PocketWizard E Release

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PocketWizard E Release

Introducing the E Release - a new special firmware upgrade for PocketWizard radios that extends the shooting range, expands the features, and enhances the reliability of your existing PocketWizard radios!

What is the E Release?

The E Release is a completely new firmware protocol for PocketWizard radios and is very different than a traditional firmware update. Building on our existing technology, we created a way to take everything that PocketWizard already does best and make it better! With the E Release, the radio signals are able to reach farther than ever before. The signals are also a lot more reliable as they are less susceptible to RF interference. It is currently available for FCC and CE versions for most current PocketWizard radios, excluding the PlusX and MultiMAX II. All current Plus III and Plus IV radios are being shipped with the E Release installed, though some stores may still have radios with Legacy firmware still installed.

*NOTE: E Release firmware will not work with Legacy firmware but the radios can be downgraded to Legacy firmware to work with your existing PocketWizard radios. See the FAQ section for details.

What are the benefits of the E Release?

  • It allows you to send and receive signals with greater reliability
  • It more than doubles the range for triggering remote cameras or flashes. This benefit is enhanced even more when using the radios in Long Range (LR) Mode where distances have been measured as far as 5 miles.
  • Quad Zone Triggering is now available on 32 Channels, instead of 16
  • We created 80 new Channels for the Plus III and Plus IV, dedicated to triggering in Long Range Mode. To access the LR Channels, hit the Mode button until you see LR on the LCD. LR Channels are designed to be used for remote camera triggering and are not available on the FlexTT5 and PowerMC2 radios.

How is the E Release upgrade different than a regular firmware update?

The E Release is a new platform for our system and works differently than our original Legacy firmware. Our current radio technology has worked well for many years and we have a strong reputation of making quality products that perform well and last long. Our radios are also backwards compatible so if you have an older PocketWizard from 10 or 15 years ago, it will still work with a new product you buy today.

However, the current technology limited our ability to make enhancements and improvements to our system. We wanted to create a new system that would expand the capabilities of our radios and still wanted to keep backwards compatibility for our loyal PocketWizard users. The E release required a significant amount of engineering work but it gave us the best of both worlds: the ability to improve performance and create new features plus keep backwards compatibility. A photographer can switch between using the new E Release firmware and the Legacy firmware, giving them the benefits of the new technology and still allowing them to use older radios if desired.

Our Legacy firmware has 3 different types of Channels. Radios may have up to 16 Classic Channels, 16 Quad Zone Triggering Channels, and/or 20 ControlTL Channels. It can be sometimes tricky to combine the ControlTL and Standard Channel radio systems because of this.

The E Release uses the same frequency band but we have created new Channels. We now have 32 new E Channels which all have Quad Zone Triggering available. All PocketWizard radios will be able to communicate using these Channels.

How do I upgrade my radios to the E Release?

The E Release is currently available for the Plus III, Plus IV, FlexTT5, FlexTT6 and FCC PowerMC2 PocketWizard radios.

  • If you purchased your radios before the E Release implementation date (see dates below), you will need to first purchase a Firmware License for each radio you wish to upgrade here.
  1. Download the new version of the PocketWizard Utility
  2. Launch the Utility program
  3. Connect the PocketWizard via USB cable (USB A to USB mini B)
  4. Once the Utility recognizes your radio, click Update Firmware
  5. Select Paid Firmware - E Release and choose the version you wish to use
  6. Enter your email address in the field provided*, and click Find and Apply License.
  7. Proceed to install the firmware. Once installed, the Firmware License will be tied to that serial number and it is non-transferable.
  8. Update other units as needed.

The E Release Implementation Date is the date we officially released the firmware for each model.

  • Plus III and Plus IV radios: September 1, 2019
  • Nikon FlexTT5 and FCC PowerMC2 radios: February 20, 2020
  • Canon FlexTT5 and FlexTT6 radios: January 1, 2022

Notes:

  • If you purchased the Firmware License, you must use the same email address you provided for the purchase. We suggest using the same email for all of your upgrades.
  • If you purchased your radio after the implementation date and the Utility does not recognize the radio's serial number, please email us with a copy of your receipt and a photo of the sticker on the back of the radio(s), showing the serial number(s). Be sure to also verify which email address you want to use for the E Release firmware in the email. Please contact us here with the requested information.
  • If you get an "Error Programming the Application - Location 1" message, disconnect the radio and close the Utility. Reconnect the PocketWizard to your computer then launch the Utility program again.

How do I downgrade my radios to the Legacy firmware?

If you have other PocketWizard radios without the E Release such as MultiMAX or Plus II radios, you can downgrade a PocketWizard with the E Release to the Legacy firmware so it will work with other Legacy units.

  1. Download the new version of the PocketWizard Utility
  2. Launch the Utility program
  3. Connect the PocketWizard via USB cable (USB A to USB mini B)
  4. Once the Utility recognizes your radio, click Update Firmware
  5. Select Legacy Firmware
  6. Enter your email address in the field provided*, and click Find and Apply License.
  7. Proceed to install the firmware. Once installed, the Firmware License will be tied to that serial number and it is non-transferable.
  8. Downgrade other units as needed.

*Note: Once the E Release firmware has been installed on a radio, you can upgrade the radio back to the E Release at no additional charge or downgrade as needed. Be sure to use the same email address for all of your E Release licenses.

*Note: If you get an "Error Programming the Application - Location 1" message, disconnect the radio and close the Utility. Reconnect the PocketWizard to your computer then launch the Utility program again.

What Products are Compatible with the E Release Firmware?

  • E Release firmware is available now for the Plus III, Plus IV, FlexTT5, and Canon FlexTT6 models (both FCC and CE frequency) as well as the PowerMC2 (FCC version only). Plus III and Plus IV radios are shipping with the firmware pre-installed and will be identified as Plus IIIe and Plus IVe radios. FlexTT5 and PowerMC2 radios will not have the E Release preinstalled but can be upgraded. Please see our PocketWizard Firmware page for details. The Raven by Fusion TLC uses the E Release firmware.
  • The E Release is not available for most Sekonic meters. If you have a Sekonic L-478DR with a built in PocketWizard receiver, you may be able to send in your meter for an upgrade. Please contact us for details.
  • Products with integrated PocketWizard receivers, such as Dynalite, Profoto, or Photogenic strobes, cannot be upgraded to the E Release firmware at this time. We are exploring options with manufacturers. Please contact us for more details about your specific equipment. Note: if you have a strobe with a built in PocketWizard receiver, you can connect a PocketWizard with the E Release firmware to the pack via the sync port to use the new technology, rather than using the integrated receiver.
  • The E Release is not available for older Plus, Plus II, and MultiMAX radios or for the MiniTT1. We are not producing the MiniTT1 radios any more and those units cannot be upgraded due to its coin cell battery management algorithm.

E Release FAQs

  • What is the difference between Legacy firmware and the E Release?
    • Legacy firmware uses the radio technology we have used for over 25 years to trigger remote cameras and flashes. This firmware has 32 Classic Channels and 16 of those (Channels 17-32) are Quad Zone Triggering Channels. The E Release uses the same frequency band but we have created new Channels. We now have 32 new E Channels which all have Quad Zone Triggering available. We have also introduced 80 new LR Channels for the Plus III and Plus IV, created specifically for Long Range Mode.
    • Our range with Legacy firmware was about 1600 feet. With the E Release, the range has been increased dramatically in both regular and Long Range Mode. In our tests with LR Channels, the distance could be measured in miles. With the new signals, this also means shorter distance triggering should be more consistent so you should not miss a shot. Shooting in challenging situations might not be as challenging any more.
    • Are you shooting in a tight location? Instead of needing to keep the radios at least 3 feet apart, you can now trigger a remote within inches.
  • What PocketWizard radios can be upgraded to the E Release?
    • Upgrades for the Plus III, Plus IV, FlexTT5, and FlexTT6 models (both FCC and CE frequency) as well as the FCC PowerMC2 are available now.
    • The E Release for the MiniTT1 is currently not available. We are not producing the MiniTT1 radios and that unit has an added element of complexity due to its coin cell battery management algorithm that makes it harder to upgrade. We will do further study to see if it can be accomplished but cannot make any promises at this time. The PlusX and MultiMAX II are not currently eligible for the E Release.
  • Do I have to buy new PocketWizard radios to use the E Release?
    • The beauty of this update is that most current radio models are USB upgradeable. See list of radios in question above. If you are using radios that do not have a USB port, such as the PlusX, Plus II, or an older MultiMAX, you will have to purchase new radios to take advantage of all the new features available in the E Release. We plan to make more PocketWizard radios compatible in the future.
  • If I buy a new PocketWizard radio, will it have the E Release?
    • All Plus III and Plus IV radios are currently being shipped with the E Release factory installed. Some stores my still be selling radios that have the Legacy firmware. If you purchased a Plus III or Plus IV on or after September 1, 2019, or if you purchased a Nikon FlexTT5 or FCC PowerMC2 on or after February 20, 2020, you may be eligible for a free upgrade. When you connect the radio to the Utility program to update it, the Utility should recognize the serial number and allow you to upgrade at no charge. If you have any trouble or questions, please contact us by email and include a copy of your sales receipt and the serial number(s) of the radio(s).
  • How do I know if my PocketWizard is eligible for a free update?
    • If you purchased your radio on or after the E Release implementation date (September 1, 2019 for Plus III and Plus IV radios and February 20, 2020 for Nikon FlexTT5 or FCC PowerMC2 radios), from an authorized PocketWizard dealer, you may be eligible for a free upgrade to the E Release. The upgrade may or may not be preinstalled. If it does not have the E Release preinstalled, when you connect the radio to the Utility program to update it, the Utility should recognize the serial number and allow you to upgrade at no charge. If you have any trouble or questions, please contact us by email and include a copy of your sales receipt and the serial number(s) of the radio(s).
  • How can I tell if a PocketWizard has been upgraded to the E Release?
    • When you first turn the PocketWizard on, the status LED on the radio will flash Red Green Red Green to indicate that it has been updated to the E Release. A radio that has Legacy firmware will give one strong Green blink. In both cases, after the initial blink pattern, the status LED will blink in one of three different colors: green, red, and amber.
      • 1 Green blink indicates good battery life.
      • 2 Amber blinks indicate the batteries are getting low or when TEST button is half-pressed.
      • 3 Red blinks indicates batteries are critically low and should be changed immediately.

NOTE: The status LED also turns solid red when the radio is transmitting or receiving a trigger. This is normal behavior.

  • If I want to upgrade my radios, how many Firmware Licenses do I need to buy?
    • You will need to purchase a Firmware License for each radio you wish to upgrade. This firmware will only work with other radios that have been upgraded to the E Release, it will not work with radios that have Legacy firmware. You will need to upgrade at least 2 radios to use the E Release.
  • Why is there a charge for this upgrade when there have not been charges for updates in the past?
    • Previous firmware updates were released to either ensure the radios would work with new cameras or to help make the units run more efficiently. This is an upgrade that required significant engineering work and delivers valuable new benefits. It completely changes the way the radios can be used and gives the photographer greater range and reliability, in addition to more Channels and Zones. We are truly excited to be able to offer this function as an upgrade to existing equipment you already own, rather than asking you to buy a whole new set of radios to take advantage of the features it offers.
  • Do I have to upgrade my radios to the E Release?
    • No. The E Release is purely optional for photographers that want greater range and reliability from their existing PocketWizard radios. You may continue to use your radios with the Legacy firmware. Please keep in mind that future PocketWizard radios may only be compatible with radios that have been upgraded to the E Release.
  • Can I revert back to the Legacy firmware?
    • Yes! You can revert back to the original firmware at any time and use Classic PocketWizard Channels. Once you upgrade to the E Release, the unit is licensed forever to the radio's serial number. It can be downgraded to Legacy PocketWizard firmware at any time for use with your other PocketWizard radios. Reinstalling the E Release can be done at any time with minimal effort. The Firmware License is non-transferable. Note: you will need an internet connection for upgrading.
  • Will my upgraded radios still work with my older PocketWizard radios?
    • Yes and no.
      • A PocketWizard that has been upgraded to the E Release and is using the new Channels can only communicate with another PocketWizard that has also been upgraded to the E Release, using the same Channels.
      • However, a PocketWizard that has been upgraded to the E Release CAN be downgraded to the Legacy firmware and will still work with other PocketWizard radios that have not been upgraded. With this setup, the radios will be using our Standard Channels.
      • Once you upgrade to the E Release, the unit is licensed forever to the radio's serial number. You can connect the upgraded radios to the Utility and select either E Release or Legacy firmware at any time. Note: you will need an internet connection for upgrading.
  • Will other products with integrated PocketWizard receivers (such as a Sekonic meter, Profoto strobe, or Dynalite strobe) be able to be upgraded? What about my older Plus, Plus II, or MultiMAX units?
    • At this point, it's only possible to upgraded units via the PocketWizard Utility and a USB port. We are exploring options with manufacturers. Please contact us for more details about your specific equipment. Note: with Profoto or Dynalite strobes, you can connect a PocketWizard with the E Release firmware to the pack via the sync port to use the new technology, rather than using the integrated PocketWizard receiver.
  • What are the menu differences between the E Release firmware and Legacy firmware?
    • There are a few minor differences. Please see the Plus III and Plus IV Wiki pages. They will explain how to access the LR Channels, using Repeater mode, and a few other functional differences between the two menus.