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  1. #1
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    Metz NiCD cluster for 45 CT/CL series flashes

    Does anyone have any idea of how to disassemble one of these to replace the cells, short of breaking it? I have 3 packs for my 45 CT-1 whose cells are on their last legs, and the thought of replacing the 500 mAh cells with 1100 mAh is gnawing pretty hard!

    Before anyone suggests using NiMH cells in the Metz NiCD pack, it's important to consider that the charger for the pack is just a transformer with a 7V AC 600mA outlet and that the rectification and current limiting circuitry is in the pack itself. The same charger is used for the Dry-Fit pack with the 60 CT series flashes. Metz also warns that you shouldn't use NiCD or NiMH cells in the "standard" AA holder as the contacts aren't designed for and can't properly handle the extra current these cells can deliver.

    Any clues/insight would be greatly appreciated...
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

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    There is a website that covers replacing the batteries. Everything from cracking it open to replacing the batteries. It also covers the issues with switching to Nihm.

    Of course I can't find the #$C#$!@!#@ thing right now.

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    Found it.

    http://www.uglx.org/metznicd

    Never claimed to be fast did I?

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    That's a complete BS unless you're making three flashes per second - really, the plastic lamp housing would melt down sooner than the contacts in battery pack, in normal shooting mode. Their whine about too high a current through circuits is not relevant, too - in a normal mode, again.

    Quote Originally Posted by bobfowler
    Metz also warns that you shouldn't use NiCD or NiMH cells in the "standard" AA holder as the contacts aren't designed for and can't properly handle the extra current these cells can deliver.

    Any clues/insight would be greatly appreciated...

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Nick Zentena
    Found it.

    http://www.uglx.org/metznicd

    Never claimed to be fast did I?
    Nick, I owe you a beer! (or many beers!)

    This is just another example of why I love APUG!!!
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by eumenius
    That's a complete BS unless you're making three flashes per second - really, the plastic lamp housing would melt down sooner than the contacts in battery pack, in normal shooting mode. Their whine about too high a current through circuits is not relevant, too - in a normal mode, again.
    You're probably quite right. I wonder though, why the AA holder and the NiCD clusters use different ground pins INSIDE the flash handle. Perhaps something to prevent turning on the flash while the batteries are charging? I'd love to see a circuit diagram of this thing...
    Bob Fowler
    fowler@verizon.net
    Some people are like Slinkies. They're really good for nothing, but they still bring a smile to your face when you push them down a flight of stairs.

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    Quote Originally Posted by bobfowler
    You're probably quite right. I wonder though, why the AA holder and the NiCD clusters use different ground pins INSIDE the flash handle. Perhaps something to prevent turning on the flash while the batteries are charging? I'd love to see a circuit diagram of this thing...
    NiCd's put out a lower voltage than alkalines, and provide less current (greater internal resistance), so I assume the flash circuit is optimised internally to match the different battery types. I wouldn't put NiCD's into the AA's unless I switched the contact over to match. Worst case it could even throw out the metering (though I've no evidence of that).

    As for charging - the instructions specifically FORBID charging the pack while it's in the flash.

    I've dismantled and repaired a couple of packs - one had a broken connection, and fixed up fine. The other had a damaged charging circuit - it had somehow corroded, but I got it fixed no problem. Trouble is the cells needed replacing too, so while it charged, it still wasn't viable. Maybe one day I'll replace the cells.

    Anyway - they're pretty easy to work on even with my clumbsy skill. A bit small and fiddley, but not at all complex.

    Ian

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    The AA holder and NiCd clusters really us different ground pins inside, but the main difference is a small resistor in a NiCd circuit, with quite a negligible ohmic resistance... as I can understand, it's made just for cases when your 45 flash is used with old motorized Nikon F-3, say. Three frames per second, the current going from low inner resistance NiCds HAS to be limited by a resistor. If you shoot normally, there's no way to overheat the lamp and capacitor/inverter circuitry. The flashmeter is of course voltage-independent, if it were depending on cells voltage the normal operation of auto-aperture would have been impossible, as used cells give less voltage etc. - its circuit is more like an integrator of lighting time (close to shutter testers) than a, say, CdS regular resistance-based exposure meter. I use NiCds in my 45CT-1 with AA holders for ages, and the only problem I ever got this way was a bad synchro cord

    Quote Originally Posted by bobfowler
    You're probably quite right. I wonder though, why the AA holder and the NiCD clusters use different ground pins INSIDE the flash handle. Perhaps something to prevent turning on the flash while the batteries are charging? I'd love to see a circuit diagram of this thing...

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