PedalTrain Volto

Discussion in 'Effects, Pedals, Strings & Things' started by theGuardian, Jan 30, 2013.

  1. JJexp

    JJexp Supporting Member

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    Update: got a replacement in yesterday. This lasted less than hour after fully charging before shorting out again. The manual say that if the circuit fails:
    "VOLTO needs to be reset/restored. We built a surge prevention/safety circuit into VOLTO to protect your pedals from power surges. Simply plug VOLTO into the USB power base for 60 seconds and the system will be reset"
    that didn't work on either of the Voltos. Keep in mind, I'm NOT using any pedal over 9volts! My chain: Polytune Mini>SP compressor>MXR Phase 90>Lumpy's Jelly Roll>Aqua Puss delay>Demeter Tremulator
    All analog. What gives? I really really want this to work out! If the next replacement dies I'm gonna have to get a Sanyo!





     
  2. lefort_1

    lefort_1 Nuzzled Firmly Betwixt Gold Supporting Member

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    I agree with most of your points...sadly the little 'can be charged when either on-or-off" detail is not in the published manuals on their website, so those of us who don't have one do not benefit from empirical evidence. (at least not in the manuals when I read them...their website content has changed quite a bit in the last 4 months). Their on/off/charging implementation does make sense.

    Now, one point we do disagree on is turning off the Volto once the gig is done. I've had more damage done to cables during the tear/down/pack-up and transport phase than during any gig. (I'll never forgive that B3 player for rolling over my white coily....) If the Volto is not off, and it's cable remains plugged in, then any pinch/compression/nick/cut that occurs in that cable can result in a short circuit (either complete or partial). While the Volto claims to have short-circuit protection, I'd not want to place my gig-van at a fire-risk because the crash-cymbal was wedged in under the pedalboard during loadout. The new paradigm that players need to understand is that the Volto's cable is alive unless the Volto has been turned off; in the past, all we had to do was unplug the brick from the wall and we were good to go.

    I must sound like a broken record when it comes to stuff like this, but for years it was my job to predict failure modes and test them. I'm a worrywart; I'll admit it. But I've worried about a lot of the right things in the past.
     
  3. chrisross

    chrisross Member

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    Here's what I'm thinking:

    I'm putting together a Nano with a tuner, OD, and Strymon El Capistan. So it seems as though the Volto is perfect as far as size and power. But, I'm not really keen on trusting battery life - that's why I use a power supply in the first place.

    SO

    Can I buy the Volto and use it like a regular power supply? As in, plug it in when I'm playing and unplug it when I'm done?
     
  4. erisgumma

    erisgumma Member

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    Do I understand the specs correctly? Output 2000mA, capacity 5000mAh. I interpret this to mean that I could run a bunch of pedals that would draw a maximum of 2000mAh, for 2,5 hours. Am I correct?

    Having read half of this thread, I gather that many people have had problems with the Volto not delivering nearly the promised battery life. For me, I bought it for busking purposes, and have now tried it for a couple of times. Running a Street Cube, a Boss RC-30 looper and a Aphex Punch Factory compressor through it. 235mA+195mA+5a. So if I've intrepreted things correctly, I should be able to run 'em over ten hours? Well, didn't happen. Six at most.

    Also. Yesterday the thing shut down. I thought the battery had ran out, but as I plugged the charger in, two of the three lights were on, so it hadn't ran empty.

    Case for asking for a replacement unit?
     
  5. Nota

    Nota Member

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  6. Clean Channel

    Clean Channel Member

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    So, some posts in this thread have had me wondering if the Volto will work as I had hoped.

    I'm still happy if I can only get about six hours of use out of it, as long as I can plug it in to the wall and use it indefinitely as I would any normal power supply.

    If there's any doubt that the battery isn't charged, or if I'm going to be playing an important show or a long set, I'll just plug into the wall as I would with the power supplies on my other boards. However, if I'm playing a shorter set, or jamming casually with friends, then I can enjoy the freedom and ease-of-use offered by a rechargeable battery.

    I decided to email Pedaltrain about it, and here's my email and their reply:

    My email:
    If my Volto runs out of power, can I still use it to power my board by plugging it into the wall? In other words, can it function as a glorified "one-spot" indefinitely, or does it need to have charge to function properly? Also, if it does in fact work that way, will it also simultaneously charge the Volto as I use it, or must the Volto be off (or not plugged into any pedals) to charge?

    I assumed it would be something like my cell phone, which once plugged into the wall has full functionality, despite a near-empty battery, and can also replenish the battery while in use.

    Thanks for your help!


    The reply from Pedaltrain:
    yes you can plug in your Volto and power your pedals, even when the battery is drained.

    The battery will charge from the residual current, assuming there is some juice remaining. What I mean is that if your pedals use up all the current, and there is no "surplus" left for charging, then the battery will always be in a net deficit and not charge.
     
  7. chrisross

    chrisross Member

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    That's my question too: Can I pretend it's not a battery and use it like any other regular power supply (plug it in, use it, unplug it when I'm done).

    I don't really understand their answer..
     
  8. 4nd3h

    4nd3h Member

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    Their answer is yes, you can pretend it's a power supply. It'll even charge if you use it as such, under the condition that your pedals draw power at the a lower rate than the Volto recharges at.
     
  9. chrisross

    chrisross Member

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    Cool, thanks!

    One more: anyone know if the 9V taps are isolated? My El Cap doesn't like to share power (duh). Would powering the El Cap off one tap and my other two pedals (on my Nano grab-and-go) off the other tap work noise-free?
     
  10. Clean Channel

    Clean Channel Member

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    Not isolated.
     
  11. chrisross

    chrisross Member

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    So I can expect the same noise problems from the El Cap with the Volto as I would with the 1spot?

    In that case, NOPE
     
  12. digiTED

    digiTED rock > talk

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    Hey there

    Not sure if this has been discussed yet but at least your Tremulator and possibly the Phase 90 (depending on age) are center-positive C+.

    The Volto can only run center-negative C- effects unless you use an adapter cable. That may explain why your Voltos are freaking out.
     
  13. JJexp

    JJexp Supporting Member

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    Thanks you brought up a very import issue, in my case it shouldn't make a difference. I used both those pedals and everything was fine night after night, after a month of use It shorted out. The Volto is suppossed to have circuit protection as well. BTW the Phase 90 is center negative as modded by Analog Man and the Demeter has an adapter cable.
    That said, I got a new replacement and all is well again.




     
  14. digiTED

    digiTED rock > talk

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    Cool, glad you got it sorted. I just got a Volto for Christmas so I'm now digging through the issues!

    The lit that comes with it doesn't explain much. Hopefully they'll start including the much more informative FAQ from their website.
     
  15. erisgumma

    erisgumma Member

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  16. Nota

    Nota Member

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    IIRC, not a good idea. One, those types of things are noisy (I've tried one, it's meant for laptops and phones and such, not music equipment). Two, my electronics friend once told me it's not efficient to both charge and discharge a rechargeable battery at the same time. Three, that thing you posted is 5V, which means when you convert it to 9V it's a lot less capacity than advertised.
     
  17. Snufkinoob

    Snufkinoob Member

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    I'm still interested to know how Strymon pedals fair with the Volto in terms of noise. I've tried a good quality daisy chain and that added a noticeable amount. Don't want that same thing happening.

    I think someone on here said it was okay noise-wise, but I'd like a few people to chime in to verify.

    I know I'd only get a hour or two (?) out of my board, but I'm tempted to get one in the future once these powering issues are addressed.
     
  18. Clean Channel

    Clean Channel Member

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    Despite some of the troubles expressed in this thread, I'd like to throw it out there that I've been using my Volto quite happily now for the past few months.

    -It holds charge long enough for all of my applications
    -It makes set up and tear down that much easier
    -Being able to plug it in and play indefinitely means I can use the board for longer sets when needed
    -It powers my four Boss pedals quietly and effectively
    -It's small, light, and easy to remove for charging

    So, worth noting that they have a very happy customer here.
     
  19. weshunter

    weshunter Supporting Member

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    Me too - mine has worked great since day 1. Have run as many as 10 pedals with it (6 now). Just have to avoid high mA digital pedals.
     
  20. erisgumma

    erisgumma Member

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    Noisy as in adding a lot of noise into the signal? Wouldn't this be different with the Volto in between?

    My electronics friends told me that if the extra battery outputs enough (=1A, which the pedaltrain takes in), it would be efficient enough.

    How much capacity loss would we be talking about?
     

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