When I first tested the SD-9 I assumed it wasn't working because the indicator lights didn't come on. I also assumed the SD-9 wasn't working because I tried connecting it without batteries in the flash head. I then tried putting dead batteries in the flash head (thinking that you only needed batteries in the head for it to work). I then read online that to see the SD-9 do its thing, you should have working batteries in the flash head. To test the SD-9 you should then fire the flash head at FULL power (manual 1/1 works). You'll then see the indicator lights on the SD-9 flash red for a second as the flash head "charges" up. The SD-9 will allow for a much faster recycle time of the flash head than without the SD-9. Having an SD-9 with your Nikon flash is a great tool if you expect to be popping your flash quickly.
Nikon SD-9 Battery Pack
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Note: Batteries are not included with the rental.
The Nikon SD-9 Battery Pack is used to greatly increase the number of flash firings of the SB-900 and SB-910SB-910 Speedlights, and also shortens the recycling time. It has a total capacity to hold 8 AA batteries, but can also be used with just 4 batteries. It can be used with any type AA battery, but provides the fastest recycling time when used with 4 quality AA Ni-MH rechargeable batteries.
Total minimum flash recycling time can be as fast as 1.0 seconds when used with AA Ni-MH batteries, and the capacity per round of batteries is about doubled. Batteries must be in place in the flash in order to operate.