"Aputure" Trigmaster Plus vs. Cactus V5 vs Yongnuo

Started May 21, 2012 | Discussions thread
OP ComputerDork Regular Member • Posts: 225
Aputure TrigMaster Plus: bad PC cables in 4 units

I got my Trigmaster Plus transceiver units and tested them pretty extensively. Everything seems to work fine except that the included 2.5mm to PC cables included in all four boxes don't fit properly in their own transceiver's connectors. Using those cables the transceivers only trigger half the time or less.

After extensive testing with the 2.5mm-> 3.5mm cables I found no problems with them, and I noticed that the 2.5mm connectors on the PC cables didn't seem to fit very tightly. I also tested with all the transceivers and different devices with the PC sync output, so I'm sure there's nothing wrong with the transceivers or anything else, just the cables. The PC connectors on their cables fit very tightly in both devices so I'm pretty sure the problem is not with their PC connectors, just the out-of-spec 2.5mm connectors on their PC cables.

I measured the apparently defective connectors and found that they were more like 2mm wide (maybe even a hair less) and 12mm long while the working connectors seem to be 2.5mm (or very close to it) wide and 10mm long. Sure enough, if I pulled one of the defective male connectors out of the transceiver by about 2mm then the rate of successful triggerings became much more reliable.

Since four different cables included in four different boxes failed to work properly with four different transceivers, I'm sure this isn't a random defect. It seems that Aputure bought a bad batch of 2.5mm-> PC sync cables from some supplier and sent them out without testing them. Not sure I'd call that a design problem, but maybe a problem with their Quality Assurance process. (I have to admit it seems pretty nature to assume that when you buy 2.5mm connectors from a supplier, they're going to be 2.5mm instead of 2mm or 1.8mm.)

Anyway, I sent email using their support form on their web site, though I'm not sure the form worked so I also mailed sales@aputure.com to make sure. Hopefully they'll just send me new cables with properly manufactured connectors.

Other than this cable issue, which many people probably won't notice as it seems like the use of PC connectors is becoming less common, the triggers are pretty good. They trigger the shutter just fine and the transmitter seems to be pretty reliable about triggering the receivers when it does have a good connection to it's sync signal source. So they seem like good products that just got a bad batch of cables included with them due to some bad supplier and a QA oversight.

Only things that I wish were different about them:

  • The main button on the transceivers doesn't just test the flash when pressed by itself when the transceiver is in TX/RX mode. (In RX mode it triggers only it's own connected flash which is the right thing to do I think.) You can send a test flash trigger signal, but you have to hold the main button down halfway ("autofocus" position) and press the channel switching button. This isn't totally unreasonable though because when in TX/RX mode pressing the big button means "shutter release" and it would be impossible to distinguish between shutter release and "test flash" in TX/RX mode. Normally having to hold down this awkward combination of buttons to trigger the flash manually isn't so bad, but it could be annoying in some situations that involve frequently firing flashes manually (such as multiflash exposires or a flash at some point during a long exposure). A better solution would probably be to have seperate RX, TX, and "TX/RX" modes.

  • The 1/4-20 hole on the bottom is good but I wish it had a cold shoe on it too. Unfortunately my umbrella holders don't have a way to provide a 1/4-20 post (only a cold shoe) so i'd need a cold shoe adapter to use the hole with my deficient umbrella holders. I'd say this is really more of a problem with the umbrella brackets and that cold shoes on the transceivers along with the hole would just be a nice feature to have.

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