Bowens Pulsar Card Module review

Bowens Pulsar Card Module Review

The Bowens Pulsar radio trigger system has proved to be an indispensable accessory, especially when working outside with a Bowens Travel Pak and Gemini’s. The system offers complete freedom to the photographer who can fire flash ‘cordless’ at pretty much any distance, rather than being tethered by a sync lead.

Introduced in 2003, the Bowens Pulsar has remained unchanged in its basic design, the two main parts being interchangeable as either receiver or transmitter. However, to compliment the introduction of their new ranges, Bowens have just launched a new version of the Pulsar specifically designed to trigger their new Gemini R and Gemini Pro range. I have reviewed the new Bowens R type recently and mentioned the new Pulsar, but it does deserve more than a mere mention.

The Bowens Pulsar has the same transmitter as before. It’s the receiver system that’s been redesigned, now into a card module format. To trigger the new models, the new Pulsar card module slips neatly into a slot on the rear panel of the Gemini R and Pro heads.

Bowens Pulsar Plug-In Radio Trigger Card

The tiny card that plugs in to the back of the Flashhead, and the antenna that goes in to the sync socket on the head.

The small card module and it is small, not much bigger than an average memory card, slips into that rear slot and picks up all its necessary connections; what a neat idea. The other new innovation is the separate and equally small external Pulsar aerial that connects via a mini jack plug into the side of the R and Pro heads.

Once the Pulsar card module and aerial have been connected, to sync everything together is simple. Just switch on your selected transmitter and set it to your preferred channel and studio settings. Then, test flash the transmitter for between 5 to 10 seconds, the Pulsar card module will automatically detect the transmitter and all its settings. It will then store the settings and fire the flash head accordingly. It really is as easy as that!

Another key feature of the new Pulsar system is its versatility. Bowens have collaborated with other manufacturers and produced a range of Pulsar card modules that will work with other trigger systems, Pocket Wizard and Litelink. As my colleagues from Bowens tell me, versatility is the key to the new system. You can choose from a range of systems, or use the one you may already have.

Bowens, like other manufacturers could have opted for a built in trigger system, however that ties the user into their version and makes the cost of each unit rise with the addition of that built in trigger technology.

It really is a neat and fool proof system, it never failed in the week that I used it inside and outside the studio. As I said, this new Pulsar system only works with the new Gemini R type and Gemini Pro range. It won’t work with standard Gemini’s as they don’t have that connection slot on the rear panel, so ordinary users like me will have to stick with the original Pulsar for now!

If you have any questions about the new Pulsar or any flash related topic, drop me an email.


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