round about 1/36000 for 1/64 power. Do you see a way to work with flashes which will use a much longer quenchdelay? For example the metz 60CT1 would need round about 1/200 of a sec for full power.

August 23, 2009 4:58 PM  
Blogger jphphotography said...

A great source for decent cheap camera stuff including rechargeable CR123A's is here http://www.dealextreme.com/search.dx/search.cr123a#400

Free shipping but sometimes it takes a few weeks, as long as you don't need them asap I'd look here.

I've gotten great 3rd party gear for my cameras (battery grips, shutter cables, poverty wizards etc) over the last 2 years and had great experience and saved lots of $$$ My latest blog post shows how ~$30CND worth of gear from there made my G10 take IR photos ;)

August 23, 2009 5:41 PM  
Blogger Kenneth Berntsen said...

For Rachael & Rueben

Its called the A900. There is also the A850 which will have the same chip when announced.

For Jonathan Histed

Get a PX Transmitter and a JrX receiver or two. The PX transmitter will trigger you JrX receivers. Double check with the guys at Leap Devices first.

August 23, 2009 11:17 PM  
Blogger wayn0ka said...

First time commenter...

I'm trying to understand all the ins and outs of off camera flash attachments. A question for anyone that can help.

I'm getting the JrX Studio receivers, and I have Canon flashes with no PC inputs. I'm assuming that I am going to need a hot shoe/PC adapter for my setup to work.

My question is: for the manual adjustments to power to work, do I need a hotshoe adapter that is TTL compatible, or will any crappy adapter do? Thanks!!

August 24, 2009 2:55 PM  
Blogger Richard said...

What about us Sony shooters?

Um, you can get a D3X chip on a Sony for under $3k USD. You knew you were going to have to give up something, right?

well you can get a 12 dollar hotshoe convertor to go from sony/minolta to normal ISO hotshoe. i don't see any TTL prerequisites, you stated it will work on a Holga so i'm guessing we can have the D3x chip for under 3K plus $12 for a hotshoe adaptor (ps: gonna get even cheaper with the arrival of the SONY a850 next week)

August 24, 2009 4:12 PM  
Blogger Tejo said...

Here's my solution for the CR2 batteries.. It should work on the CR123 too, since they both have the same 3V..

http://sutejok.blogspot.com/2009/08/rocket-pack.html

August 25, 2009 8:45 AM  
Blogger Paul Pomeroy said...

For those of you who ordered yours last Thursday, as we did, ours arrived a few hours ago here in California. I installed the batteries, hooked them up and everything works as advertised. Most of our equipment is out on assignment today but I've been playing with some ABs triggered via a Canon XSi, and haven't encountered any problems.

August 26, 2009 8:12 PM  
Blogger Scott said...

Completely worth the money. I got mine on Tuesday (overnight shipping is expensive!) and they work perfectly with my AB1600.

However, I will note that the receiver feels pretty cheap. I wish that the knobs for adjusting the power level had notches instead of being a free wheel.

Also, the lack of a 3.5mm > PC adapter leaves much to be desired.

August 27, 2009 8:21 AM  
Blogger Erik Moore said...

Just got mine tonight too. Totally stupid that there's no pc adaptor. I'll have to go buy a separate piece to use with my SB flashes.

August 27, 2009 11:16 PM  
Blogger HomeyD5 said...

I got two sets of the JRx studios, plus some cords from Flash Zebra. Am now able to hold one transmitter in my hand, hit the test button, remotely trip the shutter on my D300 through a JRx receiver via a F.Z. 10-pin cord.... and then the JRx transmitter on the hotshoe of the D300 fires my studio strobe on a separate channel! How cool is that?! Completely wireless self-portraits, I'll be come my own best customer...

September 02, 2009 10:28 AM  
Blogger Raymond said...

Great review...We ordered a pair of JrX Studio Kits yesterday.

Situation: When shooting dark wedding receptions we want to use on camera flashes on TTL mode for fill light while using a 2nd strobe on manual on a stand.

I'm trying to figure out the "cleanest and most efficient" way to attach the transmitter to the camera (would like to avoid PC sync on the side of cam if possible).

Do any of you know of a hot shoe that would let me put my speedlite on (while operating on TTL) with a 3.5mm male to connect to the JrX transmitter?

Thanks,

Raymond
www.moraimaphoto.com

September 04, 2009 2:32 PM  
Blogger MattWPBS said...

One problem that really might be worth highlighting - you're buggered if you take these outside of North America. The 900Mhz frequency they work on is the standard mobile phone frequency elsewhere, and could lead to a lot of misfires. I know a couple of people here in the UK who realised this just prior to getting them shipped somewhere in the US to forward to here.

Could lead to some 'fun' situations for anyone in the US who travels overseas with their kit as well.

September 07, 2009 4:13 AM  
Blogger Eric Lincoln said...

I couldn't figure which model of RadioPopper I should be looking at for my use. I use two Nikons for weddings and portraits with some advertising, with two SB800s, and just need to be able to set-up and shoot quickly. I called the company and a very upbeat girl there said to get the PX version, and then add another flash and a JrX later if I need more light -- the PX is compatible with Nikon and Canon TTL, whereas the JrX is only manual control and is meant to be more of a support to the PX.

September 08, 2009 12:29 PM  
OpenID jamesmatthew said...

I'm wondering what kind of hotshoe adaptor i can use to mount the jrx receiver to my canon flashes...any ideas out there?? I have a canon 580ex, and a 430ex. jrx transmitter and receiver. Would the canon oa-2 work?

thanks
j

September 15, 2009 3:00 PM  
Blogger Jonathan Elderfield said...

Please excuse my lack of knowledge on this or if it's been answered and I am not seeing it but...

On the JrX system. This whole RPCube thing confuses me. I sent an email to the 'popper people and in their reply they don't mention the need for it even though it's mentioned on the sales part of the site.

I want to get the transmitter and receivers to fire Canon 580 EXIIs and a 430 in manual mode (firing from a 5D), but I want to be able to change to power level remotely from the transmitter.

Do I need the basic or the studio?
Do I need the RP Cube?

HELP - someone please explain.

Thanks,
Jonathan
www.jefoto.com

September 21, 2009 9:39 AM  
Blogger Johnny said...

Can you mix RP Jrx with PW II ?

Johnny Villafuerte

October 20, 2009 3:35 AM  
Blogger lecycliste said...

Radiopopper JrX transmitter extender for flat-topped cameras

Radiopopper’s JrX promises remote flash control with any hot-shoed camera. It uses UHF frequencies to avoid the line-of-sight requirements of optical remotes. But there are mechanical problems with some cameras.

The JrX transmitter’s antenna is a little knob protruding from the bottom, clearly designed for an SLR’s pentaprism shoe location to raise it above the camera’s body. On cameras with flat tops, you can’t slide the JrX into the hot shoe because the antenna blocks it.

What you need is an extender with a hot shoe on top. I had an unused shoe-mounting Wein Safe-Sync lying around. It did the trick nicely on my Leica M8 and M6 TTL.

It works on my wife’s Canon G10 too.

So yes, there is an off-the-shelf solution when you want to use a JrX with your Leica M or other flat-topped camera.

If you’d rather go the DIY route, a replacement hot foot and shoe can both be had fairly cheaply. Metal Supermarket can supply a small piece of aluminum stock for an extension. They can also recommend a local machine shop to tool it for the foot and shoe attachment points, and the hole for the ‘hot’ wire.

Find the nearest Metal Supermarket at
www.metalsupermarkets.com

Mark Bohrer
www.activelightphotography.com

November 22, 2009 2:23 PM  
Blogger lecycliste said...

Can you use a DIY RPCube with a Metz 32MZ-3 / SCA3402 combination?

Yes you can.

DIY RPCube and Metz 32MZ-3 / SCA3402

Just made my own Nikon RPCube and successfully tested it with a Metz 32MZ-3 / SCA3402 (dedicated Nikon).

I sold everything Nikon when I switched to Canon in 2003 - except the Metz 32MZ-3 and an old SU4. Also had an SCA3501 for TTL with my Leica M film cameras, another reason to keep the 32MZ-3.

But the SCA3501's TTL mode doesn't work with the M8, and the 32MZ-3's single manual power level isn't very useful.

The JrX changes everything. It works with the M8, or any camera with a hot shoe.

Variable manual power with old TTL strobes and Leica M8

To get variable manual power, be sure to switch the 32MZ-3's mode to TTL to allow output control from the JrX transmitter. The JrX gives 1/1 - 1/128 power variability to any compatible flash. The 32MZ-3 has just one power level in manual mode, so that's a big deal - it's like getting new features from a firmware upgrade.

With my old Wein Safe-Sync underneath the JrX transmitter, it mounts on my flat-topped Leica M8. So I have wireless sync and variable manual power with a compact Metz strobe and an M8. It's the strobist's ultimate light-weight setup.

Mark Bohrer
www.activelightphotography.com

November 24, 2009 9:06 PM  
Blogger LH Photography said...

Thanks so much for this article.

I would like to use the jrx system, but after reading this, I am not sure if it will work with my gear. I don't set my flashes to manual mode, they are set to itt. Is the jrx system able to do that?
I usually have two configurations:
1-I have a Nikon d300 which I use with an sb900 (so I would need the jrx transmitter to plug in via the pc sync cable) and the receiver would be plugged into an sb600 off camera.
2-Nikon d300 without any flash mounted and sb900 and sb600 off camera, pop up flash acts as the master. In this case I would need the transmiter and to receiver ine for ea flash. Would the sb900 be able to be fired?

Thanks in advance!

December 03, 2009 10:50 PM  
Blogger Alex said...

Following YerkWorks' guidelines it's pretty easy to get the 285HV working with the JRX's, just soldered in to a couple of points:

http://www.flickr.com/groups/strobist/discuss/72157622705705379/#comment72157623204672176

January 13, 2010 5:56 PM  
Blogger Phil Townsend said...

I stuffed the electronics in a canon cable OC-E3 UglY but it works Now I can use my Canon flashes with the Radio Popper.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/philtownsendji/

January 26, 2010 12:18 PM  
Blogger Phil Townsend said...

So I can now use My Canon Flashes,Nikon Flashes and they will all work together on my D700, D300 and the Canon G10 and G11. Mix and match... Radio Popper jr's are great. I love the vol control. It makes set up a snap.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/philtownsendji/

January 26, 2010 12:25 PM  
Blogger TVGizmo said...

Check out this Canon solution...
www.icmgt.com/W9LZ

March 06, 2010 1:04 PM  
Blogger Eric Uys said...

freakin asshole's their whole campaign in the beginning was that the Jrx units could HSS with ANY strobe, go check it out, that's what they said.. I hate it when companies lie to people.. they should have their sync cords cut..

June 01, 2010 5:07 AM  
Blogger David said...

@Eric-

Um, what?

Let alone their "whole campaign," I don't remember them ever claiming that a JrX would HSS with "any flash."

Link, please.

June 01, 2010 5:46 AM  
Blogger Matt Anderson said...

I purchased a set of 6 of the Tenergy rechargeable batteries over a year ago. I just changed the battery last weekend in my JrX Transmitter for the first time! I changed the battery in the JrX receiver about 2 months ago.

Total Battery Life:
About 12 months for the receiver
14 months for the transmitter!

The other Tenergy batteries were fine. Only charged them once, when I bought them!

December 16, 2010 8:52 PM  
Blogger LUIGI CIORRA said...

hey David thank you for the in-depth review. I had the TT 1 and Tt 5 for my newer strobes that were the SB 910 and the SB 700. They were pretty good in the beginning but there are so many codes with specific flashing lights on the transceiver that you're supposed to know when you're flashes are not syncing up correctly. Now I'm an all about everything Photographer in every category. I was assisting another photographer on another gig one night and he set up 3 strobes Nikon SB 800 Nikon SB 26 and SB 28. the way he was able to control each flash in TTL mode it was amazing to me. I've used the commander mode on my Nikon system and I hated it because the range really sucks. But Radio poppers which is the wireless system I now own is truly an amazing system. The only issue I have with Radio poppers is that I have to change the RP Cube every now and then from excessive wear but other than that it's a great system I have no complaints and I'm extremely happy that I am no longer using those retarded PocketWizard TT1 and tt5 Wireless Triggers

July 01, 2013 11:01 AM  

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