Problem with Metz 60 CT4?

Discussion in 'Lighting' started by kawasakiguy37, Jun 21, 2011.

  1. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    Recently purchased a used Metz 60 CT4 from KEH. Unit was not working (lightup but no flahses, not even one) so I sent it back. They gave me another one which seemed to work great (out of the box I got a bunch of fast recharge flashes). However, now the unit seems to be becoming inconsistent. Half of the time it simply wont fire, but Im not sure if the battery is just dieing or there is something wrong with the unit. I have the standard charger and a dryfit battery - the red charge light never seems to go out.

    Is my charger bad? Or is there something wrong with the pack?
     
  2. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Check that the contacts in the pack are clean and making good contact with the battery contacts. Sometimes the supports for the bottom of the battery get bent.

    Also clean those battery contacts.
     
  3. John Koehrer

    John Koehrer Subscriber

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    1) is the battery fully charged when you think it's done charging.
    2) it could be the charger, if it's a 6 or 12 V charger and not working right you may be able to use a charger from a RC car or airplane, not the tiny one but one that you can control the output with.
    If you know someone that flies(crashes) RC or a hobby shop see if you can use one. many shops service these things and will have a charger on the bench.
     
  4. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    First I think the battery no longer holds a charge and that's why the voltage doesn't increase enough to turn off the red light. I don't think the charger is the problem unless you set it for the wrong voltage. It can be set to 120V or 220V. Replacement battery is available but is quite expensive, around $70 or so. You can get a battery that fit and work for less but doesn't have the raised ridge to prevent you from installing the battery backward.
    I guess that the ready light on the flash is not on when the flash won't fire? If it's on and the flash won't fire then there is more problem than just the battery.

    According to Metz instruction, you would charge the battery until the red light goes out and then another additional 6 hrs after that.
     
  5. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    When I received t he flash unit for the second time t he battery powered the flash for quite a few flashes - at least 50 on full power and a lot more. So that leads me to think the battery is not dead.....going to look into getting it charged via another source asap
     
  6. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    bump - anybody know what the little bar should be set to inside the battery compartment? Its set to "dryfit" right now, but there seems to be no electrical contact being made so Im thinking of switching it to Pb. Does this just change the charging voltage? Im confused here, I thought Dryfit batteries WERE Pb (lead acid....). Obviously I will not be using the nicad setting
     
  7. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The switch lug (that is what the manual calls it) controls the over-charge protection circuitry. My 60 CT1/CT2 manual says "When using a 'Dryfit' battery, it must be in the 'Dry' position."

    Here is a link to the page on the Metz site that has a bunch of Metz manuals, including (near the bottom) the 60 CT4:

    http://www.metz.de/en/service-support/instruction-manuals/photo-electronics/mecablitz.html

    EDIT: I've just checked the instruction manuals listed on Metz' site, and it appears that Metz has done away with the switch lug in the current CT series flashes, as there is no reference to it in the current CT-1 or CT-4 manuals. That makes a certain amount of sense I guess, given there aren't a lot of the old style lead-acid batteries still around, and the "Dryfit" batteries work so much better (IMHO) than any nicads I have ever used.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 24, 2011
  8. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    I have the CT4, and it has the switch.....

    Now let me ask you this. When you look at the switch, is there an electric contact wrapping the inside of the little hole for each setting? On mine, both Nicad and Pb have the metal contact (for the little switch to touch) but the dry option is just an empty plastic hole. Im thinking this might be the issue.....going to try to charge on Pb setting now.

    Final question: When I charge, both the red and green lights lightup simultaneous (and stay on continuously) on the side of the flash unit. When the flash did work, the top red light would flash, but now the top red light stays on constantly (when the unit is switched on).

    Is this normal behavior?

    Also, I have checked the charger to make sure it is on the 120v setting instead of 220.
     
  9. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    The switch lug looks like this on each of my two power packs.

    Don't switch it away from the Dryfit setting, because you will lose the circuitry that protects against over-charging.

    It occurs to me - what model of charger adapter do you have, and what is it rated at?

    There are a number of different ones that work, and the designations seem to vary depending on where the flash was sold, but the voltages all seem to be at or near 7 volts.

    My 3 charger adapters are designated, respectively, 402.12b, Typ 708 and Typ 728.
     

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  10. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    Also, what does it say on the outside of your battery pack. Mine are imprinted with "60 CT1/CT2". They are identical in function to the packs that come with the 60 CT4, except for some very minor details (e.g. only one of my packs has the red light on the top - it was a feature introduced after I acquired my 60 CT2 (which I bought new).
     
  11. kawasakiguy37

    kawasakiguy37 Member

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    My pack says 60 CT 4 on it. It does have the top LED as well as two side LED's (one green and one red). My charger is type 728, battery is a black 60 38. Battery has 'Pb' written in the lower corner, as well as stating it is a 'VRLA' battery. Is this dryfit or SLA? Im going to change it back to the "dry" setting as mine looks exactly like yours. Charger says it outputs 7v, 600ma.

    When you charge do both the green and red light stay on continuously? (not the one on top)
     
  12. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    When I charge :smile:)):

    - at first, only the red indicator glows;
    - after about 6 hours of charging, the battery will be about 80% charged, the red indicator will stay on but the green indicator will come on as well;
    - after another 6 hours of charging, the red indicator will go out, leaving the green indicator on by itself and the battery almost completely charged.

    If you want to top up the battery completely, another 6 hours of charging is required.

    One further possibility - is there any chance that your battery is one of these after-market lithium ion replacements, that require a different charger:

    http://www.sabahoceanic.com/epages/sabahoceanic.sf/en_US/?ObjectPath=/Shops/sabahoceanic/Products/A0116
     
  13. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This is copied from the current 60 CT1 manual:

    "2.2.1 Charging the battery
    The 60-38 rechargeable battery must only be charged with the battery charger
    (Table 2, Page 513). The operating voltage must be set on the battery
    charger prior to the charging operation.
    Note ! During charging the flash unit must be turned off !
    Recharging an exhausted battery to 80% of its capacity takes approx. 7 hours.
    During this time, the red monitoring light  remains illuminated. As
    soon as the battery has been recharged up to 80% of its capacity the red
    monitoring light  starts flashing. The green monitoring light  (fig. 5)
    remains illuminated during the whole recharging procedure. After a further
    six hours the accumulator is then fully charged
    The battery is exhausted when recycling after a full-power flash takes more
    than 30 seconds. An exhausted battery must be immediately recharged."

    For some reason, there doesn't seem to be anything similar in the current CT4 manual about how to charge the battery.
     
  14. MattKing

    MattKing Subscriber

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    This is copied from the current 60 CT1 manual:

    "2.2.1 Charging the battery
    The 60-38 rechargeable battery must only be charged with the battery charger
    (Table 2, Page 513). The operating voltage must be set on the battery
    charger prior to the charging operation.
    Note ! During charging the flash unit must be turned off !
    Recharging an exhausted battery to 80% of its capacity takes approx. 7 hours.
    During this time, the red monitoring light  remains illuminated. As
    soon as the battery has been recharged up to 80% of its capacity the red
    monitoring light  starts flashing. The green monitoring light  (fig. 5)
    remains illuminated during the whole recharging procedure. After a further
    six hours the accumulator is then fully charged
    The battery is exhausted when recycling after a full-power flash takes more
    than 30 seconds. An exhausted battery must be immediately recharged."

    For some reason, there doesn't seem to be anything similar in the current CT4 manual about how to charge the battery.
     
  15. bigspecbear

    bigspecbear Member

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    kawasakiguy37,

    I think the cause is that the battery does not hold sufficient charge for normal operation. You need a replacement.

    If you're somewhere near Alameda or Fremont, I can gather a good 60CT4 unit so you can test yours and isolate the cause of the problem. Drop me a private message.
     
  16. Ralph Javins

    Ralph Javins Member

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    Good morning, KawasakiGuy37;

    Let me start with: I do not know if I will ever forgive them for dropping the A7. Yes, I do realize that the EPA was coming, but they had the best performing 350 out there, bar none. The Yamaha RD-350 always won the overall rating by Cycle World, but the A7 was always the top one in performance.

    When you get to meet with BigSpecBear, take a voltmeter with you. That will tell you quite a lot. When the DryFit battery is fully charged and taken off the charger, you may measure an open circuit voltage of about 7.0 VDC. One that has been sitting for a few hours will probably drop down to about 6.3 VDC and sit there for a long time. You can also check the battery voltage when it will not charge the 60 CT-4 any longer. Normally I do not want to see mine at less than about 5 VDC. At that point, they really do need to be recharged. If after a normal full charging, it does not rise to the standard full charge voltage of about 6.9 to 7.0 VDC, or it just does not seem to last very long when it has been recharged, it may be time for a replacement DryFit.

    The DryFit battery type may also be called an AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat), SLA (Sealed Lead Acid), VRLA (Valve Regulated Lead Acid), or some other similar non-spillable or non-liquid electrolyte lead-acid battery. It will not have any vents or caps on top to check the electrolyte level. Do not try to use a motorcycle battery in this application; you know what can happen if you lay the bike down and it is there on its side for a long time, and later you see what has happened in and around the battery box. And, in addition to that vertical ridge on the side of the case, the DryFit battery contacts are very different from the normal motorcycle battery posts with the lead plated brass nuts, washers, and bolts, or the special attached wiring and terminals.

    You can get a perfectly serviceable Digital VoltMeter (DVM) at Harbor Freight for about $10.00. It also has lots of applications with the electrical system on the bike.
     
  17. Chan Tran

    Chan Tran Member

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    So what do you find out? I would try to charge the battery by some way else and make sure I have it charged then test to see if the flash work. Then we can isolate as to where the problem is.
     
  18. skruft

    skruft Member

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    I have used many Metz units. They are very reliable. Many of them from the 70s are still working. As others pointed out, the only common problem is the battery no longer holding a charge. Key is that these sealed batteries for the 60 series must be kept charged for long life. Other problems are setting the little connector on the charger for the wrong type of battery, dirty battery or charger contacts, or a bad sync cord.