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Chris Smith is a professional photographer in Charleston, SC. A photographer for almost 30 years, Chris offers a superior knowledge of creating perfect images. For many years, Chris has been the official photographer of the Family Circle Cup, a professional tennis tournament held annually in Daniel Island's tennis stadium

RadioPopper Mounting

Tons of photographers have asked me over the years how I mount my RadioPopper Px system to my Nikon flashes. So I thought I’d take a few photos to show what works best for me!

Personally, I can’t stand those flimsy plastic brackets they send to mount the Receivers with. The foam “doughnuts” that are designed to shield the sensor get squished out of shape and end up blocking the sensor. Plus, the Velcro strips they send to mount the Transmetters with are too small and too week for real-world situations. So I don’t use any of their mounting materials. Don’t get me wrong…I LOVE the product…just not the mounting options they provide.

Instead, I buy Industrial Strength Velcro (called hook-and-loop fastener if we’re being PC). Yes, it MUST be the “Industrial Strength” version. It’s available at places like Wal-Mart, Home Depot, and Lowes. I buy it in the 2″ wide rolls. I know, it’s waaaay more than you need for this little project. But you’ll find lots of uses for the extra. Plus I tend to rip off the old and put fresh strips on every year or two.

All you need a pair of scissors, and an x-acto knife. I recommend using the soft side of the Velcro for the flashes, and the course side for the RadioPoppers.

To set up the receivers, cut a square piece of the female (soft) side that will cover the side of the flash from the front edge to the back edge of the battery door. Trim it all up so it’ll fit nice, providing as much gripping real estate as possible to the back of the RadioPopper. Now cut that in half along the front edge of the battery door. And finally, cut an opening for the CLS sensor. Next, cut a piece of the male (rough) side to cover the entire bottom of the RadioPopper. Then cut an opening for the sensor. Match the two holes up, smoosh the RadioPopper and flash together, and you have a nice, secure mount, with a light-tight seal so that the sensors communicate perfectly!

For the Transmitter, the setup is even simpler! Just cut a piece of the Velcro (male and female sides) large enough to cover the bottom of the unit. Then mount it to the top of the flash. On the SB-700 and SB-900/910 RadioPopper recommends that you not mount the transmitter too close to the front as the signal can have interference up there. In this photo, the mounting location is probably a little too far forward. I re-did it to be about 1/4″ further down the flash shortly after this. The BIGGEST TIP I can give you is, order a replacement RECEIVER antenna to use on the transmitter!!! That’s correct, the receiver antenna works perfectly on the transmitter. I’ve talked to the folks at RadioPopper. There’s no problem doing this. It simply reduces the range of the transmitter’s signal. However, at something like 1500-ft…the distance is PLENTY for anything I’ll ever need…even if shortened by the angle of the antenna. And after breaking several of the straight antennas, the benefit of having the angled antenna, which lays flush against the equipment, is HUGE when you’re running and gunning on a hectic wedding day. Best part is, drop the original antenna in a pocket of your camera bag, and you’ve got an instant backup should anything ever happen!

I’ve shown both the SB-800 and SB-900/910 setups in these photos. I also use an SB-700, which is a little different, but same concept as the SB-910. I tend to use my two SB-910 flashes as my Masters, and my six SB-800 flashes as Remotes. Keeping it consistent allows me to leave the RadioPoppers mounted semi-permanently. The photos at the end show my kit in the back of my SUV, ready for use. I never take the Transmitters off. And I only take the Receivers off to change batteries. The Transmitters ride on the Master flashes in my camera bag. The Receivers ride on their Remote flashes in my light-stand bag.

I hope this helps those of you who have struggled with your RadioPopper setup. I was an early adopter of the company’s “intelligent” Radio Transmitter technology. They have truly un-cuffed me from the limitations of line-of sight issues, and manual-only triggers. I use them every day on a huge variety of photo shoots. And they have lasted me for years! Enjoy…