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Hot pedals

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by G.Bisson, Oct 20, 2010.

  1. G.Bisson


    Feb 26, 2009
    I've noticed that my MicroPOG and Stereo Electric Mistress get warm to the touch after a few minutes of being plugged in. The EM is only slightly warm. The MPOG is noticeably warm, toasty enough to warm your hands on. It doesn't matter if the pedal is on or off, so long as it's getting power from 9v DC in, it stays warm. These are the only pedals I've ever noticed warming up. Both are digital, both from Electro Harmonix.

    I am concerned that the heat could shorten the life span of these pedals, especially the MPOG. I would be willing to drill holes in the casing if it is necessary to prevent the pedal from burning out, but I don't know if the heat is problematic enough to worry about. Or if these pedals are already doomed to suffer the fate EHX's reputation has for dieing. Any advice?

    I'll examine them some more tonight by opening the pedals up after they've been on for awhile and trace down which component is generating the most heat.

    Has anyone else ever experienced a pedal getting warm? Did it eventually stop working?
  2. Darkglass

    Darkglass Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Dec 10, 2008
    Helsinki, Finland
    Douglas Castro, Founder: darkglass.com
    I don't think warmth should be a problem. usually semiconductors are rated at very high temperatures. For example, the most standard Opamp's temperatures are rated between 32° F and 158 °F (0° and 70° C).
    In the studio where I work, the SSL console warms up the whole room... and it feels veeery warm (almost too) to touch, yet it has ran for years without major problems.

    Allthough cooling them up is not a bad idea, I whould try to place couple of fans below this pedals before drilling the boxes.


  3. UncleFluffy


    Mar 8, 2009
    Head Tinkerer, The Flufflab
    The easy rule-of-thumb is: if you can put your finger on the transistor/chip, and keep your finger there, it's fine. If it's hotter than that, best look for a bigger heatsink.
  4. G.Bisson


    Feb 26, 2009
    performed some checks on the microPOG and here's what I found.

    It took an hour for the MPOG to heat up to a considerable level. From the outside of the casing, the area around the LED and between the input and output jacks gets the warmest. Then opened up the back of the pedal. The casing cooled off quickly and I couldn't feel any heat coming from the LED or the components between the jacks. Warmth was only coming from the chip in the top right corner. Did the hot finger test, it is warm, but not harmfully warm. After a few minutes with the back of the casing off the chip had cooled to the point that the chip felt barely warmer than my finger.
    I don't think the heat is something to worry about so I wont be drilling the casing anytime soon. If any, this pedal might help out as a hand warmer next time I'm jamming with friends in a cold garage.

  5. kevteop


    Feb 12, 2008
    York, UK
    That's a rule-of-finger, surely?

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