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pedalboard powering question????

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by eyeballkid, Apr 10, 2010.

  1. eyeballkid

    eyeballkid Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    alright guys, got a problem i dont know how to most efficiently address... Ive always had a few (or more than a few) effects, but now Im getting ready to put together a pedal board for efficiency's sake.

    My question is this: I have a number of 9v pedals, and a few 18volt pedals such as the EHX bass micro synth, and the EHX Cathedral reverb. Is there any power solution that will work for both? Or do i need to put a power strip under the board to plug in a power supply that will feed the 9 volt pedals and then just plug the 18volt pedals directly into the power strip?

    im a bit of a noob to this aspect.

    thanks in advance folks!!
  2. Bassmike62

    Bassmike62 Punch'n Ooomph !! Supporting Member

    The DC Brick (Dunlop) offers 7 9-v inputs + 3 18-v inputs, so that might be what you're looking for.

    What I'm not sure about, is what happens if you use one of the 18-v inputs to connect a 9-v pedal. Probably not good, so haven't tried it.
  3. eyeballkid

    eyeballkid Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    any other options guys?
    what about some of the EHX pedals that say "only use this dedicated adaptor"?
    for example the one adaptor is 9.6volts... any problems there?
    or anything else i should know?
  4. Don't listen to EHX when they say that. Any adapter within proper electrical specs will work fine.

    The BBE SupaCharger and Voodoo Labs PedalPower2 Plus are great board supplies. They have isolated outputs and can power a variety of voltages. Both can do 9, 12, 18, 24 volts and they each have another mode that is different from each other.

    TRex Fuel Tank Jr. also has isolated supplies, is a little cheaper and smaller, but doesn't have quite the variety of available options as the other two.

    Burkey is good, but spendy. TRex has a few other supplies, but they usually are pretty niche styles or don't have isolated outputs.

    Voodoo has some other than the PP2+ that I'm not that familiar with. I think the ISO5 is similar to the TRex Fuel Tank Jr.

    The major flaw with most of these supplies is that digital pedals can draw a huge amount of current and these supplies are often not up to the task. Whammy's draw 1000mA, HOGs draw 500mA, there are others that fit into the same category.

    What you need to know about your pedal is:

    What is the optimal operating voltage? If you get a supply within 10% of that it should work dandy. Too little, it wont work right. Too much, you can damage your pedal.

    What is the polarity of my pedal? DC circuits only work in one direction. If you go the wrong direction your pedal wont work or worse, will get damaged. AC pedals (often tube pedals or digital pedals) are not polarity sensitive.
    [​IMG] This symbol is center positive, most effects are center negative.

    What is the amp draw of my pedal? If your pedal draws more amps than your supply is capable of delivering, it wont work. The mA capacity of your supply cannot be too big. If your pedal draws 10mA and your supply can produce 1700mA it will work perfectly. It will only deliver the amount your pedal needs (up to its capacity), regardless of how much it is capable of delivering. If your pedal draws more current than the supply is capable of delivering the effect just wont work; there is no need to worry about damage.

    These specs can usually be found online or in the pedal users manual. The Microsynth should operate better at 24V if I'm not mistaken. That is what I ran mine at.

    Good luck.
  5. Mike19


    Aug 11, 2009
    Tallahassee, Fla
    I was looking at buying the Markbass Super Booster until I read the Manual and discovered that not only is it 12 volts, it also draws 1700mA. Forgeddaboudit! :rollno:
  6. Thanks Cheapbasslovin, for such a clear and thorough explanation.

    I am currently on a 1700ma Power-all supply and seriously considering a Voodoo supply; but finding it a little tricky to follow all the points to consider - so that explanation is very helpful.

    I believe a supply like the Voodoo is regulated, which I understand will protect my precious pedals from damage caused by power surges, etc.

    The isolation of the supplies means that if one effect goes down the others will still work, unlike if you're on a daisychain from a high current wall-wart.
  7. pokengkong


    Apr 6, 2010
    San Francisco Bay Area
    Endorsing Artist: MTD Kingston Basses
    I wouldn't ignore the EHX situation. I've never used a EHX bass micro synth and the EHX Cathedral reverb, but use a EHX Steel Leather and the manual says it requires isolated power. You must use isolated power or the pedal doesn't work. I use a T-Rex Fuel Tank Jr. and able to power 9 pedals including the Steel Leather.
  8. eyeballkid

    eyeballkid Supporting Member

    Jul 19, 2009
    yeah thanks CheapBass!! AND everyone else!!

    so my other question was about my Boomerang which has its own power adaptor marked 10v, and since you say be within 10%, it would be fine on something like the Trex or Voodoo running at 9v?
  9. It would probably be fine and not harm anything, but the Boomerang 3 draws 700 mA. I imagine the original draws just as much if not more.

    Make sure your polarity is right. Standard cable supply cables power units at center negative.
  10. robgo


    Jan 25, 2008
    Best power supply is Diago (none of that 'in my opinion' rubbish, it just is :D). www.diago.co.uk they even have a chart to show you which pedals it works with and which adapters you need etc.
  11. Mike19


    Aug 11, 2009
    Tallahassee, Fla
    Thanks for the link, robgo. Looks like a very nice board power supply. The chart is fantastic. :bassist:

    Too bad there is no US distributor. The direct price is 70 pounds which is somewhere around $100. But there would be added on cost of shipping acrosst the Atlantic and possibly that infernal Value Added Tax (on sales outside the EU) the Brits like so much. :eyebrow:
  12. Webtroll

    Webtroll Rolling for initiative

    Apr 23, 2006
    Austin, TX
    Amazon has a big discount on a bunch of BBE products at the moment including the BBE SupaCharger. I ordered one for about a hundred bucks. It's claiming a 50% discount which is still about $50 less than GC is asking online (I went there to pick up some 6U rails, they didn't have the unit in stock). As to the Diago unit, isn't that a daisy chain device? I thought those were supposed to be bad.
  13. FromTheBassMent

    FromTheBassMent Those who can, play bass. Supporting Member

    Jan 19, 2010
    Providence, RI
    Haven't looked at the Diago unit, so I don't know. Godlyke is supposedly coming out with a daisy chain One-Spot that will do multiple voltages, althoug I can't imagine how they'll pull that off.

    I don't think daisy chains are necessarily bad. If they work, they work. I have a lot of boutique exotica on my guitar board, so I had to go with the Voodoo PP2 because without isolated supplies I was getting a huge amount of hum. But my minimalist bass pedalboard (5 boxes) runs like a charm with a One-Spot... no hum or other noise in my ancient, ungrounded apartment, or on any stage where I've used it. I think it all depends what pedals you're running... and of course, they all have to be 9v (at least until this newfangled thing comes out).
  14. derekfrank


    Aug 20, 2008
    Burbank, CA
    the Dunlop DC Brick is the way to go. I recently did a little video demonstration of my pedal board setup (powered by the DC Brick, which is mounted underneath the pedal train board)... check it out!
  15. fdask


    May 20, 2009
    GodLyke has the Power-All which comes in varying sizes. It comes with a bunch of adapters to fit your pedals, but only supplies 9V if I'm not mistaken.

    The biggest problem I've found with mine is that when I plug in my RC-2, it introduces some crazy noise into my chain. I'm guessing an isolated supply would help with this.

    I know they sell individual adapters to link into the Power-All for about $40 that can up ramp the voltage to 24V (http://godlyke.com/godlyke-power-all-accessories) , but seems pricey if you had more than one pedal to do.
  16. newbold


    Sep 21, 2008
    Well...as it stands, I run 3 effects and a tuner off my godlyke powerall and my Pigtronix EP-1 off of its wall wart. Sort of a hassle but not a $200 hassle which is the cost of a T Rex FuelTank/Chameleon.

    When the time comes to up my power I have only a few options since that EP-1 is AC.

    Not that I'm married to my EP-1 but I'm just too cheap to buy a ring.

    She sure is a sweet little thing.

    I figure that I'll someday have more pedals and unless I move to the EP-2 the Powerall is going to be replaced in the next 5 years...probably about the same time I get a Looperlative.
  17. solutionbassist


    Apr 19, 2010
    just my experience with power adaptors straight from the company
    1. way too expensive
    2. crappy materials
    3. heat up and stay heated up too long
    4. start to act up sooner than later
    Here's how to get something decent. 1. Write down all the specs about ur pedals and add up how many miliamps youll need for each type of battery power (9v, 18v etc) do it neatly label your power supply types etc. 3. google factory warehouses near you where companys sell off their old merchendise (most will have a tech floor) 4. Ask someone for help finding what you need 5. TEST IT!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 6. youll save SO much money with this and havin multipule types of adaptors won't be a problem. (I saved about 45$ on ONE adaptor doing this. it works great!!!!!!!!=]
  18. 7XL


    Jul 23, 2009
    St Paul. MN
  19. firmlybassed


    Mar 6, 2008
    Hickory NC
    Voodoo Labs Power2

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