StrobIt Triggr


20/03/09 *UPDATE * This project now has a new home and is actively being developed on Google code project hosting

IMPORTANT    This page is no longer being being maintained please go to the new project page.

Welcome to the Strobit Triggr Project, an open source hackable wireless trigger used in photography lighting by using low cost strobe units triggered remotely via RF. This was started while trying to find a cost effective and reliable solution to the commercial alternatives out there. At one end of the market is the Ebay or Cactus Trigger, which is low cost but rather unreliable. At the other end of the market there is the industry standard, Pocket Wizards, very reliable, but very expensive (i.e. way out of my price range).

What I wanted to do was to create an open platform that anyone can easily build for a low cost and then be expand upon by the community. The pair of prototypes I’ve built were a proof of concept that I can get a camera to trigger a strobe unit reliably at a low cost. From early tests it appears that I’ve succeeded in my goal, but further testing is required.


Project Status :

– Prototype successfully working in single master/slave configuration !

– (20/03/2009) Project now has a home at Google Code –

Still Todo:

  • Specifications
  • Hardware Design
    • Schematics
    • PCB
  • Software Design
    • Wireless
    • User Interface
    • Protocol
  • Hardware Prototype


The strobit hardware design is covered by The TAPR Open Hardware License. Please see for further details.


Strobit Triggr Block Diagram Strobit Triggr Topology StrobIt Triggr Schematic

Prototype Details

Firmware Description

Protocol Description

Downloads – Files associated with the project

Tests – Tests done so Far

In the Wild – Version of this trigger made by others

I’m toying with the idea of putting together a low cost kit for the enthusiast. i.e. PCB, pre-programmed PIC, etc. So we could all benefit with a bulk order of the components. If your interested please email me using the contact form the top menu or use the mailing list signup on the right to give me an indication of numbers interested. Once I finaliaze the design and get some idea of numbers I’ll get a better idea of price. At the moment it will only be available in kit form due to FCC and other Licensing regulations.

Future Improvements:

  • Higher Sync Speed.
  • Frequency Hopping.
  • Forward Error Correction.
  • Power management.
  • UI to change settings, Channel etc.
  • Save settings in Flash memory.
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11 thoughts on “StrobIt Triggr”

  1. Scott Shumate has done a similar enterprise for a digital readout system for machining. The component parts are ordered as a packing list plus other components. The support is in a Yahoo group. Anyway just an Idea in case you hadn’t run across anything similar. Also I would be very interested in several units.

    Regards ….. Sherweld

  2. I’m probably late to the party, but I’m looking for a dumb radio trigger that is more reliable than the poverty wizards and less money than pocket wizards and available this winter. As an engineer, my thought was DIY. However, I’m a Mechanical Engineer, so the electrical thing is magic to me. I did a search in the Digi-Key catalog and came up with these

    Te transmitter is about $10 and the receiver is $16 in quantities below 10. It looks like a solution that would minimize the engineering and additional parts to get a trigger up and running.

    I’m starting to work on it, but I’m looking for someone with CAD capabilities. It should be interesting.

  3. Looks like alot of wireless solutions around, and I guess more to come. Basically it has to be cheap and reliable, some of the off the shelf modules are just too expensive. and I guess as this is the ISM bands it may be prone to some form of interference, however this can be worked around to some extent by frequency hopping.

    I know the HopeRf modules fit all of my requirements and they have a very low turnaround time from Tx to Rx so will allow frequency hopping. As I’ve been playing around with them for a few months now, I have had time to learn them and so far very impressed, so will be sticking with them for the time being.

    In reality if people are going to roll their own then any RF module and MCU of choice as long as as it can handle the sync speeds, 1/100sec is approx 9600bps and 1/500 ~ 38400bps

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