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Ebay hot shoe accessory

Discussion in 'Accessories' started by OzRay, Apr 9, 2014.

  1. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I recently bought an eBay hot shoe accessory and it came in the mail today:

    hot shoe1.

    hot shoe2.

    I wanted this so that I could use my FL-14 flash on the E-M1 with the 4/3 lenses (to avoid cutoff), as well as to be able to use a flash off-camera via the PC sync cord. Unfortunately, the adapter only works via the PC sync attachment and when I tested the connections with a meter, there were some blanks. So I unscrewed the case and found this:

    hot shoe3.

    Only two of the wires connect to the flash terminals, but not even correctly for the Olympus/Canon configuration. The unit is otherwise very well made and appears quite sturdy, but why the missing wires? This is supposedly for a Canon camera, where the terminals are the same as for Olympus, other than one which is not used.

    I've contacted the seller and I'm awaiting a response.
     
  2. stargate

    stargate Mu-43 Regular

    131
    Aug 14, 2013
    Greece
    The red and the black wires seem correctly connected. I do not understand why the white is also connected to the middle hot shoe contact. Since it is obviously not an expensive accessory, I would remove the white wire from the center post and try to connect, with additional wires, the corresponding contacts on an one-to-one basis and I am pretty sure it would provide full TTL.
     
  3. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I could rewire the hot shoe, but that's not the point; it was advertised as fully compatible with all Canon cameras and, without the wires, it's not compatible at all. I won't mention the seller until I get a response from them, but if it's not positive I will post their details.
     
  4. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    I'm not sure what you're complaining about.

    Universal ISO-compliant hotshoe to sync adapters are always manual-only. No TTL. You are NOT going to have the full five-pin/contact layout of the shoe represented by the wires, because a PC connection only has sync and ground. It's a simple short with two connections, which is why you only have two wires. No TTL, no HSS, no remote commanding. Just sync. That's all you ever get with a PC connection: the signal to fire. And that's the only signal that's identical between Canon and four-thirds hotshoes.

    On a flash hotshoe, all ISO-compatible hotshoes (i.e., everything except the Minolta hotshoe), has the sync signal as the center pin, and the side rails on the shoe as ground. Those are your only two connections. Period.

    With the PC sync connector, I believe the outer sleeve is ground, and the inner pin is the sync. Again. Only two connections.

    If the connector were 3mm (1/8") minijack, you'd again only have two connections: the base ring is ground, the tip is sync.

    They did not lie to you, you bought exactly what they described: a universal ISO-compliant manual-only hotshoe-to-PC adapter for a camera. These types of adapters typically come in two flavors: for the camera, and for the flash, and if this one is for the camera, that might explain why the hotshoe on top may not be doing what you think it should do.
     
  5. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Compatible to do what with? Fire a flash on manual, Fire with TTL, PC Sync flash?
     
  6. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    To answer both, if the internal wires had been attached to the connections, the shoe would have passed through all the correct signals to a compatible flash attached to the hot shoe. That's exactly how my Canon Off-Camera Shoe Cord 2 works. I simply wanted a hot shoe that would elevate my smaller Olympus flash units to clear the larger lenses. It serves this purpose from tests with the PC Sync cord, but I don't have TTL auto because of the lack of internally connected wires. The hot shoe is nothing more than a pass through, if correctly wired.
     
  7. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    But that didn't answer my question. Was the accessory sold to you with the promise of working TTL or was it just assumed? Some do have it, and others don't (regardless of the look of the top). They could have just stuck the Canon name on there for people who wanted to see their brand listed. The PC Sync cord will only fire manually, there isn't room for more connections. If putting the flash on the top makes it not fire at all, then it is defective. But without seeing the listing, you may have thought you were buying one thing (TTL compliant hot shoe accessory) and ended up buying something else (a manual only accessory listed as compatible with Canon cameras, which it is, just not Canon TTL, or in this case Olympus).
     
  8. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    To quote from the seller's eBay site:

    I usually research things before I buy. I don't contact the seller to confirm that what they have posted is actually true.
     
  9. Cruzan80

    Cruzan80 Mu-43 All-Pro

    Aug 23, 2012
    Denver, Co
    Sean Rastsmith
    Wasnt trying to attack you. We have all thought we read one thing and gotten another (or had the stupid sort button include 2.5" drives when we selected only 3.5"...). The way I read this, and other versions like it is that the hotshoe portion should give TTL, but no mention of the PC sync doing so. From what I understand, the pc sync design is only manual rgardless of brand. In this case, I agree with you that the unit is faulty, since it does not provide ttl off the top hotshoe.

    Sent from my LG-P769 using Mu-43 mobile app
     
  10. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    PC sync can't provide any TTL, it's just a dumb switch; however, the contacts would have provided TTL (if the wires had been there). Since I haven't heard back from the seller, I've raised a dispute. I'm happy for either a refund or a properly functioning hot shoe to be sent over. I'm not blaming the seller at the moment, he/they probably get these in bulk from somewhere (like most others) and may not know that they have received faulty/incomplete units. I've always had good service from Chinese sellers and have always come to an amicable outcome when there has been a problem (very few actually), but sometimes you have to get their attention by raising a PayPal dispute. I always play fairly with them and on two occasions I've had to seek a refund for an item that hasn't arrived, but then some days later, the item turns up (excessively delayed somewhere for whatever reason) and I've immediately transferred the money to the seller.
     
  11. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    It looks like the connection points are there (around the four screws) for the other pins (B2, B3 & B6 from what I can see) & the easiest thing that I would do is solder in those other wires (which you would need to have on hand from somewhere). It would have to be easier than following through with a dispute. You have your voltmeter (continuity checker) to see which pin is which.
     
  12. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    I may be able to solder in the appropriate wires without stuffing up the circuit board etc, or I may not, but that's not the point. On principle, I was sold something that didn't meet any of the described performance aspects and it shouldn't be a buyer's responsibility to try and fix something that didn't work. It's like buying a brand new lens, finding that it doesn't autofocus and being told to pay for it's repair. The value of the item doesn't matter.

    The seller emailed back and suggested that I find a repairer and it shouldn't cost much to fix, and when I replied that it would cost more than the hot shoe, they then offered a small refund. That to me suggested that the seller knew their product did not meet their advertised specs and was being dishonest, so it's now a matter for PayPal to determine an outcome. This is the first time that I have had such a response from a Chinese seller, with no offer to rectify the issue, just take it or leave it.
     
  13. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    How much did you pay for it?
     
  14. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    It was only $7, but that's not the point. If say one or two of the wires (had they existed) come loose, then I wouldn't have sweated it at all and would have looked at fixing it myself, but selling something that patently doesn't do what it is supposed to do (it's more or less an empty box) is another thing altogether.
     
  15. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    OK, my point is, the greater number of negatives an ebay supplier can get comes from small price sales with all sort expectations from purchases & if a supplier's rating has been brought down by those complainers, then I am usually confident the supplier is generally OK. It was only $7 & I think you should just solder in those wires & use it, otherwise maybe you should have paid $40 instead.
     
  16. Ross the fiddler

    Ross the fiddler Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    BTW, I wouldn't use the PC connector if there is a TTL flash attached & in use.
     
  17. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    The seller has refunded the purchase price and asked if I would be willing to buy another. I have said that I'd be happy to buy another one if they can confirm that all the connections work. I understand that many of the sellers work on very small margins, but the point is that they need to make sure that the items they sell meet their descriptions, otherwise they will get negative reviews. I may often take a chance on a item of very low value and wear the cost if the item wasn't correct. In this case, I wasn't buying it on the off-chance that it might work.

    As I said earlier, I wanted this so that it would elevate my smaller FL-14, so that I could use it with my 4/3 lenses as a TTL auto fill flash. The hot shoe elevates the flash sufficiently, but because of the lack of connection internally, it doesn't provide TTL auto or even fire the flash at all (only the PC sync cable fires the flash). The PC sync was just an aside, which would allow me to use a flash off to the side in auto/manual mode if I wanted. Yes, I might be able to solder a set of wires to make the hot shoe work, but I might just as easily stuff up the whole thing trying to solder things in my ham fisted way with my gas soldering iron.
     
  18. demiro

    demiro Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 7, 2010
    Glad to hear the seller did the right thing OzRay, and I agree with you -- Regardless of price, the item should match what the ad says. Simple enough. If we all let vendors like that slide ebay will become a much larger mess than it can be today.
     
  19. inkista

    inkista Mu-43 Veteran

    332
    Jan 13, 2012
    San Diego, CA
    My guess is that a new unit wouldn't solve the issue--it's likely to be the same. Descriptions on eBay can seriously vary--the number of times I've seen PC described as 3.5mm sync connections drives me insane.

    However, there is a TTL pass-through PC adapter for Canon that's made by Pixel. I trust Lon at flashzebra to describe things accurately. :) Maybe that's foolish. But I'd send Lon an email, showing him your images, and ask if the Pixel ones are the same, or really do TTL passthrough, and whether he thinks it'd work on mft.
     
  20. OzRay

    OzRay Mu-43 Legend

    Jan 29, 2010
    South Gippsland, Australia
    Ray, not Oz
    That Pixel hot shoe is basically exactly what I have, other than labelling, and sans the wires connected internally. I will ensure that they fully confirm that every contact connects top to bottom before I purchase and if they don't, they will be once again refunding the purchase price. I don't think it was intentional and they may well have been simply relying on whoever they get these from. I would guess that the seller will be conferring with whoever supplies these hot shoes and asking why the internal wiring hasn't been properly done, perhaps enhanced with a shouting match. I'm willing to give them the benefit of the doubt.