How many mA for my board?

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by trumpus, Feb 1, 2008.

  1. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    Hey,

    How can I tell how many mA I need from a power supply to power my board? I can't find the info for each pedal as to how many mA each one requires? Is there a general rule of thumb (like, standard OD requires X, wahs require Y)?

    I'm needing to power:
    RMC3
    Tuner
    Tone Press
    MDEQ
    KOTv4
    MI Audio BBD
    Eternity
    Line 6 DL4

    I am currently using 2 Godlyke - type adapters with a 2 daisy chains. I am planning to upgrade to a better supply. Would a Fuel Tank (or 2) be alright or do I need a PP2+? I can power the Line 6 from a separate adapter if need be.

    Any help would be great!

    Brian

    ETA: It seems like the PP2+ and Fuel Tank have only 5-6 outputs for a total of 500-600 mA. My current Godlykes each have 1700 mA! Would I need 3 Fuel Tanks or PP2's to equal one Godlyke?
     
  2. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

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    You don't need 1700mA for those pedals - the DL-4 is the only one that draws any serious amounts, and even then it's just a little over 200mA (at 9 volts DC). The others range from <1mA (wah) to 30-ish mA (tuner, depending on which one), with most of them around 10mA.

    Check out the Fuel Tank JR - with 5 isolated outputs at 120mA each, it should be more than enough for you. Then again, the DL-4 won't be happy... a PP2+ would be perfect, as it seems - 6 outputs at 100mA each (at 9vDC), and two with 200mA (also selectable to unregulated, especially for the Line 6 modelling pedals). It costs a bit, but with the money you've sunk into your pedals, why go cheap on the power?

    /Andreas
     
  3. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    So, Could I just daisy-chain off of one of the 9V spots on the PP2 to power everything?

    Also, the info on the DL-4 indicates it draws 1200 mA? This doesn't seem to jive with what you indicated. Any idea why?



    Brian
     
  4. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

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    More or less, but you'd lose the isolation - one of the big points to the PP2+. Basically, it is 8 separate power supplies in one, so each output behaves like a completely independent power source. You can daisy-chain up to the 100mA limit (200mA for outputs 5-6), but if you keep the pedals on separate outputs, they will all think they're the only thing being powered. This effectively kills any hum or other kinds of interaction between the pedals, which can occur when stringing them together on a single power supply.

    I'd try to keep them as separate as possible, until all 8 outputs are used up. Then I'd start pairing pedals up, making sure to keep any pedal that produces hum on a separate output.

    The DL-4 doesn't actually draw 1200mA - that's simply the max capacity of the 9 volt AC adapter (same as for the POD) they sell for it. The DL-4 can also be run on DC voltage, and will then draw just over 200mA. Do note that the plug is different than regular Boss standard - for the DL-4, it's a 2.5mm center positive plug (comes with the PP2+).

    /Andreas
     
  5. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    I'm dealing with A LOT of hum now. I just got a new amp - a SF Vibrolux Reverb. I simplified the power I've got on my board right now, and am using 1 Visual Sound 1-spot with 2 daisy chains, the Line 6 adapter for the DL4 and the Fulltone adapter for the Dejavibe and still have SIGNIFICANT hum (which isn't present and NEVER was when using the same rig through my Mesa DC-3)

    Do you think an isolated power supply with get rid of this hum or do I need additional methods for de-humming? Could it be the amp's fault? It sound great when going guitar > amp, but seems to hate long runs of pedals (whether that's the pedals, cable or power I couldn't say)!

    How do I know which pedals cause hum?

    Brian
     
  6. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

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    If the amp is quiet when you go guitar->amp, you know the problem is somewhere in the pedalboard. If all patch cables seem ok, the most likely culprit is the power. To investigate this, simply unplug the (9vDC) pedals from the daisy chain one at a time (letting them fall back on battery power). Try various combinations until you find the one that's the quietest. Sometimes, it's a single pedal that don't respond well to being daisy-chained, and all you have to do then is give it its own supply. If it is a low power consumer like an overdrive, fuzz, wah or booster, you can also consider running it on battery power.

    A power supply with isolated outputs (PP2+, Fueltank JR, Burkey etc) will act like separate supplies (essentially the same as having batteries in all pedals), which will usually cure any hum problems. Sometimes, though, the solution is as simple as using two separate adapters/daisy chains, to isolate a certain pedal or two from the others.

    /Andreas
     
  7. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    So the Fuel Tank Jr. is isolated, but not the regular, larger Fuel Tank?

    Brian
     
  8. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

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    The Fuel Tank classic (regular FT) is partially isolated - the 9vDC jacks are all wired in parallel (daisy-chain style), while the 12 volt AC and 12 volt DC jacks are individually isolated. On the Fuel Tank JR, all 5 outputs are individually isolated.

    /Andreas
     
  9. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    So the question is, would I be able to power all of my pedals with the Fuel Tank jr, a daisy chain plus my Visual Sound 1-spots and Line 6 Adapter if need be?

    It seems like if I went the route of the Fuel Tank Jr (which i'm leaning towards because of the price), at the very least I would need something additional to power the line 6. If I could daisy chain a few pedals off one output without any noise, then I might be able to power everything else using only the FTjr, but if things got noisy, I might need to add in one or both of the 1-spots to provide additonal, isolated supply for another pedal or two...

    Does this sound about right?

    Brian
     
  10. stinkfoot

    stinkfoot Member

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    Yup. Basically, with the Fuel Tank JR, you have five separate 9vDC sources, providing a max of 120mA each. Personally, I'd run the RMC wah on battery power - it only uses a minute amount of current, so a battery last for ages, and if it's first in line it gets unplugged anyway.

    Then I'd go:
    output 1 - tuner
    output 2 - Tone Press, MDEQ
    output 3 - KOT
    output 4 - BBD
    output 5 - Eternity

    For the DL-4, I'd keep one of the Godlyke adapters (with the proper converter cable, of course).

    That setup keeps all the dirt pedals on separate power sources, which might not be entirely neccesary. All three have quite modest current draws, and a single output would easily be able to power them. If combining them don't cause hum (there's only one way to find out ;)), you'd have two outputs to spare. Or, you could separate the compressor and eq, if need be.

    /Andreas
     
  11. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    Thanks a lot! I guess a FT jr. is in my immediate future!

    Who knew changing amps would have such an affect on all my other stuff!!

    Brian
     
  12. trumpus

    trumpus Supporting Member

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    So interestingly enough, I was messing with the power today a bit and found some interesting things...

    - I unplugged the 1-spot and things get quiet, but not silent, I can still hear some radio/TV signal through the amp.

    - with the power strip plugged in, but nothing from my board plugged into it, there is a hum and a pop when the strip is turned on!

    - with the strip plugged in, ANYTHING that is plugged into it creates a hum!

    - I unplug the cheap power strip I've got and plug the 1-spot directly into the extension cord to the wall - still noisy, but less so...

    ...so, it seems like elimating the 1-spot will still result in some hum - less hum, but hum nonetheless!

    What is it about having anything else plugged in that makes this thing hum so bad? Is there anything that I can plug in between my amp and board and the wall that will help decrease hum? What about that Furman power conditioner? A higher quality power strip?

    Brian
     
  13. aaland_brian

    aaland_brian Member

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    Trumpus, Why don't you buy a PP2+ so you don't have to daisy chain anything to make you setup cleaner and simpiler and it has outputs designed for the line 6. As for the problems you have talked about in the last post, I have the same exact problem in the upstairs of my house. I have checked the grounds on all the outlets, bought a furman power conditioner and still get some hum and rf from time to time, but there is nothing I have figured out to fix it except to move my gear downstairs where I have no problems with this stuff. You could try buying a ISP Decimator to gate the hum so you don't hear it as much.
     

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