Peterson Strobostomp and Unregulated Power Supplies

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by westland, Sep 18, 2005.

  1. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    I just received a new StroboStomp through the mail, and had an hour or so to play with it. I had tuned my bass with one before in Hong Kong, and am convinced that operationally, they are the absolute best tuners ... their response is instantaneous, and even when the string is still settling into its tune, you can visually tell whether it is the right tune or not. Very clear, and (up to this point) though it appeared to be indestructable.

    Also it brings back memories. When I was in band in the 1960s, we used a Conn strobotuner (Peterson bought the name and parts inventory in 1985) ... the strobostomp is a software emulation of that tuner on a chip.

    I decided to save on batteries by hooking up a 9v wallwort power supply. I used a Panasonic 9VDC with the correct polarity (I checked it with a voltmeter prior to using, as I always do with electrical equipment).

    I plugged it into the "In" plug on the rear of the StroboStomp, heard a **POP** with a small spark flashing out around the connectors in the back of the box, and smell of burnt insulation....NOT GOOD! ... curious, I opened the box and unscrewed the PC board that held the power plug to take a look at it, and one of a set of three flat yellow capacitors (the board silkscreen says C5) had fried itself (see the picture) ...notice capacitor C5 in the picture (ugh!) :crying:


    The Strobostomp still works on battery power (I haven't reconnected the power supply). :)

    The unit works with batteries, but external power was out of the question. Anyway, I contacted Peterson's John Norris through their forum, and found that the unit is particularly sensitive to power supplies. It needs a quality regulated power supply. Peterson suggests that regulated power supplies suitable for the StroboStomp would be:

    • Voodoo Lab Pedal Power 2 (Eight isolated 9VDC 100mA regulated outputs)
    • Visual Sound 1-Spot (9V fully regulated output)
    • Carl Martin Big John 9v Power Supply (Seven regulated 9VDC outputs 600mA total)
    • Godlyke PA9 Power All (9V 800mA regulated output)
    • b@ss PSA120 adapter (9V 200mA regulated)

    Do not use the b@ss ACA120 Unregulated power supply!
    b@ss ACA, Danelectro DA1, Radioshack, etc., do not have a voltage regulator and are not suitable (Just a word of warning to other potential users of the Strobostomp. )

    John Norris is sending me out a replacement power PC board ... great support. I'll probably buy a Voodoo power supply next time around. ;)
  2. Budonze


    Nov 2, 2000
    they say not to use an ACA power adapter because boss pedals that are ACA are 12 volts
  3. C-5KO


    Mar 9, 2005
    Toronto, Canada

    for me also.

    I had my strobo blow during it's second gig.

    Now I just give it it's own dedicated power.
  4. ..and he admitted that to you? Sounds to me like a case of poor design that hasn't been rectified (no pun intended!)

    Surely they're aware that a lot of bozo guitarists are likely to do some pretty crazy things to their gear, certainly not least of which is hooking up odd power supplys to pedals.
  5. westland


    Oct 8, 2004
    Hong Kong
    In the thread, he basically said that only regulated power supplies could be trusted. From the stories of other owners, it appears that any unregulated power supply, even if it has the right voltage and polarity, is likely to blow the unit -- this has happened quite a bit.

    Yes, I have no doubt that the power supply board is poorly designed ... no other pedal seems to have this problem. The inside of the box, too, looks like Chinese electronics from around 5 years ago -- just a bit rough. I think one of the Japanese manufacturers like Korg would do a better job of it.

    Anyway, I like the tuner a lot, so just want to replace the board. No reason to tick off the folks at Peterson in the process.