Input Voltage on Metz 60 CT series?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by kawasakiguy37, Dec 5, 2010.

  1. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    The Metz 60 CT series looks to be ridiculous cheap used for what it is. Very powerful, pretty portable, etc etc. You can especially find the heads (which they describe as body only) for quite cheap (less than $50). I want to wireup my own battery system to these.

    Anybody know the input voltage on the 60 CT-1 and CT-2? I know the "pack" uses a 6v battery (either nicad or lead acid), but I would much rather built my own NiMh pack (no memory, and I go with either high current cells or low self discharge - or both). However, I dont want to have to buy an additional power pack for each head that I buy....as this adds to the cost a lot, and weight. If I could wireup my own battery + transistor setup I could start with any source (12v DC comes to mind) up to what the Metz uses. Ive heard 330v, and also 360v. I'd also like the ability to put two flashes on the same pack

    Finally, anyone think it would be possible to just wire up something like the Nikon SD8 clone seen here:

    http://www.flashzebra.com/products/0153/index.shtml

    To a Metz 60 CT-1? I believe that outputs 330v, and if the Metz uses close to that it might work.....

    Please excuse my ignorance of electric engineering, Ive only taken some physics and wired up (soldered) my own RC car batteries.
     
  2. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I just wanted to let you know, you CAN e-mail Metz tech support directly and ask the question. I asked about the "output" voltage and I got an answer in few days directly from Metz.
     
  3. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    What do you mean by output voltage? From the 60 38 battery pack?

    Gonna send them an email right now. Seems I only want the CT-4 heads too, as the rest dont have any manual control.....

    Is it possible to use CT-4 heads with older packs??
     
  4. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    Ouch! I'm feeling electrical shocks just reading this. With an "ignorance of electrical engineering" you are going to scratch-build a high voltage xenon charging circuit:blink:
    Appropriate high voltage capacitors for a project like this can be expensive and difficult to come by (maybe its a good thing).
     
  5. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    I think OP is talking about building a battery pack....

    By "output" I meant the trigger voltage. The point I was trying to make was that Tech Support at Metz were very helpful in providing specifications. Good luck with your project.
     
  6. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    Definitely talking about the battery pack. Not trying to work with rigging up my own transistors, but using someone elses. I looked into it seems the best method is just to buy bargan CT4 systems (head, pack, battery, cables) and then replace the battery myself. All of this can be had for ~125. Battery probably another $30. Now the only question is how to successfully rig it up to a lightstand and modifiers....

    Anybody know the wattage on these packs? Guide numbers are sometimes a bit inconclusive....I want to use this thing in a beauty dish and other modifiers
     
  7. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    GN is 197 I believe.... I'm trying to do the same thing myself - that is, use Metz with umbrellas.
     
  8. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    The voltage from the trigger coil is probably around 5,000 volts.
     
  9. tkamiya

    tkamiya Member

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    We should ask Chris that....
     
  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    FWIW ....

    Very few of the 60CT series flashes are used with a ni-cad or lead acid battery. Almost all of them use a "dryfit" battery, which essentially eliminates memory effect.
     
  11. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    last time I checked the dryfit was a type of lead acid :smile:

    Gelled or something? Regardless, very old and heavy tech. Id go with LiFePO4 and a PCB but I cant afford that!

    Now how can I use the speedlight with something like buff's retro laser?
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 6, 2010
  12. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I believe the input voltage for a CT1/2 head is about 450V. There is a third contact wire that I think is used to quench the flash capacitor dump in the pack after enough light is sensed by the head. It allows a faster recycle. The flash capacitor is in the pack, not the head on a Metz CT60

    The dryfit sold for the ct60 pack is a speciallized contact type of Absorbed Glass Mat lead acid battery. Non speciallized AGM batteries are easier for me to find, and cost half as much, and recycle just fine.

    I use conventional UPS style AGM batteries with theterminal tabs bent back in themselves to put the contact in the right place to meet the pack's contact fingers. I had to shave a couple of spacer ribs out of the bottom of the pack to let the somewhat taller battery fit. Be sure to write on the correct side of the battery so you don't put it in backwards.

    I have used a 5V comupter p/s connected to the chassis of a dead dryfit to use this CT60 pack in the studio with no batteries. It worked quite well. Others from my past posting here on Metx CT60's have adapted golf cart batteries to feed their packs, and report they work fine as well.
     
  13. Steve Smith

    Steve Smith Subscriber

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    If you are referring to the wires actually at the flash tube, the third wire is the trigger which connects to the trigger transformer.

    The transformer gives a very short pulse of very high voltage which ionises the Xenon gas in the tube and starts it conducting.

    Unless stopped, the tube will continue conducting until the high voltage capacitor is discharged. A pair of thyristors is used by the light sensing circuit to stop the tube from conducting once enough light is received.


    Steve.
     
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  15. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    All Metz 60CT (CT1, CT2 and CT4) use the same battery pack. The battery pack uses either a 6V lead acid dry cell or 6V NiCad. It converts the 6V to about 360V DC to charge the capacitor which is in the head(That's what I measured) as well as supplying 6VDC to the control electronic in the head. The cable has 3 pins. You can try to build one but all I can say is good luck. Let me know what you ended up doing.
     
  16. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    Looks like Im gonna whole sets and replace the batteries. I can save about 1.5 pounds by using a good NiMh cell. Unfortunately they are sorta expensive. Im looking into using a midline cell right now which will have enough current for faster recharge but not be too crappy. If anyone knows of a good value in C through D (Im thinking Sub-C size is best) NiMh cells I'd really appreciate it
     
  17. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    Capacitoir - in the pack

    Chan - the main capacitor is in the pack on CT1/2, and my CT1 pack has a switch in the battery compartment for nicad, agm and wet cells (yes, they once had wet cells for this flash). The head has the control electronics. I have had both apart to rehab different parts.
     
  18. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    Metz informed me the switch doesnt change the voltage - so why is it there? They said that either way your supposed to use a 6v nicad or a 6v dryfit.

    In the end this will just save me money building Nimh packs :smile:

    But which setting to use? Does it have to do with recycle? I wonder what the wet cell setting is....
     
  19. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    When the CT1 was first introduced, there were still lots of 402 and 202 units around. Many of those had wet cell lead acid batteries in them. The battery packs for the original CT1s were designed to make it easy for photographers to switch over from 202s or 402s - they included the switch to permit using those wet cells.

    Later versions of the CT1s and the CT-2 came with a battery pack that only had two positions for the switch - dryfit and nicad.

    Is there anyone else here who remembers using an eye dropper and a bottle of distilled water to help maintain a healthy battery for their Metz flash? :smile:

    At the very least I would expect that the internal resistance of the various battery types would differ - maybe the switch position takes that into account.
     
  20. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    My bet is that the switch setting is related to the slightly different charging regime that the different battery technologies use to end up feeding out nominal 6V on discharge. Nicad I think I recall liked constant current on charge, while lead acid liked constant voltage, with slight voltage differences between wet cels and AGM construction.
     
  21. ic-racer

    ic-racer Member

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    I just rebuilt my E36RE with batteries from zbattery. The ten AAA NiMh cells were about a buck a piece.

    Here is a D size NiMH for about $5 http://www.zbattery.com/NiMH-C-Cell-5000mAh-1-2V-Battery
     
  22. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    Those batteries are cheap but I have heard nothing but news when I just inquired over on the RC forum. Those guys abuse the crap out of their batteries though. I might use elite 3500 ish mah Sub C cells, very compact and good performance (35amp continous discharge!)
     
  23. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The Metz dry-fit batteries are expensive, but I will say that they work very, very well.

    Same goes for the substitutes that used to be available from the German manufacturer (Schoenenberg???) that probably made them for Metz.
     
  24. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    Found some GP 3300 NIMH cells wihch are known to be ultra reliable. For anyone else looking to do something like this Ive heard nothing but amazing recommendations about this site for batteries:

    http://www.battlepack.com/NIMH battlepacks.asp

    he uses top quality cells, Im gonna order one of his "battle" packs soon and have him split to two 6v packs for my Metz. EP cells are top quality and its really hard finding the good NIMH these days....

    Should be cheaper than the dryfit, much lighter, and provide faster recycling time. Not sure what the amp draw rating on the dryfit is but on these NIMH's its through the roof!

    Just sent Metz an email about current draw on the battery from the CT1-4 packs.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 9, 2010
  25. Mike Wilde

    Mike Wilde Member

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    I recall it is well in excess of 6A as the flash is first recovering from being discharged on manual. I was using a 5A maximum deflectiion analog ammeter with a bench power supply (old PC power supply , 20A, with the regulator fooled to put out 5.7V by sticking a diode across it's reference terminal), and the meter definitely was pegged for a few seconds.

    The bench test confirmed the pack was viable, so I went and spent $30 on an about 4-5Ah 6V AGM battery to power the Metz pack, and still be able to fit it in the battery comparment. I have since adapted the pack to allow exteral 6V batteries to be plugged into the pack to augment the power reserves of the internal battery.

    I had no charger for the pack, so I sniffed in my big of spare power bricks, and found one 6VAC 800mA for an old adding machine that had been discarded. I made up a pair of contacts to suit the pack, and then fed the pack with this thing plugged into an autotransformer. The voltage was wound up until the battery saw the charge voltage it wanted to. I think I am running the power brcik a feed woltage of about 140VAC, but it has worked fine this way for the last 4 years, with intermittent use.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2010
  26. quantumhelp

    quantumhelp Member

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    Dryfits are sealed lead acid gel cells. They are also referred to as "accumulators" The guide # is 197 (ISO 100 - 10 feet). If you have the correct adapter to mount them into an umbrella, the best way is horizontally, parallel to the umbrella shaft.

    Buy the power pack. Skip trying to be a rocket scientist. The internal circuit board is complex, plus ---
    big plus, the components for running the system are both in the battery pack and in the head, so you need both.