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  1. #1

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    Metz hammerhead charger / batteries DIY help.

    Hi everyone.

    Just received a joblot of Metz hammerhead flashes that includes

    ○ Metz 45 CL-1 with Alkaline battery holder.
    ○ Metz 45 CT-3 with Alkaline battery holder.
    ○ Metz 50 MZ-5 with controller, 1xNiMH and 1xNiCD battery packs but no charger for either.

    ◘ Metz charger for CL/CT series NiCD packs but I don't have any of these so this charger will be useless for now.
    ◘ one bracket for all three flashes.

    So the only drawback is the lack of power to even test them. I put some NiMH batteries in the Alkaline battery holders. The 45's turned on (continuous beep charging sound) but never charged up enough to turn on the LED or fire. I suppose it is a battery problem. I can easily troubleshoot that by getting some actual Alkaline batteries instead.

    I am therefore left with the crown jewel, the 50 MZ-5 that came with no charger for either batteries. This flash is the reason why I bought the joblot.

    I have a few options:

    1- remove the internal cells, connect the intestines of the battery pack to an external battery holder in which I can use separate rechargeable NiMH or NiCD AA's accordingly, and a regular suitable AA battery charger. It should not be a problem to re-iterate the capacitor found inside the original pack in the external DIY holder if anybody knows if that's necessary.

    2- DIY a charger for either the NiMH or NiCD PACK, but I need some info: original Metz charging unit voltage and current outputs, whether it is a smart or dumb charger, etc., because then I will be charging the entire pack of 7xAA's as opposed to charging single AA's in the previous solution.

    3- Any other ideas you can give me.


    Can anybody help with any info or suggestions? Basically anything except buying a Metz charging unit or batteries because as you well know their prices are ridiculous and I'm on a budget.

    Many thanks in advance.

  2. #2
    ic-racer's Avatar
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    I now charge most of my photography gear with a charger like this.
    Click image for larger version. 

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  3. #3
    Andrew K's Avatar
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    the 45's should work with any battery - are your batteries fully charged? If they keep beeping but not charging fully the capacitors could be shot?

    Sorry I've never used a 50MZ-5 so can't help there, but there are lots of universal chargers that will charge any battery pack you can buy for a few dollars - just make sure you have the polarity the right way around!
    A camera is only a black box with a hole in it....

    my blog...some film, some digital http://andrewk1965.wordpress.com/

  4. #4

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    You need alkali batteries in the battery holder - rechargeables won't provide a sufficiently high voltage for the flash to work and there is a risk that they'll damage the flash.
    Last edited by ruby.monkey; 08-27-2014 at 01:42 AM. Click to view previous post history.

  5. #5
    baachitraka's Avatar
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    With CL-4 it is possible to use NiMH RC battery pack.

    You may need to solder two wires that take 7.2V instead of 9V and connect to the battery.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
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    Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.

  6. #6

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    Thanks all for the suggested option.

    ic-racer: this is the first time I see this charger an it looks amazing. I will have a few questions about it. If I have a set of AA's connected in a series (in battery holder) can this one connection charge all of them (say, 8 batteries) connected that way?

    Or is this kind of series-charging only suitable for the particular arrangement in RC battery packs in which a device can test and charge each cell individually?

    Andrew K: can you point out a suitable charger for me to look into? I'm very wary of cheap chargers. Will prefer one of my solutions above in order to avoid the caveats of going really cheap to the extent that it is not even economically efficient on the long term.

    baachitraka: thanks a lot. I came across this common solution for the 45's. I will consider it of course if I cannot achieve the battery holder above. The point for me is to have one solution for all. If I buy one of these RC packs, I will have to get the right charger for it. I am trying to look into as many options as possible in order to find the one-for-all solution that will save me the most money.

    You have a nice brolley set up there. I should show you my Vivitar 365 setup. Similar to yours with YN-622c and its own VariSensor for automatic metering, but I'm DIYing a manual controller for it soon anyway. ^_^

  7. #7
    baachitraka's Avatar
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    I was looking kind of pluggable solution, but I was little impatient and went on soldering two wires.

    Ideal would be,

    - One battery basket for alkali batteries.
    - Another battery basket pref., NiMH and do a MOD to bring cables out from the basket and connect to RC pack.

    With RC pack you may have very fast recycling times...
    OM-1n: Do I need to own a Leica?
    Rolleicord Va: Humble.
    Holga 120GFN: Amazingly simple yet it produces outstanding negatives to print.

  8. #8

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    We bought a couple of these for work: http://www.all-battery.com/Tenergytb...ger-01322.aspx
    They are incredibly versatile, will charge pretty much anything. The user interface and instruction manual are sh*t, though -- typical Engrish and little to no help. But it's easy enough to figure out in 1/2 hr of playing with it.

    I always replace NiCd with NiMH and have had no problems to date. It's OK to charge a string of NiMHs, and the above charger will do that fine. It will also tell you if you have a shorted (bad) cell. Oh yeah, and one more thing: technology has improved since those Metz NiCd packs were made -- you should get better life and higher peak current out of high quality NiMHs.

    Places like this will build packs for you to your spec: http://www.all-battery.com/custommadepackforms.aspx

    Edit: Looks like ic-racer has the same charger in a different package. Notice you're in the UK, so the US company probably won't help you. All this stuff comes from Shenzen, so there's probably a guy in the UK that makes up packs for the RC racing set and distributes exactly the same stuff. I had a custom pack made for my son's paintball gun and it was surprisingly inexpensive.
    Last edited by Peter Simpson; 08-27-2014 at 01:51 PM. Click to view previous post history.

  9. #9

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    I have just recharged my NiMH's and both Metz 45's fired.

    There is a common misconception about battery voltages as people think rechargeables are simply 1.2v while alkalines are simply 1.5v, constantly, and then they add these values up in packs. In fact, all AA's should offer around 1.5v. For Alkaline, this is a bit more constant and longer lasting but will drop near the end anyway.

    Rechargeables, due to their nature, offer up to 1.4v when fully charged and down to 1.0v when flat. The convention in naming rechargeable batteries is to give the mean value, the mid point, which is 1.2v. So, in effect, when fully charged, each cell is giving the whole 1.4v which is pretty much the same as Alkaline 1.5v cells.

    This makes a big difference if you simply add them up.
    6x1.5 alkalines = 8v
    6x1.2 NiMH = 7.2v

    However, even 7.2v is a nominal mid point. A pack of 6xNiMH's should offer anything between 8v when fully charged down to 6.4v when drained.

    Which again shouldn't matter for the electronic device long as a sufficient amount of current (amps) is going through. It is important not to go over the device's tolerance for voltage in order not to fry it, but a bit less should still work. You can go over in amps as the device will only take as much as it actually uses, but not less.

    All I'm saying is that 1.2v is not the real voltage, it is a nominal midpoint, so when people simply add up and think you get lower voltages when using rechargeables, this is simply wrong.

    Charging those different chemistries of batteries, however, is a different story. Mainly because their internal resistance is different. They are recharged by different currents. This is where you should not mess around. Metz is about the only flash company that I know which designed different compartments for NiCD and Alkaline batteries (with a different contact arrangement) to avoid mix up. Some say this is because of the different internal resistance of batteries so the circuit would behave slightly differently for each kind to avoid overheating for example.


    I am not excited about my NiMH's recycling times on Metz 45, but at least they work and I'm not in a hurry.

  10. #10

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    Peter Simpson and ic-racer:

    I looked up these chargers and found a few rather cheap ones from china. Some of them have 50w charge, 5w discharge circuits. Some, twice more expensive have 80w charge, 10w discharge circuits, and there is a Venom 100w charging power, and there is a Venom version which offers up to 500w charging power.

    I do not know what this power difference will bear in practice. It may only be a maximum charging current (the last one offers up to 25Amps charging current). I am wonder if going cheap on this is a bad idea and more importantly WHY.

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