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  #1  
Old 10-30-2015, 08:57 PM
Uncle Pauhana Uncle Pauhana is offline
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Default Now we can power our pedals with inexpensive, rechargeable smartphone power banks

Aloha!

As I recently posted on the "My acoustic pedalboard" thread (http://www.acousticguitarforum.com/f...ostcount=302):

"Here's my new dream board! I'm really excited to have pristine processing of my K&K in such a compact, lightweight package, with the Flashback Mini and the Turbo Tuner Mini powered by an inexpensive, rechargeable phone charger/external battery power bank. (The Red-Eye would usually be phantom-powered, but I have a rechargeable 9v inside just in case.)

This is possible because of the lovely 5v USB to 9v adapter I found, from myvolts.com. I believe I'll do a separate post about this power solution."

And here is that post!

The rig:



The external battery/power bank:



What's exciting to me about this is that I can power my pedals for quite a while without needing to plug in to the mains or deal with recharging 9v batteries. (Mini pedals like my delay and tuner are too small for internal batteries anyway, and would ordinarily need to be plugged in.) Instead, I'm using the Anker 2nd Gen Astro 6400mAh Portable Charger External Battery Power Bank (whew!) This, and other similar products, are designed for recharging smartphones and tablets on the go. They're cheap and powerful, and will only get cheaper and more powerful, because people buy them by the millions for their phones. But with the right adapter (below), they are also perfect for pedals

I don't know how much playing time I'll get between charges yet, but I think that because the tuner is used so seldom as to be almost negligible, and TC pedals need a max of 100mA… probably much less for the Flashback Mini, really… I expect to go well over 15 hours of use before I need to recharge the Anker.

If you are familiar with the (discontinued?) Pedaltrain Volto, you'll see that this is a similar idea. But the Volto costs around $100, if you can find one, and stores 5000mAh of juice. The Anker I'm using costs about ⅕ of that, and stores more power, at 6700mAh. You can get versions from various makers with up to 25000mAh or so, for not much more money. I went with this one to save space and weight. The output of the battery is 2A (2000mA) which is typical for the batteries, and the same as the Pedaltrain Volto. You should be able to power a good number of pedals from this, though of course your going to want a more capacious battery if you've got the Starship Enterprise bridge at your feet like some of you folks seem to.

The catch has been that while the Volto was purpose-designed for pedals and had the proper output rating and plugs, these phone recharging batteries put out power via USB cables and at only5v, while most pedals need 9v plugs of the type we know so well. (What are those called, anyway?)

If only there were an adapter... sigh... but wait!

Enter myVolts (myvolts.com) and their lovely little USB to 9v adapter (The shipping email calls it the "448 - AA905ML Sunny DC UK 5V USB to 9V 0.7A C- converter", while on the Web site you search by device. I believe all 9v pedals would use this adapter, though):



This gadget totally and painlessly mediates between the disparate worlds of 5v USB smartphone batteries and 9v pedals. I now have a compact board with mini pedals that would ordinarily need to be tethered to a power strip, but now can spread their little wings and fly freely.

I hope this gives you some food for thought!

Mahalo ā nui loa,
Pili

*********

Product links as requested -

Battery:
http://www.amazon.com/Upgraded-Capac...ds=anker+astro

This unit was very well reviewed, including on Amazon, where it has 4.5 stars with 3,564 reviews. Anker also makes larger capacity versions that would last even longer. I chose this one because I was going for the smallest pedalboard possible.

USB to 9v adapter:
http://www.amazon.com/power-cable-El...A30ZWK69TIG5AK

Note that this is listed as being specific to the TC Electronic Flashback Mini, but you'll find the same myVolts unit if you search for any number of devices. Apparently they thought this would make it easier for people to find what they need.

The company that sells these, myVolts is in Ireland, so buyers who can't or don't want to use Amazon US can go directly to myVolts:
http://myvolts.com/product.php/19814...B_power_supply

Last edited by Uncle Pauhana; 11-03-2015 at 07:17 AM. Reason: Added product links as requested
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  #2  
Old 10-31-2015, 04:14 AM
Kalani Kalani is offline
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Interesting---that's a glimpse of the future! Mahalo for sharing!
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Old 10-31-2015, 04:44 AM
Marty C Marty C is offline
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That's really cool. Thanks for sharing this. Can you put some links where you purchased these things?
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Old 10-31-2015, 08:06 AM
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Bob Womack Bob Womack is offline
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Battery technology is getting scary good. My car battery died and a friend brought over an elegant little 4"x3"x1/2" wallet with a booster batt that will give fifteen starts without needing a recharge. Started right up.

Bob
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  #5  
Old 10-31-2015, 08:56 AM
Uncle Pauhana Uncle Pauhana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Kalani View Post
Interesting---that's a glimpse of the future! Mahalo for sharing!
Na‘u ka hau‘oli ē Kalani!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Marty C View Post
That's really cool. Thanks for sharing this. Can you put some links where you purchased these things?
Added links to the end of the original post!

Quote:
Originally Posted by Bob Womack View Post
Battery technology is getting scary good. My car battery died and a friend brought over an elegant little 4"x3"x1/2" wallet with a booster batt that will give fifteen starts without needing a recharge. Started right up.
Wow, amazing... I wonder if I could jumpstart my car from my pedalboard?
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  #6  
Old 10-31-2015, 09:41 AM
Martin Maniac Martin Maniac is offline
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I bought a couple of 500 watt power supplies for my pedal board then found some splitters that split into 4 outputs.. I think I have 4 of these splitters in my configuration...It powers all my effects with 9 volts, and I have a couple left over...I made sure to only use less than 500 watts per supply. I think I have one power supply that's only 300 watts...either or, the splitters work out nicely for me and all my pedals work perfectly. I found these splitters on eBay, they are made for security cameras but work perfectly for pedals and only cost about $4-5 bucks each...
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Old 10-31-2015, 09:57 AM
Uncle Pauhana Uncle Pauhana is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Martin Maniac View Post
I bought a couple of 500 watt power supplies for my pedal board then found some splitters that split into 4 outputs.. I think I have 4 of these splitters in my configuration...It powers all my effects with 9 volts, and I have a couple left over...I made sure to only use less than 500 watts per supply. I think I have one power supply that's only 300 watts...either or, the splitters work out nicely for me and all my pedals work perfectly. I found these splitters on eBay, they are made for security cameras but work perfectly for pedals and only cost about $4-5 bucks each...
What sort of power supplies are you talking about?
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:16 AM
Martin Maniac Martin Maniac is offline
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ones that are available at Guitar Center.

http://www.guitarcenter.com/Boss/PSA-120S-Adapter.gc
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  #9  
Old 10-31-2015, 10:21 AM
Uncle Pauhana Uncle Pauhana is offline
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I see... so you're still plugged into mains power, but you've found a cost-effective alternative to the daisy-chain cables that are sold for pedals.

Cool! I'll keep an eye on those security camera cables.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:27 AM
Martin Maniac Martin Maniac is offline
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splitter.....

http://www.ebay.com/itm/1-to-4-DC-Po...item2c7a5f52cb
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2015 Pono DS-20
2017 Taylor GS mini Bass
2017 Gretsch G5438T Pro Jet w/ Bigsby
2016 Gretsch G5420T Hollowbody w Bigsby
2017 Gretsch G5422G-12 12 string Hollowbody
2003 Fender Telecaster
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  #11  
Old 10-31-2015, 10:31 AM
Uncle Pauhana Uncle Pauhana is offline
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Good price! And as long as a board is set up in such a way that the splitter's cables are long enough to reach, this could be a less cluttered solution than a daisychain.
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:33 AM
Martin Maniac Martin Maniac is offline
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I think I have 3 or 4 power supplies going into a power strip. Then each leg of the splitter into the pedals...I can turn them all on or off with one switch on the power strip.
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2017 Gretsch G5422G-12 12 string Hollowbody
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  #13  
Old 10-31-2015, 10:42 AM
Uncle Pauhana Uncle Pauhana is offline
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What, 3 or 4 power supplies?

Okay, so I looked up your post in the pedalboard thread... now I get it... LOL... looks like you and I are at pretty much opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to pedalboard minimalism. You've got a hella versatile setup, but I think your one Morley pedal is the size of my whole board! (And I really love it that I don't need wall power, which, come to think of it, is why I wrote this post, hehe.)
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Old 10-31-2015, 10:47 AM
Martin Maniac Martin Maniac is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Uncle Pauhana View Post
What, 3 or 4 power supplies?

Okay, so I looked up your post in the pedalboard thread... now I get it... LOL... looks like you and I are at pretty much opposite end of the spectrum when it comes to pedalboard minimalism. You've got a hella versatile setup, but I think your one Morley pedal is the size of my whole board! (And I really love it that I don't need wall power, which, come to think of it, is why I wrote this post, hehe.)
Well I like the idea of being able to power up or power down all my pedals with one switch. I don't want batteries of any kind. I've got a lot of pedals to manage, and that was the best way I could come up with. Having to power up or power down each pedal individually would be too time consuming....
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1975 Martin D-18
1997 Taylor 450 12 String
2015 Pono DS-20
2017 Taylor GS mini Bass
2017 Gretsch G5438T Pro Jet w/ Bigsby
2016 Gretsch G5420T Hollowbody w Bigsby
2017 Gretsch G5422G-12 12 string Hollowbody
2003 Fender Telecaster
2002 Fender Stratocaster
1992 Fender Stratocaster Wayne's World LE
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  #15  
Old 10-31-2015, 10:53 AM
Uncle Pauhana Uncle Pauhana is offline
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I'm not saying my way is better... but I'm not sure you really saw what I was doing. I don't have to power up each pedal, I just plug in one battery... no harder than flipping a switch. Whether one battery would power all your pedals is questionable, of course, and we have different goals. On some of the gigs I play, it would really be a hassle to get power to my board (long story), so for me, being free from power cables is a huge benefit. YMMV.
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