After dishing out my life savings on the D90 and a set of 3 flashes I’m looking into all possible ways to DIY and squeeze the most amount of green juice from the stuff I buy to complete the rig.

Here are some tips on:

1. Making your $35 ebay triggers go a long way… literally… by adding an antenna for 0.001 cents…
2. Dusting off your old universal remote to trigger a Nikon camera…


I bought a set of 3 receivers and a trigger for my flashes so that I can do a little strobist action. Check out STROBIST

They cost me 35 – 40 bucks. Travelled half a way around the globe from HK, and after 2 weeks, and a little mod I have PocketWizard(ish) quality triggers.

These PT-04TM triggers come with a little hole on the circuit board so you can solder a piece of wire into and extend the range exponentially… HOW CONVENIENT!!!

I don’t think the length of the wire matters ALL THAT MUCH, but I’m sure it does. I used a 6 inch piece of 18 gauge solid core hookup wire you can get at radioshack. Made a little hole in the top of the reciever for the wire go through, and bent the wire so I don’t poke my eye out with it. That’s it! DONE… saved 500 bucks


I had an old remote lying around and I read online that people had success using these to trigger their Nikon cameras, since they use IR for that purpose. Well, I tried to find the code so I can program my RCA RCR311W remote, but I couldn’t find it. I went through the code list and randomly tried different codes for about two hours and then finally… POP! YES! I FOUND IT!… Wait… which code was THAT? UGHHH… oh well… it works so that’s what counts…

3 months later I need to take a photo of myself across the street with noone to help me and I go for my trusty ‘ol UNIVERSAL remote, just to find that it reprogrammed itself since it had no batteries inside… OH NO!!! I can’t go through 2 hours of this again… I tried finding the code list again… can’t find it… perfect… just my life…

I’m a persistent sob so I got a hold of the manual for the remote online. I used the AUTO PROGRAMMING FEATURE, where the remote sends the codes it knows in 10 code batches until your camera triggers. Works like a charm! It takes… 2 minutes tops!

For this particular model…

1. Set your camera to remote triggering…
2. On the universal remote, press and hold TV button (ON OFF key turns on and remains on)
3. While still holding the TV button press the ON OFF until the ON OFF stays lit…

We are now in programming mode. Point the remote at the camera so that the remote can “see” the IR sensor.

4. Press PLAY button. The remote will send 10 codes from its memory while the ON OFF is blinking. After it’s done (about 5-6 sec) the ON OFF button will be lit solid again. Repeat pressing PLAY until you finally trigger the camera.

Wait you’re not done… in that last batch of 10 codes is the right code…

5. Press REVERSE to get to that code. The remote will go back through the codes one by one, each time you press REVERSE. When the camera triggers again, you’re on the right code! YOU GOT IT! (If you mess up and go one too far… just press FORWARD)

6. Press STOP and that saves that code into the memory.

Test your newly reclaimed universal remote by pressing ON OFF and the camera should trigger again. Give yourself a pat of the shoulder since you just saved 20 bucks!

What’s great about this is that this should work on any universal remote. It doesn’t matter what the actual code is… as long as your remote has the automated code testing feature… and most of them do! Dig into that manual and you could be triggering your Nikon from far far away…

I’m probably annoying people at Nikon right now… oh well… Thanks for the great camera, but I think I can use my own UNIVERSAL remote…


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