Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby mgbills » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:00 pm

Greetings All,
I thought I'd share some observations I made around the issues of a dying battery in a Tiger configuration.

Rig: Tigerized Strat > SMS > GCX > Mc250

1) Faint distortion - Practing late Friday night I thought I detected some faint distortion. First thoughts: JBL (Eeeeek!), Relay bleed in GCX (sticky relay?), Light out on Ground Control.

2) Practicing Saturday - Distortion more pronounced. Like ED set to "Just Barely There."
~ Turned GCX off. Issue goes away.
~ OK. Not blown original cone JBL's
~ Not failing tube in SMS
~ Something in the GCX. Clicked switches. Turned on/off. Same indicator.

3) Practicing Sunday - Mutron says " Ummm. Ummm. Ummm" vs. "WaUuuummmppp. WaUuuuummmppp. WaUuuuuummpp."
~ Oh F%^& says I. Maybe a problem with the Boost in the Mutron! Had to turn Mutron Gain to 9 to get it to WaUuuuumppp.

4) Wait! If signal is weak, then ....
~ Yup. Battery at 3.6 V.

Conclusions. If wired correctly that Waldo buffer battery lasts a long time. I'm playing 2 hours/day, and it's been at least 5 weeks since I grabbed a (used) 9v off the bench. Tested at 6.3 V then.

For even the very active gigging types...I think you can safely use those batteries into the 4.5V to 5V range. Let's keep those sucka's out of the landfills.

For those that are willing...check Voltages at the point where the battery fails. I'll try to record playing hours/1V drop. Might be useful for the pro's amoung us.

Thanks. Hope this is helpful.
M
Last edited by mgbills on Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby Tennessee Jedi » Tue Sep 18, 2012 12:07 pm

For those of us with less experience a battery going dead is frequently the last remedy we come up with .....
:D :D :D
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:18 pm

Great post, thanks MGbills!

I'm amazed that they sound decent with that low of voltage. In all of my basses I can hear the difference between 10V (alkalines are typically in that range right out of the package), 9V or 8.5V. They lose that beefiness and punch.
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby mgbills » Tue Sep 18, 2012 1:52 pm

Rusty.
That be the case with this setup as well. I'm only playing out occasionally, and I usually change the battery/strings at that time. For me there's so much going on that it's not really an objective call. Like aging tubes, there may be a linear degradation...or it could be actually somewhat logarithmic as I percieved. When I'm practicing...I try to do just that. So much to learn.

Would be an intersting study if the wave properties of the gammut of open strings could be measured against voltage drop.
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby Pete B. » Tue Sep 18, 2012 2:08 pm

I found the battery in the Blue guitar to last a very long time, but yeah, that light distortion is the signal to change.
I noticed "an inability to get a clean signal at normal clean signal settings".
The fresh battery was like... the best beer I ever had. Aahhhhhh. We need solar-power-buffer-hats or something.
Mine lasted alot of playing hours and through several overnight left-plugged-in's.
[The Blue guitar is a blue Tiger modded MIM Strat, ala mgbills, with Waldo buffer - it's cool and fun to play!].
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby TI4-1009 » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:33 pm

"not quite clean, and not quite dirty" AHA! THAT'S how he did it! :lol:
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby mijknahs » Tue Sep 18, 2012 4:56 pm

I wish someone would come up with a 9V feed up the guitar cable from a plugged in power source. Maybe the same source that is powering all your effects? I'd love to get rid of the battery. Mabye use a stereo cable and use the extra wire to power the buffer.

Or have a switch that bypasses the buffer altogether so that you can still play if your battery dies during a gig.
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby WildEye » Tue Sep 18, 2012 10:08 pm

Your first idea is right - if you're already wired physically then what's one extra wire? If you already have a OBEl then why not have a 9 volt wire wrapping them. Does it interfere with the tone or make noise? Seems like an easy DIY, so I'm probably missing something.... :D :D :D
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby Rusty the Scoob » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:06 am

mijknahs wrote:I wish someone would come up with a 9V feed up the guitar cable from a plugged in power source. Maybe the same source that is powering all your effects? I'd love to get rid of the battery. Mabye use a stereo cable and use the extra wire to power the buffer.

Or have a switch that bypasses the buffer altogether so that you can still play if your battery dies during a gig.


I was keeping this project under wraps... but I have already gathered almost everything I need to start doing tests on this exact setup. Going to be a single stereo cable with 18V+ running to the "ring" part of the TRS, powering EMG pickups which really suck the life out of batteries in a hurry.
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby tapestry » Wed Sep 19, 2012 6:29 am

Want that cable setup as well. I always forget about the batteries even thought I change the strings for every gig!
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby mgbills » Wed Sep 19, 2012 7:29 am

I spoke with Waldo at some length about a similar issue. I would like to use a 7 pin TRS jack (or some such thing), and incorporate the OBEL cables in a bundle with the Guitar Output. That would leave an extra wire or 2 for potentially powering the guitar with a lead off the Pedal Power. 1 chord instead of 2.

Waldo's caution - Ground loops. Apparently Mr. Healy & the others have tried some mods along these lines. I haven't moved forward for 2 reasons. I haven't found a cable that has the right combinations of shields & mains. Also, I couldn't convince myself that the OBEL loop would become an RF antenna.

My intention is to move forward when time permits, but I just thought I should keep you folks in the loop.
I'd love to hear the outcome.
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby mijknahs » Wed Sep 19, 2012 8:44 am

I'm using a "Hub Bub" on the ground that my guitar cable plugs into and my OBEL stereo cable plugs into. I'm thinking of taking a 9V patch from my pedal power to the Hub Bub and then a using a stereo cable for my guitar cable. The 9V would be conneted to the extra wire going up to the guitar to power the buffer.

Another idea would be to just leave a rechargable lithium-ion battery in your guitar that you just plug in to recharge every few days with a special recharge port. Like you would do with your iPod or cell phone.
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby mgbills » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:06 am

That sounds cool. I like the idea of a rechargeable system. I bet there is a small complete unit available...maybe even with an indicator. Run it down & plug it into a wall-wart. Like it. Especially if its light.

My knowledge of wire/cable is somewhat limited. I used a whole bunch of Belden in industrial applications, but am unclear is there is shielded stereo available. I'd call the guys at Redco...they seem to have limitless knowledge of every possible configuration of Belden/Mogami type stuff.
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby Pete B. » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:19 am

No interest in the solar-power hat???
We can make it a Beer-Hat if that helps. :lol:
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Re: Symptoms of a Dying Battery

Postby mijknahs » Wed Sep 19, 2012 9:26 am

Pete B. wrote:No interest in the solar-power hat???
We can make it a Beer-Hat if that helps. :lol:


Unfortunately I don't play much in the sunlight...
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