UPDATE, JUNE 2024: Strobist was archived in 2021. Here is what I am up to now. -DH


Cold Shoe Your Monoblocs for Better Radio Performance

Here's an idea that is so simple I am surprised it did not strike me sooner.

It's one of several neat little design improvements in the new Einsteins, but it never occurred to me how cheap and easy it would be to retrofit my old AlienBees.

When I attach my PWs to monoblocs, I usually hang them from the flash's grip lug, mostly because that is the most convenient place. It works, but they dangle when the light stand gets moved about and the antenna is not ideally located.

Some people use brackets to secure their PWs to the light stand in a more rigid way. This solves the dangling issues, but the antenna is designed to work best when it is above the electronics housed in the flash unit.

When the Einsteins came out, Paul Buff designed the modular radio receiver units to plug into a socket on top of the flash. This is perfect. No flopping about, and it's at an ideal location right out of the box.

When I get a new umbrella swivel I usually ditch the supplied cold shoe, preferring the more secure pin equipped OEM foot, or a dual locking Frio cold shoe.

I was looking at a few of the discarded cold shoes from the swivel one day and got the idea to repurpose them for use on top of my monoblocs. (I use Profoto Acute pack-and-heads, but still keep a few ABs around for back-up and/or aux lights.)

A little schmear of quick-drying epoxy in the utility room, and two minutes later my ABs had an ideal PocketWizard (or any other remote) mount, ready to go.

It's very sturdy, does not flop about and offers ideal antenna location and orientation. And pretty much for free if you have a cold shoe or two lying about, as I'll bet many of you do.

If so inclined, you could also do this to your speedlights. But if you travel with them tight inside slots in your roller, the extra quarter inch of thickness might make a difference. But worth a thought, anyway.


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