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Backup Battery

Discussion in 'Pickups & Electronics [BG]' started by therealting, Sep 5, 2005.

  1. I'm probably not the person to have thought of this, but I think it would be a great way to make sure you get through the set without battery problems.

    My idea is to have two batteries (or four for an 18v system) in the battery cavity, and the pairs of batteries are wired to a slide on-on switch on the battery cover. If the battery starts to run flat, you reach for the switch, flip it over, and keep playing.

    Can anyone see any problems with this? I am thinking of getting this done on my main gigging instrument, and it it works, to have it installed on all my basses.

  2. 4 batteries in a bass just doesn't seem practical to me...

    Besides, batteries don't run flat very quickly at all...your best bet is to have an 18V system and check it before each gig...if it gets below 15V change both batteries.

    You're loads ahead to have a preamp bypass, to handle a variety of situations.
  3. Just changed mine. Got a "show" tomorrow. I don't know if the batteries they put in the factory are new, but I don't want to assume anything.
  4. seanm

    seanm I'd kill for a Nobel Peace Prize! Supporting Member

    Feb 19, 2004
    Ottawa, Canada
    Reminds me of the stories of my parents first VW. It did not have a gas guage. When you ran out of gas, you flipped over to the auxliary tank to get you to the next gas station.

    I guess it was very common for Dad to switch to the auxiliary, and forget it. Then run out of gas completely.

    So you might just be moving the problem further out. If you have a good memory and are good about remembering to change the batteries, it will not be a problem.

    And it will still save you the first time it goes dead. However, I think a passive switch would be a more failsafe solution.
  5. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA
    I think the one only nifty upgrade to an active bass that is worth while is coverting to one of those boxes that springs out and the battery just slides in, makes contract with the terminals, you close it up and you are good to go.

    You can change a battery with those in literally 10 seconds.

    Batteries down just quit. I have never had a bass that didn't have little tell-tale signs that the battery was about to puke. Just change it.

    That little LED that someone linked to here at TB a week or two ago was pretty nifty also. It lights when the voltage drops to a worrisome level.
  6. fraublugher


    Nov 19, 2004
    ottawa, ontario, canada
    music school retailer
    my 9v bartolini 2band wears out with little to no warning , about 8 seconds.
  7. I've run out of batteries ONCE, and it was a very quick, non gradual thing. Unfortunately, I didn't have a spare battery onstage with me, and I had to leave the stage and fish it out of my gigbag. Very embarrassing, and now I always check my batteries before the gig and have a battery on my music stand. I can't see it hurting to have one extra level of backup though.

    I would LOVE to have a passive-active switch, but none of my active basses have this capability, and neither does my acoustic g**tar pickup... this seemed like a similar solution.

    I have a flipout box on one of my basses but it still takes time... a second reserve would mean I could get to the end of the night and then change batteries.
  8. wulf


    Apr 11, 2002
    Oxford, UK
    Count me in on the idea of an active / passive switch. Extra batteries are going to require extra routing and if (like me ;) ) you're too tight to change your batteries on a regular basis, you'd probably find the spares were flat when you flicked over to them.

    When I had my Washburn XB-600 converted to fretless, I had a push/pull active/passive function added to the volume control. It's great and, in fact, I rarely play that bass in active mode anymore. At some point, I'll probably see if I can get the same kind of thing added to my fretted 6.

    I can understand that piezo pickups might require a battery to boost the signal level but are there pickups that only work with a battery in the signal?

  9. Fo' Shizzle

    Fo' Shizzle

    Aug 28, 2003
    I remember reading about a guy that had created a 1/4" cable that he built that would plug directly into his voltmeter. It made it very easy to check his batts before a gig.
  10. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    I probably have the same pre in my Q5. It's a two band bart (9v) I can tell when the battery is getting weak because you can hear the thing breakup a bit when you dig in and the attack of the notes tend to soften a bit. Although, if you like to play with a little bit of dirt in the tone anyway, it would be harder to tell.

    Most of the EMGs are active only. Active/passive selection is only available with an active/passive system. That is a seperate onboard preamp wired to passive PUs.
  11. I had it suggested to me that I run a wire that goes right into the wall, or power conditioner.... no interest in it, but who knows, someone out there might like it... no battery needed
  12. Trevorus


    Oct 18, 2002
    Urbana, IL
    Yep. EMG's

  13. Yep, I have EMG's in my homemade P-bass copy. Flip out battery case is a must for these...and check batteries before every gig...with that said, batteries on these last a VERY long time.
  14. Eric Moesle

    Eric Moesle

    Sep 21, 2001
    Columbus OH
    Years, years, and more years of playing, and I've never had a problem with a dead battery when I change them twice a year - when daylight savings time changes - the same time I check my smoke alarm batteries.

    I gig at least twice a week, usually play about 4 nights a week. Never had one die within that 6 months, when they get replaced whether I think they "need" to be replaced or not.

    To me at least, this seems like a solution looking for a problem. I sure wouldn't want the wood on MY basses chunked up to fit a spare battery that isn't at all needed. Bah. Of course, YMMV . . . .
  15. Chasarms

    Chasarms Casual Observer

    May 24, 2001
    Bettendorf, IA USA

    I think is a lot more feasable to use a TRS two-lead cable (stereo) and shoot power up the other lead. (AKA phantom)

    It would work, but you'd have to rework the wiring a bit.
  16. bill h

    bill h

    Aug 31, 2002
    small town MN
  17. ddnidd1

    ddnidd1 Supporting Member

    Buy a CHEAP multimeter and occasionally measure the voltage of the existing battery(s). You'll see the voltage dropping long before the preamp dies.