Metz 60CT4 power pack setting for NiCad vs Dryfit

Discussion in 'Lighting Equipment' started by BeBu Lamar, Jan 2, 2021.

  1. About rebuilding the battery. I have no idea what the inside of the Metz battery is like, if and how it can be rebuilt/recelled. I usually make that decision after opening the battery case and studying what is inside. Then determining it it can be rebuild/recelled and what replacement cell I can use. Sometimes I have changed cell chemistry, sometimes not.

    Charging is a matter of process.
    After a shoot, I charge the batteries. So they are put away fully charged.
    Prior to a scheduled shoot, my SOP is to charge my flash batteries a few days prior to a scheduled shoot.
    When I shot more randomly, I did a top off-charge every other month.
    With NiMH batteries you can charge them at 0.5 to 1C, so all you need is a n hour or two before the shoot, and you can top up/charge the battery.
    Make charging a standard routine, and it stops being an issue.

    You can also look for tabbed low discharge NiMH batteries.
  2. Metz offered 2 types of batteries for the 60 series.
    One is the Nicad battery which consists of 5 sub C NiCad.
    The other is a gel lead acid battery (which I had) and Metz call it dry fit. The dry fit battery don't have separate cells. It's a plastic case with 3 compartments each is fitted with the lead electrodes and filled with gel electrolyte (instead of liquid acid like a regular lead acid battery). In that way you can not replace the cells. You could pry it open and and put some water in it (like Ben did) if the electrolyte dried out.
  3. Given what you said, I would say the dry fit is not rebuildable.
    But, if you are industrious enough, you might be able to build a new bottom, load it with 5 NiMH cells, then "attach" the new bottom to the old top. How practical or even possible this is, I have no idea.

    I have had zero success in restoring dried out AGM SLAs. Gel cells might be different.
    I add distilled water, then let it sit for a week, hoping that some of the distilled water will soak into the electrolyte to make it active.
    Sometimes they start to take a charge, but in the end, they all failed.
    Last edited: Jan 26, 2021
  4. Best use for an old dryfit is as a casing for some NiMH or NiCd cells.

    They come apart reasonably easy at the top seam, by cutting with a fine saw. Trying to prise the glue/weld apart is a fool's errand.

    I've done this with two of the darned things. There's plenty of room inside for sub-C, or even C sized cells. A standard capacity is 4000mAH, so no different from the Dryfit. The top contacts are also in exactly the same place as on a Metz NiCd pack.

    A length of sellotape wrapped around the cut seam holds the casing together again more than adequately.

    The black, screwed-together Metz NiCd pack simply has 5 C cells and some foam packing inside. It has a pathetic capacity compared to modern cells.

    A shame that Lithium-Ion cells didn't come to the attention of Metz's designers, but they never did seem to get much beyond 1970s technology.
    Last edited: Jan 27, 2021
  5. Here's a shot of the Dryfit case fitted with NiMH cells. You can just about make out the clear tape holding it back together.
    Next to it is the top half of an 'official' Metz NiCd holder with its mouldy old cells on show.
    The cells are full C sized ones BTW.

    Oh, I forgot before now. The cell-separators in the Dryfit case have to be removed to make room for the new NiCd/NiMH cells. I used a wood chisel and Dremel tool for that.
    Gary Naka likes this.
  6. I'm not 100% sure about this since I never purchased from this seller, but you can find a replacement battery here: Metz Dryfit Battery Cell 60 Mz5320 for sale online | eBay
  7. Thanks! I will consider that. It does require to use the charger that comes with the battery. The Metz charger won't work. Right now I got it working with the pack that I built.
  8. Expect long shipping times since they are coming from South-East Asia...
  9. Most surprising thing is that they've sold 76 units.
    There are 76 people in the world that still care enough about a Metz 60CT to spend $85 on a battery?!:eek:
  10. Yes I would! All the Nikon flashes don't have enough power for my need. They are typically GN120 @ ISO100 and 35mm coverage. I am considering Quantum flashes but they are quite expensive.
  11. Use two!
    They'll still be less bulky and weight less than a Metz CT60.... and recycle quicker.
  12. Using 2 for on camera flash is quite cumbersome.
  13. The 5 cell NiMH 5000mAh I got are OK. Still have good power after 2 months so self discharge isn't all that bad. Compared to the dryfit it's about the same. Doesn't recycle any faster.
    Yesterday I built a pack of Li-Ion using 4 18650 cells. They are in series/parallel configuration to get double the mA rating at 7.4 V. Fully charged the.voltage is quite high. I kinda worries a bit. It's about 7.9V open circuit. I does recycle the flash in half the time. Not sure I want to use it as it may stress the circuit too much. The NMH pack charged OK with the Metz charger but the Li-Ion must be removed and charged with my a different charger.
  14. Brave man!
    The charging thing is what would put me off using cheap vaping 18650 Li-ion cells. (A good source of which is old laptop batteries BTW)

    I have a set of 3 Godox 'Ving' Li-ion powered speedlights. They're a definite improvement over NiMH cells. But again, you're back being limited to the availability and price of a proprietry battery, just like those old Metz things.
  15. I study the charging and found li-ion is actually easier to charge than NiMH. I use a programmable bench power supply.
  16. Except NiMH cells aren't prone to thermal runaway and bursting into flames!

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