How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

Started Oct 7, 2011 | Discussions
The Ginger Avenger New Member • Posts: 3
How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together
13

I’ve written this up to hopefully help others with similar set ups so that they can use their Micro Four Thirds cameras with a commonly available and cheap radio transceiver, the Yongnuo RF-603C, with remotely placed flashes. Anyone trying any of this does so at their own risk.

I shoot primarily with a Panasonic G3 Micro 4/3 camera and have recently been getting into some flash work. Obviously one is limited with a flash in the hot shoe so I decided to jump straight in and get a set of wireless radio triggers. I have used a Canon 580EX II and use Canons when I’m not using the little Panasonic so decided to go with some Canon biased triggers to suit both applications.

What I ended up getting was a set of 4 Yongnuo RF-603C triggers from eBay. They seemed to be faily well regarded on the web and fairly solid. I liked that they were transceivers so they were flexible too. When they arrived I discovered that unfortunately they were not suitable for the Panasonic/Olympus M4/3 hot shoe mount. The trigger did not recognise that the camera was there. The camera did know that a flash was attached however.

Oddly I noticed that when both the camera and attached transceiver were on and the transceiver was being removed it did pick up that it was attached to a camera. This was as the first set of contacts had just fallen off the back of the hot shoe mount. At this point the camera was no longer aware that a camera was attached.

Following that line of thinking I dismantled a 603 to see where the pins went inside. As it turns out there are only 3 wires inside, one for ground, one for the standard centre pin and a 3rd. This last pin was one of the two that would have been making contact when it was only half on the camera. The other external contacts weren’t electrically connected to anything. I decided to solder a connection between the required pin pads to see what effect this had. Lo and behold it worked!

Below are some diagrams detailing the process.

Here is a standard Yongnuo RF-603C transceiver.

And here is the reverse. Note there are 5 pins plus ground via the hot shoe mount.

Opening the 603 by undoing 3 small screws reveals some simple but delicate internal components. The bit you are interested in is on the right hand section with 3 wires coming off it.

There are 4 further small screws holding the small circuit board to the case. Undo these and remove the case as shown. Be careful as there are 5 contacts and 5 small springs that will make a break for freedom as you remove this board!

If you look at the small circuit board you’ll find 5 small copper pads. On the reverse you will see that a track on the circuit board goes to the top right copper pad in the group of 4 in a square. We need this one to go to the top left copper pad. To do this I soldered 4 or 5 strands of thin copper wire between the two pads. Ensure that you get this wire as flat as you possibly can as any extra height will increase how much the spring for that contact is compressed and thus increase the contact pressure and make it harder to put the transceiver in the hot shoe once you’re finished.

Replace the contacts and pins in the case if they have fallen out. I have intentionally left one blank as this is the one that is duplicated and is not needed for this application. I have replaced the 2 other unused contacts to help with keeping the transceiver attached to the hot shoe as there is no locking mechanism built in. It will just slightly increase friction and help with locating it in the correct position.

Reassembly is the reverse of assembly. Hold the hot shoe plate, case circuit board, contacts and springs together and replace the 4 tiny screws in the now impossible to get to holes in the circuit board. Those of you with 3 small hands will be laughing but for the rest of us it’s a bit of a struggle.

Pop the case back together and add the 3 external screws. Watch to make sure you get the battery contacts back in the correct place.

The finished article. Note the missing contact.

Here’s the proof that it triggers from my Panasonic G3 (which I’ve used to take all of these pictures).

And here’s a picture of the modified transceiver with a standard one behind it.

I hope that proves useful to someone out there!

greerd Contributing Member • Posts: 763
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

Great How-to, bookmarked.

Thanks
--
Doug Greer

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Prime_Lens New Member • Posts: 7
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

What about the flash?
Since it is just a trigger, you can use any Canon flash correct?

Thanks in advance!

OP The Ginger Avenger New Member • Posts: 3
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

Apologies for the delay in reply.

The modifcation is only rewiring the input pins of the 603C intended to be used as the transmitter. This any 603 being used as a receiver works exactly the same as it would previously.

I have tried the transceiver modified above and my Panasonic G3 with two different brands of flashes intended for Canons and they have both worked as they should. One was a Yongnuo YN560 and the other a Canon 560EX II.

Also you can still use the modified transceiver as a receiver for a standard 603C on a Canon DSLR as the receiver functionality is unaffected.

I'll check in on this a bit more frequently in case there are any other questions!

cheapazn New Member • Posts: 14
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

I've done something similar to this. I connected two connections via a small cable and it works perfectly. Do not get the Nikon version because it won't sit snuggly like the Canon in the "working" position. I'll post pictures of what I have later. This will only allow the camera to transmit signals to fire the flash and only at 1/125 shutter speed with my GH1. My E-300 will allow 1/250. Anything faster and shutter speed is too fast for the transmission and you get a black picture. It signals my YN-560 and Olympus FL-36 just fine. I really like it.

00Edem00 New Member • Posts: 4
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

Hello,

I have tried the same with a Nikon version to get it work on my Sony.
The problems which I came across are:

1, if I wire them I got the red light on the transmitter which causing problem to adjust any setting on the flash while attached to the transmitter and camera still not firing the flash.

2, even if I ignore that once I take the batteries out or switch the transmitter off and switch back on, I will not get the light coming back on...

Any ideas??

Thank you!

aVolanche Veteran Member • Posts: 3,786
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

Nice work!

I'm sure this is well-documented, but the older Yongnuo RF 602 works with my G3 (Canon version) with no modification, for the soldering-challenged. I've used it with a 580EX and a Sunpak 433D.

It should be mentioned that these are purely manual systems. The RF (rather than infrared) signal gives great latitude in their use. I have been amazed by the range.....and NO need for line of sight to the flash. It's a remarkable piece for the price!

Fred

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cheguevara New Member • Posts: 1
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

Thank you for this. I had these triggers for my 5dmk2 but they didnt want to trigger on my GF1, but they did with my sold E-PL1. and for a few months i hated a fact i needed to use it on hotshoe. Just great. Btw i modified this since i had no soldering gun handy, i put a little folded piece of a alu-foil and sticked its sides with a small pieces of a duckt tape.
Almost bought a ttl flash cable i order to have flash synced.

hinting Contributing Member • Posts: 745
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together
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Bobby Handal
Bobby Handal Veteran Member • Posts: 5,508
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

I would love to know how to modify the Nikon Version of the rf603 ??? is it the same? please help??

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alendrake Junior Member • Posts: 39
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

On my E-PL1 this exact RF603 didn't work unlike cheguevara 's case.

So I modified according to instructions, using aluminium foil though, which I fixed with a tape on the other side of the contacts board.
And now it works! Great many thanks to OP for this nice how-to!

Walt Palmer
Walt Palmer Regular Member • Posts: 338
OK, sync speed?

This is a great mod - thanks! My question is, having RF-602s already, are the RF-603s going to sync FASTER? I can currently get 1/125 consistently, 1/160 occasionally, 1/200th never. Will the RF-603 sync at 1/250th (published max sync) or beyond??

I'd hate to do all this work only to find no improvement in sync speed. I need to overpower sunlight, so I need speed. Can someone who has the RF-603s please verify they sync at 1/250th on an OM-D or similar.

Thanks.

wam1980 New Member • Posts: 2
Re: OK, sync speed?

Hi Walt,

the YN 603 synced at 1/500th sec on the EOS 1D with electronic shutter (with cable I think I could do 1/1000th). On my EOS 600d with a mechanical shutter and native sync speed of 1/200th sec it only syncs at max 1/160th sec (with cable I could go up to 1/250th so you do loose  a bit of sync speed).

So it will very much depend on your camera but I guess if you have an electronic shutter you should see an increase in shutter speed, if you have a DSLR with mechanical shutter you will need to buy a new camera as they all sync too slow for your purposes.

Also mind the limitations of your flash - you can not sync faster than your flashes t1 without loosing some of the flash output power. So you might not have a black frame but not notice any difference when changing flash output power.

Hope this helps.

Cheers,

Markus

wam1980 New Member • Posts: 2
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

Great howto, thank you very much for posting this helpful information!

Also workes fine with my Panasonic LX-7.

The suggestion of bridgeing the contacts with aluminum foil is also a good one which I used to initially test the modification on my camera. But I was afraid that the aluminum foil might just wear out when I need the flash so I then did the soldering as per the initial post to have a more reliable system.

The LX-7 and modded RF-603C sync well at 1/500th of a second which is really cool and better than with the most expensive high end DSLRs. If you need a faster shutter you can connect a PC cord to the RF-603 and the flash and it syncs up to the cameras fastest shutter speed of 1/4000th (so the wireles transmitter is used as a PC adapter to avoid the wireless delay and make use of the faster shutter at the expense of having to use a cable)

bobcoss Regular Member • Posts: 357
Yongnuo RF-603C modification for Olympus PEN E-PM

Hi Everyone

I just made this modification to the Yongnuo RF-603C for my wife's Olympus PEN E-PM1 camera.   It worked perfectly to control some old Canon 540EZ flashes.  I was able to get shutter speeds up to 1/200th.  It seems odd to me that a camera with an electronic shutter like this can't get very high shutter speeds.

Bob Coss

mshafik
mshafik Contributing Member • Posts: 836
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

Thanks a lot for your support, I successfully have it working on my OMD, I've wrote about it here:

http://betterfamilyphotos.blogspot.com/2013/01/yongnuo-rf-603-olympus-om-d.html

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werdnal New Member • Posts: 1
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together
1

I have modded the RF-603N (nikon) using conductive aluminum tape across the furthest right two contacts (with leads facing you). Works well!! No soldering!

mshafik
mshafik Contributing Member • Posts: 836
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

werdnal wrote:

I have modded the RF-603N (nikon) using conductive aluminum tape across the furthest right two contacts (with leads facing you). Works well!! No soldering!

So you connected the same ones as in the Canon version, right?

Works with OM-D as well?

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Aleo Veuliah
MOD Aleo Veuliah Forum Pro • Posts: 14,634
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

Good how to. Thanks.


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Mahmoud Mousef Senior Member • Posts: 2,604
Re: How to get a Yongnuo RF-603C and Panasonic G3 to work together

werdnal wrote:

I have modded the RF-603N (nikon) using conductive aluminum tape across the furthest right two contacts (with leads facing you). Works well!! No soldering!

If it's not too much trouble, could you please post a picture?

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