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Phantom Power questions...

Discussion in 'Effects [BG]' started by mixerman, Sep 24, 2008.

  1. mixerman


    Sep 19, 2006
    WoodRidge, NJ
    Ok, I have a few questions related to phantom power.

    First, I know the phantom is 48V, but how much current does it put out? Would it be possible to modify something that runs on phantom so that you could daisy chain power off it it? I wouldn't expect much, but it'd be cool to try.

    Second, how hard is it to modify something to accept phantom power? The Behringer BDI21 (chill out, I have a real SABDDI) has an XLR out, but it won't run on phantom. Could that be "fixed?"

    Anybody see where I'm going?
  2. bongomania

    bongomania Gold Supporting Member Commercial User

    Oct 17, 2005
    PDX, OR
    owner, OVNIFX and OVNILabs
    Current is not "put out", it is "drawn". The amount of current used is determined by how much the receiving device uses and the upper limit of how much can be drawn from the sending device.

    I know it sounds like just a semantic flip, but the reason it matters is that different phantom power sources are designed with different amounts of available amperage. A typical supply will provide around 3 to 10 mA per mic channel. There are some drive pedals which only draw tiny amounts of current like that, but many pedals draw more- and the ones with digital processors typically draw a lot more.

    IOW if you will only be using your own mixer, and if you have determined that the total amperage available to be drawn from its phantom power supply is sufficient for the specific pedal you want to power, it can be done. But if you want to be able to use the phantom power off any board wherever you go, it can't be done- not unless you know the pedal only draws like 3mA, or you designed/built it yourself that way.
  3. The original phantom-power specification called for a maximum of 2 mA (0.002 Amps).

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