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Accueil >> Lightning Sensor v4 >> Lightning Sensor v4 - User Manual - English

Optical Lightning Trigger


Radio Ham Electronic exclusivity


Thank you for your purchase of the Lightning Sensor v4.

This high performance trigger has been optimized for full daytime, twilight, and night-time detection.

WARNING : Chasing thunderstorms and photographing lightning flashes is a high-risk activity. It is the responsability of anyone practicing this activity to take the necessary precautions to ensure its safety, the one of people accompanying them, as well as the employed equipment. Radio HAM Electronic declines all responsability in the event of an accident during the practice of this activity or for any damage caused by the use of the Lightning Sensor v4. In no case the responsability of Radio HAM Electronic can get involved.


Power supply must be done with a 9V standard alkaline battery, 6LR6 model (Duracell Pro battery supplied).

Before connecting the battery, make sure that the ON/OFF switch is turned OFF to avoid accidental inverted polarity dammage.

The battery door is located in the back side, under the case.

Press with the thumb and slide back to open.


Fix the Lightning Sensor v4 to the flash mount of your camera. It comes with an ISO518 shoe compatible with Canon, Nikon, Pentax, Fuji, etc. Old Sony cameras need an optional adaptator (Sony>>ISO518, not supplied).

Insert the plug into the Remote port of the camera. Make sure your camera is turned OFF during this step.


- Check your camera is turned OFF

- Check your Lightning Sensor v4 is turned OFF (Power switch on the red LED side)

- Check the PF switch is OFF

- Insert the Lightning Sensor v4 into the flash mount of your camera. Tighten the blocking ring moderately

- Connect the supplied release cable to your Lightning Sensor v4, then to your camera’s remote release port

- Point your system towards the storm

- Turn the ADJ knob fully clockwise

- Switch the Lightning Sensor v4 ON

- The red LED lights on, the buzzer makes a continuous beep

- Gently turn the ADJ knob counter-clockwise until the beep stops

- Your Lightning Sensor v4 is now ready to operate

- Switch your camera ON

- Set the shooting parameters on your camera (See camera setting section below)

- When the shooting parameters have been set, switch ON the PF mode (switch toward the PF mark)

As soon as a lightning appears, your camera is triggered and the buzzer sounds a beep.

The lag time of your Lightning Sensor v4 is about 1.6 µs, the fastest lightning trigger ever made in the world.

As a comparison, the lagtime of a camera is between 25 and 85 ms. (According to the model).

A lightning usually lasts from about 80 ms to more than 1 second.|


The PF function (prefocused) as the same effect as a half pressing on the shutter release.

When enabled, the PF function appreciably reduces the lagtime of most cameras. When using Nikon or Sony cameras, this function MUST BE enabled to allow triggering.

When the PF function is enabled, you cannot get access to some setting menus. Pictures displaying becomes desabled as well.

You must disable the PF function when you want to get access to the menus or check your pictures.


Your Lightning Sensor v4 has a very high dynamic range of detection. When the ADJ knob is set at beep stop (as described above), detection is optimal. Set in that way, your Lightning Sensor v4 will be able to detect intra-cloud lightning still invisible to the eye (very useful for watching incipient convection and alerting you that electrical activity is developing).

To decrease the sensitivity and only favor flashes and lightning strike visible to the eye, simply turn accordingly the ADJ knob to the left.


It is very important to set your camera in a « All manual » mode:

- Manual Focus                                                                              - Single shot or continuous shot (High speed burst)

- Preset White Balance (Not auto)                                                  - Preset Exposure and Aperture (Not auto)

- Preset ISO (Not auto)                                                                   - Delighting and noise reducing functions desabled

- Image review OFF                                                                        - Silent LV Shoot OFF

- Mirrorless/Hybrid : On some camera models, enabling the EFCS mode (Electronic First Curtain Shutter) allows to reduce the lagtime even more.


- Always work in RAW mode (Bigger dynamic range than in JPEG mode during post-treatment)

- Chose the smallest ISO value you can (50 to 200, according to the camera models)

- Do not chose a too fast exposure speed, this to allow lightning to print the camera sensor long enough.

- Usually, values slower than 1/100 are recommended (i.e. 1/50, 1/30, 1/10, 1/8 etc).

- Adjust the aperture to get a good exposure, even a lightly surexposed one

- Usually, aperture from F/7 to F/20 are suitable.

- ISO100 , Exp 1/10 , aperture F/14 is a good start.

- The use of lens filters (circular polarizing filter, ND8 filter) is not needed.

- Use RAW files to get the optimal dynamic range of your pictures


Your Lightning Sensor v4 seems to trigger all the time even though there is no lightning? No worries, its electronics have been stricly checked and tested throughout production, a failure is very unlikely. Here are the points to check :|

- Trigger cord is correctly and fully inserted on both sides

- ADJ knob is correctly set (please see “Sensitivity Adjutment” above)

- Battery has sufficient voltage (> 8.8 Volts) and contacts are well tight (otherwise, tighten with a small pliers)

- No cell phone is in the immediate area (Cell phone waves disturb the electronics)


Power supply : 9V standard alkaline battery, supplied

Detection spectrum : IR and visible

Lagtime : 1.6 µs

Trigger duration : 500 ms (impulse allows high speed burst captures)

Waterproof (dusts and rain splashes, IP56 standard)

Isolation voltage between camera and Lightning Sensor v4 : 7500V

Mount system : flash shoe (ISO518) with blocking snap ring

Size (L x l x H): 119 x 68 x 25 mm (4.6 x 2.75 x 1.0 inches)

Weight : 140 g


Your Lightning Sensor v4 comes with 10 years of guarantee against all construction or electronics operating fault, within the use for which the unit has been clearly designed in this user manual.

Guarantee does not cover damage due to lightning, hail, power supply fault, modification, impact, and misuse.

Any opening of the unit will cancel our guarantee. Battery, release cord, power supply cord, switch protections, are not covered by our guarantee.


Radio HAM Electronic                                                                                           e-mail : [email protected]

54 route de Cuzy