Metz 60 CT-4 parts availability
I have a Metz 60 CT-4 flash that I picked up from KEH a few years back. The battery is taking a charge, and the last time I used it, it worked well. I had it sitting for about a year or so, and the battery still seems fine, but the flash no longer fires. I don't hear the tell-tale whining sound anymore, and the test button won't fire the flash. I'm thinking, hoping, that this is as simple as replacing a bulb to fix. But now I'm trying to figure out if and where I can actually purchase a new bulb for this flash.
Or if my problem sounds familiar, like something other than a bulb.
Thanks for your insight. In fact, I'm over due and am heading over to finally buy my APUG subscription now.
If you do not hear the "whine", the problem is not the tube. The circuit is not charging the main capacitor.
Originally Posted by tkamiya
tkamiya is quite right...
Imagine you have one of those inverters that change 12VDC from your car battery to 120VAC to run a small TV. The package contains a circuit called an oscilator to convert DC to AC. That is coupled to a transformer to step up the voltage. It also contains other components to smooth out the voltage so your TV for example will not have a mess of interference on the screen and buzzing in the audio.
Any electronic flash does the same thing except it generates a much higher voltage in the order of hundreds of volts! The circuit does a couple more neat tricks. The high voltage is converted back to a high DC voltage again and charges up the "main capacitor." The main capacitor is connected to switches, (the test switch) and your sync connector. When either of these contacts close, the mail capacitor dumps its high voltage charge through a pulse transformer that results in THOUSANDS of volts to cause your flash tube to arc and give you the flash for your photo.
The trouble in your flash could be a transistor, coil, transformer, capacitor or many other components. It could be as simple as the on/off switch corroded.
Please leave the troubleshooting to an experienced tech or at least make sure the battery is disconnected AND any charge on the capacitor is discharged.
Sometimes I'm Brilliant but most times I'm Just Myself!
Go low tech before declaring it dead. With the battery in it and it turned on, hold it and give it a few whacks aginst your other hand. Sometimes oxidation builds up on contacts, and a jar is enough to get it going again.
The other thing is the battery might show a proper no load voltage, but the charging circuit puts close to a short circuit load on the battery at the start, and that might cause the voltage output of a weak battery to collapse to nothing. If it is lead acid gel cell technolgy and not regularly cared for I dont expect then to last much past 4 years.
my real name, imagine that.
Leave the unit on for a while before deciding it's dead. For some strange reason I've found that a Metz 60 flash that's been sitting for too long will not charge, ie appear dead, when switched on but will eventually work OK. Of course it could also be out right dead, but don't jump to that conclusion.
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How can you tell that the "battery still seems fine"?
Does anything light up on the flash?
When I've been forgetful about exercising my 60 series flashes, I drain and recycle the battery a couple of times, and it helps.
The ready light and scale illuminater on the 60 CT1 and 60 CT2 bodies drain the battery a bit, so they are often enough to get things running.
“Photography is a complex and fluid medium, and its many factors are not applied in simple sequence. Rather, the process may be likened to the art of the juggler in keeping many balls in the air at one time!”
Ansel Adams, from the introduction to The Negative - The New Ansel Adams Photography Series / Book 2
Thanks for all of the public & private responses.
I said that the battery still seems fine because the "charged" light comes on. I'd not taken a voltmeter to it (though it would seem that should be one of my next steps). I've got a few other things to try. I have to wonder if it's worth the expense to send off for repair though or just find a good replacement.
A voltmeter will only show you the non-load voltage and by that tell not that much about their capacity.
It's hard to say what you should do.... 60CT are pretty inexpensive now. It's entirely possible your problem is something easily and cheaply fixable but that's only true if you can do it yourself. Having it professionally looked at and getting it repaired will likely far exceed it's replacement cost. Plus, if you are not familiar with electronics, high voltage circuit like flash guns aren't something that should be your first attempt. It may not kill you but it can hurt you.
No, voltmeter won't help you. Unless it's REALLY dead, most batteries will show full voltage with no load.
Develop, stop, fix.... wait.... where's my film?
If your battery is dryfit. Use the voltmeter and if it reads 6V or below it's no good. Although rated at 6V a good dry fit battery should something like 6.6V with no load when it's fully charged.