The trigger's test button works with my two studio strobe flashes, so i know it's not the flash system. In my settings under flash control, flash fire is enabled, when i click on built in flash it reads "this menu cannot be displayed. External flash is attached" and when i click on external flash function settings it reads "This menu cannot be displayed. Incompatible flash or flash's power is turned off." My flash is on, so am i to assume that the Cowboystudio trigger i purchased is not compatible? I'm having trouble finding any info on this.

I've also thoroughly cleaned the hot shoe and made certain that it is on all the way.

  • \$\begingroup\$ Can you post a link to the trigger you are using? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2015 at 20:13
  • \$\begingroup\$ Were you able to get it working? \$\endgroup\$ Feb 11, 2015 at 17:22

1 Answer 1


The Cowboy studio trigger is a manual-only trigger. If you turn the transmitter over and look at the foot it only has a single pin--this is the "sync" or "fire!" signal pin, and is compatible across all brands of cameras/flashes (except for the older Sony gear that uses the proprietary Minolta hotshoe).

However. The menu communication with a flash is done through all the other pins/signals. That's why all your menus are grayed out--those menus will only be active and available if you put something that is compatible with Canon's hotshoe/camera menu communication protocol (e.g., a 430EXII, or Yongnuo YN-622C trigger) on the camera hotshoe. The grayed-out menu behavior would be similar if you put a manual-only single-pin flash (e.g., a Vivitar 285HV) or the MkI 430EX or 580EX--since those flashes cannot communicate with the camera menus, either.

The flash menus in Canon cameras are only for TTL communication and for Canon's light-based proprietary wireless signaling system, not for external radio triggers or dumb optical triggering.

It doesn't mean that the Cowboy Studios trigger cannot be used. It just can't do anything but relay the "fire" signal from the hotshoe to the flash via radio. You should be able to put the transmitter on the camera hotshoe and have it fire your flashes remotely in sync, just as you can do with the test button. Check that your batteries are in good health and freshly recharged (if rechargeable)--or possibly switch out for alkaline batteries--the triggers may have specific voltage requirements that rechargeables do not meet. And make sure that the transmitter is properly seated on the hotshoe--that pin has to be touching the contact in the center of the hotshoe for the signal to be relayed.

  • \$\begingroup\$ I'm glad you said all that, I was thinking it just didn't have the drive to type it all out. \$\endgroup\$ Feb 10, 2015 at 21:04
  • \$\begingroup\$ @FlyingTrashcan Know that feeling! :) \$\endgroup\$
    – inkista
    Feb 10, 2015 at 21:43

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