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Pre-trigger or regular Pocket Wizard Cable????
Jody Grigg, Photographer
Littleton | CO | USA | Posted: 9:50 AM on 03.08.12
->> Jumping into more gear, I already I have a PW Mini that I use with my Einstein unit. I am looking to gettting a PW FlexTT5 for various reason, one being I want to do some remote camera shots. I plan on using my Mini as a Off Camera/Manual trigger to trigger the FlexTT5 but I can't decide which PW cable to buy either the pre-trigger or regular cable. Plus if I get the pre-trigger cable how do you go about turning on or off the pre-trigger function as stated on the PW website.
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Keith Lucas, Photographer
Verona | VA | USA | Posted: 10:03 AM on 03.08.12
->> Jody...I am far from an expert but I reccomend speaking with Michael Bass Designs. Michael is really good at listening to what you plan and providing options. His stuff is very good and I have bought several cables from him. I recently bought a cable with a toggle switch for the pre trigger function to use on a floor remote. My 2 cents so to speak....
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 10:41 AM on 03.08.12
->> You can also check out the cables at for a fraction of the cost. I find that their cables last (for me) just as long as those from PW at a fraction of the price. If your are going to do a lot of remote work buy spares. I can have 3 FZ cables in my kit for what 1 PW cables would cost me.
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George Bridges, Photographer, Photo Editor
Washington | DC | USA | Posted: 12:37 PM on 03.08.12
->> The PW pre-trigger cable has a switch box allowing you to choose whether the camera stays ready-to-fire at all times or will allow it to go to sleep.

If the camera is in the awake, or ready-to-fire, mode you can't view images on the screen, same if you have the shutter button lightly pressed. You have to toggle the switch so you can review exposures, etc.

I think newer Flash Zebra cords have this switch as well. Early models were on awake at all times and you had to unplug the cable to check settings.

For a game you want the awake at all times mode as there will be no delay in your firing and a camera battery can last the full time. If it is an event where you have to put the camera up hours before the event (and you can't run AC power to keep the camera going) you may need to choose the mode where the camera can "sleep." There is a slight delay in firing but better than having the battery run out and you get no frames of the big play at the end of the game.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 12:53 PM on 03.08.12
->> George from what I understand (and I could be wrong) there is a new cable for the MultiMax and it may be the same for the Flex that lets you turn the 'sleep' function on and off from the PW. So you can setup a backboard remote hours before a game and let the camera sleep, then when the game starts you send a 'stay awake' command via the MutliMax and the camera is forced awake like if you had flipped the switch on the stay awake cable. I haven't looked it up but that is how it was explained to me and FlashZebra lists this 'new' cable on their site.
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Jim Pierce, Photographer
Waltham | MA | USA | Posted: 4:15 PM on 03.08.12
->> Jody,

I have the regular PW cable and it works fine My experience with the Flashzebra version was not good. cable shorted out after a month and was the failure mechanism during a HR derby, no images of 30 batters. We spend so much on other gear why worry about $50. just my opinion.

The fact that you should/could buy a many of these for a spare does you no good when it is in a hockey net, behind a backboard etc. You do not know it failed until it is too late. A short/bad internal connection is intermintent, a slam duck, getting bumped in a net etc, could cause this short to fail.

just my opinion I would buy a PW version.

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Michael McNamara, Photographer, Photo Editor
Phoenix | AZ | USA | Posted: 4:27 PM on 03.08.12
->> I haven't set up a basketball remote in about four years, but I always used the pre-trigger cable by PocketWizard. I could get to the game very early and set up, and I would set the switch so the camera could go to sleep. I would mount the switch someplace sturdy, so when I was getting ready for the game to start, I could reach up with a monopod and flip the switch to pre-trigger mode.

It was a low-tech solution, but the camera battery always made it through the game.
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Matt Cashore, Photographer
South Bend | IN | USA | Posted: 4:55 PM on 03.08.12
->> I do remotes often. I've had bad experiences with off-brand pre-release cords, though I've also had more than one PW-brand cord go bad. The pre-trigger option is the way to go. You don't always have to use it in pre-trigger mode but when you need that functionality it's good to have the option.
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Jeff Gammons, Student/Intern, Photographer
Destin | Fl | USA | Posted: 9:20 PM on 03.08.12
->> Shawn rubbed off on me... I just make my own now.
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Rich Obrey, Photographer
Gorham | ME | USA | Posted: 9:34 PM on 03.08.12
->> Am I doing something wrong?

During a basketball game, I just set my remote camera to stay awake for two minutes, which is usually plenty of time.

If there is a longer gap, a time out or foul shot, I'll just squeeze off a shot when the players are headed up court to wake it up.

I've never seen the need for a pre-trigger cord, especially given its effect on battery duration.
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Mark J. Terrill, Photographer
Simi Valley | CA | USA | Posted: 10:07 PM on 03.08.12
->> Eric,

You are absolutely right. That's the kind of cable that I use. There is no need for the little box with a switch on the new Multimax's. The new cables plug into the bottom of the receiver.
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Eric Canha, Photographer
Brockton | MA | United States | Posted: 12:28 AM on 03.09.12
->> Jim maybe a design difference between the Nikon 10 pin plug and the Canon 3 pin? I've never had a cable fail mid-game. I'm not saying it didn't happen to you, I just know that I've never had one go bad mid-game. As for carrying spares. If I'm carrying a cable for something I'm also carrying a backup for it. Wires fail and the last thing I want is to not have a backup when it happens.

FWIW I just assume make my own if the 10 pin plug is available generically I already make my own triggers and other assorted wires. So if someone here knows of a place where I can buy just the 10 pin plugs let me know. I can't wait to get the D4 and the WT-5 and have browser based control of my remotes.
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Israel Shirk, Photographer, Assistant
Boise | ID | US | Posted: 2:41 AM on 03.09.12
->> I make my own... Costs about $30 each, $35 with a pre-trigger. Most of it is for an N3 connector off ebay. Tools for the first one would bring it to maybe $60 total.
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Matt Ryerson, Photographer
Lincoln | NE | US | Posted: 4:39 PM on 03.13.12
->> I've had good experience with Flashzebra. They are only $27 for the pre-trigger so I'd rule out making them.

I've used the Flex to fire a 7D and it was a little tricky. The only way I could get the motor drive to work was to go into the Flex with the PW software (advanced settings) and "disable shoe communications" otherwise it just fires every 3 seconds or so. But once I got it working I could use the Mini on my Mk. IV to fire both cameras at the same time. Pressing the shutter button halfway would wake up the remote camera without making it fire. You can also use the Mini to fire it by just pressing test like normal (if I remember correctly).
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Thread Title: Pre-trigger or regular Pocket Wizard Cable????
Thread Started By: Jody Grigg
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