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  1. #1

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    Alternate power source for Metz 60 series strobes.

    I really like the metz 60 series strobes. I have about 15 units which I string together and blast through diffusion which gives me a wonderful, kind-of portable, very powerful fill/key light. I'm shooting 5x7, 100asa film and fstops like f16.5-f22.5 so I need the power. Recently I noticed that I need fresh batteries but upon pricing them out I became determined to come up with an alternative to the $50 Sonneschein a506/4.3 k. An internet search led me to a distributer that sells a 6 volt called the UB645 he claims customers have used as a substitute. This battery costs $10. The contacts are tabs which need to be pushed down inorder to fit. I'd love to hear from anyone who's gone down this route.

    But even more intriguing is the prospect of buying a 30 or 40 amp/hour 6volt drycell with bolt and nut terminals and a pair of leads going to each battery pack. The contacts in the pack are spring loaded and hang down low enough to grap with alligator clips. Can anyone think of a reason why this won't work?

  2. #2

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    I'd add a connector to each pack, still allowing you to use them individually, should you need, by purchasing a few batteries, but able to still string them together. Of course you don't need a drycell, I'm willing to bet any Sears would have a 6V sealed auto battery, with proper charging it'd probably be a whole lot more cost effective.


    erie

  3. #3

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    Thanks for the suggestion Erie. Of course by using alligator clips to grab the contacts in the battery pack I would not be modifying anything in the pack itself so using the stock battery is still an option. I'm not sure if Sears carries 6volt batteries but in any case I'll definitely want a sealed lead, deep-cycle battery and not a traditional cold-cranking starter battery. Anyone else?

  4. #4
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    alternatives for portable power

    I have bought a506 in tab stye for $40, vs round pad style for $70

    Then I have bought enerwatt AGM 6V 5Ah too. $12 each, but they don't fit inside the flash generator. My adaptor was a dead dry fit with the guts pulled out, with just the case and contacts neded to funnel power in reliably

    If you want to be tied to A/C then I have used an old PC power supply to power 6V flash units quite sucessfully. The typical PC supply is happy to kick out 5V at something like 22A. My CT1 sucks back 6A on a full manual dump, so on this basis there could be 4 packs slaved to each PC supply.

  5. #5

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    Mike, did you solder the electrical leads to the contacts in the metz battery pack or did you use clips of some kind? The pc power supply sounds like a neat trick but I'm not going to have access to ac power so I'm going to have to go the battery route. I'm mostly concerned about damaging the power supplies or the flash heads but I guess as long as I get a 6volt deep cycle battery nothing else matters right?

  6. #6
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    Drilled and soldered

    My solution was to run #18 or so guage 'speaker wire' ie two conductor zip cord into a hole I drilled into the case where the plastic tab is usually glued on (the tab had been wrenched off and glued onto a newer battery on my example). I drilled small holes through the pads, and brought the leads of wire up from the inside. Soldered the wires into the holes, trimmed off excess, and filed the solder bit left down to match the elevation of the surrounding pad.

  7. #7

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    You've described you're a/c setup right Mike? I'm not sure I'm following you...plastic tabs?

  8. #8
    Mike Wilde's Avatar
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    plastic tab clarification

    the thing I am talking about here is the plastic rectangular bit that keeps the battery from being inserted into the flash generator with the incorrect polarity. Once the wires are routed out of the battery case, they need a way to get out of the flash generator. My CT1 flash generator has a series of slots in the battery door, so I drilled the case at a spot to line up with the middle slot, where the alighmnet tab usually is.

  9. #9

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    It's not too difficult to build a dummy battery to supply external power to the series 60, especially the cover has slots in it. I would be concerned using high capacity battery as their current capacity is higher and the flash may be designed in a way that the battery is responsible for limiting the max current that can flow thru the power converter circuit.

  10. #10

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    Mike - Using the empty battery case as a kind of an adapter does sound like an interesting solution. I suppose in this case I could attach the leads from the cannabalized factory battery either to the terminals of a higher capacity 6 volt or an a/c power adapter as you have done. But isn't it kind of nasty cleaning out the guts of a sonnenchein dry-cell. Don't you need like a hazmat certificate for that kind of deal?

    Chan - More amp/hours does not necessarily mean stronger current.

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