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Pocket Wizard TT5 Repair

I take my Pocket Wizard gear everywhere I go for shooting.  It’s invaluable for lighting and provides awesome flexibility for my flash to fire off remotely.   I first learned about them thru friend photographer Tommy Pemberton.  Check out this stuff at

Like him I was originally was using it on a Canon 580EX II.  I replaced it with a lesser expensive flash 430EX II after both were stolen from me by some burglar.  While there  are a number of differences with the flashes I found them to be close enough for my sustaining my hobby.   I recommend reading Photo Tips for their side by side comparisons.

So first of all the problem with the TT5 that you will find around the ‘net is some radio interference issues which can be simply fixed with a shield that wraps around the unit. Outside of that you’ll rarely see any posts on the effects of mounting the flash over and over which eventually causes the hot shoe to detach at a 45 degree angle.  I am sure a few stressed pack ups w/o removing the flash to get to the next site did it as well. Unfortunately you have to take apart the whole unit because the screws mount from the inside.  I can’t afford any more TT5s so this is one I thought I would fix myself.

Here are the pics from the repair. Notice the picture where the screws just lying within the unit, they weren’t even stripped which is what I thought I was going to find.   I hope they fix this in the future so that this doesn’t happen again.

This is how i found the screws, they barely catch!


TT5 sensors


Springs have to be carefully put back


TT5 Mother board

TT5 base, you see the antenna here in the corner





Canon 5D Sensor Cleaning

One thing about CMOS cameras is that they like dust.  I have read a lot of posts on how to clean the sensor and I think the best advice is to use common sense.  I simply used air and a non-lint cloth to wipe it in one direction.  Done.  I did use at one time some non-lint Qtip style cleaners as well that I had left over from my clean room days at Motorola.  Those help to clean and to be able to apply the right pressure is always a good thing.

The pictures you see here is the sensor of a Canon 5D camera and a picture where I snapped a landscape scene and you’ll notice a hair is in the picture below one of the power lines.  I had to clone out this hair on about 20 RAW images using Lightroom’s  Spot Removal tool which works excellent.

I snapped a quick pic of the sensor using my iPhone flash to show you how it responds to light.  Don’t do this for a long period of time.  I simply took a quick photo but I wouldn’t leave the LED on for a longer time than that.  The 5D has a sensor cleaning function in the menu settings so it makes it easy to clean.