Extension E-TTL cable

So you want to get your flash off camera and still use HSS (high speed sync), all the decent length E-TTL cables are a bloody fortune and you have no idea what I’m talking about. Well don’t despair just find a mate who’s a network person; big shout to Mr Nick Tramontin, you know who you are baby!! and I don’t mean he’s ‘social’ network kind of guy ;-) but one that well networks things you know the kind.

After reading the article on DIY Photography I thought great, fantastic, marvellous I’ll do that, its easy and there are network guys at work with pliers and cable and connectors etc.

Cat5 is as cheap as chips and you can pick up a 20′ cable for a few £’s, much cheaper than a proper long E-TTL cable. So I bought myself a short 1.5m E-TTL cable on eBay all the way from Hong Kong for the princely sum of £12. The next step was to think about the connections, so looked on eBay for nice enclosed female connector blocks and well there were none to be found. They were all as per the article; damn ugly and cables exposed, did I really want it wrapped up in electrical tape? so I got to thinking. To be honest it was more luck than anything as I happened upon these little babies;

RJ45 connector block

These are RJ45 connector blocks, they allow you to extend a network cable with another network cable, just like an extension lead for your power. These extend the same sort of  network cable you use to connect your PC to the socket in the floor at work or your router, that is unless your all la di da Gunner Graham with your new fangled WiFi.
Anyways so all this got me to thinking, instead of having females on each end of my E-TTL cable how about putting males

E-TTL cable with RJ45

and using connector blocks to join it all together!!

E-TTL connect with RJ45 block

Seemed like a great idea because;

  1. Cabling looks pretty and clean
  2. Components are cheap, pack of 10 connector blocks less than £2
  3. I can extend the extended extension with another extension cable
  4. if I don’t want to extend I just connect the 2 ends and it still works

So I bought a pack of 10 blocks for less than £2, the network guy fitted the RJ45′s males to my chopped cable, bought a 20m CAT5 cable for £2 yes £2!!!! And hey presto this is what I ended up with a 20m E-TTL cable  for circa £16:

E-TTL extended with CAT5

All credits to the guys over at DIY Photography for a great idea I hope you all like my little upgrade :-)

1/8000th @ f/2.8 -2FEC HSS 580ex over 75 feet of cat5 cable