I got the idea today that there had to be a way to make the 540EZ more user friendly than what it currently is. Anyone familiar with using the 540EZ as an off-camera flash will understand my frustration. My current setup requires a the use of a hot shoe adapter to trigger the 540EZ with the Pocket Wizards. Sure enough, a quick search on Flickr revealed that this mod had already been successfully completed and well documented. What I found interesting was that most of the mods completed made use of a miniphone socket. Instead of having to go out and purchase a couple of miniphone sockets and cables, I ripped apart the adapters that I had been using and installed the PC cable socket directly onto the 540EZ.
Mod Details - Read photos left to right
A product shot of the Canon 540EZ speedlite prior to the modification
Remove the "shoe unit" from the "main speedlite body" by removing the four small phillips head screws.
With the 4 screws removed you will find that you need to release 3 connections. I found it helpful to remove the main front panel to remove the 3 connections. To remove the front panel, you will need to remove 2 phillips screws where the "flash head" connects to the "main speedlite body".
"shoe unit" separated from "main speedlite body"
Remove the "AF LED"
Remove the "Power Connector"
Drill a hole in the rear of the "shoe unit" case the same size as the PC cable socket. Make sure you drill the hole either to the left or right of center. This will prevent you from blocking access to the hot shoe contacts when you go to solder the connections. Solder the center of the PC cable socket to the hot shoe contact with the red wire and the grounding to the contact with the blue wire.
Another view of photo 7.
Before and after shot.
580EX II CL @ 1/64th Power
540EZ CR @1/64th Power